The English Springer Spaniel is the oldest of our Sporting Gun Dogs and the taproot from which all of our sporting land spaniels (Clumbers excepted) have been evolved. It was originally used for the purpose of finding and springing game for the net, falcon or greyhound, but at the present time it is used to find, flush and retrieve game for the gun. The breed is of ancient and pure origin and should be kept as such.
The general appearance of the modern Springer is that of a symmetrical, compact, strong, upstanding merry and active dog, built for endurance and activity. He is the highest on the leg and raciest in build of all British Land Spaniels.
Head and Skull:
The skull should be of medium length and fairly broad and slightly rounded, rising from the foreface, making a brow or stop, divided by a fluting between the eyes gradually dying away along the forehead towards the occiput bone, which should not be peaked. The cheeks should be flat, that is not rounded or full. The foreface should be of proportionate length to the skull, fairly broad and deep without being coarse, well chiselled below the eyes, fairly deep and square in flew, but not exaggerated to such an extent as would interfere with comfort when retrieving. Nostrils well developed.
The jaws should be strong, with a regular and complete scissor bite, ie the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaw.
The eyes should be neither too full nor too small but of medium size, not prominent or sunken but well set in (not showing haw) of an alert, kind expression. A mouse-like eye without expression is objectionable, as also is a light eye. The colour should be dark hazel.
The ears should be lobular in shape, set close to the head, of a good length and width, but not exaggerated. The correct set should be in line with they eye.
The neck should be strong and muscular, of nice length and free from throatiness, well set in the shoulders, nicely arched and tapering towards the head - this giving great activity and speed. A ewe neck is objectionable.
The Springer's gait is strictly his own. His forelegs should swing forward from the shoulder, throwing the feet well forward in an easy and free manner. His hocks should drive well under his body, following in a line with his forelegs. At slow movement many Springers have a pacing stride typical of the breed.
The forelegs should be straight and nicely feathered, elbows set well to the body, and with proportionate substance to carry the body, strong flexible pasterns.
The body should be strong and of proportionate length, neither too long nor too short, the chest deep and well developed with plenty of heart and lung room, well sprung ribs, loins muscular and strong with slight arch and well coupled, thighs broad and muscular and well developed.
The hindlegs should be well let down from hip to hocks. Stifles and hocks moderately bent, inclining neither inwards nor outwards. Coarseness of hocks objectionable.
Feet tight, compact and well rounded with strong full pads.
The stern should be low and never carried above the level of the back, well feathered and with a lively action.
The coat should be close, straight and weather resisting without being coarse.
Any recognised Land Spaniel colour is acceptable, but liver and white, black and white, or either of these colours with tan marking preferred.
Weight and Size:
The approximate height should be 20 inches. The approximate weight should be 50 lbs.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.