Named for the spring in his step, your English springer spaniel displays equal enthusiasm and energy whether he's hunting small game or playing in the yard. Grooming this breed isn't as time-intensive as some other breeds, but is a regular necessity to keep your dog looking clean, neat and healthy.
Brush your fearless hunter at least three times a week. Your pooch's double-layer coat sheds constantly, meaning the threat of tangles and mats always is looming. Save yourself, and your dog, from later mat-induced headaches by going through his coat using a slicker brush to remove all the loose, dead hair. Work out any mats that have snuck up on you by spraying them with a detangler to wet them first, then loosening their hold with your fingers before slowly combing or brushing them out. Pay particular attention to your pup's ears and trim hair, as these are the spots most likely to mat.
Bathe your playful pup every few months. The English springer spaniel's coat is waterproof, meaning you typically can hose Fido down to remove most of the dirt and mud he accumulates during his romps outside. Give him a full bath every few months to remove any dirt that may have resisted the hose down. Soak him thoroughly, lather him well and rinse completely. Apply a conditioner to his ears and the longer sections of his coat to promote a soft and silky feel. Rinse thoroughly and towel him dry.
Brush his pearly whites at least three times a week. Being a dog is no excuse for poor dental hygiene, he'll just need a little help from you to keep his chompers in good shape. Frequent brushing will remove tartar, plaque and other bacteria, which will keep his teeth healthy and prevent stinky doggie breath.
Clean your dog's ears once a week using an ear cleaner on a cotton ball to remove any wax and dirt. Like other breeds with long, floppy ears, the English springer spaniel is prone to ear infections because their ears don't promote good ventilation and air flow. They basically trap anything that gets in there, from moisture to debris to creepy crawlies, which can be irritating and possibly cause an infection. Clean only the part you can see, as going too deep into a dog's ear could cause damage to his ear canal. Redness, swelling or a strange odor coming from his ear is a bad sign, so give your vet a call if you notice anything out of the ordinary when checking your pooch's ears.
- English springer spaniels are moderate, year-round shedders and regular brushing will help keep their shed hair from ending up all over you and your house.
- Schedule grooming time after he's exhausted all his energy by playing. A tired dog will sit still better for brushing and mat-removal.
- Your pup also will need to have his claws cut at least once a month, and the hair fringes around his tail, head and neck trimmed for a neater appearance. Because of the danger of injuring your dog, it's best to have a professional groomer take care of these chores.
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.