Thornfield Walterem

Call Name: Walter

Dam: Em (Wrangham Cathy Earnshaw RRD ADX JDM GD SD)

Sire: Monty (Elpendane Applejax (IMP UK))

Born: 11th September 2017

Sex: Male (entire)

Colour: Liver and white

Health: Clear by parentage for PRA, Fucosidosis and PFK deficiency

Click here for litter photos


Walter is leading a busy life with his family in New South Wales. Shortly after his arrival his owners welcomed a baby and now their second child is due any day, which makes Walter the eldest and he is not even three years old!

Walter’s owners previously owned dogs, but not ESS and together they are learning creative ways to keep Walter fit, occupied and intellectually engaged.



We love to visit Walter and his family whenever we are in Sydney. What his owners say...

Living with Walter

We have always wanted a medium sized intelligent dog, and after a lot of research decided on a field English Springer Spaniel. We spent quite a few months approaching various breeders and it was difficult to find someone locally. Finally, we found Sally from Thornfield and our lives changed forever. 

We travelled to Melbourne to meet Sally and her team and quickly learned the way that ESS interact with their owners. Unlike many other breeds, their relationship is paramount – they watch for cues, engagement and instructions, rather than running off to greet other people, dogs and explore the environment (they need instructions to do that). We waited patiently until it was confirmed that Sally would have pups and finally when Walter was about eight weeks old that he would be joining our family. Sally’s great in ensuring that she matches dog’s temperament to his forever home and she could not have done a better job in matching us with our beautiful Walter. 

From the day Walter flew up from Melbourne, every day has been engaging and we keep on learning from each other. He is a cheeky dog who loves to play fetch, will bring the most random items to initiate a game (socks, leaves, pebbles and pegs!).


We enrolled him in a local puppy school shortly after his arrival and in Susan Garrett’s signature program - Recallers. Through these programs, and Sally’s ongoing support in a closed Facebook Group, we have watched Walter thrive with his skills building and cognitively challenging games. Sometimes he just needs a ten minute burst of training and it tires him out for the afternoon. When he is not active, he enjoys being close to us and resting under our feet, playing games with our toddler (they have their own various games and rules which we don’t fully understand) but come 8 PM he likes to ‘check out’ and he gradually distances himself from us and finally retreats to his crate. 

Walter’s energy and lead pulling has been something we have worked on for a while. He gets so excited when we leave the house and has been rather dominating on several walks. We have been working on this with some simple strategies and particularly when we take our toddler out and have a pram with us. This is one of the tasks we have not been able to fully master, but incorporate into our regular training.  

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Walter’s engagement with our toddler has been amazing and has far exceeded any expectations of a child versus dog interactions, much to surprise of many who told us not to get a dog at this stage in our lives. Walter is exceptionally gentle with our daughter in every way. He waits (and listens to her) so she can go up the stairs first, he does not touch any of her toys and enjoys when she gives him treats, in addition to any food scraps from her meals. They seem to have a deal going on. Watching their bond has been a true blessing.

Walter is an integral part of our lives, he is so loved and in tune with our growing family yet knows that he still gets one on one time and cuddles which he readily welcomes 

February 2020