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Breed Guide & Insurance Plan: English Springer Spaniel

By Stacy Painter
November 15, 2022 • 5 min. read
young english springer spaniel dog in grass

Reviewed for accuracy by JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM on September 12, 2022

Introduction to English Springer Spaniels

English springer spaniels are playful and friendly dogs that obey their family members well and have lots of energy. These are Sporting Group dogs that are smart and tough because they were bred to be excellent hunting partners out in the field. Since the dogs were bred to work alongside humans, they also crave human attention and don’t like being left alone for very long. But when you have an English springer spaniel in your life, you’ll likely want to always have your pup by your side anyway because of how fun they are while going on long walks, playing fetch, and joining you for a little swimming.

Is an English springer spaniel the right breed for your lifestyle? Read on to learn more about the breed and how to take the best care of your dog’s health.

Size of English Springer Spaniels

When fully grown, a male English springer spaniel weighs about 50 pounds, and a female springer spaniel weighs about 40 pounds. Adult male dogs of this breed stand about 20 inches tall, while females are approximately an inch shorter at 19 inches tall. These dogs reach adulthood by about 18 months of age and are classified as medium-sized dogs. Males and females are similar in weight throughout puppyhood, with males on the high end of the weight range and females on the low end.

Here’s how big you can expect your English springer spaniel to get when fully grown.

Weight Chart3 months6 months9 months12 months16 months
Male and Female English springer spaniels17 – 22 lbs.35 – 37 lbs.41 – 44 lbs.46 – 50 lbs.46 – 55 lbs.

Characteristics of English Springer Spaniels

If you’re looking for a fun-loving breed that is versatile and athletic, an English springer spaniel might be just what you need in your life. These dogs excel at obedience training and are affectionate pals that will love going camping, hiking, and playing with you. They are moderately adaptable dogs that are very friendly with pretty much everyone and are highly trainable. However, you will need to devote enough time and attention to exercising an English springer spaniel to keep your dog happy, healthy, and living its best life.

As you get to know an English springer spaniel’s personality, here’s what you can expect based on his or her breed characteristics.

Breed CharacteristicLevel (High, Medium, Low)
Affectionate with PeopleHigh
Good with KidsHigh
Good with PetsHigh
Need for ExerciseHigh
Energy LevelHigh
Intelligence LevelHigh
Able to Be TrainedHigh
Amount of BarkingMedium
Amount of SheddingMedium
two english springer spaniel dogs in grass

History of English Springer Spaniels

As the name suggests, English springer spaniels originated in Britain, where the dogs were first described as “springers” and “cockers.” The first dogs of this breed were designed to hunt birds. They were skilled at working with hunters before more advanced guns emerged, and they became known for being eager and reliable out in the field. English springer spaniels were relied upon to detect birds in bramble and high grass and retrieve fallen birds after springing at them.

Beyond just hunting, English springer spaniels were part of British dog shows in the 1870s and were initially exhibited as the same breed as Welsh springer spaniels. The dogs became popular in North America in the 1920s as bird dogs in both the U.S. and Canada. They were officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club in 1910, and the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association formed in 1924. These dogs have been involved with police detective work in more recent years because of their strong sense of smell and high level of obedience.

English Springer Spaniel Standard Information

The general appearance of an English springer spaniel is medium-sized with a moderately long coat, compact body, and docked tail that is often wagging. These dogs are well-proportioned and have a sturdy build, gentle expression, and are a great example of both beauty and agility.

