Dogs that point are extremely entertaining and can be very useful if you take them hunting. Springer Spaniels are great dogs, but if you’re looking for a pointer, you may be wondering if Springer Spaniels point?
Do Springer Spaniels point?
No, Springer Spaniels do not normally point even though they are hunting dogs. Springer Spaniels do not point, but they can be trained to point if that training begins early in life.
When it comes to hunting, they are excellent at finding game, flushing it out, and retrieving it once located. They are experts at flushing out game animals which is what their breed background was utilized for during hunting.
Springer Spaniels are energetic, hardworking, and intelligent. The breed is hard to compete with in many aspects of sports and work. They are strong, athletic, and determined. When the Springer Spaniel flushes out game, it can easily be retrieved and returned to the hunter. This breed also has an amazing sense of smell.
They are adaptable to diverse terrain with almost unstoppable abilities. Their physique is strong with powerful legs and often a docked tail.
Springer Spaniels are a part of the Sporting Dog Group according to the American Kennel Club designation. Within the sporting group, you will find hunting and sporting dogs with diverse skills and adapt easily.
In this group, other sports and hunting dog breeds have their own set of skills. Some of the dogs in this group are pointers, and Pointers will specifically point out the game being hunted.
This breed’s size and personality make them great for new hunters who have minimal experience in both hunting and dog handling. They have a strong ability in the arena of hunting pheasant, which is known for hiding in thick woodland cover.
The Springer Spaniel is a dog breed that’s highly intelligent and easy to train, making them another asset for newbie hunters.
Can the show quality Springer Spaniels be taught to point?
Yes and no. Any dog can be taught to do new things, especially the ones that are easily trainable and highly intelligent. The Springer Spaniels possess both qualities regardless of whether they are field quality or show ring quality.
However, show quality dogs in every dog breed are bred from different genetics. While they possess similar qualities to their field cousins, they are the same dog breed, with slightly different qualities. The show quality Springer Spaniel is bred to be in the show ring, and only in the show ring.
They make exceptional show dogs and wonderful pets but are not meant for the hard, tireless work of the field. Their appearance will be slightly different, and their personality and character will also be slightly different.
So, while it is possible to teach any dog new tricks, including show quality dogs, the likelihood of success is small.
Why do dogs point?
Pointing is a physical display of bringing attention to something. Dogs can’t communicate with words, and they don’t have fingers that can point towards the bone, the dog at the park, or something else. Since they don’t use words and have no fingers, they will use body language to express things.
Pointing is simply their way of drawing the attention of someone to something in their world. All dogs can do it, but sometimes without as much emphasis as other dogs bred. A dog might be at the park, suddenly get very still and point its nose, front legs, and entire body towards a particular object, perhaps a ball.
Pointing will have a dog holding still in one place. They might do it if they discovered a scent or noticed something in their line of sight. Dogs can point out many things, but dogs classically bred for hunting and sport will do it to point out game.
Pointing is what is used during hunting by dogs specifically bred for their abilities in this area. Springer Spaniels are not pointers, but their sporting and hunting backgrounds could easily be taught to do that during a hunting expedition.
How do you train a Springer Spaniel to point?
Training the Springer Spaniel to point out is best done by a professional. Hunters looking to add a dog to their party would be best to hire a professional skilled in this particular area of dog training. It requires a different approach to training that goes above and beyond obedience and house training.
Hunters who want to train a Springer Spaniel to point should begin this as early in life as possible. Training for this type of sport, even for dogs bred to perform this task, requires early handling and management to deal with the diversity and in-depth learning required.
Consulting a professional would also be helpful if the hunter decides to train the Springer Spaniel. Professional trainers can often offer tips and pointers to make the process easier and smoother for everyone. The trainer might charge a fee for this knowledge, but hunters may use it again if they bring another dog into their pack.
Will a Springer Spaniel try to flush out the game while at the park?
A Springer Spaniel may try to flush out the game at the park. Springer Spaniels, like other sporting or hunting dogs, have instincts that are bred into them for their purpose. Flushing is one of the Springer Spaniels’ purpose-driven instincts, and if those instincts kicked in, your Springer Spaniel might go after small game like rabbits and squirrels.
It is always important that a sporting dog be trained and on a leash when out in the world. Whether at the park, in another dog’s yard, or walking on a sidewalk, those instincts can appear at any moment.
It is impossible to know what draws their attention, and when it happens, it could be the tiny rabbit bouncing back and forth across the street. It could also be a bird that goes from nest to crack in a stone wall. They will try if they see it and want to go after it.
Instincts are not something that ever goes away; instincts are ingrained in their breed background and genetics. We all have instincts that help us in life; as we run from a dog chasing us, the instinct to run and survive is there.
Dogs don’t lose those instincts unless they are bred out of them from one generation to another, but it takes time and many generations.
To be safe, keep them on a leash and manage your dog to protect others around them.
Springer Spaniels don’t point, but they do flush out game when hunting in the field. They can be taught to point under the guidance of a skilled professional.
Their skills are diverse, and they adapt well. With high intelligence, trainability, and strength, they have so many amazing qualities it’s hard to imagine why anyone would notice!