Once you have your Springer there are many fields of interest for you and your Springer to explore. Some Canadian Kennel Club events include: Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Tracking, Agility, Field Trials and Hunt Tests.Other events include Flyball, Scentwork and Therapy Dog Programs.
English Springer Spaniels are known for their intelligence, agility, enthusiasm and biddability (willingness to take directions).These traits make them a joy to train for a variety of sports and they can do quite well in many of them. Training for one or more of these venues can be a lot of fun and builds a lifelong bond between owner and dog.Be careful though - it can be addicting!
Conformation This is the "dog show" that people are familiar with.Your dog needs to be clean and very well groomed as appearance is an important component in the show ring.Once in the show ring the judge will examine your dog while posed and when moving in various patterns. The judge will determine your dog's soundness and breed type as compared to the Breed Standard and the other dogs in the ring. The ultimate goal in showing is a Conformation Championship (Ch).
Obedience Obedience Trials are a formal way of testing how well your dog responds to a variety of commands in a competition setting, with the exercises getting more difficult as you progress through the levels. The judge scores your performance compared to a perfect performance. The levels are Pre-Novice, Novice, Open and Utility.A dog which earns the Utility title is recognized as an Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH).
Rally Rally Obedience uses many of the same exercises as obedience but instead of the judge giving directions, dog and handler follow a route of directional signs together. This is less formal than obedience and a great introduction (for both dog and handlers) to dog sports, as praise and encouragement can be given during the trial.There are 3 levels of exercises:Novice, Advanced and Excellent. (RE)
Tracking Tracking uses your dog’s natural ability to follow a scent and find one or more articles dropped by the tracklayer. (This is the skill demonstrated by police dogs following a criminal.) Tracking tests may take place in farmer's fields (field test) or on the parks, sidewalks and parking lots in town (urban test).Dogs may earn titles of TD,TDX,UTD or UTDX
Agility Agility is another venue that both the dog and the handler seem to thoroughly enjoy.Agility was initially modelled after the world of show jumping in horses.After training your dog on the individual obstacles, which include such things as jumps, teeters, and tunnels, dog and handler can compete to see if they can get through a complete course in the right order, without obtaining any faults in a regulated amount of time.There are several different types of agility you can compete in, at the Novice, Intermediate, and Master levels, with many different titles that can be achieved.A MACH indicates a dog has earned the title of Master Agility Champion.
Field Springers are “flushing spaniels” and they were bred to seek and flush "game" when ordered to do so and to retrieve game that has been shot. Pheasant and grouse hunters in many parts of our country spend their Fall weekends in the fields accompanied by one or more Springer spaniels.Here they are in their natural element and will run all day.The CKC offersLicensed Field Trials and Hunt Tests as means of evaluating the dogs for their natural abilities, including their memory, sagacity, intelligence, attention, nose, courage, perseverance and style as well as those abilities acquired through training, including steadiness, control, response to direction and delivery. A Field Trial Champion (FTCH) is required to place in the top 4 at a number of trials to earn his title. Only “field -bred” Springers are capable of competing at this level.Hunt tests, on the other hand are designed to resemble a day of hunting and most of our dogs can be successful working at this level. The three levels of Hunt Tests are Jr. Hunter, Sr. Hunter and Master Hunter.In Canada there is also a beginner level called Working Spaniel and in the US there is a Working Dog and Working Dog Excellent test.