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English Springer Spaniel From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The English Springer Spaniel is a sporting dog for flushing birds. Charactered by long, drooping ears, a medium to long coat, Females are around 19" tall at the withers, weighing around 40 lbs., and males around 20", weighing about 50 lbs. Black and white, liver and white, or either combination with tan points (tri-colored), with or without ticking (freckles) . Tails are docked short.

The Springer is an affectionate and easy-going family dog, and its alertness and attentiveness make it the ideal hunting companion. An intelligent dog, moderate to high energy level, hyper active and eager to please, a Springer is easily incorporated into a family setting. Its long legged build makes it among the fastest of the spaniels. It has unlimited stamina and needs plenty of activity, to focus its mind and to provide substantial exercise, although this is different for each dog. Like any breed described as "good with children", a Springer Spaniel must be accustomed to children. Any dog that is not well socialized with children will not behave predictably around them. In general, the breed is good with other pets, such as cats and ferrets. However, some English Springer Spaniels may not be suitable for homes with pet birds without additional training, due to their natural hunting instinct.

Springers are cheerful dogs with a sense of humor. They are affectionate, good with children and noisy with intruders. However, they would probably follow an anyone home if they gave them a pat and a treat. They are "reactors," but most don't bark without a reason. English Springers make excellent house-pets and can thrive with moderate exercise, though some Springers can be high energy dogs. They are actively represented in obedience, agility, flyball tracking, search and rescue, and therapy, as well as being fine hunters and companions. While some Springers from show lines might be acceptable in the field, serious field-trialers look to those who breed competition dogs. The English Springer Spaniel represents perhaps the greatest divergence between working and show lines of any breed of dog. A field-bred dog and a show-bred dog appear to be different breeds, but are registered together. In fact, the gene pools are almost completely segregated and have been for at least 70 years. A field bred dog would not be even remotely competitive in a modern dog show while a show dog would be unlikely to have the speed or stamina to succeed in a field trial. Show dogs have longer fur and more pendant ears, dewlaps and dangling flews. The tail is docked to a short stub in those countries which permit docking. They are generally more thickly boned and heavier than field-bred springers. The coat comes in three different colour combinations. Black and white, liver and white. Dogs bred for show are generally more colour than white, whereas sporting dogs tend to have more white in their coats for visibility. Can a field bred Springer, used for hunting, be a House Dog? You bet! In fact any breed of dog will have a better bond with it's master, better manners, and be better trained, if it lives in the house. However Springers need exercise, and attention. properly trained house Springer, knows what the kennel box is for, riding in the truck, and it knows it can't soil the floor of the hotel room, And if your Springer isn't in the house, how can it enjoy being curled up on the warm floor, perhaps in front of the fire, while you relive the day's hunt. English Springer Spaniels are energetic, cheerful, happy and playful animals; many owners find humor in their play. As with many playful dogs or hunting dogs bred as retrievers, these dogs will play with things as simple as empty plastic bottle socks, or towels. These spaniels easily remember where such things are kept and are good at getting them out. English Springer Spaniels need a lot of regular exercise and mental stimulation for optimum mental health.

10% of the registered English Springer Spaniels have been developed into dogs bred for their hunting ability, known as "fieldbred" Springers, The standard does not demand any pattern of markings, by breeding first and foremost for performance, has resulted in a dog which is longer than taller, has shorter ears, has a higher ear set, has a shorter stop, has no haw in the eyes. All these items have proven to be attributes in the field. Both types have docked tails, though field dogs may be left longer with a "flag" on the end., Shorter, higher, ears move better when the dog is running to dissipate heat, and to dry the ear canal after a swim. Eyes closer together for sighting. Smaller framed and lighter boned for endurance and speed.

 The FB dog has a short, and or wavy coat, which seldom if ever needs grooming or cutting. Characteristics include excellent air scenting , smartness and the ability to work off lead. Average field bred Springer size is 35-45 pounds These dogs have a high energy level and are driven to please be it Hunting or just playing fetch.

