English springer spaniel
The English springer spaniel group of dog breeds is better known as Springer Spaniels. The Springer spaniels are compact sized dogs that belong to the sporting or gun dog category of dog breeds. The Spaniels were long described in 1576. In 1899, the English springer spaniel group of dogs got recognition under the Sporting Spaniel Society and the Spaniel Club of England. It was recognized by the American Kennel Club as a group of gun dogs in the year 1902. They were even used as sniffer or detection dogs and assisted in detecting explosives with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and others. One of the most notable English springer spaniel called Buster who is a Dickin Medal recipient and the one who assisted the former army for searching explosive materials. In ancient times, they also served as hunting dogs and assisted their masters in poaching games.
English springer spaniel – At a glance
The following list of general and physical characteristics will help you to get familiarized with your English springer spaniels: –
• Breed type: Pure breed (this breed of dogs is recognized by the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, Continental Kennel Club, New Zealand Kennel Club, American Canine Registry, Dog Registry of America, Inc., Canadian Kennel Club and others).
• Height: The males have an average height of 19 to 22 inches whereas the females have an average height of 19 to 19 inches.
• Weight: The males have an average weight of 40 to 55 pounds whereas the females have an average weight of 40 to 50 pounds.
• Life Span: They have an average life expectancy of 9 to 14 years.
• Available coat colors: They come in several color combinations ranging from blue, black, brown, reddish brown, mixture of other colors with white hair, tri colored coats and other types.
• The hair on the coat is short and coarse and these dogs are average shedders.
Temperament and Personality traits
The Springer spaniel is an even tempered dog. They have extreme stamina and energy. These dogs are very intelligent and they occupy the thirteenth position on the Stanley Coren’s scale which is used for measuring Intelligence in dogs. Your Springer Spaniels can mingle with children very well as well as with other pets if they are brought up together since child hood. However, they can bite when there tail or ears are pulled.
One of the major problems with spaniels is unnecessary barking. They will bark if they are bored of or at almost everything they are not familiar with.
They may also develop extreme separation anxiety. Some spaniels have been reported to urinate in extreme anxiety or excitement!
Feeding habits and Nutrition
During 1 to 6 months, the puppies should be fed with mother’s milk. From 6 months to 1 or 1 ¼ years, the puppies should be fed with 3 cups of premium quality dry dog food divided into three parts each day. Adults should be fed with 2 to 2 ½ premium quality dry dog food divided into two equal meals daily. You can buy Canine foods from brands such as Purina and Taste of the Wild for your English Spaniels. Feed with a puppy formula for your junior dogs, Adult dry dog food for adult dogs and senior dry dog food for aged dogs. Never feed your dogs with any stuff that contains cashews, chocolates, resins, cheese and other cooked or human foods.
Health and Immunization
Always adopt a pet from a good breeder to avoid risk of developing diseases. Most notable diseases in this group of dog breeds are hip and elbow dysplasia leading to extreme pain in joints which can even lead to conditions such as arthritis, Retinal Dysplasia causing partial or complete loss of vision, Entropion or folding of lower eyelashes, Progressive retinal atrophy or PRA encountered early in life causing generation of layers of the retina, Phosphofructokinase deficiency, obesity, cancer and others.
These dogs are sensitive to allergens. They will show hypersensitive reactions to various allergens present in the air such as hair, chemical sprays, dust, dirt, pollen, and dander. They may also develop certain skin diseases such as itching, Pyoderma, greasy or scaly skin and various types of ear infections.
To maintain good health condition in your Spaniel dog make sure you make them exercise regularly. Daily 25 to 35 minute walk along with routine exercises will keep them fit and prolong their life. Ensure that you maintain proper hygiene to keep them away from getting infected.
English Springer spaniels should be immunized at regular intervals so that they are protected from various diseases caused by dangerous viruses. Some mandatory vaccines for this breed includes: – Parvovirus, Rabies, Distemper, Coronavirus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and Parainfluenza vaccines. Inject annual booster shots from experienced vets.
Care and Grooming
These dogs have a waterproof and thorn proof coat (they have double coat containing and insulating under coat and a soft top coat) that enables these dogs to survive in extreme conditions. A healthy springer will have a clean and shiny coat. These dogs are average shedders and hence you will require brushing them once in two days or every day during the shedding seasons (autumn and spring).
Because of having floppy ears with feather like hair surrounding them, there is blockage of air circulation within the ears which leads to development of various types of ear infections. Therefore, make sure you clean your dog’s ears using a gentle pH balanced ear cleanser. Also, make sure you do not poke into his ear canal with the cotton swab as this may even lead to permanent hearing impairment.
You can brush your Springer spaniel’s teeth at least two to three times a week to halt and remove any buildup of tartar. Also cut his toe nails at least once in two months.
You should rescue or adopt an English springer spaniel dog according to the guidelines set by organizations that give recognition to these dogs such as the AKC, CKC, NZKC, ACR, DRA and various others.
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