15 Checkpoints When Purchasing An English Springer Spaniel Pup
Buying an English Springer Spaniel puppy is the first step on the long road of fun and companionship with these wonderful creatures. So, it’s important to get it right and these tips will enable you to do that. There’s a saying “let the pup choose you”, but that is all right up to a point, as you still want to be sure the new pup is actually healthy.
In case you have done all the preliminary tests on the pup – parents’ pedigree, prize winners in last two generations and so on then we come to the finer points.
A pup is by definition quite young, so we will not understand how it is going to grow, and thus have to rely on the appearance of the parents. The matters we can check on the mother (and possibly the dad also if he is about) without being judging pros are:
1. From the side, is the body essentially square – Height equal to span is not bad?
2. The forelegs – Does the mother stand with paws ideally paws straight ahead, or splayed or with pigeon toes?
3. Are the hindquarters muscle and powerful appearing and are the rear paws pointing forward? The rear legs should have a moderate rake back, and must not be perpendicular or raked much.
4. The base of the tail should run parallel with the dog’s back , not rise above it.
5. The paws should look as a continuation of the legs as well as the toes should not be splayed (which may result in harm).
6. The coat ought to be polished and healthy looking, but not rough or curled. Feathering should not be excessive.
7. In addition to the basic liver and white or black and white coloring, some tan markings are okay, however only on the eyebrows, on the cheeks, within the ears, under the tail, and sparely on the lower legs. Blue roan is an acceptable color in the US.
If the mother has a good natural gait with the legs swinging straight forwards afterward, and checks out well in these respects that should be an excellent indicator for her pups.
1. A liver colouring ought to be rich and dark.
2. A wavy coat in a pup is not an excellent indication for an adult show dog – check the jacket supporting the head and down the neck and back. Showing may not be significant to you but a wavy coat will need grooming.
3. Strong blue eyes which aren’t running or weeping (stronger colour now means a stronger hazel colour in adulthood).
4. A cold wet nose with no pink patches.
5. A coat that is smooth and polished.
6. Check for right bite in the teeth – upper teeth have a close overlap on the lower teeth and also the jaw is set square.
The pup should overly fat or too fat. A large tummy could point to worms.
These tests are generic, and if you’re intent on winning prizes with your English Springer Spaniel then you definitely need to check the Breed Standard in more depth for your particular state, as Breed Standards are completely inconsistent worldwide.
The above check list isn’t exhaustive but will give a good general indication of the pup’s likely development.