English Springer Spaniel Varieties and Characteristics
Do You Own Your Springer? Or Does Your Springer Own You?
It's a fine line for sure, but ask any springer owner and they will tell you that this is not a passive dog breed. Your springer will demand to be an integral member of the family pack and deservedly so. Your springer will be one of the most loyal, compassionate and caring creatures you will ever encounter.
Whether it be intense playtime, thoughtful interactions with your children, or those lovely evening sunset walks, your loyal springer will be there. Every step of the way. If you cannot afford this type of attention to this dog breed or any other dog breed for that matter, perhaps reconsider your decisions on pet ownership.
The Field Springer as a Hunting Companion
The field springer can be trained to flush upland bird game. The skills that hunters train the springer to do include:
- Deliver game with a soft mouth.
- Retrieve by hand, so that the dog will hold game until told to give by the hunter.
- Scenting of the game, regardless of wind or rain conditions.
These dogs can also participate in field trials, where the hunting skills of the springer are showcased.
The Field Springer Makes a Wonderful Pet and Family Member
Don't be fooled into thinking the field springer is just for hunting. Sometimes these dogs do not work out as a hunting companion, for a lack of proper hunting drive. Many of these dogs are adopted out to pet homes and could be an avenue to get your new springer friend.
There are numerous springer rescues around the globe that work to help the breed also and could be a way for you to find your springer. These organizations adopt out many older springer's who need homes and also make wonderful dogs!
Bench Springer in the Show Ring
The other main variety of the springer spaniel is the show or ''bench'' variety. The show springer will generally have a long coat, a slightly more relaxed demeanor, and an overall slightly bigger head and body. Bench springers for the show must meet a written set of criteria, also known as the breed standard. In the past, they were considered under the same breed of dog as the field.
Today, they have a different distinction. Show springers also demand constant grooming for their long, thicker coat. Just like the fields, springers that do not pan out in the show world will often be found a pet home. These dogs are wonderful companions as well.
Springer Spaniels Used in Law Enforcement
Springers are also trained in law enforcement and trained as bomb sniffer dogs, as the springer is also known for a tremendous sense of smell. They are also trained to detect drugs. Springers are also included in search and rescue teams, as their hard-working nature bodes well for traversing challenging and extreme terrains.
One of the most famous springer spaniels would be Buster, who was a bomb-sniffing dog that served five tours with the United Kingdom Special Forces and also received the prestigious Dickens Medal, which honors animals in wartime. Buster was credited with saving countless lives, as he was used in the field to detect improvised explosive devices.
Brief History of the Breed
Historical records indicate the springers were evolved during the 14th century. It is said that more properly bred springer spaniels started developing during the 17th century when the Duke of Norfolk began breeding and named them Norfolk Spaniels. During the 18th century the name was changed to Springer Spaniel, and in 1902 was given distinct breed recognition by The English Kennel Club.
Therapy and Companion Dogs
Springers caring and compassionate spirit also lends well to therapy and companionship practices as well. With a happy disposition and an eagerness to please, these dogs make the grade and can really make a huge difference for someone in need. The springer properly trained in this capacity can really thrive and be an ideal candidate for these applications.
Like mostly all purebred dogs, springers can have some health issues to watch for. A common issue with springers is ear infections. Springers can also sometimes be prone to skin and allergy issues, canine hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and eye disorders are also some ailments to be aware of. Be sure to bring your dog to the vet for regular checkups.
It can also to be advised that if you have a pup, and are not planning on breeding, to get her fixed after her first or second heat cycle to help curb the onset of mammary tumors at a later age. If dealing with a breeder, be sure to do proper research on their credentials. And be sure the dog has all certified paperwork.
The springer, whether bench or field variety, is a high energy dog. If you cannot match their activity level the springer may not be for you. Please take careful care and consideration when choosing this or any other dog.
Remember, your springer will demand that it be an integral part of the family. It will also hog your bed. If you can provide the proper home, I suggest you find out. You won't regret it.
And Now It's Time for the Ultimate Question
Do You Own Your Springer, or Does Your Springer Own You?
Be Sure To Also Check Out
- English Springer Spaniel Traits
Some common traits of the English Springer Spaniel
English Springer Spaniel Rescue America
- English Springer Rescue America
English Springer Rescue of America works to find needy springers the homes they need. Be sure to check them out and read some success stories!
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