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English Springer Spaniel Information

The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized sporting dog with a docked tail. There are several acceptable color combinations: Springers may be black or liver with white markings or predominately white with black or liver markings; tricolor (black and white or liver and white with tan markings - usually found on eyebrows, cheeks, insides of ears and under tail); blue or liver roan. Any white portions of the coat may be flecked with ticking.

Being a sporting dog, a Springer requires a reasonable amount of exercise for both mental and physical well being.

Springers are very affectionate dogs and require attention from their human companions daily.

Grooming is required. Daily brushing, weekly ear cleaning, monthly baths and bi-monthly "hair cuts" will keep the Springer looking and feeling his best.

Hips, eyes and skin are the primary health problems in the Springer. When purchasing a puppy, the buyer should inquire if hip X-rays and eye checks for retinal dysplasia and PRA have been done on the sire and the dam of the litter they are considering.

Temperament should be the primary concern of every Springer owner or prospective owner. The correct temperament of the English Springer Spaniel is a happy, out-going, friendly attitude toward all people. Puppy buyers should evaluate the temperament of the sire and dam, and perhaps, of a pup from a previous litter or sisters and brothers of the sire and dam.

English Springers are versatile dogs that train easily, whether as family pets, show dogs, hunting companions, tracking, obedience or agility competitors. Because of their intelligence and easy-going personalities, gentle, reward oriented training will produce the quickest results.

Prospective Springer owners may want to consider an alternative to purchasing a puppy. Many Springers each year find themselves homeless and are placed in new homes through the Rescue Program. Occasionally pups under a year old are available; for the most part, the available dogs are adults, so the old adage "What you see is what you get!" is very applicable. The rescue dogs are evaluated for temperament and physical problems so there are usually no surprises for the adoptive family.

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Deciding on an English Springer Spaniel

What are the qualities you're looking for in a dog? Do you want a beautiful pet and a good family dog? A hunting companion? A field trial competitor? An obedience, agility, or conformation competitor? The English Springer Spaniel's multi-purpose function and athleticism, beauty, medium build, and active personality may be just what you're looking for.

The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association is the national "parent" club for Springers in the United States. Its members, who have loved Springers since the years of their early importation from England, are proud and protective of this wonderful, "do-it-all" breed. The ESSFTA has developed this "spaniel manual" to help you decide if you'd like a Springer, and to acquaint you with the breed.

In short, we want to help you make a good decision. After all, it's a decision that will last a lifetime -- ten to fifteen years, to be exact!

Good results require homework. Take the time to learn about the breed. Excellent books and publications are available, and each is listed as Suggested Reading elsewhere in the manual. If obedience or conformation competition intrigues you, contact the American Kennel Club for the dates of obedience trials and shows in your area. Hunting tests and field trials can also be found through the American Kennel Club, if you're interested in acquiring a hunting companion or a field trial competitor and would like to see Springers at work.

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