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English Springer Spaniel: nature, care and common diseases

English springer spaniel it is the largest of the hunting spaniels and at the same time one of the oldest hunting breeds.

English springer spaniel

Initially, the British spaniels came in various sizes, and in one litter you could meet both larger and smaller puppies. After years of careful breeding, they were divided into "cockers ", i.e. cocker spaniels (from the word "woodcock " - woodcock), which specialized in hunting birds of this species and "springery " (from " to spring "- to scare away), which mainly scare the game during hunting. Prior to the invention of firearms, Springers worked with hunters using nets to catch prey, along with greyhounds and falcons, and after the spread of rifles, pointed to or retrieved downed game. During the first British shows in the 1970s. XIX century English and Welsh Springer Spaniels they were treated as one breed of dog, and the separation did not take place until after 1902. Dogs of this breed also gained fame outside Great Britain m.in. in the USA and Canada, where they are still quite popular dogs today. The breeding of springer spaniels includes a division into two lines - exhibition and hunting, which differ slightly both in terms of exterior and character. The famous owners of dogs of this breed were, among others.in. George W. Bush and Oprah Winfrey, still taking care of the bitches Sunny and Lauren. According to the FCI classification, the English Springer Spaniel belongs to group 8.

  • English Springer Spaniel character
  • Springer Spaniel breed description
  • English Springer Spaniel grooming
  • English Springer Spaniel disease
    • Botall's patent ductus arteriosus
    • Defect of the interventricular septum
    • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
    • Primary seborrhea
    • Skin asthenia
    • Congenital myasthenia gravis
    • Cataract
    • GREAT
    • Entropion and ectropion
    • Pannus
    • Vaginal hypertrophy
    • Urethral sphincter failure
    • Gangliosidosis
    • Cerebellar abiotrophy
    • Diabetes
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Who is the English spaniel for?

English Springer Spaniel character

Springer spaniel character

The English Springer Spaniel is a gentle and friendly dog. It will be perfect not only as a hunting dog, but above all as a family companion, fond of children. British Spaniels are dogs that love human contact. They are curious, happy and very social dogs on a daily basis. These dogs also rarely come into conflict, so they can be kept with other domestic pets. English Springer Spaniels need a lot of exercise and activities, and if we provide them, these dogs can live in even small apartments. They love water and everything related to it, so dogs will be happy to bathe not only in the lake, but also in a muddy puddle. As a working dog, the English Springer Spaniel is characterized by endurance, speed and a very well-developed sense of smell. These features make English Springer Spaniels great as canine athletes and can successfully take part in such disciplines as agility, obedience, flyball, dock diving or tracking. The exceptionally well-developed sense of tracking in these dogs also enables them to work in the police looking for e.g. explosives. The English Springer Spaniel is gentle, intelligent and obedient, which makes it easy to learn and manage. The English Springer Spaniel needs early socialization and regular training if it is to work as a hunting dog. Due to the natural hunting instinct, English spaniels can chase after the chosen bird on an ordinary walk in the springer park, so learning obedience is also important when it is about typical companion dogs.

Springer Spaniel breed description

English Springer Spaniel breed description

The size and weight of a Springer Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized dog with a compact structure and a harmonious silhouette inscribed in a square. The height at the withers of adult dogs is between 43 - 51 cm. The English Springer Spaniel weighs between 18 and 24 kg.

The appearance of the English Springer Spaniel

The appearance of the English Springer Spaniel
HeadLight, with a shape resembling a rectangle in profile, with a foot divided by a furrow and a broad muzzle.
LipsDeep, covering the jaw line.
TeethA set of teeth set in a scissor bite.
EyesAlmond-shaped, dark hazel with a mild expression.
EarsSet at eye level, hanging close to the head, rounded at the tips.
NeckLong and muscular, slightly curved.
ChestLong and deep with well sprung ribs.
RidgeStraight with a pronounced withers.
LoinsSlightly arched and muscular, and the rump is long and sloping.
TailSet on low, carried at the level of the back or below, covered with hair forming a feather.
LimbsStraight and muscular with rounded feet and strong pillows. The way a dog moves is a distinctive feature of the breed. The front limbs are thrown far forward, and the hind limbs follow their line. You can crash when you walk more slowly.
Springer Spaniel breed description

English Springer Spaniel atmumble

English Springer Spaniel

The coat of English Springer Spaniels is simple close to the body, slightly longer on the neck and much longer on the back side of the limbs, on the chest and on the lower torso, where the hair may be slightly wavy. The English Springer Spaniel has the following colors:

  • black and white,
  • liver - white,
  • or in each of them with arson.

