About the Breed

Spaniels came from Spain in the 1600’s and in 1902 the Kennel Club recognised the breed and they were divided by height and what they were doing in the field, so the smaller Cockers or Cocking Spaniels who were mainly used for cocking Woodcock and Springers who were used mainly as flushing or springing larger game birds such as Partridge and Pheasant hence the name English Springers. Other Spaniel breeds such as the Sussex, Welsh, Clumber etc came about roughly at the same time being mainly bred to suit the area and terrain they lived in.

Over the years English Springers have divided into two types, though both are registered under the umbrella of English Springer Spaniels they are the Show Type and the Working Type.

Show Type

The Show Type breeders have concentrated on the confirmation of the dog with dogs being up to 21inches in height with the bitches slightly smaller at a maximum of 20 inches.

These dogs have a fuller silkier coat, more domed head, longer ear flaps, larger bones and generally of a slightly more placid temperament.

Working Type

Whilst the Working Type have generally smaller ears and are lighter boned with a shorter, tougher coat for going through the undergrowth and usually more energetic and more driven in their natures than the show bred dogs.

Both types can, with correct training be used for both jobs if required.

Both the Show and Working Types come in three colours, liver & white, black & white and tri coloured, who are usually black & white with tan markings, the working Springer is preferred to have more white in their coats so as to allow for more visibility when working in the undergrowth.

Springers are a very highly intelligent breed who love working in one form or other, hence they make excellent gundogs, both flushing and retrieving game, working with various agencies such as Border Force, Police, finding drugs, explosives, tobacco, money and many other substances, and also in Medical Detection work checking samples for cancer and other diseases.

Springers being so full of energy need regular free exercise as they love to run and get as dirty as possible, they need a full active life, or the owners will start to suffer as they will start to entertain themselves by getting up to mischief.

Most dogs that come into Rescue are of the Working Type. The main reason for this is that the show breeder, and professional working type breeder take more care in having their breeding stock checked for hereditary diseases’ which costs a large amount of money, hence the puppies are more expensive, and breeders are more selective on who they will sell to.

The average family who just want a pet and so, go to the paper or on line to buy an English Springer puppy. Some of the dogs who come into the Rescue come from puppy farms and their agents or from someone who has a bitch and think it would be nice for the children to have a litter of puppies to play with. These puppies tend to be sold to people, who do not realize that a Springer Puppy is like having a pair of toddlers in the house up to mischief all the time They need a lot of time and training or can become more unruly as they get to their teenage years!

The other reasons a dog may come to Rescue is change of circumstances, people have to go back to work full time (a Springer should not be left for more than four hours at a time) partnership break ups, illness, death, and so there are a variety of reasons that the dogs come into the rescue.

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