The English Springer Spaniel is a breed of gun dog in the Spaniel family traditionally used for flushing and retrieving game. It is an affectionate, excitable breed with an average lifespan of twelve to fourteen years.
Descended from the Norfolk or Shropshire Spaniels of the mid19th century, the breed has diverged into separate show and working lines. The breed suffers from average health complaints. The showbred version of the breed has been linked to "rage syndrome", although the disorder is very rare. It is closely related to the Welsh Springer Spaniel and very closely with the English Cocker Spaniel; less than a century ago, springers and cockers would come from the same litter. The smaller "cockers" hunted woodcock while the larger littermates were used to flush, or "spring," game. In 1902, the Kennel Club of England recognized the English Springer Spaniel as a distinct breed. They are used as sniffer dogs on a widespread basis. The term springer comes from the historic hunting role, where the dog would "spring" (flush) birds into the air.