English Springer Spaniel

Canis lupus

Last updated: February 9, 2023
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Heinz Hofling / Creative Commons / Original

Friendly and eager to please!


English Springer Spaniel Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

English Springer Spaniel Conservation Status

English Springer Spaniel Locations

English Springer Spaniel Locations

English Springer Spaniel Facts

Common Name
English Springer Spaniel
Friendly and eager to please!
Gun Dog

English Springer Spaniel Physical Characteristics

Skin Type
12 years
25kg (55lbs)

English Springer Spaniel as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
-50 lbs
Female weight
-40 lbs

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Bred to remain in the field for most of the day, the English Springer Spaniel has great stamina and a diligent personality that make it ideal for game hunting.

The English Springer Spaniel is a very common breed of gun dog that was originally created in England (probably bred from the Norfolk or Shropshire Spaniels in the mid-19th century) as a hunting companion to flush out and retrieve game. It is characterized by big drooping ears, bright round eyes, medium-length fur, and elegantly shaped legs. The coat color is typically some combination of white and black or white and brown.

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The name describes both the country of origin and the use for which it was bred. Springer is the name of the tactic (flushing or springing) that it uses to chase birds up into the air. The name spaniel likely derives from its original country of origin, Spain. It was later imported into England in the late 12th century.

There are generally two different types: the bench type and the field type. The bench type is a show dog with a thicker coat and more feathering around the legs. The field type is more of a hunting gun dog with a shorter coat and less feathering. According to the American Kennel Club, it is also one of the more popular breeds in the United States.

3 Pros and Cons of Owning an English Springer Spaniel

Friendly and loyal
The English Springer Spaniel has an obedient temperament, friendly nature, and tireless work ethic.
Requires a task to focus its mind
This breed of dog is alert and vigilant at all times, so it may have some trouble just relaxing.
Athletic and playful
The English Springer Spaniel was originally bred to accompany its owner on the hunt. This translates to a very athletic and energetic breed.
Needs plenty of exercise
This breed is probably not suitable for owners who lack the time or ability to keep the dog engaged with physical activity.
Easy to train
This breed will almost immediately pick up any task you assign it with incredible gusto.
Prone to ear infections
Its big, floppy ears need regular cleaning to prevent infections.

Evolution and Origins

The first appearance of English springer spaniels, occurred in paintings completed as far back as the 1500s.

Those early appearances, notwithstanding, it was only in the 19th century that the breed received a specific name.

During the first decade of the 19th century a Shropshire family, the Bougheys began a concerted effort in breeding springer spaniels and it is thanks to them that we have the current breed known as English springer spaniels. By the 1920s, these pet canines had become rather popular in the United States.

Currently, these spaniels are especially efficient as K-9 operatives, thanks to their keen intelligence, focus, and excellent sense of smell.

Size and Weight

The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized dog with a muscular frame. Here is a deeper breakdown of its size and weight:

Height (Male)20 inches
Height (Female)19 inches
Weight (Male)50 pounds
Weight (Female)40 pounds

Common Health Issues

English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniels are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia

©Heinz Hofling / Creative Commons

This is a healthy breed of dog with a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. That does not mean it is free of health problems, however. This breed is prone to many genetic disorders such as progressive retinal atrophy (the degeneration of the eye), hip dysplasia (a developmental disorder of the hip socket), and elbow dysplasia (a similar condition that affects the elbow joints).

Other potential problems include autoimmune disorders (in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells), ear infections (especially because of the big, floppy ears), allergic sensitivities, eye problems, and cancer. These problems affect both the bench type and field type in almost equal measure. To sum up, these are the most common health issues with this breed:

  • Ear infections
  • Eye conditions
  • Allergies
  • Cancer
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia

Temperament and Behavior

royal canin urinary so dog food

English springer spaniels are highly intelligent, affectionate, and loyal

©Martin Christopher Parker/Shutterstock.com

The first characteristic you may notice about this breed is the very trusting and sweet eyes. This is perhaps a reflection of the spaniel’s eager personality and obedient behavior. The breed is keenly intelligent, fiercely loyal, and incredibly alert. It wants nothing more than to please its owner by performing tasks with its inspiring can-do spirit. The English Springer Spaniel may have the tendency to single out one person to bond deeply with. It will then suffer from anxiety and worry if it’s separated from its special friend for a long period of time.

