What are the main problems Springer Spaniel owners experience (other than)? If you are thinking about a springer as a pet, then this biref introduction will give you an insight into what to . Overall, springers are healthy dogs, whether the Welsh or English bloodlines, but there is a set of potential conditions which often crop up in discussions about their springers. These are problems which arise from inherited genetic factors, and those which come about from environmental factors.
The risks of the hereditary-based problems being present in the dog of your choice can be minimised by a series of tests and careful selection of the pup. The environmental problems affect all dogs to a greater or lesser extent, and these environmental effects can be avoided by proper training and nurturing, as long as there is no inbuilt tendency. For example, if the springer's parents are themselves particularly nervous, then this could be seen in the young dog. You can't screen for this genetically, but you can check the parents - and the aspect may be made worse or disappear depending on the way that the puppy is treated and trained, either reinforcing the trait or cancelling its effect completely.
This group of conditions mainly covers eye and hip problems (such as hip dysplasia, and PRA - progressive retinal atrophy, and will be tested for by any reputable breeder wanting to register the pedigree of a springer spaniel of either line. In the UK, the recommends that springer breeders screen breeding stock for hip dysplasia and eye problems (by gonioscopy). There are other undesirable problems (such as canine fucosidosis - a metabolic disorder) which are checked for, but are now increasingly rare and have almost been bred out of all springer bloodlines.
Springers are also predisposed to other problems - such as down-turning eyelids (ectropion), but these sorts of problem are almost impossible to anticipate, unless presenting in a parent.
Excitablity. The main temperament issue that is mentioned is excitability. Springers are near the top end of canine intelligence and very active. A high activity level can be seen to be excitability, and if young children (or anyone else) teases or winds up a young dog, then they will certainly become excited.
Obviously, as with children, excitability becomes less apparent with increased age.
Nervousness. This can also be a problem, but this is often a result of ill-treatment. When compared with some other breeds of dog they are far from highly-strung. They are loyal and loving, but as with all loyalty it has to be earned and maintained. So, if a springer spaniel is mistreated when young, this will affect their character and their trust of human beings; it could show as excessive nervousness or a defensive nature (which itself could be seen as aggression when the dog is provoked or teased.
Aggression. Unless they have been properly trained, springers can become aggressive in the presence of other dogs of the same gender. This is not a huge problem, but again is one of those things that is mentioned in any detailed analysis of the breed(s). On balance, this trait is common in almost all breeds.
Both aggression and nervousness are more likely to be found in dogs which have been abandoned, often ending up in rescue centres. Springers in rescue centres can be, more likely to have these problems than would a well treated and properly trained springer which has been nurtured from a pup in a healthy family environment. If you follow sensible steps when selecting a rescue springer (best from a springer spaniel rescue centre), with a good idea of what to look out for, then there is no reason why you should not be able to find a perfectly sound example of these great breeds.
Because they love mucking about and have hairy ears, they tend to get ear problems unless groomed carefully.
All in all, springer spaniels are low down on the scale of emotional problems, and the inherited physical factors can be screened for. Therefore they make a fantastic choice of pet for a young family or faithful companion for more mature dog lovers.