This spaniel is an older breed, appearing in paintings as early as the 1600s. It is possibly the ancestor of most modern spaniels. Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels were not recognized as separate breeds until the 1800s. The purpose of the breed was to serve as a hunting dog. Before guns were used to shoot game, the land spaniel would flush the game bird into the air where a trained falcon or hawk would bring it to the handler. As the shotgun replaced the bird of prey for the hunter, the English Springer Spaniel continued to serve as a hunting companion. Although most are hunted on traditional upland game, the springer spaniel is adept at hunting waterfowl and small game, as well. The spaniel is trained to "hup" or sit until the hunter casts the dog off to start hunting. A good spaniel is bold to cover, has an excellent "wet" or "dry" nose, works within gun range in an efficient, merry fashion and has a strong flush. The dog should mark the fall of the bird or accept minimal handling to the area of the fall, where its nose can locate the downed bird's scent. After finding the game, the spaniel should have a quick pick up, return to the hunter and deliver the prize with a soft mouth. English springer spaniel air scent, smell the air rather than following the sent on the ground that is what make them excellent bird dogs. An English Springer Spaniel is first and foremost an upland flushing dog. In performing this task there are some skills the dog must be trained to perform. Retrieve to Hand The majority of hunters and all hunt test or field trial judges require that a dog deliver a bird to hand, meaning that a dog will hold the bird until told to give it to the hunter directly. Soft Mouth It is desired that a springer deliver game with a soft mouth. It is usually wise to avoid breeding any springer that is hard mouthed. Quarter A flushing spaniel's primary role is often as an upland flushing dog. Dogs must work in a zig-zag pattern in front of the hunter seeking upland game birds. This pattern is one of the primary criteria used to judge a dog in a field trial. Scenting Having the ability to scent game is of vital importance to the hunter. A springer should have a good nose in both wet and dry conditions. A dog with a good nose will learn to use the wind as it quests for game, ever adjusting its pattern according to the nuances of the wind. Flushing The springer should have a positive flush. It should not hesitate or point when encountering game. Some field trial dogs will often get airborne during a flush. This is exciting to watch, but is not necessary to win. Most hunters prefer that their dog not flush in that style, as it can present a risk to the dog. Hup This is the traditional command to sit and stay. When hupped the dog can be given direction called to the handler. The ability to hup a dog actively working a running bird allow the handler and any gunners to keep up without having to run. Follow Hand Signals Upland hunting involves pursuing wild game in its native habitat. Gun dogs must investigate likely covers for upland game birds. The dog must be responsive to hand signals in order for the hunter to be able to direct the dog into areas of particular interest. Steady When hunting upland birds, a flushing dog should be steady to wing and shot, meaning that he sits when a bird rises or a gun is fired. He does this in order to mark the fall and to avoid flushing other birds when pursuing a missed bird. Blind Retrieve An adequately trained and experienced working springer can be expected to use all of the aforementioned attributes to be conducted by hand, whistle and command to a position whereby an unmarked lost game bird can be picked and retrieved to hand. Just as in people health can have heredity issues, in people high blood pressure, cancer, long life can be influenced by your parents. Dwarfism and other inherited problems accrue at about the same percentage in dogs and people. Responsible breeders breed healthy dogs. As in most breeds depending on size and type , there are some health issues that are more likely to occur in this breed. Hip dysplasia, large breed dogs are more prone (dogs can be x-rayed at 2 years to have the hips certified ok before breeding) and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) are two such diseases for which veterinarians are working on genetic markers to determine carriers. Retinal dysplasia (RD) (optician should check eyes before breeding) and Phosphofructokinase deficiency (PFK) (saliva smear can be sent off for DNA testing) are two other hereditary conditions the English springer spaniel should be screened for prior to breeding. Canine Eye Research Foundation (CERF) and Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) certifications for the father and mother of a litter of pups provides some information about eye and hip wellness. Some English Springer Spaniels are prone to ear infections. Susceptible individuals should have their ear canals checked weekly and routinely cleaned. Keeping the hair trimmed around the ear can also help. Other health issues include autoimmune diseases, which include allergies and other sensitivities to the environment. These are not common, but are found in the breed. Dogs with allergies are often allergic to fleas bites using Advantage flea drops or other medication will help.

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