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English Springer Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel is an old breed of dog, with some believing that it first came to prominence as early as the 1600s. It is the founder of all of the English hunting spaniels and its name relates to how it used to act when it was set the task of hunting prey. Before guns were used in hunting, the breed would literally spring forward and aim to make the birds fly out of their hiding. The game was then left to trained hawks who would catch it and then bring it to the handler. This method of hunting was quite successful and because of this, the English Springer Spaniel was a popular choice of breed to be chosen as a hunting partner.
Described as a medium-sized dog, the English Springer Spaniel stands between eighteen and twenty one inches, weighing in at around forty five pounds. This breed can be of two different types; a field bred dog or a show dog. Even though they are actually the same breed, there are plenty of differences in terms of appearances. The field type coat is generally short and is usually of black or liver colour with lots of white markings, while the show dog tends to have a more longer and wavy coat. For both types, the dog doesnít have too many unique features although its ears are fairly long and flap down beside of a sturdy head. In most cases, the tail is docked, which is probably related to its original role of a hunting dog. One major difference between the two seems to be the bone size, with show dogs usually having thicker bones and generally being a little heavier than the field bred type.
In terms of an English Springer Spanielís temperament, one word that could be used to describe them is energetic. Their original hunting instincts look to have stuck with them and they will go off to search for anything, and this means they require plenty of exercise. In general, the breed is very good with children and likewise with other pets, although it helps if theyíve been brought up with them from an early age. The field type of Springer Spaniel predictably has much more energy, again probably due to its original hunting character, while the show breed is a little more reserved and calmer. Any prospective owner should be aware that plenty of training needs to be performed from the start, as the energy that these breeds possess can be mischievously used if authority isnít exerted quickly. Whatís more, any person thinking about getting a Springer Spaniel should know that they require lots of time, as they simply love being around people and detest being left alone.
On average, this breed will live between twelve and fourteen years. Like a large proportion of dogs, the Springer Spaniel can suffer from hip dysplasia but other than that there are not too many health concerns. They tend to gain weight fairly easy and ear and eye problems are sometimes common, but other than that they are relatively healthy.
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