The Happy-Go-Lucky English Springer Spaniel Dog Breed

a pair of english springer spaniel dogs

If any dog breed could be described truly as man’s best friend, it’s the English springer spaniel dog breed. Bred as a hunting companion, this lovable pup is eager to please (therefore easy to train) and easily adapts to any environment. With a temperament that matches its sweet face, big brown eyes and floppy ears, the happy-go-lucky English springer spaniel comes in at 26 in the AKC’s list of most popular dog breeds.

Explore more about this lovable, obedient and adorable dog breed including its barking habits, grooming needs and fun facts about the English springer spaniel.

Do English Springer Spaniels Bark a Lot?

The temperament of the English springer spaniel matches its sweet expression. Because this breed’s history is as hunting companions, they are at their best when they’re with their humans. Left alone for long periods, an English springer spaniel can experience separation anxiety, which can lead to lots of barking. However, this breed is not known to be a high-barking breed. 

Dogs that get regular recommended exercises every day are less likely to bark incessantly and destroy their surroundings. These athletic dogs do well with lots of exercise — a 20-minute walk in the morning before you head to work followed by a good play session in the evenings. No matter what your dog’s breed is, a tired dog is a good dog.  

english springer spaniel closeup

Because the English springer spaniel is so eager to please, this dog does very well with a training device like The BarxBuddy. Follow our guide to using the ultrasonic training tool to train a dog to stop barking on command

Is the springer spaniel a good guard dog?

If you are looking for a fierce guard dog, this people-loving breed might not be the right dog for you. The springer will bark to let you know you’ve got visitors, but it’s more out of excitement that more people are joining his pack than it is to protect his territory. 

Facts About English Springer Spaniels

The English springer spaniel has long ears and a double coat. Its underbelly and shoulders tend to be white, and its head and upper body have dark shades of brown to roan to almost black; some variations of this breed also have reddish colors to their darker hair. Some springers have spots on their white hair.

Why “springer” in the breed’s name? This spaniel was trained to flush or “spring” game. Duck and bird hunters, for example, send the springers ahead to chase birds into flight.

The undercoat tends to be softer and shorter hair while the outer coat tends to be longer and even a little wavy.  

  • Size: Male English springer spaniels are about 20 inches tall and weigh around 43 to 50 pounds. Females are close in size, standing about 19 inches tall and weighing closer to 40 pounds.
  • Life expectancy: This dog breed has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
  • Coat: The English springer spaniel has a double coat that is thinner and shorter underneath and a longer, darker and wavier outer coat. 
  • AKC group: They belong to the sporting group of the American Kennel Club. 

Are English Springer Spaniels Easy to Train? Are Springers Good Dogs?

Yes, the English springer spaniel breed is easy to train and also makes for an excellent pet for singles or families with kids. They are high energy, so apartment-dwelling springers will need a yard or visits to the dog park to burn off energy. 

Because these are retrievers and hunting companions, the springer spaniel does well with nose games and scent work in addition to physical exercise. 

english springer spaniels are trained hunting dogs

English springer spaniels do well with positive-reinforcement dog training (as do all dogs, to be honest). Take care not to overfeed your springer, and educate yourself on what types of people foods are safe for your springer spaniel. 

Do English Springer Spaniels Need Grooming?

Because of the English springer spaniel’s thick double coat and long hair, you’ll need to brush him or her at least weekly to prevent matting. We like the self-cleaning style dog brush for this type of dog.

english springer spaniel running

Their long, floppy ears need to be cleaned once a week, and they’ll need regular nail trims every two to four weeks. You can use a nail grinder or scissor-style nail clippers to trim the springer’s front claws; back claws need to be trimmed less often. 

Do English springer spaniels shed?

This dog breed is known as an occasional shedder. Because of its long double coat, you’ll need to regularly brush your spaniel, which will reduce shedding. 

What If My Breed Is an English Springer Spaniel Mix?

As with all crossbreed and mixed breeds, you hope to get the best of both breeds. The English springer spaniel’s easy-going nature — not to mention that adorable face — makes it a popular choice for crossing breeds. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with both parents’ lineage so you can understand the training, grooming, and caring needs of your springer mix.

A phenomenon called “English springer spaniel rage” has gotten some attention in recent years and some experts believe it’s caused by poor breeding (and possible in-breeding). We suggest you choose a springer spaniel breeder that adheres to AKC standards (see the AKC site for recommended and approved breed clubs). 

Breeding with a similar or complementary dog breed can alleviate some of these health issues and concerns. Here are some popular English springer spaniel breed mixes:

Resource Links for More English Springer Spaniel Info