Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
Posted April 7, 2015
Springers are incredibly smart dogs, which is wonderful when training them and part of what makes them such amazing hunting companions, but it also means they can figure out how to open doors and containers, unlock their crates, get into things they shouldn't ($50 for a "dog-proof" garbage can that stopped Paris for all of 20 minutes) and can be destructive if they aren't stimulated enough. They need a lot of exercise. A LOT. Paris got 2 3+ mile walks a day, which were reduced to 2 2 mile walks a day when she got old and had severe arthritis (around 12 years old). They are generally healthy dogs, with no common breathing problems, but do face the challenges of most purebreds with hip dysplasia and arthritis. Both of the Springers I've owned have lived past the age of 14, which is incredible. Both were field Springers trained to hunt pheasant and duck, so they got a lot of exercise and training. They learn fast, but can have a sassy attitude at times, like when they'll hear your command, look at you, and decide to continue what they were doing because eating bunny "presents" found on the ground is more fun than listening to you. But they also are huge "velcro" dogs and love to make you happy, so the sassy behavior usually is rare. Springers will protect their family, but aren't aggressive dogs naturally, only when their family is being threatened. They are mild tempered dogs that love to lick everyone and everything. Springers, like most field dogs, aren't fond of little dogs that nip at them, because they are very protective of their heels. Springers were named because of how they spring in fields, which combined with their webbed toes and high intelligence makes them, in my opinion, the single best hunting dog around. Their fur is incredibly soft, and while it does need to be trimmed regularly if you don't want to brush burrs out of it twice a day, brushing is easy due to their silky coats. Because springers love attention, most love to be brushed all over due to the fact they are getting petted for 20 minutes straight.
Pros of Springers:
Love to swim and explore
Smart enough to get into child- and dog-proofed anything
Friendly to the point of jumping in strangers cars
Energy can become destruction if they don't have chew toys, puzzles, and lots of time outdoors
They love their family so much that they can have separation anxiety, especially if they had a traumatic background (abandonment in particular.)
Their love of swimming and exploration often extends into rolling in mud, poo, and anything else stinky, gross, and hard to brush out.
Springers are my favorite breed of dog, bar none, because of their amazing personalities and temperaments, their ability to do anything with you (swimming, running, exploring, they are sturdy and don't need special winter jackets or boots or anything silly like that, and the fact that they are the perfect size (medium, 40-50 lbs) and don't shed too much and are overall beautiful creatures (that keep the big puppy eyes and energy their entire lives.