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English Springer Spaniels: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about English Springer Spaniel temperament, personality, and behavior.

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English Springer Spaniel dog breed

English Springer Spaniel Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

English Springer Spaniel Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013

This high-spirited tail-wagger needs at least one long vigorous run every day. Without exercise an English Springer Spaniel can be a boisterous handful, especially when young.

His opinion of strangers varies from friendly to reserved. Most are good watchdogs, but not guardians.

Caution: There is serious dominance/aggression lurking in the background of some lines. Early socialization and stable parents are essential in this breed.

Most English Springers are gregarious with other animals, though there is some same-sex aggression.

Some individuals can be so persistently affectionate that they become clingy, which can result in separation anxiety and destructiveness when left alone.

Many Springers love getting into puddles and water bowls and tracking mud through the house. This is not a dainty breed, nor one for fastidious housekeepers.


If you want a dog who...

  • Is medium-sized and sturdy
  • Has a pretty feathered coat in a variety of colors
  • Thrives on vigorous athletic activities
  • Has a tail-wagging nature
  • Is usually polite with everyone
  • Is usually peaceful with other pets

An English Springer Spaniel may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • Providing enough exercise to keep him satisfied and avoid rambunctiousness
  • "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
  • Frightening dominance/aggression that can suddenly flare up in some Springers
  • Fearfulness or shyness when not socialized enough
  • Frequent brushing, combing, and clipping of the silky coat
  • Shedding
  • Excitable or submissive urination (tendency to dribble urine when excited or nervous)
  • Serious health problems

An English Springer Spaniel may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy


More traits and characteristics of the English Springer Spaniel

If I was considering an English Springer Spaniel, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. English Springer Spaniels MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing. Bored English Springers can make a shambles of your house and yard.

    English Springer Spaniel dog breed

  2. Separation anxiety. Spaniels need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They tend to express their unhappiness through destructive chewing and barking.

  3. Providing enough socialization. English Springer Spaniels need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Obedience instructors see too many English Springer Spaniels who are fearful or suspicious -- or downright aggressive.

  4. Dominance/aggression. Some English Springer Spaniels develop a serious temperament disorder that causes sudden flare-ups of extreme dominance or aggression. This disorder appears suddenly and apparently out of the blue in a previously-normal Springer. The cause is unknown, though some studies have suggested a link to brain seizures.

    To teach your Springer to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My English Springer Training Page discusses the program you need.

  5. Grooming. To keep their silky coat free of mats, English Springer Spaniels require regular brushing, and also clipping and trimming every couple of months.

  6. Shedding. English Springer Spaniels shed quite a bit, on the high side of average.

  7. Health problems. From hip problems to eye problems to metabolic diseases, English Springer Spaniels are risky in the health department.

book cover To learn more about training English Springer Spaniels to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your English Springer Spaniel the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.



book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy English Springer Spaniel puppy. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.


If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the English Springer Spaniel might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.


book cover Once you have your English Springer Spaniel home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.



Please consider adopting an ADULT English Springer Spaniel...

When you're acquiring an English Springer Spaniel PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult English Springer Spaniels who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter

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