You can see what British spaniel puppies look like in the video below:

Springer Spaniel Puppies At Play
Watch this video on YouTube

How many springer spaniels live? English Springer Spaniel dogs have a lifespan of approximately 12-14 years.

English Springer Spaniel grooming

English Springer Spaniel grooming

Medium-length English Springer Spaniels from show lines are heavier and require regular brushing and trimming. Particularly noteworthy are the tangling strands around the neck, tail and head of the dog, as well as in the interdigital spaces, which often need to be cut. We can do these activities ourselves or periodically lead the English Springer Spaniel to the dog's hairdressing salon. Brushing reduces the amount of hair flying around the house that the dog loses during the moulting period. Other grooming activities include occasional bathing, clipping claws, and brushing the teeth and cleaning the dog's ears. In the nutrition of English Springer Spaniels, we can use good-quality ready-made food intended for medium breed dogs or prepare balanced meals ourselves. The latter method of nutrition will, of course, require some knowledge of dog dietetics.

English Springer Spaniel disease

English Springer Spaniel disease

Botall's patent ductus arteriosus

The patent Botalla cord is an inborn hereditary defect of the English Springer Spaniel, consisting in not closing the so-called. Botalla duct, which in utero connects the aorta directly with the pulmonary artery. Physiologically, the duct closes 2-3 days after birth. Failure to do so results in cardiac overload, hypoxia, and pulmonary congestion. Characteristic for this defect is a continuous murmur heard in the contraction and diastole phase - the so-called. machine murmur. Doppler ultrasound or angiography is necessary for diagnosis. Treatment is based on surgical closure.

Defect of the interventricular septum

The ventricular septal defect is one of the birth defects of the English Springer Spaniel. Correctly, the heart chambers are separated by a partition that prevents blood mixing between them. Thus, the presence of an opening causes blood flow between the left and right ventricles, overload of the heart and congestive failure. The disease may be asymptomatic with slight cavities. Major malformations provoke a strong cramp murmur, chest tremors, coughing, and pulmonary edema. Diagnostics requires Doppler ultrasound or angiography. Surgical closure of the defect is the treatment of choice. In the presence of symptoms of heart failure, additional pharmacological treatment is used. The prognosis depends on the size of the defect - from good to unfavorable.

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a heart disease in which the thickness of the walls of the heart muscle is reduced. This results in reduced contractile and diastolic activity of the muscle and leads to its failure. DCM may be asymptomatic for a long time. In advanced conditions, the dog most often shows symptoms such as:

  • cough,
  • exercise intolerance,
  • pulmonary oedema,
  • ascites.

Echocardiography is necessary for diagnosis. Drug treatment consists of administering diuretics, vasodilators or anti-arrhythmic drugs depending on the stage of the disease. The disease is incurable, and drugs are only meant to slow its progression and reduce symptoms.

Primary seborrhea

English Spaniels suffer from genetic diseases, and primary seborrhea is one of them. It consists in a progressive disturbance of keratinization, which leads to the hypertrophy of the epidermis. The skin peels excessively and the hair becomes dry, weak and dull. The first symptoms are already observed in several weeks old puppies of this breed. Springer is most often seborrhoeic. The changes cover the whole body or particular areas, e.g. the facial, cervical, abdominal area or the interdigital spaces. Often there are bacterial complications and Malassezia pachydermatis superinfections. Primary seborrhoea in Springer is an incurable disease, and the therapeutic management consists only in relieving symptoms and protecting against secondary infections. Dog shampoos with:

  • acetylsalicylic acid,
  • sulfur,
  • selenium,
  • benzoyl peroxide.

