The Springer Spaniels

The English Springer Spaniel is an all-purpose gundog which is held in the highest esteem by sportsmen seeking land or water game.

Are springer spaniels working dogs?

The Springer has a capital nose, quarters well in the thickest bush or reeds, retrieves with the best and is as much at home on land as in the water.

He is the largest member of the Spaniel family found in the US, standing 20 inches at the shoulder and weighing about 50 pounds, but works with the same vim and enthusiasm as the smaller Cocker Spaniel.

His style of working is typical of the Spaniel. While he lacks the style and poise of the Pointer and Setter in finding, his keen nose rarely misses fur or feather and well-trained ones are as staunch on finding as any breed.

Springers are second only in popularity to Labradors for duck shooting in Australia. They are excellent water dogs and seem to thrive on long hours of work in rivers and swamps.

The Springer is unquestionably keener in scenting powers and is more agile in movement. The Springer is higher on leg than any other member of the Spaniel tribe and is more racily built throughout.

He should be symmetrical, compact, strong, upstanding, and merry in appearance. Built for both activity and endurance, his movement is quite distinct from that of any other breed.

His forelegs swing straight forward from the shoulder, throwing the feet well forward in a free manner. The hocks should drive well under his body, following in line with his forelegs.

Most Springers pace when moving slowly, that is both nearside legs move forward together followed by the offside ones. The desirable 1-2-3-4 nearside foreleg, offside hind leg or square gaited action in other breeds is not usually seen in the Springer.

The head is medium in length, fairly broad, and rounded throughout with a fairly pronounced stop and a distinct fluting between the eyes. The foreface is in balance with the skull and is fairly deep and broad with a good strong under the jaw and wide, well-developed nostrils.

The dark hazel eyes are medium in size, not showing haw (the third eyelid) and fairly well set in with an alert and kindly expression. Ears are lobular in shape, set close to the head, of good length and width, and must be set in line with the eyes.

The neck is strong and muscular, free from throatiness, nicely arched with sufficient length to enable the dog to carry his game comfortably on land or in the water.

The forelegs are strong and straight, nicely feathered, and have strong, flexible pasterns. Feet are deep, compact, and rounded with strong, deep pads. The body should be strong and of proportionate length, deep, well-developed chest.

Ribs are well sprung while the slightly arched loin is strong and muscular. The body is well coupled and hindquarters have broad, muscular thighs, well let down from hip to hock, with moderately turned stifles.

The tail is docked fairly short, set on low, never carried above the top line, and should have plenty of movement. Liver and white or black and white are the most popular colors but touches of tan on either are acceptable.


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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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