Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
Posted June 8, 2015
English Springer Spaniels are excellent family pets - if you have the space to let them run and the energy to keep up with them! Luckily, we had both growing up in Mid-Michigan. (Well, the space, at least. It sometimes took all four of us, plus the neighbour's kids to wear this one out!)
Sadie came to us through a family friend who had gotten her as a puppy but eventually realized that he spent too much time away from home to keep her happy. For the first two years of her life, Sadie spent most of her time in a crate, while her owner was away at work. Don't worry... once she came to live with us, she never saw the inside of a crate again!
Sadie was reserved in a lot of ways. She wasn't very noisy and didn't play-fight with the other dogs. Definitely a people dog, that one. Sadie was very clingy. If I was doing homework, she wanted to have her head on my knee. If I was watching TV, she wanted to be next to me on the sofa. When I slept, she wanted to be in bed with me. (My husband loved that! When we stayed with my parents after I moved out, he would joke that he was kicking me out of the bed for her!)
Separation anxiety is normal with this breed. Sadie hated to be left alone and, when we got home from shopping or school or what have you, she would often get so excited that she had an accident! Like other Springers, she could be destructive if left alone too long. We tried to leave enough toys, etc. around when we left to keep her busy but there was the odd nibbling problem.
Aside from their gorgeous coats - which do require frequent bathing and brushing - Springers can jump very high! Sadie LIVED for chasing her ball. The way she would leap and twist in the air to catch it was remarkable! It could get quite tiring, though, because she was happy to do it all day long. My family found a way to spare our poor arms: we got a tennis racquet!
Sadie was a little TOO attached to her tennis balls. She would often drop her ball into your lap, then proceed to stare - and drool - until you gave in and took her out. Outside was where she wanted to be pretty much all the time. Unfortunately, because of the way Springers bounce around, they can suffer with problems with their hips. Sadie was no exception. Hip problems slowed her down later in life.
Springer Spaniels are often described as being friendly and Sadie certainly was BUT they have qualities that don't always endear them to your guests. Their long hair might be gorgeous but that means your furniture and clothes will probably be covered in it. I normally took lint rollers to the furniture twice a day. They are also quick to jump up on visitors, which may alarm some people. And, of course... there's the drool.
Sadie was the drooliest dog I have ever had! And I mean the long, ew-don't-let-that-touch-me kind of drool. I don't know if that's a breed thing or if she was especially drooly but we normally had to warn guests to keep her off their lap if they didn't want to "slimed".