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June 14, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

English Springer Spaniel

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

Want a dog that is super friendly towards everyone? Are you looking for a dog that has a "zest" for everything they do? Do you live an active life that can include a dog that is ready to go at a moments notice? The Springer Spaniel may be the breed you've been looking for!

Whether you live in an apartment/condo, a rural area, or suburbia, as long as the English Springer Spaniel is properly exercised, they can adapt to any living situation. Bred to flush and retrieve fowl, this gun dog is a diligent and devoted partner! This is an old breed, dating as far back as the 1700's. They were once lumped in with the Cocker Spaniel, but breeders separated the two by size from litters, developing the distinct English Springer Spaniel.

Job Please!

This breed thrives in a working environment. Whether you choose, hunting, therapy work, competitive agility, or search and rescue, the Springer needs a job.

The Springer would do great in agility competition. Sign up for classes at a young age to teach your Springer to dive off a dock, to retrieve a ball as fast as possible, and to do other fun sporting events!

They are at their best when given a focus and utilized for a purpose.

Friendly, Smart, Playful

The English Springer Spaniel is known for their tail-always-wagging demeanor with many positives like being social, affectionate, loyal, and hard-working! They are a happy-go-lucky dog that enjoys frolicking in the yard with kids, lying on your lap, or providing a service for you. Although they make excellent playmates for kids, when young, they can be overly rambunctious.

This is a very intelligent breed. Without establishing rules, or providing obedience training, future behavioral problems such as counter-surfing, jumping, excessive barking, nipping, digging, and much more could occur.

The Springer is a good watchdog and will gladly alert you of any visitors. Once they realize they did their job, they will greet with a wiggly butt of enthusiasm! Early socialization around strangers and other pets will help maintain their friendly disposition.

High - High Energy!!!

The Springer is not a laid back dog. They are busy-bodies and will require a family that can provide them with plenty of exercise throughout the day. Work all day? No problem, Doggy Daycare is a wonderful alternative to use while at work. Just drop your fur kid off, and let them play all day long with other dogs!

Swimming, hiking, running, and daily walks will help keep the Springer fit and happy! They are a great breed to carry a dog backpack. (Although a dog shouldn't wear a backpack until they are 1-year old to prevent injuries to developing joints.) The backpack provides a dog with a job, as well as helps to drain energy much quicker. Consider using one every time you take your dog for a hike or walk.

Grooming Required

Their beautiful coat will require a professional grooming every 8 - 10 weeks to help keep their coat looking healthy. They shed throughout the year, and daily brushing will help maintain their coat, as well as keep the shedding controlled.

Health Concerns

The breed is known to have health issues including Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Phosphofructokinase Deficiency (PFK), ear infections, autoimmune diseases, and allergies, and they are prone to excessive weight gain.

The average life span of the English Springer Spaniel is 12-14 years.

Adopt First

As you begin looking for an English Springer Spaniel, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!

So what do you think? Is the English Springer Spaniel the dog for you?

Photo Credits:

Flickr.com

Sources:

Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe

Dog Breed Info

More from Health Coach Victoria Swanson Others Are Reading

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