ESS - History & Character
What Makes the English Springer Spaniel Magnificent?
The English Springer Spaniel is a merry breed that is very good around people and children, wanting to spend as much time with them as possible. They are a beautiful breed with a stunning glossy coat and an intelligence which has helped them become successful hunting dogs. This combination of intelligence, good looks, and happy disposition, has helped the breed become first-rate companions for families and individuals alike.
The Spanish Origins of the Spaniel.
Like all Spaniels, the English Springer Spaniel originated in Spain, where the Spaniel was split into two kinds, the Land Spaniel and the Water Spaniel. The Land Spaniel was then subdivided by the size of the dog, the smallest being classed as Cocker Spaniels, the medium sized ones being called Springer Spaniels, and the largest, that were later to become known as the Setters. The breed reached England thanks to the Roman invasion. It is thought to have been around in pre-Christian Britain and is even named in Wales' ancient laws which date back as early as 300 AD. The Springer Spaniel became a popular breed in Britain revered for its hunting ability where it would spring the prey from the undergrowth and bushes for the hound or the hawk to kill. The breed is recognised in paintings and prints from the 16th and 17th century, which is around the time that the first wheel lock firearm was invented. This made the sport of hunting more of a challenge and the Springer Spaniel was very successful in flushing birds for the hunters to shoot.
The Development of the Breed
Around the early 19th Century the Springer Spaniel had a new fancier in the guise of the Duke of Norfolk, he was one of the first to breed the Springer Spaniel as a separate line rather than dividing the separate lines by weight and colour out of a litter. This produced a more standard Springer Spaniel, and they were often called Norfolk Spaniels in honour of his dedication to the breed. Along with the Boughey family, who also strove to keep their strain of Spaniels pure, the distinction between the three land Spaniels became more clearly defined. The Springer Spaniel name was adopted in 1900. In 1902, the English Springer Spaniel was accepted by the British Kennel Club, and in 1903 a new challenge occurred for the English Springer Spaniel when it was first shown at a dog show. This hunting breed did remarkably well and soon became a world champion. It was not until 1907 that the first English Springer Spaniel was imported to America, with the first of the breed recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1910, accepting the standard of the British Kennel Club.
The English Springer Spaniel Today
The English Springer Spaniel has two distinct lines today, the show dog and the working dog. This distinction occurred in the 1940's when breeders selected qualities that would either be better for the show ring or in field competitions. The English Springer Spaniel, whilst performing well in both over the years, is still regularly used for its primary purpose as a hunting dog. It is not only in competitions and working in the fields that the English Springer Spaniel can be seen but also as a companion. The breed is very loving, and has made the transition into the home extremely well. Its beautiful looks and happy temperament have made many families across the world overjoyed, with the family dog that they now have.
Sarah Auld (nee Bennett)
Meadows, 5201 - Adelaide Hills, SA, Australia
Phone : 0407 653 697 between 7pm - 9pm only
Email : [email protected]