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Gun Dog Breeders: English Springer Spaniel Facts

By    |   Monday, 11 Jan 2016 02:07 PM

While the exact origins of the English springer spaniel, a favorite of gun dog breeders, are unclear, most agree that these and other spaniels indicate a Spanish link. Hispania was the Roman name for Spain, and the French called them Chien D’Espagnol or “dogs from Spain.” The Anglo version of Espagnol led to the word “Spaniel.” The Romans spread the breed throughout Europe.

Here are six other interesting English springer spaniel facts.

1. The Mayflower
John Goodman (not the actor) brought the first English springer spaniel to American shores in 1620, according to SFGate. Perhaps your dog’s ancestor came over on the Mayflower? The owner did not survive the first winter and the dog’s name was never recorded.

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2. William Wallace
The movie Braveheart was based on William Wallace who owned an English springer spaniel named Merlin Macdonald, according to the book "An Ancient History of Dogs: Spaniels Through the Ages." Merlin is credited with helping Wallace in defeating the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.

3. Show and Field
Working dogs and show dogs are distinctly different in appearance, Vetstreet noted. Hunting dogs have a coat of average length with a high percentage of brown color. Show dogs have longer coats, with heavier bodies and a range of health issues.

4. Recognition
In 1902, the English springer spaniel was recognized as a distinct breed by the English Kennel Club, after being called Norfolk spaniels for nearly a hundred years, thanks to the breeding efforts of the Duke of Norfolk, according to Animal Planet. In the U.S., the American Kennel Club added the breed in 1910.

5. Springer
It’s in the name; these dogs are used to startle birds so that they “spring” into the air, The Kennel Club said. They also tend to jump up when greeting people but a little obedience training will prevent this from happening.

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6. Need Rescue
Like any other animal, owners of English Springer Spaniels do not always treat them well and ESRA (English Springer Rescue America, Inc.) places purebreds with suitable candidates, with thousands rescued to date.

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While the exact origins of the English springer spaniel, a favorite of gun dog breeders, are unclear, most agree that these and other spaniels indicate a Spanish link.
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Monday, 11 Jan 2016 02:07 PM
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