Springer Spaniels

Abigail Wendland

APPEARANCE

A full grown English Springer Spaniel weighs an average of 45 pounds and stand about 18 inches tall from the shoulders to the top of the head (Columbia University Press 1). Most commonly when someone thinks about Springer Spaniels what comes to mind are their dominant colors of liver and white and their long coats, but this isn’t always true. According to the Columbia University Press, “It’s long medium length coat is flat or wavy with fringe of longer hair on the ears, chest, legs, or belly… and its coat is usually liver and white, tan and white, or black and white” (1). One trait that makes the Springer Spaniels a popular hunting dog is their tough skin, which allows them to run through brush easier. Another reason spaniel is quality show dogs are because of their long hair, stance, and overall energy (Dearth 1). A downside to spaniels is their long ears, which lead to ear infections if not treated correctly.


SKILLS

According to Field and Stream magazine, “Springers are known first and foremost as world-class hunters” (1). There are two broad generalizations of Springer Spaniels used in sporting, the water spaniels and land spaniels (Dearth 1). In more obvious terms, the water spaniels retrieve game shot down into the water, whereas the land spaniels retrieve and scare game on land towards hunters. It may also come as a surprise that Springer Spaniels have a large reputation in the beauty and showmanship aspect; since 1997, the spaniels have been ranked a solid 25 out of the 145 other registered breeds (Dearth 1). Going along with this data there is a high difficulty level in training Springer Spaniels to be both hunters and show dogs, in fear of them either losing their edge or elegance.


HISTORY

Before the Springer Spaniel’s discovery in the United States, they were popular in Canada (American Kennel Club 1). But Kim Dearth states that “most historians believe the English springer spaniel… takes its name and heritage from an origin in Spain” (1). So why is this information conflicting? This information is incompatible due to the fact of Eudore Chevrier of Winnipeg, who had firstly imported the hunting dogs from Spain, then exported them throughout the United States (Dearth 1). According to Encyclopedia Britannica the springer spaniels have been “know since at least the 14th century” (1). The duties of the spaniels changed though in 1630, when the flintlock was invented; hunters needed dogs that were able to hunt in gun range and to hold steady under shot (Dearth 1). As a result of the spaniels easy trainability, they were selected. The American Kennel Club recognizes nine breeds of the spaniel, "American water spaniel, clumber spaniel, cocker spaniel, English cocker spaniel, English springer spaniel, field spaniel, Irish water spaniel, Sussex spaniel, and Welsh springer spaniel"(1).


CITATIONS

Dearth, Kim D.R. 1998. "The sporty English Springer Spaniel." Dog World 83, no. 10: 12. MasterFILE Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed November 1, 2013).


"English Springer Spaniel Club." English Springer Spaniel Club. Digital Touch, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.


"Springer Spaniel (breed of Dog)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. EncyclopediaBritannica, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2013.


2013. "English springer spaniel." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition 1. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed November 1, 2013).


Tarrant, B. 1991. "The English springer spaniel." Field & Stream 96, no. 3: 78. Middle Search Plus, EBSCOhost (accessed November 4, 2013).


"Spaniel." Funk and Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia. N.p.: n.p., 2009. Print.