DogStar Thursday – vol. 16

English Springer Spaniel

As I have begun my side project of looking through the 300K+ dog images that I have captured over the years, I started picking some representative images of various dog breeds, so that I can start using them as a series.  As most of my photography is from agility competitions, you may be amazed at the enormous variety of breeds that I have captured over the years, ranging from the ultra-rare to common breeds, and the smallest toy breeds to an enormous Great Dane.

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English Springer Spaniel

Description

The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized compact dog. Its coat is moderately long with feathering on the legs and tail. It is a well proportioned, balanced dog with a gentle expression and a friendly wagging tail.  This breed represents perhaps the greatest divergence between working and show lines of any breed of dog. A field-bred dog and a show-bred dog appear to be different breeds, but are registered together. In fact, the gene pools are almost completely segregated and have been for at least 70 years.  A field-bred dog would not be competitive in a modern dog show, while a show dog would not have the speed or stamina to succeed in a field trial.

The English Springer Spaniel field-bred dogs tend to have shorter, coarser coats than show-bred dogs. The ears are less pendulous. Field-bred dogs are wiry and have more of a feral look than those bred for showing. The tail of the field-bred dog may be docked a few inches in comparison to the show dog. Field-bred dogs are selected for sense of smell, hunting ability, and response to training rather than appearance.

Show dogs have longer fur and more pendant ears, dewlaps and dangling flews. The tail is docked to a short stub in those countries that permit docking. They are generally more thickly boned and heavier than field-bred springers.

The English Springer Spaniel is similar to the English Cocker Spaniel and at first glance the only major difference is the latter’s smaller size. However English Springers also tend to have shorter, and higher-set ears than English Cockers. In addition Springers also tend to have a longer muzzle; their eyes are not as prominent, and the coat is less abundant.  The major differences between the Welsh Springer and the English Springer are that the Welsh have more limited colours and tend to be slightly smaller.

Coat and colors

Field-bred dogs tend to have shorter, coarser coats than the longer furred show-bred dogs. They normally only shed in summer and spring months but shed occasionally in the autumn.  The coat comes in black or liver (dark brown) with white markings or predominantly white with black or liver markings; Tricolour: black and white or liver and white with tan markings, usually found on eyebrows, cheeks, inside of ears and under the tail. Any white portion of the coat may be flecked with ticking.

Sizes

Males in the show dog line are typically approximately 18 to 20 inches (46 to 51 cm) at the withers and weigh 50 to 55 lb (23 to 25 kg). According to the UK Breed Standard, the English Springer Spaniel should be 20 inches (51 cm) at the withers. The females should be 17 to 19 inches (43 to 48 cm) and usually 35 to 45 lb (16 to 20 kg). Working types can be lighter in weight and finer in bone.

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 1D Mk III using an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens with 1.4x Extender.  Exposure settings were at 1/500 second at f/6.3 and 400 ISO.