Skin asthenia

Skin asthenia is a rare disease in the course of which collagen synthesis is disturbed, which results in excessive stretch and brittleness of the skin, which is then easily damaged and torn. Unfortunately, there is no targeted treatment. There are reports of beneficial effects on a dog's health of high doses of vitamin C, which increases the stability of collagen. It is worth protecting the sick animal from self-harm (anti-flea prophylaxis), using soft dog beds and walking the dog on a leash.

Congenital myasthenia gravis

Muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis) is a disease of English Springer Spaniels consisting in disturbance of the conduction of nerve stimuli to striated muscles. The congenital form is characterized by decreased or abnormal synthesis of acetylcholine receptors located in the neuromuscular plate. Symptoms include episodes of weakness after exercise - the gait becomes traumatic, then the dog rolls over, and after resting it returns to normal. Since the esophagus is also composed of striated muscles, myasthenia gravis is often accompanied by pathological dilatation. In the diagnosis of congenital myasthenia gravis, a cholinesterase blocker test is used, which, by inhibiting the breakdown of acetylcholine in synapses, increases the stimulation of receptors. Primarily glucocorticosteroids are used to treat Springer's myasthenia gravis. Aspiration pneumonia is the most common complication leading to the death of the animal, therefore dogs with esophageal achalasia should be fed elevated.


Cataract (cataracta) is the progressive clouding of the lens, leading to complete loss of vision over time. In young dogs of this breed, the so-called. Congenital cataracts that may be caused by infectious agents or are congenital abnormalities within the eyeball. Hereditary cataract is probably conditioned by an autosomal recessive gene. During this eye disease, changes occur in the lens, leading to the precipitation of insoluble proteins, which reduce its translucency. Clinically, cataracts appear as a white disc that can be seen through the pupillary opening of the iris. Ophthalmoscopy is used in the diagnosis of this eye disease in this breed. Drug treatment is ineffective. The only way to cure this eye disease and repair your dog's eyesight is through surgery.


Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) refers to a group of inherited eye diseases that involve the degeneration of the eye's retina. The damage to photosensitive cells initially leads to impaired vision after dark, and with time also during the day. The diagnosis is based on an electroretinograph examination. This test makes it possible to assess the receptors' responses to their stimulation with light stimuli. Molecular diagnostic techniques - PCR are also used to detect PRA. The disease is incurable.

Entropion and ectropion

Entropion and ectropion are eyelid defects that usually require surgical correction. Entropion consists in the wrapping of a part of the eyelid towards the eyeball, and the ectropion in their curling outwards. Both defects are accompanied by symptoms such as redness, conjunctivitis and lacrimation. In the case of entropion, the lashes also irritate the surface of the cornea, which causes damage.


Pannus is also known as chronic superficial keratitis. In the course of the disease, there are 3 degrees:

  1. Grade 1 - a gray-red spot appears on the cornea, usually in the temporal angle, raised above the surface and vascularized.
  2. Grade 2 - Red tissue spreads to less than half the surface of the cornea. It may be accompanied by fatty infiltrates and dye deposits.
  3. Grade 3 - more than half of the corneal surface is involved.

Treatment depending on the degree is based on:

  • topical therapy with steroids, antibiotics, or cyclosporine,
  • subconjunctival injections,
  • keratectomy surgery.

Vaginal hypertrophy

Vaginal hyperplasia is probably a hereditary defect. The overgrowth occurs as a result of the increased amount of estrogens produced by the bitch's body during the heat and in the final stages of pregnancy. The mucosa and connective tissue of the vagina become swollen, which leads to its prolapse. Vaginal prolapse in this breed of bitch can affect any of the walls and is clinically manifested as a pink, congested and spherical structure visible between the labia. Treatment is a surgical procedure to remove or drain the prolapsed fragment along with an ovariohysterectomy, because the condition is recurrent.

Urethral sphincter failure

Urethral sphincter failure may be manifested by urinary incontinence or, on the contrary, by its retention. Urinary incontinence most often concerns sterilized females, and contractility disorders are related to the deficiency of sex hormones. The dog passes urine passively, most often while sleeping. The so-called functional obstruction is associated with changes in the spinal cord. In this case, there are unsuccessful attempts to urinate or leakage of urine in drops due to overfilling the bladder. In the treatment of urethral sphincter insufficiency in dogs of this breed, hormones or drugs to relax the urethral sphincter are used depending on the cause.


