The English Springer Spaniel Dog Breed

Written By: Lindsay Giguiere

Editor: Julie Zawadzki

Dog Breeds
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The English Springer Spaniel is a breed that offers the perfect blend of intelligence, athleticism, and affection. Often simply called the "Springer Spaniel," this dog is a versatile and beloved companion that can enrich the lives of individuals and families alike.

Did You Know these Facts about the English Springer Spaniel?

  • English Springer Spaniels were originally bred for two purposes - as efficient bird hunters and as friendly family pets. 


  • Their name isn't just for show. These dogs have a distinctive hunting style called "springing," where they flush out game by leaping and bouncing through the fields.


  • King George V of England was a proud owner of English Springer Spaniels, adding to the breed's aristocratic reputation.


  • Thanks to their webbed feet, these dogs are exceptional swimmers. They'll dive into water to retrieve prey or just to cool off on a hot day.


  • English Springer Spaniels have made their mark in the show ring. They've won the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show several times.

English Springer Spaniels hold a respectable place in the world of dog breeds. While they may not be the most popular, they consistently rank in the top 30 among all formally registered breeds in the United States. In fact, they reached spot #26 on the AKC's popularity list in 2022

felicitails breed guide about the english springer spaniel dog breed, breed traits, breed standards, felicitails founded by lindsay giguiere
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Traits of the English Springer Spaniel Breed

Personality. English Springer Spaniels are a bundle of energy combined with a heart full of love. They're known for their friendly and outgoing nature. These dogs thrive on human companionship and are eager to be part of your family's activities. Their joyful disposition and intelligence make them a pleasure to have around.

Family Life. If you're seeking a family dog, the English Springer Spaniel should be at the top of your list. They adore children and have a natural affinity for them. Their playful demeanor ensures that they'll be great playmates for kids. However, their exuberance might be a bit much for very young children.

Physical Appearance. These spaniels are medium-sized dogs with strong and athletic bodies. They have a distinctive coat that can be either liver and white or black and white, with a thick double layer. Their expressive eyes and long ears give them an endearing look. Their unique coat patterns are a distinguishing feature, and no two English Springer Spaniels look exactly alike.

Sociability. Social butterflies, these dogs love interacting with both humans and other animals. They're known for being friendly and sociable, which makes them great companions for both families and individuals. Early socialization helps them develop well-rounded personalities and good manners.

Average Sizes & Life Expectancy

  • Height: 18 to 20 inches tall (45 to 51 cm)
  • Weight: 50 to 55 pounds (23 to 25 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: Around 10 to 15 years

Detailed Description of the English Springer Spaniel Breed

Appearance. English Springer Spaniels are medium-sized dogs with a well-proportioned and athletic build. Their expressive eyes, long ears, and wagging tails give them a friendly and approachable appearance. Their distinctive coat can be either liver and white or black and white, with a dense double layer to protect them from the elements. Their coat patterns are unique, often with freckles or ticking on a white background.

Temperament. English Springer Spaniels have a joyful disposition that endears them to everyone they meet. They are affectionate and loyal, forming strong bonds with their families. Their friendly nature means they usually get along well with other dogs and even cats. However, their enthusiasm can be a bit overwhelming for very small children, so supervision is advised.

These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, which makes training them a rewarding experience. Positive reinforcement methods work best, as harsh training methods can harm their sensitive nature. With the right guidance and patience, they can excel in obedience, agility, and other dog sports.

Adaptability. Springer Spaniels are adaptable dogs, making them suitable for various living situations. While they do well in homes with yards for them to run and play, they can also thrive in apartments or urban environments if given enough exercise and mental stimulation. Their adaptability is one reason why they are a popular choice among dog owners. 

English Springer Spaniels are fantastic family dogs. They adore children and are known for their playful and affectionate interactions with them. Their energy levels match those of kids, making them great playmates.

While Springer Spaniels are energetic, they can also be well-suited for seniors who are active and want a loyal and loving companion. Regular exercise can help seniors stay fit and healthy while enjoying the company of their furry friend.

Care Guidelines. English Springers need at least an hour of exercise each day. Regular walks, playtime, and mental stimulation through training or puzzle toys are essential to keep them happy and healthy.

