Learn more about the energetic and affectionate springer spaniel.
Energetic and friendly, springer spaniels are eager to please and make wonderful pets. Springer spaniels were bred as hunting dogs that would “spring” to flush out potential targets. Both the English and Welsh springer spaniel breeds are athletic and need plenty of exercise, making them popular pets for future owners searching for an easygoing and active dog.
Physical Traits and Appearance of Springer Spaniels
Springer spaniels are known for their floppy ears that drop down. They have fluffy, medium-length coats with feathering and fringe hair on the ears, chest, legs and belly. Springers come in several color combinations including black, reddish-brown or white with black markings.
English and Welsh springer spaniels have slightly different appearances.
- Are a combination of black, white and dark brown in color
- Stand taller than Welsh springers — up to 22 inches
- Have a notable brow and furrow between the eyes
- Feature long, wide, fluffy ears that hang close to the cheek
- Are typically red and white in color
- Stand shorter than English springers — up to 19 inches — with a rectangular body shape
- Have no brow or furrow between the eyes
- Feature smaller ears that are lightly feathered, with a leaf shape
Springer Spaniel Temperament and Personality Traits
English and Welsh springer spaniels are similar in personality and are generally happy, enthusiastic dogs. Welsh springers can be more reserved, however, and tend to be more independent.
Generally, springers want to put a smile on your face and will be:
- Obedient and eager to please
- Enthusiastic, affectionate and friendly
- Great with kids
They may bark if left alone, but only because they crave human interaction. They may also get overexcited at times and accidentally urinate. However, proper training can often remedy these issues.
Springer spaniels require frequent exercise and early socialization. It’s important to slowly begin exercise and training in the first few months of the dog’s life and gradually continue to add more exercise over time. Once they’re a year old, springer spaniels are generally strong enough for long jogs.
You’ll need to keep a watchful eye on the springer — they have a natural instinct to hunt small creatures, especially birds. Keep them on a leash or in a fenced-in yard at all times.
Health and Care of Springer Spaniels
Springer spaniels have floppy ears that prevent air circulation, which can lead to ear infections.1 Weekly ear cleanings using an ear-cleaning solution and a cotton ball are essential to a springer spaniel’s health. Springers can also suffer from eye disorders, such as retinal dysplasia and entropion, and hip conditions.2,3
English springers tend to be heavier, weighing between 45 and 55 pounds, and taller, growing to be 18 to 22 inches in height. The slightly smaller Welsh springer typically weighs between 35 and 45 pounds and is 17 to 19 inches tall.
Both English and Welsh springer spaniels have a life expectancy between 12 and 15 years.
Grooming Needs for Springer Spaniels
Do Springer Spaniels Shed?
Springer spaniels shed a moderate amount and need regular brushing at least three times a week. They have heavy coats with plenty of feathering, which can be a deterrent for potential dog owners with pet dander allergies. Use a slick brush or metal dog comb to work out tangles and keep the coat looking healthy and shiny.
Is a Springer Spaniel Right for You?
Springer spaniels make a perfect companion for people with active lifestyles and families with children, as long as pet allergies aren’t a factor. Springers are highly trainable, obedient and happy pups that want to play and exercise. You’ll need to devote time each day to activities for your dog and keep up with grooming — especially brushing.
Thinking of getting a springer spaniel? Read our guide to dog adoption.
1 Racine, E. (2019, October 21). Dog Ear Infections: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/dog-ear-infections/
2 PetMD. (2012, June 22). English Springer Spaniel. Retrieved from https://www.petmd.com/dog/breeds/english-springer-spaniel
3 PetMD. (2012, June 26). Welsh Springer Spaniel. Retrieved from https://www.petmd.com/dog/breeds/c_dg_welsh_springer_spaniel