History & Purpose Oldest of the sporting spaniels - bred to find, flush and retrieve game for the net, falcon & gun Until the early 1900's the Cocker and Springer interbred - litters split depending on size Recognised as a separate breed in 1902 in the UK Recognised in the USA in 1910 Arrived in Australia in the 1930's
General Characteristics medium sized, compact dog overall impression of balance, symmetry and style tallest on leg & raciest in build of all British land spaniels (Welsh Springer, Clumber, Sussex, Field) destinctive head sound in body and temperament a movement “strictly his own”
Head easily identifiable as an ESS muzzle and skull proportionate almost parallel planes fluting and chiselling - IMPORTANT moderate stop CLEAN head - never cheeky!!! skull fairly flat on top and slightly rounded on sides flews well developed, but not pendulous nose liver or black with full pigmentation
Eyes oval, well set apart and fairly deep dark eyes for soft expression dark hazel - or dark brown on blacks colour darkens up until about 2 years of age eyes often a little loose in young puppies not loose or with “haw” in adults
Mouth scissor bite soft cushioned mouth full dentition desirable
Ears set in line with eyes slightly raised when alert or at work not exaggerated, leather not too thin leather should reach tip of nose feathering straight, wavy or crimped
Neck good length clean & free from throatiness crested, tapering to head Short NeckNeck too long - unbalanced Good Neck
Forequarters good layback shoulder & upper arm of equal length forelegs free to swing forward elbows tight bone strong, rounded in front and flattish on sides, ideally not tapering to foot pasterns short, strong, slightly sloping
Body slightly longer from point of shoulder to the base of tail than from withers to the ground OR square measured from the point of withers to the point of buttocks... well sprung ribs, widest just back from elbows ribs fairly long appearance balanced, strong and compact topline slopes very gently, but is almost level slight arch over loin
A lesson in proportion... Point of withers Base of tail Point of buttocks Point of shoulders
Square from point of withers to point of buttocks OR point of shoulder to base of tail Correct
Incorrect Long in body short on leg Square from point of withers to base of tail
Correct Proportions! Point of withers Base of tail Point of buttocks Point of shoulders
Let’s see it in practice...
Hindquarters above all in balance with the forequarters never over-angulated in front and straight behind or vice versa balance is the key hard and muscular condition strong second thigh nicely rounded from the rear hocks well let down (1/3 hip to foot)
Tail customarily docked to 4 joints follows natural line of croup carried horizontally or slightly elevated If a full tail, never to carried over level of back or curled No correct method as to trimming of a full tail...
Feet medium size, oval or round well arched toes thick strong pads
Coat body coat medium length, flat or slightly wavy short dense undercoat weatherproof feathering moderate trimmed on ears, throat, neck, tail, hocks and feet overtrimming, chopping or cutting of body coat to be penalised
Colour liver & white, black & white, liver/white/tan or black/white/tan livers range from light to very dark - all are acceptable tan in tri colours in usual places - but not compulsory!! no rule as to proportion of solid colour to white ticking may be non-existent very heavy (roaning) - all are acceptable
Look beneath the colour...
Movement balance of fore and hindquarters is a prerequisite smooth effortless gait with long forward stride SWINGING from the shoulder, NOT high stepping covering the ground with a firm back elbows have a free action hind may converge slightly as speed increases (single tracking) ESS should hold topline on the move - never roaching, dipping or rolling!! Look for the dog that covers the ground well in a smooth and effortless manner AND with the least exertion!!
Temperament Steady, kind and biddable No trace of aggression or timidity Human directed aggression in a very small % of ESS - this is not typical and should be penalised harshly 6
Size and Proportions Approximately 20“ Generally accepted that " for bitches, " for dogs Remember - bred to work under heavy cover - not OVER it!!
Pictorial Examples English vs American Breeders (and judges!!) very divided - make your own assessment of the best SPRINGER! Remember… many styles fit the standard!!! Am Ch Ocoee Living Proof