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rec.pets.dogs: English Springer Spaniels Breed-FAQ

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Archive-name: dogs-faq/breeds/ess
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Last-modified: 23 Oct 2001

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			  English Springer Spaniel
                         Frequently Asked Questions
                                                       Author: Jan Martin
                                                    On the Web since 1994
                                                          Updated 10/5/01

Table of Contents

                      Characteristics and Temperament
   The English Springer Spaniel is a dog characterized by
   long, drooping ears, a medium to long coat, a happily wagging, docked
   tail, and a penchant for flushing (or "springing") birds. Females are
   around 19" tall at the withers, weighing around 40 lbs, and males
   around 20", weighing about 50 lbs. They may be black and white, liver
   and white, or either combination with tan points (tri-colored), with
   or without ticking (freckles).
   Since the 1930's, Springers have developed in the United States and
   Canada into dogs bred mostly for their hunting ability, known as
   "field-bred" Springers, (Field Spaniels are a different breed), and
   dogs bred with attention to a written breed standard, known as show or
   "bench" Springers. The breed standard does NOT separate the two types.
   The standard does not demand any pattern of markings, but most
   commonly, both field and show Springers have dark ears and head, white
   muzzle and a white blaze. Show dogs commonly have a dark blanket and
   less ticking and a fairly long coat, while field lines may be almost
   completely white, have a shorter coat, and be more heavily freckled.
   (Drop in here if you want to meet some show dogs). Both types have
   docked tails, though field dogs may be left longer with a "flag" on
   the end. Since field Springers are bred for their hunting ability and
   soundness, rather than a written description, there is greater variety
   in style among these dogs.
   Springers are cheerful dogs with a sense of humor. They are
   affectionate, good with children and noisy with intruders. However,
   they would probably follow an ax-murderer home if he gave them a pet
   and a treat. They are "reactors," but most don't bark without a
   reason. English Springers make excellent house-pets and can thrive
   with moderate exercise, though some Springers can be high energy dogs.
   They are actively represented in obedience, agility, fly-ball ,
   tracking, and therapy, as well as being fine hunters and companions.
   While some Springers from show lines might be acceptable in the field,
   serious field-trialers look to those who breed competition dogs.
   Similarly, most field-bred English Springers would probably not do
   well in the show ring. However, with good socialization and some
   training, either type of Springer can become a wonderful companion.
   For more information, visit the ESS Field Trial and Information page.
   Most English Springers can be at home on a standard 50X100 city lot's
   back yard, as long as they have a chance at some daily exercise. While
   they might prefer five acres and their own pond, many Springers thrive
   in a city setting. After the puppy matures, brisk walks, bicycling, or
   ball-chasing can keep the Springer in excellent shape. The amount of
   exercise a Springer needs varies widly for individual dogs. Remember,
   couch potatoes need to move, too!
   Long-haired breeds do take some care. Clipping for
   pet/field dogs can be confined to the inside of the ears and around
   the tail. This makes it easier to keep both areas clean. Hair must
   also be trimmed from between the pads on the feet; without this care,
   the feet can splay, and the dog loses traction on slick surfaces.
   Nails should be trimmed often. Show people trim them weekly; some pet
   owners can go up to four weeks without much problem. Teeth should be
   brushed, as in all dogs, with a soft brush and "doggie" toothpaste.
   *See the FAQ on general dog health. * The coat on most Springers has
   longer guard-hairs on top with a soft, dense undercoat, depending on
   seasonal conditions. All dogs lose coat at some point during the year,
   and the hair they do lose is long enough that it's pretty easy to
   sweep or vacuum. Extreme stress or health problems can lead to
   excessive shedding. Daily brushing will help keep things under
   control. Some commercial groomers take clippers to the body-coat of
   client dogs. If your dog's coat is clipped, it will not grow back the
   way it was before clipping, but will come in fuzzy. It takes a VERY
   long time for feathering and ears to re-grow if they are cut. If
   possible, just even up the bottom of the leg-feathers so they don't
   drag the ground; otherwise, leave the legs and ears alone except for
   combing. Grooming the show Springer takes about an hour. Experienced
   groomers use a #10 blade on the tops of the ears, the throat, and the
   top of the head. They use thinning shears to control the body coat. Do
   NOT expect a commercial groomer to know how to trim a show-dog. Get
   help from someone currently competing.
   Breeder Referral
   The AKC Breeder Referral program's number is 1-900-407-PUPS(7877).
   This will give you the name of a local dog club's Breeder Referral
   Representative, who can supply the dog buyer with a list of sources.
   There is a small charge for this call.
   The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association handles Breeder
   Referral and will put you in touch with responsible breeders around
   the country. These breeders pledge to uphold the Guidelines for
   Responsible Breeders as put forth by the ESSFTA.
   The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association is the parent
   club of the breed. Local clubs are members of ESSFTA. Visit the Links
   page for some links to Specialty clubs. There are also many English
   Springer Field clubs around the country. Here's the list of field
   clubs that have their own pages on the web. Tons of information and a
   way to get involved! AKC has a list of ALL the clubs here.
   The National English Springer Spaniel Rescue efforts are maintained by
   Judy Manley of Ohio. Call 1-800-377-3824 and she will get back to you
   with information about rescue contact people in your area. 
   English Springer Rescue Association (ESRA) is an all-volunteer group
   of individuals with a love and passion for the English Springer
   Spaniel, working together to provide nationwide assistance for
   Springers who are unwanted, abused, and abandoned. ESRA's purpose is
   to provide an adoption referral service to assist shelters and animal
   control facilities nationwide in the rehoming of impounded Springers.
   Referral assistance is also available to those owners who can no
   longer care for their Springers and have a sincere need to place them
   in new homes. Visit their site for a complete listing of US Springer
   rescue groups. 
    English Springer FAQ copyright Jan Martin
    Comments? Please contact Jan Martin, Drop by
    Ariel's website!

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