English springer spanielFast, agile and trainable, the springer spaniel is a real favourite out in the field.

In this century springer spaniels have changed in appearance due to careful breeding. Today’s springer is smaller and lighter in build, fast and less heavily marked than its predecessors.

Ideal rough shooter’s dog

If walked-up shooting is your passion then a well-trained springer will be a loyal and hardworking companion. They are also stronger than cockers and more able to pick up heavier birds.

Our articles on springer spaniels below will help you with choosing a puppy, training your springer spaniel, behaviour on a shoot day and how to keep a springer healthy and content.

Characteristics of a springer

  • Hardy
  • Fun
  • Versatile
  • Loves working in cover and water
  • A natural hunter and retriever
  • A favourite with keepers, beaters, pickers-up and Guns.

Away from the field you will often see springers working as security dogs – they are used as sniffer dogs by the police.

springer spaniels retrieving

Why won’t my springer spaniel deliver game to me?

Q: I have a 10-month-old springer out of a rescue kennel. He is obviously working stock, good looking, full of life and hunts like a demon. He was completely wild when I got him but after a year of hard work we are now enjoying shooting rabbits over the moors.…

differences between cocker and springer spaniels

13 reasons why cocker spaniels and springer spaniels are different

Both springer and cocker spaniels are capable of doing a useful day’s work out in the field. Both are biddable. However, they do have different characteristics. Differences between cocker and springer spaniels Springers have a size advantage over cocker spaniels Cocker spaniels have a better engine and more staying power…

cocker spaniel or springer spaniel

What exactly ARE the differences between cocker spaniels and springer spaniels?

Our two most popular breeds of spaniel Cocker spaniel or springer spaniel. Which is better? Choosing between the two breeds has never been more difficult. According to the Kennel Club’s (KC) figures, cockers are the most popular of the two, with 23,297 registered in 2018, compared with just 10,152  English springers.…

springer spaniels

Is it really possible to train a rescue springer as a gundog?

We all know that puppies aren’t easy, but if you want a working spaniel, taking on 
a puppy is probably your best option, as it is rare to find a trained spaniel for sale. But there is an alternative: adopt a rescue dog. A quick check on the internet will…

springer spaniels

Which breed of spaniel should I buy?

Don't overlook the minor breeds, like Clumber, Welsh springer or Brittany spaniels, although their natural hunting, retrieving and training ability probably won't be as strong as a Cocker or Springer

Welsh springer spaniel

Will the Welsh springer spaniel survive?

A chance encounter with a Welsh springer spaniel (WSS) on a shoot earlier this month reminded me what a handsome breed this is and what a shame it is that we do not see more out working. Welsh springer spaniel – a curious breed It is the most numerous of…

springer spaniel in training

Problems with springer spaniels and hunting

My springer spaniel’s training is coming along pretty well but I can’t get her to leave hedgerows and cover to hunt open ground for retrieves. Any advice?

springer spaniels

Help! My young springer ‘freezes’ on a shoot

Q: I have a problem which seems difficult to solve. My young springer has just turned two and started going shooting in January, which was fine, she hunted well. 
We just went out with a couple 
of friends to shoot the odd cock pheasant and rabbit. I took her to…

English springer spaniels

Springer spaniel ruining drives due to rabbit chasing. What’s to be done?

A: Go back to basic training and take him through a refresher in steadiness; make sure he sits to any object you throw through repetition and reward. This dropping of his own accord to a moving object must be perfected first. Then you need access to lots of rabbits or, better still, a purpose-built pen where you can…

Barrie Hughes

Meet devotee of springer spaniels, Barrie Hughes

Spaniel ownership can be both enormously satisfying and extremely frustrating. I’ve survived 33 years of it, but am always full of admiration for those who have managed longer. So when I met Barrie Hughes and heard that he had owned working springers for exactly 50 years, I wanted to learn more. I…

curly-coated retriever

Pedigree dogs in peril

Previously I looked at the winners and losers in the annual registrations of pedigree dogs. The winners included the Bracco Italiano and the cocker spaniel, plus the Hungarian vizsla and its wirehaired cousin, while the losers included several of our traditional favourites, ranging from the Labrador to the English springer spaniel. There…

Korthals griffon

Popular gundog breeds – what’s on the rise?

Has the pedigree dog had its day? While it might be much too early to predict its eventual extinction, figures from the Kennel Club (KC) show compelling evidence of its decline. In 2006, a total of 103,773 gundogs were registered with the Club in the UK. Numbers held steady for the next…

gundog trainer

Gundog etiquette – picking up birds

Many novice handlers aspire to be part of a picking-up team, but few are fully aware of the responsibility that comes with working your dog in what is a vital part of a gameshoot. The aim of a good picker-up is not to come back to the gamecart laden with dead birds,…

English springer spaniels

Time for the super-spaniel?

I don’t know how many English springer spaniels there are in the UK, but my guess would be between 160,000 and 200,000. This is based on 12,000 puppies being registered with the Kennel Club annually, plus the fact that there are many pure-bred but unregistered springers. Assume an average lifespan of…

Gundogs of the week

10 gundog Instagrams to enjoy

Do you mind if I rest here?  #shooting #dogs #gundog #retriever golden #pup #country #winter #season A photo posted by Kyle (@kyleandrewmcbride) on Oct 15, 2015 at 12:34am PDT Ever thought of a vizsla? #tbt #throwbackthursday #vizsla #vizslaoftheday #vizslalove #vizslagram #vizslasofinstagram #vizslasofinstagram101 #velcrodog #velcrovizsla #hungarianvizsla #vizslapuppy #vizslaproblems #puppy #puppies #puppydog…