Their coat needs regular brushing to prevent matting and minimize shedding. Bathing should be done as needed. Additionally, routine ear cleaning and nail trimming are essential to maintain their overall health. Regular veterinary check-ups are necessary to monitor their health and catch any potential issues early. Springer Spaniels can be prone to certain health conditions, including hip dysplasia and ear infections.

Training Strategies. Training your English Springers should be a positive and rewarding experience. Their intelligence and eagerness to please make them fast learners. Be consistent with your commands and expectations. Use positive reinforcement techniques, like treats and praise, to reward good behavior. 

Start socializing your Springer Spaniel from a young age. Expose them to different people, animals, and environments to ensure they grow up to be well-adjusted and confident dogs.

Notable in History and Pop Culture. Springer Spaniels have a rich history as hunting dogs, known for "springing" or flushing game from its hiding place. Their origins date back centuries in England, and they were highly prized for their hunting skills. King George V of England was a notable owner of English Springer Spaniels, adding to their aristocratic reputation.

In pop culture, English Springers have appeared in various films, books, and television shows, showcasing their charm and versatility. Their presence in these forms of media has contributed to their enduring popularity as both working dogs and cherished pets.

What to expect when living with the English Springer Spaniel Breed

Personality. English Springer Spaniels are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They thrive on human interaction and form strong bonds with their families. Expect a dog that is affectionate, loyal, and always eager to please. Their joyful disposition is infectious, making them excellent mood lifters.

Ideal Environment. English Springers thrive in environments where they can be part of the family action. They love being around people and are not suited for long periods of isolation. They're excellent choices for families with backyards where they can run and play, but they can also adapt well to apartment living if they receive sufficient exercise and attention.

Maintenance Level. English Springer Spaniels have a moderate level of maintenance when it comes to grooming. Their double coat requires regular brushing to prevent matting and minimize shedding. Bathing should be done as needed. Pay attention to their ears, which can be prone to infections due to their floppy nature. Regular cleaning and drying can help prevent issues.

One of the key things to be prepared for is their energy. English Springers are highly energetic dogs, and they require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. Be prepared for long walks, vigorous play sessions, and plenty of activities to keep their minds engaged. They're a great fit for active individuals or families with kids who can match their energy.

Overall Health Expectations and Best Health Tests for the English Springer Spaniel Breed

Health Considerations. While the English Springer Spaniel is generally a healthy breed, they can be prone to certain health issues. Being aware of these potential problems can help you take preventive measures and provide the best care for your furry friend.

Common Health Concerns:

  1. Hip Dysplasia -  This is a common condition in which the hip joint doesn't develop properly. It can lead to arthritis and pain. Regular hip evaluations by a veterinarian are essential, especially for breeding dogs.

  2. Ear Infections -  Due to their floppy ears, Springer Spaniels are prone to ear infections. Regular cleaning and drying of the ears can help prevent this issue.

  3. Eye Conditions -  Some Springer Spaniels may develop eye problems, such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) or cataracts. Regular eye exams are recommended.

  4. Allergies - They can be susceptible to allergies, which might manifest as skin issues or gastrointestinal problems. Identifying and managing allergens in their environment can help.

  5. Autoimmune Disorders: Some English Springer Spaniels may be prone to autoimmune disorders like autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Regular vet check-ups can help catch and manage these conditions early.

Recommended Health Tests:

  • Hip Evaluation -  Regular hip evaluations to check for dysplasia are crucial, especially for breeding dogs.
    Eye Exams -  Routine eye exams to monitor for conditions like PRA and cataracts.
    Ear Health -  Regular ear cleaning and check-ups to prevent ear infections.
    Allergy Testing -  If your dog shows signs of allergies, consult with your vet for appropriate testing and management strategies.
    Blood Tests -  Periodic blood tests to monitor overall health and catch any underlying issues.

Best Nutrition, Diet & Supplements for the English Springer Spaniel Breed

Nutrition and Diet. Springer Spaniels are active dogs and require a diet rich in high-quality protein. Look for dog foods that list a quality animal protein source, such as chicken or beef, as the first ingredient.

Fat: Healthy fats provide energy for their active lifestyle. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for their skin and coat health. Carbohydrates provide a source of sustained energy. Look for complex carbohydrates like brown rice and sweet potatoes in their food.

Avoid dog foods that contain excessive fillers like corn, soy, or wheat. These ingredients offer little nutritional value and can lead to allergies or digestive issues. Most English Springer Spaniels do well with two meals a day, but some may prefer three smaller meals. Monitor their weight and adjust accordingly.

