Springer Spaniels are one of the oldest English gundogs, and these compact little runners have been a sportsman’s best friend for hundreds of years. In fact, they are the breed that all English hunting spaniels come from. Known for their soft long hair with liver-coloured or black patched fur, and instantly recognisable by their characteristic floppy ears. Springers are very quick learners and their extraordinary good nature means they make friends with everyone. They suit strong, calm owners – the name Springer comes from their tendency to spring forward when chasing game birds.
Spaniels have a history almost as long as their ears. Probably first originating in Spain, we have the Romans to thank for bringing them further afield. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Springer Spaniel gained fame (and a few portraits) across Europe as the ideal companion for aristocratic families who enjoyed a spot of game hunting. Before being individually classified and recognised as a distinct breed, Springers were born into the same litter as the smaller Cocker Spaniel. Springers get their name from a time before guns were used in hunting birds; they would ‘spring’ game into nets. Clever!
Springer Spaniels can live for around 12-14 years. Some Springers can suffer from hip problems, epilepsy, eye problems and blood disorders.
Run like the wind
With hundreds of years of hunting in their blood Springer Spaniels love to get out for a run, and will jump at the opportunity for a swim, too. These dogs need plenty of exercise to keep them in good spirits and whilst they are generally a very happy breed they can misbehave if they aren’t allowed to exercise adequately.
Friendly and loyal, Springer Spaniels make family excellent family dogs – you might find they form a close bond with a single family member. Highly intelligent, they’ll notice if you’re timid or uncertain, so a confident personality is needed to bring out the best in your Springer.
Hide the birds
Springers are great with children and most other household pets but make sure to keep them away from birds as their natural hunting instinct may set in.
Springer Spaniels can be trained easily thanks to their even tempered nature and alert minds. They’ll respond positively to a strong but calm approach in training.
Springers are easy to housebreak as long as you show consistency with house rules.
Where to find Springer Spaniels
Fancy comparing your Springer with other Spaniels? Find a breed group below.
The English Springer Spaniel Club
Southern English Springer Spaniel Society
English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association
Northern English Springer Spaniel Society
The Welsh Springer Spaniel Club
Adopt a Springer
Want to adopt a Springer in need of a loving home? Find a rescue centre below.
Springer Spaniel Rescue UK
Northern English Springer Spaniel Rescue
Just Springers Rescue
English Springer Spaniel Welfare
North West English Springer Spaniel Rescue
Springer Rescue Scotland
Sold on the Springer’s sporting prowess? Check out this list of approved Springer Spaniel breeders.
Kennel Club Assured Breeders