Springer Spaniels were originally bred to be hunting dogs, which means they’re highly trainable. As a rule, they’re playful and obedient, but if not properly trained, they can become overactive and hyper, leaving many pet owners to wonder why.
Here are 5 reasons why Springer Spaniels are so hyper:
- The Springer Spaniel doesn’t get enough exercise.
- The Springer Spaniel isn’t properly trained.
- Springer Spaniels have individual temperaments.
- The Springer Spaniel gets inadequate mental stimulation.
- The Springer Spaniel lacks purpose or tasks.
Although Springer Spaniels can become hyperactive and aggressive, these problems can be managed with proper training and regular activity. If they’re properly exercised and challenged, this breed can be a loyal, hard-working, playful family pet. Keep reading for more information about how to keep your Springer Spaniel happy and active.
1. The Springer Spaniel Doesn’t Get Enough Exercise
Springer Spaniels, due to their laborious origins, have naturally high energy levels. This is especially true when they’re puppies, but their high-energy nature continues into adolescence and adulthood. This energy level once equipped them to work alongside hunters and farmers.
If a Springer Spaniel isn’t allowed regular exercise, its natural energy can become pent up. This may cause them to act out, become mouthy, or simply get hyperactive. The amount of exercise this breed needs per day depends on the size and maturity of the dog.
Here’s a chart of a Spaniels’ age and the estimated amount of exercise time they require, according to data from Dogtime:
|Age||Estimated Required Exercise Time|
|2-4 Months||15-30 minutes of play + obedience training|
|4-6 months||30 minutes of play + half-mile walks|
|6-12 months||40 minutes-1 hour play + half-mile walks|
|12+ months||1 mile walk/run + exercise as needed|
These numbers may vary depending on the individual temperament of the animal. However, if provided adequate playtime and exercise, Springer Spaniels can expend their excess energy and remain loyal, loving family pets. The ChuckIt! Sportball Thrower (available on Amazon.com) is fantastic toy for your active dog. Since your Springer requires a lot of exercise, they will appreciate running the length of a football field to fetch the ball. This toy is easy to use, anyone in the family can use it with your pup.
2. The Springer Spaniel Isn’t Properly Trained
Training and socialization are crucial to long term happiness and obedience for Springer Spaniels. Training a Spaniel as a puppy by taking them to obedience school or puppy kindergarten won’t only help them learn commands. It’ll also help socialize the puppy with other people and dogs and provide play and exercise in a healthy setting.
It’s easy to misunderstand the purpose of obedience training. The goal isn’t to force the dog into submission with punishment or even reward. Dogs are pack animals, which means they’re reliant on a solid social order.
The purpose of obedience training is to place the dog owner in the position of “pack alpha,” so the Spaniel is naturally eager to obey.
If training is done in a way that makes the dog owner an enemy rather than a leader, Springer Spaniels may become hyperactive or aggressive. Without a social structure around them, they can become confused, agitated, or frightened, which can lead to poor or even destructive behavior.
It’s important to follow training guidelines, as improper training can result in anti-social, aggressive, or hyperactive dogs.
Brain Training For Dogs is a phenomenal online training program for any breed. Adrienne Farricelli is a certified trainer with over 10 years experience and she will teach you to train your dog to be obedient and listen to your commands. For less than $50 at the time of this article, you will not find a better value.
3. Springer Spaniels Have Individual Temperaments
Some Springer Spaniels are simply going to be more hyperactive than others. Just like humans, or any other species, they have distinct individual personalities and traits.
While the unique aspects of a dog’s personality can be the thing you love most about them, it also means that not every dog needs the same amount of attention, play, exercise, and mental stimulation.
If your dog is naturally more hyper, the solution may be as easy as more exercise. Allow the Springer Spaniel to determine the length of the exercise time, then extend it a little bit for the next day. It’s important for them to face challenges they can overcome, both for their physical health and their mental well being.
Get to know your Springer Spaniel personally. Spend a lot of time playing with the puppy directly, providing affection when appropriate and discipline where needed. Having a personal knowledge of your Spaniel’s temperament helps you know just what they need as they grow up.
4. The Springer Spaniel Gets Inadequate Mental Stimulation
Spaniels are naturally intelligent dogs, due to their history of hunting work and bird fetching. If you’re a hunter, training your Spaniel to be a retriever can be an effective method of both exercise and healthy mental challenge.
This breed needs to have the opportunity for problem solving in order to remain mentally satiated and on their best behavior. If hunting isn’t your pastime, other puzzles and challenges can be helpful in stimulating your Springer Spaniel’s mind.
Part of the original purpose for which Spaniels were bred was to find and retrieve birds for hunters. This task requires them not only to be swift and strong, but also smart. High energy puzzles like hide-and-seek fetch or obstacle courses satisfy the need for spontaneous problem solving that Spaniels naturally possess.
Treat toys that require the dog to get through layers or figure out how to extract food from the toy are a good resource for keeping your Spaniel mentally stimulated. Other options include training them to run obstacle courses, perform tasks, or playing hide-and-fetch with a favorite chew toy.
I recommend KONG Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy (available on Amazon.com). It’s a classic option for many dog owners who want to give their dog extra mental stimulation.
5. The Springer Spaniel Lacks Purpose or Tasks
As is the case for many working breeds of dogs, Springer Spaniels run the risk of becoming depressed if they do not have a perceived job or role in the household. Because they’re, by nature, a people-pleasing breed, lack of purpose can cause your Spaniel to seek out “other ways of helping,” which many dog-owners don’t find helpful, to say the least.
Finding tasks for your Spaniel to do can help mitigate boredom and hyperactivity. Sometimes, a simple game of fetch can be enough, as it satisfies the Springer Spaniel’s basic need to retrieve.
Teaching them other commands, even simple ones like “sit” and “stay” can help the dog by giving it an order to follow. This helps with the feeling of purpose and contributing to the pack that will keep Spaniels content and pacified.