Hydration is Key. Adequate hydration is essential for Spaniels. Encourage your dog to drink plenty of water.

Supplements. While these dogs can receive essential nutrients from a balanced diet, some supplements can support their overall health. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, can help maintain healthy skin and coat. Additionally, consider supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health. Probiotics can enhance their immune systems.

Foods to Avoid. Some human foods are toxic to dogs and should be strictly avoided. These include chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and foods containing the artificial sweetener xylitol. Avoid foods with excessive fillers, artificial additives, or excessive grain content. While healthy fats are important, avoid feeding excessive amounts of high-fat human foods, as it can lead to obesity and pancreatitis.

Grooming Requirements for the English Springer Spaniel Breed

Coat Maintenance and Shedding. English Springer Spaniels have a double coat consisting of a dense, water-resistant outer coat and a softer, insulating undercoat. Their coat comes in various color combinations, including liver and white, black and white, or tri-color. 

While they aren't considered heavy shedders, English Springer Spaniels do shed moderately throughout the year. Regular grooming helps reduce loose hair and keeps their coat in top condition. To maintain their coat's health and prevent matting, brush your Springer Spaniel at least 2-3 times a week. During shedding seasons, you may need to brush more frequently.

Paw Care and Hygiene. Regularly check their paw pads for cuts, debris, or foreign objects. Trim their nails every 4-6 weeks to prevent overgrowth, which can cause discomfort and affect their gait.

Ear Care. Their long, floppy ears can trap moisture and debris, making them prone to ear infections. Clean their ears weekly, checking for signs of redness or odor, which could indicate an infection.

Bathing Frequency. Bathing should be done as needed, typically every 6-8 weeks or when your dog gets particularly dirty. Use a mild dog shampoo to avoid drying out their skin and coat.

Exercise Required for the English Springer Spaniel Breed

These dogs thrive on daily exercise, and a lack of it can lead to boredom and behavioral problems. Aim for at least 60-90 minutes of exercise each day.

Engage them in activities they love, such as fetch, agility training, hiking, and swimming. Springer Spaniels excel in dog sports like obedience and field trials. In addition to physical exercise, provide mental stimulation through puzzle toys, obedience training, and scent games.

They are social dogs and enjoy spending time with their families. Playdates with other dogs can be beneficial for their social development.

Training Tips for the English Springer Spaniel Breed

Training an English Springer Spaniel can be a rewarding experience, but it requires patience and consistency.


  • Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats, praise, and toys to reward good behavior. English Springer Spaniels respond well to positive feedback.
  • Be consistent in your commands and expectations. Use the same cues for specific behaviors to avoid confusion.
  • Start socializing your English Springer Spaniel from a young age. Expose them to various people, animals, and environments to help them become well-adjusted adults.
  • Enroll in obedience classes to provide structured training. These classes can help with basic commands and proper leash manners.


  • Use harsh training methods or punishment-based techniques. English Springer Spaniels are sensitive dogs, and punitive methods can harm the bond between you and your dog.
  • Forget to establish leadership: Establish yourself as the pack leader through consistent training and rules.
  • Use inconsistent rules. Ensure that everyone in your household follows the same rules and commands. Inconsistency can confuse your dog.
  • Neglect mental stimulation. English Springer Spaniels are intelligent dogs. Neglecting mental stimulation can lead to boredom and destructive behavior.

The English Springer Spaniel Breed is Suitable For

English Springer Spaniels are a fantastic choice for active families who enjoy outdoor activities. They thrive in homes with large yards or access to open spaces where they can run and play. Their boundless energy matches the enthusiasm of children, making them excellent companions for families.

If you're an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, camping, or hunting, the English Springer is an ideal partner. Their love for adventure and water makes them excellent companions for outdoor activities.

Historically bred as hunting dogs, Springer Spaniels excel in hunting and sporting environments. They are skilled in flushing out game birds and have a strong work ethic, making them valuable assets for hunters.

English Springer Spaniels are highly trainable and enjoy the mental challenge of obedience training and agility courses. Homes that engage in dog sports and training will find these dogs eager to learn and participate.

The English Springer Spaniel Breed is Not Suitable For

If you have a sedentary lifestyle with minimal physical activity, a Springer Spaniel may not be the best choice. They require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.