Gangliosidosis I is a disease belonging to the group of lysosomal storage diseases. They basically build up in the body substances that are properly broken down and removed by specific enzymes. In gangliosidosis I these hunting dogs are deficient in galactosidase. The disease manifests itself in dogs between 4 and 6 months of age in the form of various neurological disorders and dwarfism. Gangliosidosis is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, which means that when a pair of dogs carrying the defective gene (Aa) are combined, there is a risk that one of the Springer puppies will be born sick.

Cerebellar abiotrophy

Cerebellar underdevelopment is a congenital disease and basically causes a variety of disorders in the functioning of the nervous system. In these dogs there is a so-called. late abiotrophy, which only becomes apparent in dogs 7 to 13 years of age. Among other things, it is observed:

  • nystagmus,
  • astigmatism,
  • behavioral disorders,
  • tremors.

There is no specific treatment.


Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycaemia, i.e. elevated levels of glucose in the blood. There are two types of diabetes:

  1. Type 1 - insulin-dependent diabetes - in its course there is a destruction of beta cells in the pancreas and the lack of insulin production.
  2. Type 2 - non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus - usually affects obese individuals and is characterized by a relative insulin deficiency resulting from receptor resistance or pancreatic cell dysfunction.

Clinical symptoms are:

  • increased thirst
  • increased urination,
  • increase in appetite,
  • weight loss.

Depending on the type of diabetes, the treatment involves diet therapy or exogenous insulin in injection form. Diabetes mellitus may accompany other diseases, such as, for example:

  • inflammation of the pancreas,
  • Cushing's disease.


Hypothyroidism is when the gland produces less hormones that are essential for the body to function properly. The causes of the disease include:

  • lymphocytic thyroiditis,
  • idiopathic thyroid atrophy,
  • tumors.

The symptoms of the disease are varied and initially mildly intense. The suspicion of hypothyroidism in these hunting dogs is, among others,.in.:

  • apathy,
  • weight gain,
  • wife,
  • skin changes,
  • increased thirst and urine output,
  • infertility,
  • estrus disorders.

The diagnosis is made by measuring the level of thyroid hormones in the blood. Treatment is life-long and consists in administering synthetic levothyroxine to the dog. Periodic check-ups are performed on average every six months in order to maintain the appropriate dose.

Who is the English spaniel for?

Who is the English Springer Spaniel for?

The English Springer Spaniel is a dog of a breed that requires movement and attention. Leaving him alone at home without work for a long time will most likely lead to destructive behavior. So before you decide on an English Springer Spaniel, this aspect is worth paying attention to. If you want to raise an English Springer Spaniel puppy for a balanced, cheerful and friendly pooch who likes children, it is also important to properly conduct socialization, especially during the puppy period, so that the dog is not overly shy or aggressive in new situations. English Springer Spaniels may have a problem with separation anxiety and some English Springer Spaniels also occasionally urinate when they are excited or stressed. Also, training the dog as a retriever, athlete, and easy-to-use companion for daily walks cannot be omitted. Fortunately, dogs of this breed are obedient and quick-witted, so learning the basic commands shouldn't be too difficult. In Poland, the breed is not very popular, although the purchase of an English Springer Spaniel puppy from FCI kennel is possible. How much is an English Springer Spaniel puppy? Due to the limited number of breeding English Springer Spaniels, you should be prepared to spend quite a large sum. The price of an English Spaniel puppy is around PLN 5,000-6,000.

English Springer Spaniel price

What is the life expectancy of English Springer Spaniel dogs?

English Springer Spaniel dogs have a lifespan of approximately 12-14 years.

Is the English Springer Spaniel suitable for a block of flats?

The English Springer Spaniel needs a lot of exercise and activities, and if we provide it, a dog of this breed can live even in small apartments.

Does the English spaniel like children?

Yes, these dogs like children and make a great family companion.

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