The English Springer Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel came from the same litters hundreds of years ago. The smaller dogs were used for hunting woodcock and the larger for flushing out birds to make them "spring" up, hence the name.
English Springer Spaniels now are a medium-sized, compact dog with a muzzle the same length as the head, hanging ears and a thick, silky coat that usually comes in white with black or liver markings. They are larger and leggier than the Cocker Spaniel.
They were originally bred to hunt and retrieve game birds, both on land and in water. They are out-going, affectionate and sociable, very intelligent and eager to please. They are highly trainable and do well in competitions like agility and obedience. They are naturally friendly and sociable with other animals and strangers and excellent with children.
They have a lot of energy and need a good deal of exercise which can include retrieving and swimming. Their high energy levels make them unsuitable for anyone who can't take them for a good walk every day.
They need regular brushing and combing and occasional bathing. They can be prone to hip dysplasia, eye problems, blood problems and epilepsy.