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The English Springer Spaniel was first recognized as a separate, distinct breed in 1902. Since then, the spaniel has become one of the most popular companions in the world.

CLASSIFICATION
A "spaniel" is said to include any number of sporting dogs used by hunters to flush game from cover. This list of sporting dogs includes the American cocker spaniel, the Brittany, the English cocker spaniel, the English springer spaniel, the Welsh springer, and the Clumber spaniel.

There are two actual Springer spaniel breeds in existence today: the English springer and the Welsh springer.

HISTORY
The Spaniel can be traced back some 2, 000 years. First brought to England by way of Spain, they were immediately tagged "spaniel," the Latin word for Spain. It is believed the Romans traveled to England with two types of springers, land and water spaniels, and several small, underdeveloped breeds. The smaller dogs were introduced and produced the breed we now know as the Cocker spaniel. Larger dogs were then bred together, resulting in the first line of English springer spaniels. The American Kennel Club recognized this dog as a distinct breed in 1902.

CHARACTERISTICS
The Springer spaniel is characterized by its long, dropping ears and happy, wagging tail. Springer's have a medium to long, wavy coat that may be black and white, liver and white, or tri-colored. There is significant feathering on this breed's legs, ears and chest area. The Springer has a sturdy build and is considered to be well-proportioned and nicely balanced in all areas. The Springer's legs are thick and muscular, causing him to walk with a proud, solid gait. Hind quarters on the Springer are also muscular and strong, giving this dog a firm, hard appearance.

The English springer spaniel is medium-sized, standing 19-20 inches tall and weighing 35-50 pounds. The Welsh springer is somewhat smaller, and is always red-brown and white in color. Both breeds are considered excellent hunting and retrieving dogs.

TEMPERAMENT
The Springer is a friendly, eager to please dog with a well noted sense of humor. Extremely affectionate and people friendly, Springers make excellent house pets for any size family. This dog barks, but only for a reason, and is considered more of an observer, keenly watching activities around him. Springers are easy to train dogs with a love of learning. For this reason, they make excellent family companions and superb hunting partners.

The Spaniel requires a moderate amount of exercise. They love to run, walk, chase things and swim. Dogs that are not used for hunting purposes should be walked and run frequently.

By nature, this dog loves to retrieve and flush. Teaching the Springer spaniel to play "catch" or retrieve toys is easy and can provide many hours of entertainment for a dog that is left alone during working hours. A wide assortment of toys and objects keeps this dog from getting bored and destructive.

Springers are considered one of the happiest breeds of dogs, and are almost always found wagging their tails. Loving attention, the Spaniel will go to great lengths to entertain its family with toys, doggie games and various other actions.

HEALTH
Springers are prone to hip dysplasia, eyelid abnormalities, hemophilia and Willebrand's disease. All in all, this is a healthy, sturdy dog that has the possibility of encountering disorders as it ages. Ear infections can occur frequently in this breed, so special care and attention should be placed on cleaning the dog's ears.

CARE
Due to its long, flowing coat, the Springer requires a certain amount of maintenance. The fur that fringes around the body should be combed frequently to avoid mats and be kept free of debris. Ears should be cleaned and checked often to prevent ear infections.

SUMMARY
Springer spaniels make exceptional family pets and trustworthy hunting partners. They adapt well to both rural living and city life, when provided with daily exercise. The average lifespan of the Springer spaniel is 12 years.