Field vs Show

The field-bred Springer is different to the show-bred Springer
Since the mid-twentieth century, enthusiasts of the breed began to select for qualities which either produced top caliber performance dogs or those that reflected the breed's written standard. Thus the English Springer Spaniel began to divide into two distinct lines, known today as "Field bred" (or "Working") ESS and "Show bred" ESS. Physically, show bred dogs tend to be bigger with heavier bone, a slightly different shaped head and longer ear leathers. Field-bred Springers tend to have a shorter coat that seldom requires grooming, eyes that have little excess skin and an upper lip that extends only to the topside of the lower lip. Show type dogs are sometimes considered to be more laid back than the field type dogs, which generally demonstrate a strong working ability and high level of endurance. That said, an important trait of the field-bred Springer is to be able to "switch off" when required.
The photo above shows the physical variation between ESS lines. Field-bred ESS, Zac (Thornfield Embody) is 2nd from the left. Far left is his friend, Gus, an unrelated field-bred ESS and to the right are Zac's house mates, show-bred ESS Alfred and Lily. Read what Zac's owner says about field vs show lines here



So which type is the best?

Well that's really up to you and the type of dog you want! There is no doubt that show type Springers are better for the show ring and field-bred dogs are better for hunting, field trials and retrieving trials. Both types make fabulous house dogs and also do well in a number of dog sports, including obedience, agility, rally-o and nose works. Some of our puppy buyers have both show and field-bred dogs in their homes. Think about your goals, find good breeders and watch their dogs work. One is not better than the other, but they are certainly very different. 

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