Complete Guide To The English Springer Spaniel: Care, Grooming, Exercise and More

With their stunning coat, medium size, and affectionate personality, it is no wonder that the English Springer Spaniel is a household regular when it comes to being a family dog. Although originally bred to hunt and track birds, the English Springer Spaniel is a loving and affectionate dog that is a people-pleaser at his core. This dog isn’t just a one-person family member but will instead form a close and tight attachment to all members of your family.  

As a veterinarian with over 20 years of experience, I’ve seen a lot of English Springer Spaniels. The following information is based on my career experience as well as in talking to many Springer spaniel owners.

How Big Does An English Springer Spaniel Get?


Many people are attracted to the English Springer Spaniel because it is a shapely, athletic, medium-sized dog. Males are slightly larger than females. Expect a male English Springer Spaniel to stand about 20 inches to the shoulder and weigh around 50 pounds. Comparatively, a female English Springer Spaniel will stand about 19 inches at the shoulder and only weigh approximately 40 pounds. 

What Kind Of Coat Does An English Springer Spaniel Have?

One of the trademark characteristics of this breed is the soft, double coat. The fur is medium length and comes in several color patterns. The most common pattern is a black or deep red spot with a white background. But it is also possible to have a liver or blue roan coloration.

Tri-colored English Springer Spaniels are also possible with a mix of black, liver, and white markings. Usually, the tri-color is evident on the tail or inside the ears. Sometimes the white on this dog can be spotted or flecked with small patches of color.  

There is a definite difference between a Field Springer Spaniel, meant to work, and a Show Springer Spaniel meant to be shown. Typically, the Field Springer Spaniel has a shorter coat, a more pointed nose, and shorter ears. Comparatively, the Show Springer Spaniel has longer hair and ears and a more square-shaped nose and muzzle.  

What Is The Personality Of An English Springer Spaniel?

This breed of dog is a lover through and through and only wants to work closely alongside his humans. The dog craves human company and does not do well when left alone. If you regularly work long hours or have to travel frequently for work, the English Springer Spaniel may not be the best choice for you.

Because this dog is so intent on pleasing his people, he is straightforward to train. The dog is capable, intelligent, and motivated to learn new tricks and behaviors quickly. This dog is happy to sit loyalty at your side or work in the field tracking and hunting birds. When training an English Springer Spaniel, it is essential always to use a positive training technique. This dog is affectionate and sensitive and does not respond well to negative training methods.  

This dog is a loving breed of dog that is happy to be with all family members. They are good with adults and children and can be trained to be gentle around senior adults. Plus, this dog has a great sense of humor and is willing to perform fun and silly antics to get a laugh out of his family.

If you have other pets in your household, the English Springer Spaniel will live happily alongside them if raised together in the same house. Because this dog was bred to hunt birds, it may not do well with pet birds in the same home. 

What Are The Grooming Needs Of A Springer Spaniel?

Although this dog has relatively long hair, it has minimal grooming requirements. Simple weekly brushing is enough to keep the loose hair out of his fur and remove any dirt or debris he has picked up while romping through the outdoors. Keeping the fur well brushed will not only keep the coat healthy and shiny, but it will prevent mats from forming, which can lead to painful skin irritation.  

The English Springer Spaniel can be taken to a professional for grooming if you wish to maintain a certain style cut. My patients vary from not having any hair cut at all to having a short trim all over the body. If your dog is really active outdoors, you may wish to keep the coat cut shorter just for easier maintenance.

Like other dogs, the English Springer Spaniel should have his ears checked and cleaned regularly to prevent painful ear infections. The teeth should be brushed, and the nails should be kept short. If your pet does not walk on rough surfaces daily for exercise to naturally wear the nails short, a quick nail clipping once per month should be enough to keep the nails short and healthy.  

What Are The Exercise Needs Of A Springer Spaniel?

The English Springer Spaniel is an active dog that enjoys plenty of time outdoors. Although this breed of dog is happiest with his family, he is still an active dog that will need plenty of exercise. A simple long walk or a fun game of fetch is enough to keep this dog entertained.

Expect at least a 45-minute walk daily with your dog to keep him healthy and exercised. This dog is well suited to a home with a large, fenced-in yard that allows him to explore his surroundings safely. The English Springer Spaniel can be a suitable apartment dog if given plenty of exercise with daily, long walks or hikes. 

This breed of dog also likes to be challenged mentally. This dog likes to think and be well rewarded for pleasing his owners. Enrolling this dog in canine sports and activities is a great way to exercise him physically and stimulate his mind.

The English Springer Spaniel has been known to excel at obedience training, tracking, rally, and agility competitions. The dog has an instinct to hunt and track birds, so allowing him to use his skills in a competitive environment can be a positive outlet for his mental and physical energy.  

The English Springer Spaniel also has an instinct to retrieve. This behavior comes from his work as a bird dog. Successful owners can tap into this instinctive behavior by playing some rising fetch games in the backyard or dog park. If you do not find a positive outlet for this behavior and the dog’s energy, the English Springer Spaniel tends to become destructive.

What Is The Best Food For An English Springer Spaniel?

Springer spaniels don’t tend to need any particular type of dog food. They’re pretty easy to feed.

Please don’t listen to the folks at the pet store trying to convince you to buy a grain-free diet for your dog. There’s zero science behind that and vets are actually seeing diseases now related to feeding grain-free foods.

Best Puppy Food For English Springer Spaniels:

Best Adult Food For English Springer Spaniels:

How Long Do English Springer Spaniels Live?

12-14 years based on information from the AKC

What Health Conditions Do English Springer Spaniels Have?

In my experience, the most common conditions I see in English Springer Spaniels include:

  • Dental Disease
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Kidney Disease
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

I recommend that my Springer owners start doing routine annual bloodwork when they are 5-6 years old to establish a baseline and try to identify any health issues early.


Where Can I Find an English Springer Spaniel?

In recent years it has become more challenging to find a reputable breeder for an English Springer Spaniel. There have been several recent reports of young puppies being too submissive or overly aggressive.

Finding a reputable breeder can help eliminate these undesirable traits in the bloodline and reward responsible breeders for selective and careful breeding. When choosing an English Springer Spaniel puppy, you want an affectionate, loving, and outgoing puppy.

English Springer Spaniel Field Association Breeder Referral Page

AKC Site For Breeders

Search for a local English Springer Spaniel club near you and ask them for help in finding a reputable breeder nearby.

Of course, there are plenty of English Springer Spaniel rescues throughout the United States. Reaching out to the English Springer Rescue America or group can help you turn to the right organization for rescuing a dog in need. Not only will you be able to find a purebred dog of your choice, but you will be able to give a dog a much-needed home.  

Special Considerations 

This breed of dog is a people-pleaser and has overwhelming affection for humans. Couple this with the fact that they are intelligent and athletic, and you have the makings of a perfect therapy dog. The English Springer Spaniel works well as a therapy dog and regularly visits patients in hospitals and nursing homes.  

It is essential to keep this dog well-exercised and mentally stimulated. A bored English Springer Spaniel or a dog with too much energy can quickly become destructive or partake in undesirable behaviors. Though not a barker normally, this dog can become a nuisance barker if he is lonely.  

As much as you work to train your dog, instinctive behaviors are hard to train out of your dog. The English Springer Spaniel was bred to hunt birds and will still view birds as prey. If you are taking your pet outdoors, be sure always to have him leashed or in a contained and secured area. This dog will quickly run off in pursuit of birds if not closely watched.