Living in a small apartment without access to outdoor spaces can be challenging for this breed. They need room to move and play, so confined living spaces can lead to restlessness and destructive behavior.

Springer Spaniels thrive on human interaction and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Homes with owners who cannot provide adequate attention and companionship should consider a different breed. If household members have allergies to pet dander, be cautious, as Springer Spaniels do shed, albeit moderately. Regular grooming and cleaning may be necessary to minimize allergens.

Famous English Springer Spaniel Owners

  • George H.W. Bush -  The 41st President of the United States was a proud owner of an English Springer Spaniel named Millie. Millie gained fame by "writing" a book, "Millie's Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush," which offered a unique perspective on life in the White House.

  • Prince William and Kate Middleton - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are well-known lovers of English Springer Spaniels. Their dog, Lupo, became a beloved member of the royal family and featured in family photos.

  • Hugh Grant -  The British actor is a fan of Springer Spaniels and has been spotted with his dogs on numerous occasions. His affection for the breed has contributed to their popularity.

Accomplishments of the English Springer Spaniel Breed

Springer Spaniels are prized by hunters for their exceptional skills in flushing out game birds. They are known for their agility, enthusiasm, and ability to work tirelessly in the field.

These dogs excel in field trials, where they are judged on their hunting abilities, obedience, and agility. Many Springer Spaniels have achieved top honors in national and international field trials. Due to their high intelligence and willingness to please, English Springer Spaniels often excel in obedience and agility competitions. They consistently rank among the top-performing breeds in these events.

Springer Spaniels have made appearances in various movies, TV shows, and books. Their friendly and approachable nature makes them a favorite choice for family-oriented characters in entertainment.

The History of the English Springer Spaniel Breed

Creation and Purpose. The English Springer Spaniel, often simply called the "Springer Spaniel," is a member of the spaniel family, which includes several breeds known for their hunting prowess. The breed's name is derived from its historic role in "springing" or flushing game birds from their hiding places during hunts.

The Springer's journey begins in medieval Europe, where spaniels were bred to work alongside hunters. These dogs were prized for their ability to locate and retrieve game birds, making them invaluable assets to hunters who relied on them for sustenance.

Early Roles and Evolution. The breed's development continued through selective breeding. Breeders focused on preserving and enhancing the breed's natural hunting abilities while also emphasizing desirable physical characteristics. The breed's coat, for instance, was bred to repel water, keeping the dog dry during hunts in wet environments.

As time progressed, English Springer Spaniels became more versatile. They were utilized not only for hunting but also as all-around family dogs. Their gentle nature, affection for children, and adaptability to various living environments contributed to their popularity as beloved pets.

Changes and Modern Impact.  Today, the English Springer Spaniel maintains its dual role as both a skilled hunting dog and a cherished family companion. They are often found participating in field trials, obedience competitions, and various dog sports that showcase their agility, intelligence, and obedience.

Their presence in modern society extends beyond hunting fields, as they serve as therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, and even detection dogs. Their friendly disposition and strong work ethic have endeared them to people from all walks of life.

In conclusion, the English Springer Spaniel's history is one of evolution and adaptation. From its origins as a hunting dog in medieval Europe to its modern-day role as a versatile companion, this breed's enduring qualities and unwavering loyalty have solidified its place in the hearts of dog lovers worldwide.

The English Springer Spaniel Breed Standard

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the English Springer Spaniel belongs to the "Sporting Group." This group comprises breeds that were originally bred to assist hunters in locating and retrieving game birds, making them excellent companions for outdoor enthusiasts.

The AKC's formal Breed Standard for the English Springer Spaniel is a detailed description of the ideal dog within this recognized breed. This standard serves as a benchmark against which dogs are judged at various dog shows. The following are some key points from the standard:

  • Size - Males typically stand between 19 to 21 inches at the withers, while females are slightly smaller at 18 to 20 inches.
    Coat - The breed's coat is double-layered, with a waterproof outer coat and a soft undercoat. It can be moderately wavy or flat.
    Color -  Acceptable coat colors include liver and white, black and white, and tricolor (black, white, and tan).