Here is an overview of the breed standard information for English springer spaniels:

Head:

  • Impressive but not heavy
  • Medium-size, oval-shape eyes
  • Long and fairly wide ears
  • Medium-length and fairly broad skull
  • Muzzle about the same length as the skull
  • Scissors bit for teeth

Neck, Topline, Body:

  • Moderately long and slightly arched neck
  • Short-coupled, strong, and compact body
  • Tail carried horizontally or slightly elevated

Forequarters:

  • Shoulder blades flat and fairly close together
  • Elbows close to the body
  • Pasterns short, slightly sloping, and strong
  • Round or slightly oval feet
  • Dewclaws usually removed
  • Feet with thick pads and well-feathered between toes

Hindquarters:

  • Hock joints somewhat rounded
  • Short rear pasterns
  • Dewclaws usually removed
  • Hind feet smaller and more compact than front feet

Coat:

  • Both an undercoat and outercoat
  • Undercoat quantity affected by seasons
  • Coat has a glossy and clean appearance
  • Average amount of shedding

Color:

  • Black or liver with white markings, blue or liver roan, or Tricolor with black/white/liver
  • White portions may be flecked with ticking

Gait:

  • Long, ground-covering stride
  • Balanced movement
  • No high-stepping or short/choppy strides
english springer spaniel running in field

Caring for English Springer Spaniels

English springer spaniels are hunting dogs that need a lot of physical activity and human attention. Here are some general tips for taking the best care of an English springer spaniel:

Best Living Environments:

  • Houses with yards
  • Fenced-in yards
  • Apartments are not ideal
  • Multi-pet households are suitable

Type of Exercise:

  • Playtime in a yard
  • Off-leash dog parks
  • Daily long walks
  • Hiking and jogging with family members
  • Swimming to retrieve a ball

Mental Enrichment:

  • Plenty of time with human companions
  • Puzzle toys to prevent boredom
  • Agility courses

Training Strategies:

  • Breed responds well to training
  • Build physical activity into training sessions

Grooming Tips:

  • Brush regularly to maintain coat and control shedding
  • Use a stiff bristle brush
  • Bathe and use dry shampoo only when necessary

Common Health Problems of English Springer Spaniels

Most English springer spaniels live to be about 12 to 14 years old. These are generally healthy dogs but are a breed that is still prone to some health issues. If you plan to purchase your dog rather than adopt, you can minimize your pup’s risk of health conditions by working with a responsible breeder who prioritizes health clearances and will show you the test results.

These are some of the most common health issues that arise with English springer spaniels:

close up of english springer spaniel dog

Diet and Nutrition for English Springer Spaniels

To keep up with an English springer spaniel’s high energy, plan to feed your adult dog 1.5 to two cups of dry dog food per day which is divided into two meals. Some recommended dog foods for this breed are Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula, Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food, and American Journey Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe. There are also dry dog foods sold commercially that are specially formulated just for puppies, who have specific nutritional requirements to promote healthy growth and development.

Where to Adopt or Purchase English Springer Spaniels

The national breed club for this type of dog is the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, which offers information about health and genetics, as well as resources for getting a dog. The AKC Marketplace is an online resource that lists 100 percent AKC puppies from AKC-registered litters and breeders.

There are also English springer spaniels and mixes of this breed that are up for adoption and that you can bring into your loving home. There are rescue organizations dedicated to this breed of dog, including English Springer Rescue America, Mid-Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue, Organization New English Springer Spaniel Rescue, and Spring Spaniel Rescue, Inc.

Related Breeds

If the physical and behavioral characteristics of the English springer spaniel appeal to you, then you might be interested to learn about similar and related breeds of dogs before making a final decision. Here are some dogs to consider as well before adopting or making a purchase:

Pet Insurance for English Springer Spaniels

We know that you love your English springer spaniel and would do anything to protect your pup and do what’s best for the dog’s health. One of the many ways that you can do this is to sign your English springer spaniel up for pet insurance with Healthy Paws. We are a top-rated pet insurance plan for English springer spaniels, with no maximum annual or lifetime payouts and fast claim processing.

We will be here for you during difficult times when your English springer spaniel has an accident that causes injuries, gets sick, or is diagnosed with a genetic condition that becomes symptomatic with age. Request an online quote today to see if a Healthy Paws plan is right for you.

Stacy Painter profile
By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry and pet insurance specifically for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for Healthy Paws pet insurance was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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