Why You SHOULD NOT Get A SPRINGER SPANIEL
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The Springer Spaniel is actually a broad category of canine and many of the more distinct breeds we see today all have very similar ancestors. They do all still share many of the same traits as their ancestors and others Spaniels though. The most common are English, Welsh, and Cocker Spaniels.
Springer Spaniel's were originally bred as hunting dogs and have been used since before the modern rifle was invented. Their job, both before and after the modern rifle, was to assist hunters by finding game birds hidden in the grass or brush. The Springer Spaniel would point and flush game, as well as retrieve game after it was downed. Springer Spaniels get their name from their ability to flush, or spring, game from the ground.
Now that we know a little bit about the history of Springer Spaniel's let's get into my top five reasons why you should not get one of these dogs for your own home.
Coming in at number five we're looking at the energy and space requirements of the Springer Spaniel. Since they were bred as a hunting dog they have quite a lot of energy. They were meant to be able to run all day going back and forth between the field and the hunter. These dogs are not ideal for homes that are relatively sedentary and can't provide adequate space, exercise, and playtime. Springers are medium sized dogs so they can adapt well to small homes or apartments but only with the conditions that they have a lot of exercise and aren’t alone often or for long. They need plenty of mental and physical exercise to prevent destructive behavior or wandering.
Springer Spaniel's are known to be highly intelligent and extremely willing to please which can be great, but only if you're prepared to have such attentive canine companion. Though they are highly trainable they are also very sensitive so they require a calm and consistent canine leader that can’t be easily outsmarted by them. With their soft expression and puppy-dog eyes, it can be all too easy to let them get away with bad behaviors. This is something you need to consider for everyone in the home or for anyone the dog is likely to be around frequently.
Another big factor that you should consider if you're looking into a Springer Spaniel is their grooming requirements. They have a double coat which means they will shed heavily twice a year, but more than that, their coat tends to have a lot of feathers. This means that they have long hair that grows from their ears, chest, along their body, as well as down their legs, and between their paws. This can be a nightmare when it comes to wet times of the year if grooming isn’t maintained constantly. You should also note that they have long floppy ears with that feathery hair growing down them which can easily become matted or tangled and are prone to ear infections if not groomed regularly.
When it comes to being a protector of the home, Spaniel's tend to be more affectionate and friendly, even with strangers. So they might make a decent watchdog if something goes bump in the night, but they are not a guard dog or overly protective. They can do well with small mammals but since they were bred to startle and retrieve game this can pose a problem if not socialized early and often with other small mammals. They do tend to get along very well with children but it's not uncommon, especially for young children, to pull and tug at their ears if they are not being watched constantly while interacting with the dog.
And for my number one reason that you should not get a Springer Spaniel, it is their almost overly attentive nature that can be a real problem in some homes. Springer Spaniel's are extremely affectionate and bond very closely with their family so they do not do well alone. You should be prepared for them to shadow you everywhere and always be looking to you for guidance in every situation. While this isn't a bad thing by any means, it does mean that they can come across quite needy or clingy and that doesn't work well in some homes. You need to honestly evaluate if you can give a Springer the level of attention it craves and how often you’ll be away from the home.