The English Springer Spaniel was originally bred to be a hunting companion and a bird dog centuries ago. Before the 17th century and the invention of the wheel-lock firearm, hunters relied on sporting spaniels to help them flush out birds in high grass, point, and retrieve them. They were prized for their tough, muscular stature that was built specifically for long days out in the field assisting their humans. After the hunting rifle was perfected, the English Springer Spaniel was prized as a reliable and valuable gundog.
In the late 1800s, English Springer Spaniels and Welsh Springer Spaniels were considered the same breed. The Kennel Club of England recognized these dogs as two separate breeds in 1902, which also separated them from Cocker Spaniels. The English Springer Spaniel was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1910 as part of the Sporting Group. The dog breed gained increasing popularity in the United States and Canada in the 1920s and was highly valued for their work in the bird fields.
Now, the English Springer Spaniel can still be found as a hunting companion, working professionally in K-9 units as a detection dog, and living as a well-loved family companion.