The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association (ESSFTA) is the national breed club for the English Springer Spaniel in the United States. Their website can be found at

General Appearance

Head, Muzzle, Nose. The English Springer Spaniel possesses a well-proportioned head with a moderately rounded skull. Their expressive eyes are of medium size and oval-shaped, radiating intelligence and warmth. 

The breed's ears are lobular (floppy) and set moderately low, framing the face elegantly. English Springers boast a strong, well-chiseled muzzle that is neither too long nor too short. Their black or liver-colored nose harmonizes with the coat color, depending on the variety. The nose is broad and features well-developed nostrils, aiding their exceptional sense of smell.

Teeth. A complete set of strong, white teeth forms a scissor bite in this breed. Their dental alignment is essential not only for eating but also for the breed's history of retrieving game. Proper dental care is essential to maintain their oral health.

Neck. The neck of the English Springer Spaniel is muscular and of moderate length, allowing for an alert posture. It blends smoothly into well-laid-back shoulders, contributing to their graceful appearance and facilitating fluid movement.

Body. Springers possess a sturdy and balanced body. Their deep chest and well-sprung ribs provide ample lung capacity for endurance in the field. A short, strong back leads to a slightly sloping croup, creating a well-proportioned silhouette. Their compact, athletic build reflects their agility and stamina.

Tail. The breed's tail is set moderately high and in the USA is often docked to a short length. When undocked, it should ideally reach to the hock. Tail carriage is held level with the back or slightly elevated when the dog is in motion. This distinctive tail aids in their balance and agility during hunting tasks.

Coat. The English Springer Spaniel's coat consists of a dense double layer. The outer coat is water-resistant and can be either wavy or flat. The undercoat provides insulation. Coat colors vary and can be liver and white, black and white, or tricolor. Their coat is designed to protect them from harsh outdoor conditions, be it water or thorny underbrush.

Size. Males typically stand between 19 to 21 inches at the withers (shoulders), while females are slightly smaller, measuring 18 to 20 inches. Weight can vary but generally ranges between 40 to 55 pounds. This medium-sized breed exudes an ideal combination of strength and agility.

Gait. English Springer Spaniels move with an effortless and ground-covering gait. Their stride is purposeful, with a balanced reach and drive, reflecting their hunting origins. This breed's agile movement makes them well-suited for both the show ring and outdoor activities. The gait showcases their stamina and overall soundness, mirroring their fitness for work and play alike.

Reputable Breeders

For those seeking a well-bred Spaniel, there are reputable breeders who prioritize health, temperament, and the breed's standard. Here are a few notable breeders:

  1. Ricky Mountain Springer Spaniels

  2. Ramblewood English Springer Spaniels

  3. Wybourne English Springer Spaniels

Top Shelters for Adoption

Adopting a dog can be a rewarding experience. Here are a few shelters where you might find a Spaniel in need of a loving home:

  1. English Springer Rescue America

  2. Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue

  3. New England English Springer Spaniel Rescue

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions & Answers about the English Springer Spaniel Breed

Are English Springer Spaniels good family pets?

Yes, they are known for their friendly and adaptable nature, making them excellent family companions.

How much exercise do they need?

They require regular exercise, including daily walks and playtime to stay healthy and happy.

Do they shed a lot?

Yes, English Springer Spaniels have a double coat and shed moderately. Regular grooming can help manage shedding.

Are they easy to train?

Yes, they are intelligent and eager to please, making them trainable with consistent, positive reinforcement methods.

Do they get along with children and other pets?

Yes, they are generally good with children and can coexist with other pets when properly socialized.

A Final Tip for Bringing a English Springer Spaniel into Your Life

Bringing an English Springer Spaniel into your life means welcoming an energetic, loyal, and loving companion. These dogs thrive on human interaction and will eagerly participate in all your adventures. Whether you're an active outdoor enthusiast or prefer cozy indoor moments, the Springer's adaptable nature ensures they'll be by your side, adding joy and enthusiasm to your life. With proper care, training, and love, they'll become an integral part of your family, making cherished memories that last a lifetime.

Valuable Resources for Your Journey to Parenting a English Springer Spaniel

At Felicitails you will find many wonderful services, supplies and guides for your life ahead with a loving pup at your side.

Hope You Enjoyed The Read!

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Hello, I’m Lindsay!

A warm welcome from Lindsay & Huck (my English Pointer). Hope you enjoy the read and find just what you are looking for when it comes to living your best life with your loved pets.

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