Frequently Asked Questions about the English Springer Spaniel
1. Do Springers shed? Springers do shed. They have an abundance of coat as well as feathering and they will produce a more or less constant amount of hair in your house. One thing with breeds that grow longer hair is that the hair needs to stay in longer in order to reach that length. So you might find that a springer sheds less than some short haired breeds like a Labrador or boxer whose coats turns over more often. Some of this can be alleviated with regular brushing, but if you have an aversion to dog hair in your house, a Springer will not be a good choice for you.
2. Are they good with kids? Springers are wonderful with kids, especially when they have been regularly exposed to children as puppies. 3.How much exercise do they need? They are a sporting breed and as such need exercise. They will benefit best from regular periods of high intensity activity once they are fully grown. This includes a quick session of fetching, romping with other dogs, and running along the beach and so on. You do need to be careful with puppies less than 18 months or so; while they need exercise, it must not be forced or sustained.
4.How about swimming? Most Springers love to swim, and it's excellent exercise for them, even when young. Introduce them to water and let them explore on their own. If they are unsure about the water, you might get in and swim out a bit to encourage them, but let them take their own time. Younger puppies might be more standoffish to water than they would be in another month or two; that's normal.Never toss a dog into water that doesn't want to go in! Sometimes a water crazy older dog is perfect to have along to help teach your dog to appreciate swimming. You might also try tossing in a toy for him to get, but be prepared to go out and retrieve it yourself if he doesn't! 5.Do they bark a lot? Not typically, but they can if they are bored.
6.How do they do in hot weather? As long as they have access to shade, free moving air, and water, they will do just fine in the heat. Don't exercise them in the heat of the day, and be sure you have water with you when you do exercise them later.
7.How are they with obedience? Springers are typically very eager to please their owners. This translates into their being relatively easy to train for obedience.Be consistent.
8.Are they any good as hunting dogs? Is there a split in hunting and show lines? There are 2 lines of Springer; Bench and Field Springers. Many Springers make excellent hunters in real hunting situations due to their heritage no matter which lines they come from. As with any sport that becomes highly competitive, the specialization intensifies. Show Springers will have more coat and bone and may be more laid back - less "birdy". The field dogs generally have less coat, more drive and have the propensity to be intensely "birdy" (interested in birds) with good noses.You should consider carefully the differences between the different lines when picking your own dog out so that there are no surprises.Looking at the parents and any of their previous offspring is a good approach.
9. Do males or females make better pets? (What are the differences?) Besides the physical differences, personal preference is probably the only big one here. Many people think that the males are slightly more "teddy-bear like" than the females. Neither should show any type of aggression. The difference between a neutered male and neutered female will mostly be the difference in size (the females will be smaller). Males may have more coat. Both males and females are good with children. For your best predictor of personality, be sure to ask about and try to meet and interact with the puppy's sire and dam.The best indicator of your dogs personality traits are those of his parents and ancestors. A springer was bred to be a close working gun dog, so the instinct to stay relatively close while in the field bodes well for the family pet.
10. What sort of tools are needed to groom an English Springer Spaniel? Basic grooming tools would include a pin brush to get through the long feathering, a bristle brush for the board coat, and a toothbrush for regular daily care. Nail trimmers or a dremel-type tool will be required to keep the nails in good trim. If you choose to do more of the grooming on your own, tools such as thinning shears, and clippers will be needed. A blow dryer can be helpful for drying your pet after a bath.
11. How often does an English Springer Spaniel need to be groomed? Regular brushing two to three times a week is great. Bathing can be done every 6-8 weeks or as necessary.
12. How often do nails need to be trimmed? The more frequently a dog's nails are trimmed, the shorter they can be kept. Weekly to monthly trimming would be ideal.
13. Does shaving your dog cause any problems? There are different trains of thought on this. Some people are of the opinion that a dog's coat has evolved through the years to match the lifestyle it has been bred for, so shaving an English Springer Spaniel should not be required. That being said, if you are unable to properly care for a full coat, trimming it is a better option. Keeping a new shaved dog out of direct sunlight will avoid a sunburn, and offering a sweater or coat to a newly shaved do in the winter maybe advisable. It should be mentioned that shaving a dog's hair will often change the coat possibly adding more curls and waves. Once it has been done it is very difficult to grow a natural looking coat afterwards.
14. When should I start grooming my English Springer Spaniel? Many puppies will have been groomed a few times before they are even sent to their forever homes. By starting early with quick sessions, and making sure the experience is a pleasant one, both puppy and owner will come to enjoy the time spent together.
15. Aggressive or Timid Temperament - Are they issue with English Springer Spaniels? Temperament and behavior problems happen in all breeds of dogs. Behavior is influenced by many factors, not only genetics but also training, family interactions, and general health. A puppy should be curious and playful, without resisting being held. He should not be aggressive or overly timid. Make every effort to ensure that your puppy comes from breeding stock with good, solid temperaments. Meet both parents and related dogs, if possible, and spend enough time with them to be comfortable with their personalities. Ask your breeder if he/she is aware of any temperament problems in your puppy's pedigree. As your puppy grows, nurture him with proper training. Neuter your puppy to minimize the effect that sex hormones have on undesirable behavior. If your puppy or dog exhibits signs of behavioral problems, notify the breeder immediately and seek the help of a qualified professional.
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