Springer Spaniel14 July 2023
Let's talk about... Springer Spaniels: what are they?
- Springer Spaniels are a popular and versatile breed known for their energy, intelligence, and hunting abilities.
- They were originally bred as gun dogs for flushing and retrieving game.
- Springer Spaniels have a natural instinct for finding and retrieving objects, which has made them popular in search and rescue operations.
- Springer Spaniels have a medium-sized build with males standing between 48-56 cm in height and females slightly smaller, ranging from 46-51 cm.
- They typically weigh between 18-23 kg.
- The average life expectancy of a Springer Spaniel is 12-14 years.
What is the temperament of Springer Spaniels like?
- Springer Spaniels are friendly, outgoing, and highly sociable dogs.
- They are known for their affectionate nature and are often referred to as "velcro dogs" because they love to be close to their owners.
- They are good with children and can get along well with other pets if properly socialised from an early age.
- Springer Spaniels are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them highly trainable.
- They have a strong drive to work and are happiest when given tasks or activities that engage their mind and body.
- They can be alert and protective, making them effective watchdogs.
How much exercise do Springer Spaniels need?
- Springer Spaniels are an active and energetic breed that requires a significant amount of exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
- They thrive on daily activities that provide both mental and physical challenges.
- A Springer Spaniel should have a minimum of 1.5-2 hours of exercise every day.
- This can include brisk walks, jogging, hiking, retrieving games, and interactive play sessions.
- Engaging them in dog sports like agility, flyball, or obedience training can further fulfil their exercise and mental stimulation needs.
- Springer Spaniel puppies have developing bodies and should not be overexercised to avoid strain or injuries.
- Short and frequent play sessions throughout the day are recommended.
- Gradually increase their exercise duration and intensity as they grow older.
- They can increase to full exercise levels at about 18 months old.
- Consult with your vet for personalised advice on the exercise needs of your Springer Spaniel.
Do Springer Spaniels need a lot of grooming?
- Springer Spaniels have a double coat with a dense, medium-length topcoat and a weather-resistant undercoat.
- Their coat requires regular grooming to keep it clean, tangle-free, and in good condition.
- Regular brushing at least two to three times a week is necessary to remove loose hair, prevent matting, and promote healthy skin and coat.
- Springer Spaniels are moderate shedders, and more frequent brushing may be required during shedding seasons.
- They may also require occasional trimming around the ears, paws, and tail.
- Some owners prefer to have them clipped short by a professional groomer.
- Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Are Springer Spaniels easy to train?
- Springer Spaniels are highly intelligent and eager to please, which makes them generally easy to train.
- They excel in various training activities, including obedience, agility, and fieldwork.
- They have a natural instinct for retrieving and are quick learners.
- Positive reinforcement training methods, such as treats, praise, and rewards, work best with this breed.
- Springer Spaniels thrive on mental stimulation, so providing them with consistent and engaging training sessions is important.
- Early socialisation is also key to help them develop into well-rounded and obedient dogs.
What do Springer Spaniels eat?
- A high-quality dog food that is appropriate for the age, size, and activity level of a Springer Spaniel is recommended.
- Feeding them a balanced and nutritionally complete diet is essential for their overall health and well-being.
- Most do well being fed twice daily.
- Puppies have specific dietary needs to support their growth and development.
- They should be fed a specially formulated puppy food until they are around 12 months old.
- Puppies should be fed 3-4 times daily until 6 months old when this can be reduced to twice daily.
- After that, they can transition to adult dog food.
- The type and amount of food, and feeding frequency should be determined based on their individual needs and any recommendations from your vet.
- Avoid overfeeding or excessive treats to prevent weight gain and related health issues.
Are Springer Spaniels healthy?
Springer Spaniels are generally a healthy breed, but they may be prone to certain health conditions, including:
Bones and Joints
- Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis
- Incomplete ossification of the canine humeral condyle - the normal bone fusion process does not occur, leaving a weakness in the elbow
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) - a congenital heart defect where there is irregular movement of blood between two of the heart’s major arteries
- Cushing’s Disease (hyperadrenocorticism) - when the adrenal gland produces too steroid hormone
- Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone
- Epilepsy - A condition of the brain that causes dogs to have fits
- Atopy - when the immune system overreacts to an allergen and results in skin irritation.
- Ear infections - the ear canal, and sometimes the ears flaps have an overgrowth of bacteria, yeast etc. which can cause signs including irritation, inflammation, smell and thickening of the ear canal tissue
This list is by no means comprehensive, so if you have any concerns about the health of your dog or want to discuss further if a Springer Spaniel is right for you, consult with your vet.
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Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog's health, contact your local vet.
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