You decide: the Springer was so-named because he would “spring” birds (flush them) into the air for the gun. If you’ve hunted with one, you also know the dogs themselves bounce and bound, springing up periodically to locate their handler. Whichever, the Springer has more “bounce for the ounce” than any other sporting breed.
Hunting with one is a fast-paced, exciting affair, as there’s no pointing . . . just hard-charging dogs pushing birds into the air within gun range. Field-bred Springers are lighter-boned and have less hair than their show-bred counterparts. Virtually every description of this breed uses the term “merry” somewhere, and it’s obvious once in the field. Docked tail always moving, the Springer quarters in front of the hunter, ideally in a windshield-wiper-type pattern. Once game has been shot, the Springer demonstrates strong retrieving ability.
The Springer’s origins are murky, and up until the early 1900’s Springers were lumped in with Cocker Spaniels. (Prior to the split, smaller dogs from a litter were called cockers and used to hunt woodcock; larger dogs were called springers and flushed grouse and pheasants.)
Learn more at: http://www.akc.org/breeds/english_springer_spaniel/index.cfm.