While English Springer Spaniels are known for their prowess in the show ring, having the third highest number of wins of any dog breed, they were originally developed as a gun dog, suitable for both upland birds and waterfowl. They are known for their soft temperaments and willingness to please, traits that useful for training of any sort. They are pleasant hunting companions who stay fairly close to the hunter when searching and a serious drive to retrieve in just about any circumstances. Training for a good bird dog tends to start very early, and there are several training games that can be used to prepare your pup for the field.
An emerging dog sport in Australia and New Zealand, Flygility was developed around fifteen years ago. It combines elements the more well-known dog sports of Flyball, a fast-paced game of fetch with hurdles, and agility training. It has gained quite a bit of popularity in the country it originated in but has only gained a small following in other countries, such as the United Kingdom and here in the United States. No flygility associations have been established in either of those countries but there are a few trainers that regularly teach this new sport, and there are a few scattered competitions that can be found.
Advanced obedience and obedience trials are a way to exhibit your canine companion’s ability to perfectly follow commands in a competitive environment. There are a number of commands that can be learned for this activity, from a perfect sit or recall to jumps and even scent discrimination. English Springer Spaniels are extremely people oriented and obedient animals, and they enjoy learning new things. These traits make them well-suited to learning many new skills, and many English Springer Spaniels excel at advanced obedience. The skills learned during advanced obedience training can improve your dog’s overall behavior both in the in the show ring and out in public.