Do English Springer Spaniels Retrieve?

The best feeling in the world is when you can spend quality time with your dog. These times usually include grooming them, taking them for a walk or a jog, and playing games like fetch. You might have a new English Springer spaniel puppy or looking to get one. Do English Springer spaniels retrieve?

It is in an English Springer spaniel’s nature to retrieve. Historically, people bred English Springer spaniels to hunt grouse, ducks, and pheasants. However, you will have to teach them the commands to retrieve because they won’t miraculously start doing it.

The English Springer spaniel breed has it in its bones to retrieve, and when they know how to, it will be a breeze, and you won’t be able to stop them. But you must identify their behavioral traits first to understand how to approach the teaching of retrieval to them. 

Will Your English Springer Spaniel Retrieve?

English Springer spaniels are medium-sized dogs initially bred to help hunters retrieve their prey, including grouse and pheasants. Later, owners used these skills in hunting competitions, so a hunter and his dog would work together to try and win the prize for the fastest time and hunt the most ducks or whichever bird they needed to pursue.

If you are looking for a type of dog that will retrieve happily and sufficiently, an English Springer spaniel is for you. They will be the best weekly companion and your go-to hunting buddy on weekends. Breeding these bird dogs were also to work closely with humans and thus have a people-pleasing side.

They are energetic and love the outdoors, although they are content to live happily indoors with their human family. Giving your English Springer spaniel the needed attention will lead to a dog being happy indoors and playing obediently outdoors.

However, they need training from a young age to ensure they are manageable, well-adjusted to your environment, and well-mannered. When English Springer spaniels know what you require, they will gladly follow your queue and won’t disappoint.

English Springer spaniels are intelligent pups and have a high energy level. Not training them will lead to destruction and them doing their own thing. It won’t happen to an extreme, but enough to irritate you and not have a great bond with your spaniel.

Owners of English Springer spaniels love to participate in outside activities together. Because of their intelligence, they love brain activities, such as tracking, hide-and-seek, tug of war, and obstacle courses.

They might have the retrieving trait, but this doesn’t mean they will retrieve and bring it back to you. It only means these dogs love to fetch things and walk or run around with them. The training comes in to retrieve and bring back to you.

How To Train Your Dog To Retrieve?

You can always send your dog away for training, but where is the fun and bonding time in that? It is not rocket science to teach a dog that already has the retrieval instinct to go and fetch.

There are easy guidelines to follow when you start to teach your English Springer spaniel puppy to retrieve:

  • Enclosure – it would be best to use a designated closed-off area where one end is open and the other end closed. This way, the dog only has one way to go: to you.
  • Not too many objects – do not familiarize your dog with too many things to retrieve. Instead, start with one and keep it to only this particular one during the teaching phase.
  • Smell the object – hold your dog on its collar and let it sniff the retrieval object. Make your dog excited by waving it above its head, sideways, up, and down, but don’t let him take it.
  • The first throw – when you think your dog is ready, throw the object to the closed side of your enclosure. Please do not throw it too far when starting. Call its name and add a word like “get.”
  • Praise – when he fetches it, speak the word “come” while praising him. He will surely come, but keep praising him until he gets to you. Please do not remove the object from his mouth yet; caress and praise him for a while, then you take it from him.
  • Amount of throws – never do more than three throws; your dog should not get tired or even think about not bringing it to you. Later, when your dog is older, it will want to retrieve more and more, and then you can increase the throws.
  • What if the dog stands or sits with the object? – when starting, you could tie a string to his collar, and if he sits, you can slightly pull him closer with the string, and as he gets closer, praise him for it.
  • Advancing from the enclosure – you can move further and further away, ask him to sit before you take the object, and later, move to the lawn. He will quickly adjust to the more extensive area and still incorporate what he had learned in the enclosed fetching training.

Significant Queues When Training Your Dog

Your English Springer spaniel will learn more effortless when you follow specific structures and avoid others. It would help if you avoided yelling or hitting them for doing things wrong or not listening – this will only make them scared of you, and you don’t want that relationship with your dog.

Reward them with treats when learning a new skill or playing games. With love and attention, this way of teaching will surely get your English Springer spaniel to comply without harsh treatment. Vary the type of treats and the frequency you give them.

Keep your voice in a normal tone and use specific, short words to teach them. The same accounts for reprimanding your English Springer spaniel – keep your voice down and use short phrases like “no” or “uh-uh” to teach them that those words mean they did not follow orders.

Keep training sessions short. At the puppy stage, just like human children, their attention span is still short. So rather let them learn one thing and repeat it every day than struggle and get frustrated because they stop doing the activity or something else draws their attention.

More Advanced Retrieving Skills

If you want to teach your dog to retrieve during a hunt, it will take more training and discipline than merely fetching a ball three times a day. Your English Springer spaniel will need to be sensitive to your demand and know gunshots, and you will have to focus on training his mind to remember where the bird fell.

There are a few methods out there to teach your dog to hunt with you, but it will take dedication from you as the owner and patience, as there are a lot of skills to teach your pup to become a hunting buddy.


If you want a dog that will retrieve, an English Springer spaniel is an excellent choice. They are lovable, energetic, and clever dogs, and you will be able to teach them amazing tricks and fetching skills. You only need to invest time into your dog’s training and rewarding system and make them feel loved and adored.

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