The English Springer Spaniel is a very talented hunting gun dog that will find and retrieve game with incredible intelligence and athleticism. You do not necessarily need to take it hunting to enjoy this breed’s presence, but you should make sure that you have plenty of open space and lots of activities for it to do. If it doesn’t have a task to focus on, then it may become slightly lost or anxious.

How to Take Care of an English Springer Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel is probably not ideal for an owner who wants a low-maintenance dog. It requires a fair amount of time and work to properly care for in terms of meeting its dietary, exercise, and grooming needs. Your pet will need annual checkups at the vet from the time it’s a puppy to catch potential health problems as early as possible.

The Best Dog Food for English Springer Spaniels

Two English Springer Spaniel dogs

In spite of their overall fitness, English springer spaniels may be prone to obesity

©Anna Pozzi – Zoophotos/Shutterstock.com

The English Springer Spaniel requires high-quality dog food to supports its active lifestyle. Ideally, you should purchase food specifically targeted for the dog’s age and activity level. Also, there are many allergy-support and limited ingredient dog foods that can help you address any allergies in your dog.

Treats are fine for obedience training as long as you don’t overdo it, and table scraps should be given only rarely. This breed is fairly fit, but it may have a tendency to become overweight. The typical calorie consumption is around 1,300 per day. If you think that your dog is beginning to gain weight, then you should immediately restrict calorie intake or change dog food and eating behavior.

Taking their specific health profile into account, A-Z Animals believes the best dog food for English Springer Spaniels is Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Premium Adult Dry Dog Food.

The limited ingredient diet includes everything this dog needs, and nothing it doesn’t. For example, the beef and chicken recipe also includes taurine, important for the heart and eyes, and plenty of calcium for bones and the cartilage in dogs’ joints. Also, your English Springer Spaniel’s immune system may thrive on the mix of probiotics, antioxidants, omegas, vitamins, and minerals.

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Best for Allergies
Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dog Food
  • Salmon and sweet potato recipe adult dry dog food
  • Grain free, no fillers, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives
  • Contains antioxidants and probiotics for healthy digestive and immune system
  • Nutritious blend of vitamins and minerals for healthy joints, skin and coat

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Maintenance and Grooming

Despite the length of its elegant hair, the English Springer Spaniel does not shed heavily. It probably requires no more than a weekly brushing to remove loose hair and dirt and keep the coat healthy and shiny. A slicker brush or metal comb should be sufficient to eliminate any small tangles from the dog’s coat. The areas around the head, heck, tail, and feet may require particular attention. The nails should be trimmed regularly as well to prevent pain and discomfort when the dog is walking or running.


The English Springer Spaniel is a very trainable breed thanks to its deep roots as a hunting dog. Owners should strive to put it through obedience training as early as possible for the best outcomes. Tricks, games, hunting, and other tasks are all activities at which it excels. However, this breed can become easily lost or discouraged without clear directions, so you should endeavor to keep its focus placed squarely on the task in front of it.


Due to its energetic nature, regular exercise of at least two hours a day should be sufficient to keep your dog occupied. This breed loves long walks or hikes, swift runs, swimming, toys, ball games, or sports and agility training. Thanks to its versatile nature, the English Springer Spaniel is willing to engage in almost any activity. Although this breed works well in many different types of living situations, the English Springer Spaniel is most ideal for owners with large yards or open spaces nearby.


Regardless of its health condition, your new English Springer Spaniel puppy needs an early visit to the vet. This routine examination is necessary to check for common health problems and keep it up to date with vaccinations. If your puppy begins to experience unusual symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, irregular urination, eye problems, or extreme irritability, then it may be a sign of a more serious condition, and you should have your puppy checked at the vet immediately.


English springer spaniel puppy running in the grass

English springer spaniels are ideal companions for individuals of all ages

©Nigel Wallace/Shutterstock.com

The English Springer Spaniel is a natural friend and companion for all families. This breed will not overwhelm or frighten your children with its size or overly aggressive nature, but it’s also sturdy and good-natured enough to tolerate any rough play. It loves being around people of all ages, and it should be a good opportunity to teach your children a sense of responsibility while taking care of it.

