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English Springer Spaniel - Breed Profile:
Physical characteristicsThe English Springer Spaniel is a medium size dog with a compact body and long pendent ears. The built is neither too light nor too heavy. The deep chest reaches the level of the elbows. The loins are strong, short and slightly arched. The dog has a proud bearing, with a slightly sloping topline which is approximately the same length as the height at the withers (never longer). The front legs are straight. The thighs are broad and muscular. The head is in good proportion to the rest of the body; it is impressive enough but never too heavy. The length of the head should be approximately equal to the length of the neck. The stop is moderate; there is a groove rising between the eyes and gradually disappearing in the middle of the forehead. The jaws are square, strong, and lean. The medium size eyes are oval, set wide apart and rather deep. Their colour match the coat colour (dark hazel to black or deep brown). The ears hang down close to the cheeks. The strong teeth should meet in a scissor bite. The tail is carried horizontally or slightly elevated; it displays a lively, merry action, particularly when the dog is playing. The tail is usually docked. However, docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe, so it can also be left natural. The gait well-balanced.
English Springer Spaniels weigh 44 to 55 pounds. Their height averages 19 inches for females and 20 inches for males.
TemperamentCheerful and affectionate, Springers love their families and like to stick close to their owners. Playful, gentle, even-tempered, and energetic. Most Springers are great dogs for kids. This breed is often called "happy tail-wagger" as the tail seems to always be in motion. Intelligent, skilful, willing and obedient. Can learn new tricks very quickly. Usually good with dogs and other pets with the possible exception of birds. Springers do better when the owners can set clear rules and display proper leadership. Adolescent Springers need a lot of authoritative guidance. They are sensitive to the tone of your voice and will not listen if they sense that they are stronger minded than their owner. Nor will they respond well to harsh discipline. Do provide these dogs with daily mental and physical exercise, as they need a lot of physical work to be truly happy and balanced. If left alone or neglected for too long, Springers can become destructive and develop other behaviour problems.
There are two types of Springers: show and field lines. Field dogs are bred for hunting and field trial work. Both the types need daily exercise, but field lines have a higher energy level and, therefore, a higher thirst for physical and mental exercise.
Coat and groomingThe glossy double coat of English Springer Spaniels is waterproof, weatherproof and thorn-proof. It consists of medium length outer coat and short undercoat. The outer hair is flat or wavy; it is easily distinguishable from the soft and dense undercoat. The latter is affected by the climate and season. The ears, chest, legs and belly are nicely feathered with hair of moderate length and heaviness. Regular brushing is necessary; the coat of show dogs needs more attention.
English Springer Spaniels come in the following colours: predominantly white with black or liver markings; blue or liver roan; tri-colour (black-and-white or liver-and-white with tan markings that are usually found on the eyebrows, cheeks, inside of the ears and under the tail).
HealthProne to hip dysplasia and obesity. Do not overfeed. The ears should be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid infection. The lifespan is 10 to 12 years.
Other interesting factsEnglish Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels were originally born in the same litters. The smaller "Cockers" hunted woodcock while their larger littermates were used to flush ("spring") game. In 1902 the Kennel Club of England recognized the English Springer Spaniel as a breed separate from English Cockers.
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