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It’s great to be a Springer, springing is such fun. I run and sniff and bounce and play, til all my joy has sprung!

Do you ever feel that pets, dogs especially, are a bit like cars? We discover our favourite ‘make and model’ and the tendency is to always have those breeds making up our furry families. For me it was the soulful eyes of a loyal Labrador that won me over, every time.

A year into my pet sitting work, I can see how short-sighted my viewpoint about Labradors (make) and especially black Labs (model!) was. It’s funny how we get stuck in our ways, isn’t it? We find something that works for us and we cling to it, whether it’s a trusty VW or a lovable Labrador. But working with so many different pets has shown me the joys of variety. Each breed and each individual dog has its own quirks, its unique charm. And I love getting to know them especially through repeat bookings. I really get to appreciate their personalities and I can truly cater for their needs and routines.

I’ve looked after bouncy Doodles, playful Dachshunds, and everything in between. Each one has taught me something new, made me laugh in unexpected ways and claimed a special place in my heart. So, while I still have a soft spot for Labradors, I’ve learned to appreciate the diverse world of dogs out there.

With that in mind, I will be posting an occasional series about different breeds, starting with the Springer Spaniel.

5 Things to Know About Springer Spaniels: The Joys and Challenges

1. Affectionate and Loyal Companions

Springer Spaniels are the definition of “man’s best friend”, a bit like the Labrador Retriever. They’re incredibly affectionate and thrive on being part of the family. Always ready for a cuddle, they form deep bonds with their owners and are exceptionally loyal. Their cheerful disposition makes them great with kids and adults alike, so they fit perfectly into family life. I have witnessed this in my petsitting experience. I’ve also known the occasional Springer (outside of my professional role) that can actually be quite protective of “their” family where guarding was an issue. This could well be due to number 2 being unfulfilled.

2.  High Energy and Exercise Needs

These dogs are bursting with energy. Originally bred for hunting, they have a natural stamina that needs an outlet. I love to walk for hours out in all weathers, therefore a Springer Spaniel is an enthusiastic partner for such adventures. However, be prepared—without enough exercise, they can become bored and develop behavioural issues that might need specialist help to solve.


3. Intelligent and Highly Trainable

Springer Spaniels are smart cookies. Their intelligence, combined with their eagerness to please, makes them highly trainable. They excel in obedience training and dog sports like agility. Just like humans, this mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise to keep them balanced and happy.

4.   Grooming and Health Concerns

With their beautiful, wavy coats, Springer Spaniels require regular grooming. Brushing several times a week prevents matting and tangles, and occasional trimming keeps them looking their best.

They are prone to certain health issues like hip dysplasia, ear infections, and eye problems, so regular vet check-ups are a must.

  1. Separation Anxiety

Springer Spaniels form strong attachments to their families and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone too long. They do best in environments where they have plenty of company. If you work long hours, this might be something to consider. When I stay with a Springer I don’t leave them alone for any length of time if they have separation issues. If they are happy to come with me on my outings, then I am more than happy to have them along. Or I might meet up with a friend to walk with so my charge gets more social interaction. Of course, this is always discussed thoroughly with their humans before I begin the assignment. Again, repeat bookings mean that, hopefully, the Springer will see me as one of the pack of humans he likes to spend time with!

Meeting Their Needs

To ensure your Springer Spaniel thrives, it’s important to cater to their physical, mental, and emotional needs. All the advice suggests that daily exercise is non-negotiable—aim for at least one to two hours. This is key if you want to live with a happy, balanced Springer that has all the wonderful characteristics of the breed. Grooming should be regular to keep their coats healthy, and early, consistent training is crucial. Finally, ensure they have ample social interaction to keep them happy.


Spending time with a Springer Spaniel is a delightful, rewarding experience for me. Their boundless energy and love bring joy and companionship into my life, whether I’m exploring the varied countryside and coastal areas of the UK or enjoying a cosy day at home. They love to snuggle up close when I’m reading or catching up with some TV.

If I were looking to find a permanent canine companion though, I know that their high exercise needs wouldn’t be something I could commit to for the duration of their lifespan. I count myself so privileged to be able to join in their world through my assignments.

Have you any observations about Springers you may have known and loved? Please add to the comments below.