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English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel Dog Breed

Aliases: Earlier known as the Norfolk Spaniel.

Life Span: 12 - 14 years.
Litter Size: 5 - 7 puppies.
Group: Sporting Group or Gun Dog
Color: Liver and white; black and white; either of those combinations with tan markings on the eyebrows, cheeks, inside of the ears, and under the tail; and blue or liver roan. The white portions of the coat can be ticked or freckled. Field dogs are typically dominantly white, whereas show dogs are dominantly liver or black.
Hair Length: Medium
Size: Medium
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Male Height: 19-21 inches tall
Male Weight: 45-55 pounds
Female Height: 18-20 inches tall.
Female Weight: 40-50 pounds
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - Medium Risk

The English Springer Spaniel ranks #60 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. While this is not a high risk breed, there is still a good chance of disease transmission through breeding. Therefore, all dogs intended for breeding should be tested first. 

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #60  1,523  7%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

The English Springer Spaniel is prone to a few genetic defects. Among those include

  • Hip Dysplasia, an abnormality of the hip joints
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA, a disorder causing blindness
  • Retinal Dysplasia, a malformation of the retina
  • Epilepsy, a disease causing seizures 
  • Phosphofructokinase Deficiency (PFK), a blood disorder. PFK is more common in European lines than American lines.

These diseases and disorders can be bred out of a line and prevented by doing genetic testing. Most breeders use OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) and/or CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) to test their dogs genetic health. It is desirable to have a hip rating of "fair", "good", or "excellent". Eyes should test "clear" or "normal", yearly.

A new DNA test for PRA came out in early 2007, provided by the Canine Genetic Disease Network. Over 1,100 English Springer Spaniels were tested at the University of Missouri-Columbia. 42% of the dogs tested "affected", and 38% tested as "carrier". Only 20% tested "normal" for this defect. PRA does not show up until the dog is older, so it is important to know the DNA of your puppies parents.

Springers are also prone to ear infections because of their floppy ears. The air is not always able to circulate properly, causing a build up of bacteria or yeast. Allergies to food and environment are not common but do show up in the breed.

This breed tends to gain weight easily, so obesity is another common health issue. Obesity can lead to broken bones, diabetes, and can even shorten your pet's life.