Can English Springer Spaniels Live Outside?

English Springer Spaniels are friendly and beautiful dogs with kind faces, almost making you feel guilty at the thought of making your puppy live outside. They are working dogs that have been bred since the 16th century to work outdoors with hunters. As a result, they enjoy being kept busy and active and are well equipped to deal with many harsh conditions.

English Springer Spaniels can live outside, provided you ensure they have an insulated, dry kennel, protection from the weather, and fresh food and water. Since they are quite exuberant and might get destructive if not kept busy, you can keep them in a spacious run when necessary.

While it is true that English Springer Spaniels can be kept outside, it is important to note that they are intensely devoted to their owners and enjoy spending time with them. English Springer Spaniels can get separation anxiety when apart from their owners for too long, so they must spend quality time with their owners often.

Reasons For A English Springer Spaniel To Live Outside

English Springer Spaniels can live outside as long as they spend time with their owners often, have enough space, stimulation, and exercise, and their care needs are met. Before adopting or buying any dog, you should consider where it will sleep and if you can provide all the necessary care, time, and needs for the dog.

Below are six considerations of when and why English Springer Spaniels can or should live outside:

1. English Springer Spaniels Are Bred For Outdoor Activity

These dogs are classified as sports dogs, specifically bred to go hunting. A day spent hunting often means extreme weather conditions, which pose no problem for English Springer Spaniels. They have a thick, insulating undercoat and a soft, longer outer coat, allowing them to tolerate cold, hot, and wet weather within reason.

English Springer Spaniels enjoy swimming, and it is good for their joints, so you might find they take themselves for a swim in lakes or your swimming pool. Watch out for those muddy paws when your pup comes to greet you!

2. English Springer Spaniels Are Busy-Bodies

English Springer Spaniels have copious amounts of energy and need at least two hours a day of exercise to prevent them from becoming hyperactive or destructive. They also enjoy mental stimulation, so if they live outside, they ought to be exercised and entertained or trained, lest your garden is dug out of boredom.

3. The Temperament Of English Springer Spaniels

English Springer Spaniels are very friendly dogs and would prefer to be in your company as often as possible. If your English Springer Spaniel lives outside, you need to give it frequent attention and train it to cope when you are away. Orvis suggests crate training your dog for these times, or you must have a suitably fenced-off area to prevent it from escaping.

English Springer Spaniels can be friendly towards strangers, expecting a pet after greeting, so they should not be kept as guard dogs.

4. If You Have Small Children Or Avian Pets

Despite being kid and dog-friendly, English Springer Spaniels have been known to nip at other dogs and small children, especially if they have not been socialized from a young age. If your English Springer Spaniel has not been socialized to get on with anyone other than you and you have noisy or exuberant housemates or family, it should rather be housed outside.

Young children also need to be taught how to pet and handle dogs carefully and should not be left unattended with them, should the dog snap at or bite them. So, no, you can’t lock your child and dog in a pen with food and toys and go shopping for two hours.

When it comes to birds, English Springer Spaniels will inherently try to catch birds; it is in their makeup to do so. If you have avian pets indoors, you might find your spaniel going a bit loopy trying to get at it, causing unrest in the home. If you have aviaries outside, your English Springer Spaniel should not be granted access to that area.

5. English Springer Spaniels And Allergies

If you have allergies, an English Springer Spaniel is probably not the ideal dog for you unless it spends most of its time outside, as they shed dander throughout the year while completely ‘blowing‘ their inner coats twice a year. It would help if you brushed them at least once a week, but more frequent brushing is recommended to keep their coats from becoming matted.

6. Other Considerations

Some English Springer Spaniels urinate in submission when they see you. Submission urination can result from anxiety or excitement at seeing you and is probably best done outside – especially if you have carpets in your home.

Another concerning issue with some English Springer Spaniels is that they can get Rage Syndrome. Rage syndrome is when the dog snaps and attacks whoever is near it and then seems oblivious to having done anything. Research shows that it has occurred – albeit rarely – in purebred English Springer Spaniels; yet another good reason to house them outside.

What Does My English Springer Spaniel Need To Live Happily Outside?

If your English Springer Spaniel must live outside, you must provide it with a good shelter and ample space to exercise. You also need to ensure your property, or your dog’s enclosure, is well fenced off to prevent it from escaping, and you need to provide your dog with fresh food and water daily and some toys for entertainment.

Thoughts On Kennels, Enclosures, And Safety

A timber or plastic kennel in a lockable run is a good option if your garden is not securely fenced, but you need to pop out for a few hours or lock up your dog for the night. Remember, your English Springer Spaniel might try to escape if it is anxious, bored, or sees a bird, so a properly enclosed yard or enclosure is vital.

If your property is secured, you can get a kennel that is big enough to house your dog, providing plenty of shade and insulation, along with its other basic needs. It is always wise for your spaniel to wear a collar with your contact details on it should they run away or chase a bird.

When Should Your English Springer Spaniel Not Live Outside?

There are occasions when you should consider letting your English Springer Spaniel sleep indoors:

  • If your English Springer Spaniel is sick and in need of care, it would be wiser to let it sleep indoors so that you can monitor it. English Springer Spaniels are prone to ear and eye problems and can suffer from hip or elbow dysplasia. Being outdoors can exacerbate some of their symptoms and slow down healing.
  • Many English Springer Spaniels suffer from separation anxiety. If they have not been trained to cope with being away from you, these already-sensitive dogs can become even more sensitive. If left outside, they may start with nuisance or stress barking, making you unpopular with the neighbors or affecting your sleep.
  • Even though English Springer Spaniels can tolerate hot, cold, and wet weather conditions to a degree, they should not be left outside if any of these conditions are extreme. They should be allowed indoors if possible and certainly not locked in a cage where they cannot escape dangerous or extreme weather conditions.
  • Daily Paws says that, despite their high energy levels, English Springer Spaniels can live in apartments as long as they get their daily 2-hour exercise in. It is not an ideal situation to leave your springer spaniel alone for many hours in a confined space daily, though, so a willing pet-sitter would be advisable.
  • Finally, bench-bred English Springer Spaniels would probably do better indoors than their field-bred counterparts trained to be out in the field, hunting. Bench-bred spaniels are trained for shows and do well in agility training, working with manufactured structures. Many spaniels with bench-bred genes don’t cope well with living outside.


English Springer Spaniels are perfectly capable of living outside, although they would prefer to be indoors with you, their owner. These dogs have increased energy levels and need daily exercise to remain fit and content. English Springer Spaniels can live outside happily if their physical and social needs and requirements are met.

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