Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Liverpool, Merseyside, United Kingdom
Posted April 14, 2009
At present I own just the one Springer, who is indeed my first. My Aunty did have an English Springer who I took on as my own every time we visited and so when some one offered to take her, in order to work her in the field, I was very upset and so ended up with my own whirl wind of fun! Fern.
My information on the English Springer Spaniel, is purely written about the field/working dog, the show Springer is a different dog all together and these days they carry a very different gene pool.
I have to say they are great dogs. Their loyalty is hidden as the breed prefers to go off and do it's own thing when out on walks, but when you stick your legs out under the table and feel something warm and fury you instantly know that that dog loves you and isn't going to leave you.
You will never return home from a walk with a clean dog, unless you intend to keep it on a lead, but that would be silly because your arm would be around a mile long as the steam train of a dog pulled you around in all directions. They are mud magnets and at the first sight are drawn to it! Watch out for birds as well or you could be going home with a pigeon.
Begin training at a young age in order to get the best from your dog. They are very intelligent ranking 13 out of all dog breeds. These dogs are bred to carry out flushing, retrieving and water skills in the field and are trained to many different sounds of the whistle. They are commonly being used by the Police in order to sniff out bombs and drugs.
I would recommend attending gun dog classes or agility with your Springer as they are dogs that do better with a job or something to keep their minds occupied. I spend many hours a day in the fields or parks hiding balls or dummies for Fern to sniff out, this is an activity that I would highly recommend as seeing their little tails wiggle around is so rewarding to know you've made your dog happy and it is great fun and stimulating for the dog. Be prepared for a dog that wants constant exercise, you may find yourself walking several miles a day. Never give a Springer less then 90minutes exercise a day, or you will have maniac in your house! I guess people just don't realise how much exercise they need which is how they get their reputation of being mad!
Yes Springer’s do love to swim. They prefer to dive into water, launching themselves in. Every piece of water, whether it be lake, puddle or river, Fern HAS to go in. I think swimming is great and I suggest daily swimming is needed with these dogs as 10 minutes of swimming is equivalent to a 5 mile walk for a dog.
Do not over feed them or give the breed excessive amounts of treats, resist those sad spaniel eyes, these are dogs that WILL get fat if over fed and under-exercised.
If raised with other animals they will live happily together. The Springer will accept other dogs into the pack however issues can arise between same sexed dogs and so it’s best to have one of each gender. Female dogs tend to be the more dominant ones, especially with Springer’s. It seems she is the more dominant one between my two dogs, but they love a good old rough and tumble. They are bossy little things that like to have their own way. Fern is very good friends with one of our cats and the two play together however she is not such good friends with the other cat and occasionally chases her, but with a firm hand this is put right. Rodents and birds are a different story and I would keep a constant watch near your Springer around these animals, as they are hunting dogs, used on birds and rabbits.
This is not the dog for a first time dog owner. They are constantly on the go, need firm but kind training, daily mental stimulation, never ending training and are not good left alone, or your house will be destroyed. They are hard dogs to control and so if you are a weak person who does not know a lot about training or handling dogs then do not get a Springer, or it will find itself in a rescue centre.They love children and just see them as great playmates. Fern runs around with my younger family members and her tail thuds against the floor at 30mph every time she sees them. They are full of energy and so a Springer is a good way to tire a child out. However supervision is needed at all times with children under the age of 9 with any dog, as children must learn to respect the dog and be in charge of it. They’re every body’s friends and there is no one that a Springer dislikes. They’re inquisitive little things that like to nosy at everything. Fern has to go into every single room of a house, when visiting some where for the first time. Some Springer’s can be quite shy and submissive around new people and other dogs. Others are as bold as lions. They’re sensitive and so often hide when the vacuum cleaner starts up or voices are raised. Springer’s do not have time for playing with other dogs on walks as they would much rather go off hunting, this keeps them happy and occupied and so just let them be, doing their own thing, but whistle training is a must as some can go off too far. If you are considering the breed I cannot stress how much you need to do your research. Speak to experts and breeders, visit dogs and litters and be 100% certain that this is the dog for you before you decided to get one. To sum up the English Springer Spaniel, I would say; fun, crazy, loyal, always happy, silly, daft, entertaining, the best friends, intelligent, excellent swimmers, perfect hiking/walking pals and a generally great all round dog.