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Choosing A Breeder

The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association will help you find a reputable breeder in your area with the help of our Board members and the many Springer Clubs throughout the country. (See Regional Clubs) Choosing a reputable breeder is very important. You should know your options.

  1. The Serious Hobby Breeder: A fine choice! Serious, dedicated hobby breeders enjoy the challenge to produce the best Springers possible — for the field, for the show ring, and for companionship in the home. They are not motivated by financial profit, and they acknowledge responsibility for each and every puppy they produce, standing behind every dog they have bred. Hobby breeders are usually involved in one or more competitive aspects of the dog fancy, whether field, hunting, conformation, or obedience competition. Many have established “families” of line bred (related) dogs that span several generations.
  2. Professional Field Trainers and Handlers: Another good choice, particularly if you seek a field trial prospect or gundog. These individuals are actively involved in field trials and/or hunting tests and are usually very knowledgeable about breeding, having established successful lines of hunters and field trial competitors.
  3. “Backyard” Breeders: Some owners of pet quality Springers decide to breed one or two litters for various reasons. While these individuals may be well intended, they often know little about the breed and its proper care, and may be unaware of health and heritable problems. They may not be able to provide satisfactory, complete answers to your questions and concerns regarding Springer health. If you visit a casual breeder who may fall into this category, make certain that you ask all the necessary questions, and make sure that the answers are informed, thorough, and satisfactory.
  4. Pet Shops and Dealers: Puppies sold in pet shops, or through dealers, have been bred to be sold for high profit. Often, these puppies have not been properly raised, and can be unhealthy. No information concerning hereditary history, or any potential problems, will be available.

Breeder Referral: If you would like additional information on obtaining an English Springer Spaniel, see the ESSFTA Breeder Education and Referral Program page. Participants in this have agreed to support and follow the ESSFTA Guidelines for Responsible Breeders.


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