Springer Spaniel

Springer Spaniel Breed description: Character & Co


The English Springer Spaniel is considered the progenitor of all other Spaniel breeds. In our country the passionate hunting dog is rather rare. However, with sufficient activity it is quite suitable as a good family dog.

The origin of the English Springer Spaniel

The breed is so old that the exact beginnings cannot be traced back. English Springer Spaniels appear early in the history of British hunting dogs. Paintings of the 17th century show noble gentlemen with dogs of this type. When falconry was still popular, the Springer Spaniel was the preferred search dog. In this context "Spring" means to drive the tracked down birds into the air.

First breed standards were defined in the 19th century. After that the name "English Springer Spaniel" became generally accepted in order to distinguish it more clearly from other Spaniels which had been created in the meantime. The English Springer Spaniel is considered the largest of them and the ancestor of all other similar dogs. In 1885, the first "Spaniel Club" was founded in England. The Springer Spaniel breed still provides for an agile and obedient working dog that independently goes hunting.

The breed characteristics of the English Springer Spaniel

Until today the Springer Spaniel is considered the typical hunting dog in terms of their whole appearance and character. Always attentive to their surroundings. The coat is beautiful with black and occasionally reddish-brown markings. The floppy ears with the wavy coat are another trademark of this dog.

In the hunting dog scene the English Springer Spaniel has a high rank and has made a reputable name until today. You will rarely meet them as a family and leisure dog. It is very active and needs its (hunting) occupation. This dog is not suitable for keeping in a city apartment and walking around concrete blocks.

In the FCI the English Springer Spaniel is listed under Standard No. 125, Group 8 and Section 2: Flushing Dogs.

  1. Hunting and Flushing Dog
  2. is considered the progenitor of all Spaniel types
  3. not suitable for being kept in an apartment or in the city
Banner: Shutterstock / ErikLam
two young Springer Spaniels in extraordinary light brown with white stick out their tongues and yawn, medium sized dog breed, hunting dog three brown white puppies of a Springer Spaniel are sitting on a meadow black springer spaniel jumping over a green meadow, black and white spotted spaniel with medium long coat, medium sized dog breed, hunting dog Springer spaniel standing in the forest, medium brown white hunting dog standing in a field in front of a forest, floppy ears with wavy fur
Alternate Name English Springer Spaniel, English Springer
Origin UK
Life expectancy 12 - 14 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level average to high
FCI group Flushing Dogs
AKC group Sporting Group
KC group Gundog Group

The typical character traits of the English Springer Spaniel

Springer Spaniels are extremely friendly and obedient dogs. They need confident leadership and an occupation that challenges body and soul equally.

If you don't offer such a dog enough variety and tasks, it gets bored quickly. Accumulated energy can manifest itself in an uncontrollable hunting instinct, continuous barking or aggression towards other dogs.

If you have a lot of time and like to spend it in nature, a Springer Spaniel might be suitable for you. If you going hunting with a shotgun in your hand is not for you, you can also keep your dog happy by going running or cycling with them or doing agility or tracking with them. 

At full capacity the dog is very obedient and easy to train. They form a close relationship with the person they like to cuddle with. After the work is done, the Springer Spaniel retreats contentedly into his basket.

  • kind and affectionate dog
  • hunting dog that needs to be kept busy
  • competent leadership necessary
  • wants to be out in nature
  • tends to get bored and tends to misbehave

Breed typical diseases of the English Springer Spaniel

Occasionally, hip joint dysplasia can occur. The retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy is a disease of the retina of the eye. It can impair the dog's vision.

A special hereditary disease within the breed is the "Springer Rage Syndrome". This changes the dog's serotonin balance and it suddenly attacks its family members. The exact background of the disease is not clear. It is not treatable and affected dogs usually have to be put down.

Breeding, purchase and keeping of the English Springer Spaniel

Please only get a dog like this if you really have enough time. The Springer Spaniel is still happiest as a hunting dog. A house in the countryside with a garden and a lot of free running areas would be ideal for this active companion.

You can get a Springer Spaniel puppy from a renowned breeder starting at a price of about 900 Euros. As you have seen, there are some special features and hereditary diseases of this breed. Therefore you should really only buy an English Springer Spaniel that comes from a committed breeding background.

Springer Spaniel Breed Description

Visually these dogs are a feast for the eyes and resemble the Setters a little bit. The coat is always spotted or brindled. The base colour is white. The pattern can be brown or black, sometimes tan markings are added. The coat is dense, smooth and very fine. On the forelegs, the hindquarters and the lower half of the body the fur may hang down distinctively. The tail is also well feathered with long hairs and carried straight backwards or slightly lowered when walking.

The physique is long stretched and very sporty. The ears are large, with wavy curls. In some types ears, flews and also the eyes hang down clearly.

  • in the colours white-brown or white-black
  • also tri-coloured with tan markings possible
  • sporty build
  • big droopy ears

Size, weight and life expectancy of the English Springer Spaniel

With a shoulder height of at least 50 cm the English Springer Spaniel is the largest among the Spaniels. The breed standards do not provide for differences between females and males. The weight is also not specified. An adult Springer Spaniel will weigh about 28 to 37 kg.

Fur length medium
Fur curly
Ear shape Floppy Ear
Tail fanned out
Anatomy slim
Size ♀ 46 - 51 cm
Weight ♀ 18 - 23 kg
Size ♂ 48 - 56 cm
Weight ♂ 20 - 25 kg
Suitable For -


Sources and relevant links


Accessed on 06.04.2023

Gabriele Lehari (2013). 400 Hunderassen von A bis Z. Eugen Ulmer KG.


Accessed on 06.04.2023

The English Springer Spaniel Club

Accessed on 06.04.2023

Dr. Joanna de Klerk (2019). The Complete Guide to English Springer Spaniels. LP Media Inc.

James Serpell (1996). The domestic dog: its evolution, behaviour, and interactions with people. Cambridge University Press.

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