Breeds Similar to the English Springer Spaniel

If you are a fan of spaniels, then you might want to check out the following breeds of dogs:

  • American Cocker Spaniel: Featuring a similar appearance as the springer, the American Cocker Spaniel (and by extension the closely related English Cocker Spaniel) is a sporting dog with an alert and diligent personality. The modern version of this spaniel has been bred more for show than hunting, so it makes for a good family pet.
  • Field Spaniel: Featuring big, floppy ears and a darker coat compared to the typical spaniel, this breed was designed more as a show dog than a hunting dog. With its intelligent, loyal, and friendly personality, it is a good companion dog for the entire family.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: This breed combines the gentleness of a toy dog with the athleticism and alertness of a hunting dog. Its affectionate nature makes it a good overall companion for the entire family.

According to the website Borrow My Doggy, these are the 10 most popular names for the English Springer Spaniel:

  • Poppy
  • Alfie
  • Molly
  • Charlie
  • Bella
  • Dexter
  • Buddy
  • Max
  • Archie
  • Oscar

Famous English Springer Spaniels

The English Springer Spaniel is a fairly common breed with an excellent historical pedigree. Some of the most famous individuals are listed below.

  • President George W. Bush owned an English Springer Spaniel named Spot Fetcher between 1989 and its death in 2004. She was the daughter of another famous spaniel called Millie, which belonged to President George H. W. Bush in the 1980s.
  • Other famous owners include the singer Bing Crosby and actor and Princess of Monaco Grace Kelly.
  • William Wallace, the 13th century Scottish commander who was immortalized in the film Braveheart, apparently kept a pet spaniel named Merlin who accompanied him on the battlefield. Although this was too early to be a true English Springer Spaniel, its lineage would eventually develop into the modern breed.
  • Two spaniels named Theo and Buster have won the British Dickin Medal for devotion to duty in military conflicts.

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English Springer Spaniel FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are English Springer Spaniels good family dogs?

The English Springer Spaniel is a solid family dog that exhibits a friendly disposition to adults, children, dogs, and many other pets. After a brief adjustment period, you should not have many problems integrating a well-behaved spaniel into your home.

Do English Springer Spaniels shed a lot?

Despite the long hair, the English Springer Spaniel does not shed that much. It only require regular weekly brushing.


How big do English Springer Spaniels get?

The male spaniel only grows up to 20 inches in height and 50 pounds in weight. The female spaniel is slightly smaller.

What is the difference between an English Springer Spaniel and a Springer Spaniel?

The English Springer Spaniel is one of only two breeds of Springer Spaniel. The other breed is the closely related Welsh Springer Spaniel, which exhibits many of the same physical characteristics and personality traits. In fact, the two breeds are so similar that they are often confused. The main differences of the Welsh Springer Spaniel are the smaller size and reddish markings.

Are English Springer Spaniels herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

English Springer Spaniels are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do English Springer Spaniels belong to?

English Springer Spaniels belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do English Springer Spaniels belong to?

English Springer Spaniels belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to English Springer Spaniels belong to?

English Springer Spaniels belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do English Springer Spaniels belong to?

English Springer Spaniels belong to the family Canidae.

What order do English Springer Spaniels belong to?

English Springer Spaniels belong to the order Carnivora.

What type of covering do English Springer Spaniels have?

English Springer Spaniels are covered in Hair.

What genus do English Springer Spaniels belong to?

English Springer Spaniels belong to the genus Canis.

What is an interesting fact about English Springer Spaniels?

English Springer Spaniels are friendly and eager to please!

What is the scientific name for the English Springer Spaniel?

The scientific name for the English Springer Spaniel is Canis lupus.

What is the lifespan of an English Springer Spaniel?

English Springer Spaniels can live for 12 years.

What are the differences between Springer Spaniels and Brittany Spaniels?

The biggest differences between a Brittany spaniel and a springer spaniel are their size, country of origin for the breed, and morphology.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.


  1. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/about-the-english-springer-spaniel/
  2. Borrow My Doggy, Available here: https://www.borrowmydoggy.com/doggypedia/guide-to-dog-breeds/springer-spaniel-information-guide

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