English Springer Spaniel breed information

2 minutes

Own an English Springer Spaniel, or welcoming one into the family? Here's what you need to know about your furry friend, from grooming and exercise to common health problems.

  • Size: Medium
  • Life span: 10 + years
  • Coat: Medium and must be groomed at least once a week
  • Exercise: More than 2 hours a day

English Springer Spaniel personality

The English Springer Spaniel breed was developed to create a gun dog that could flush out wild birds for hunters to shoot. Although they're still popular dogs for people wanting to use them as working dogs, Springers are also popular companion dogs too. They're athletic, intelligent and extremely happy to take part in agility, tracking and obedience tests. A word of warning - although springer spaniels love people, they need to be socialised well as puppies. Springers can have short tempers when meeting other dogs.

Saying that, English Springer Spaniels are generally good with other pets in the household, even small ones like hamsters or guinea pigs. English Springer Spaniels will bark if strangers come to your house, but if you're looking for a guard dog, keep looking. They are loving, gentle dogs who expect even strangers to give them attention.

English Springer Spaniel

Common health problems and illness

Ear infections

Because of their shaggy ear flaps, ear infections are common in English Springer Spaniels. You may be able to prevent most ear infections by keeping their ears clean and dry. If you're using your springer as a working dog, be mindful that the ear canal can become irritated by parasites or grass seeds, which they'll pick up when dashing in and out of long grass. Ask your vet about the different kinds of ear care products available to help you keep infections at bay.

Hip and elbow dysplasia

Larger breeds like the English Springer Spaniel can be prone to hip or elbow dysplasia. This develops when the bones that form the hip or elbow joint develop abnormalities in the cartilage that lines the surface of the joint or structures around it. This leads to the development of arthritis, which shows as stiffness (especially after lying down), and a reluctance to exercise or go up and down stairs. Long-term treatment or surgery will be required to keep the dog active.

Phosphofructokinase (PFK) Deficiency

Some English Springer Spaniels may have an inherited deficiency of PFK, an enzyme the body needs to produce energy. Symptoms will depend on the severity of the condition, but they can include weakness, muscle cramping and dark-coloured urine. If you notice any of these signs, then speak to your vet who will be able to offer testing and treatment option.

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