Are English Springer Spaniels Protective? 8 Facts

English Springer Spaniels were initially bred for hunting and are excellent at tracking down and flushing out prey. However, in the modern world, English Springer Spaniels are also indoor pets. Some potential or current English Springer Spaniel pet parents may wonder whether they are protective dogs.

English Springer Spaniels are not an extremely protective dog breed. They tend to be fairly welcoming towards strangers, and most will not react if a stranger gets too close to their owner. However, they may be more protective over objects and territory. 

This article considers whether English Springer Spaniels can be considered ‘protective’ dogs by examining different facts about the dogs’ temperament and behavior. However you should remember that each dog is unique and can be trained to be more or less protective. 

Facts About English Springer Spaniels

English Springer Spaniels have a relatively easy-going temperament. Because of this, they tend to be less protective as compared to more alert dog breeds. This section examines how English Springer Spaniels’ temperament impacts their ability to protect. 

1. Springer Spaniels Are Not Typically Wary of Strangers

English Springer Spaniels were initially bred to obey and support humans as they hunted. As a result, they tend to be very trusting and eager to please. Therefore, they are not very concerned about strangers and are more likely to try to make friends with the stranger rather than try to protect their owner. 

2. Springer Spaniels Have a Loud Alarm Bark

Springer Spaniels will bark when they are alarmed or when they sense that something is wrong. So, they may be able to act as guard dogs occasionally. However, there may be situations when they won’t bark, so it may be worth considering another breed if you are looking for a guard dog. 

3. Springer Spaniels May Be Protective of Objects or Territory

Like many other dog breeds, Springer Spaniels can get protective over particular objects. They may be protective about: 

  • Toys or other objects they think to belong to them 
  • Food
  • Areas that they consider their territories such as the area they sleep or their home 

If they believe one of their objects or spaces is being threatened, they may growl or occasionally bite. 

4. Some Springer Spaniels Have Springer Rage Syndrome

Most English Springer Spaniels have calm, friendly personalities. However, a few individuals may suffer from Springer Rage. Those who have this syndrome may display extreme aggression in the face of small triggers. While this may be seen as a sign of protectiveness, it’s important to remember that Springer Spaniels are not naturally protective. 

If your Springer Spaniel displays continuous aggression, they may have Springer Rage, which needs to be treated. Visit your vet to help diagnose the aggressive behavior and look for ways to treat it. 

What Are Some Other Facts About English Springer Spaniels?

While English Springer Spaniels are not necessarily the most protective dog breeds, several other facts make them wonderful dog breeds. 

5. Springer Spaniels Are Excellent Family Dogs.

Because of their easy temperament, English Springer Spaniels are gentle with children. They are incredibly loyal and get along well with household pets, including other dogs. They make for excellent family dogs as they are eager to please. 

6. Springer Spaniels Are Highly Adaptable

The American Kennel Club (AKC) finds that English Springer Spaniels can quickly adapt to different routines, weather, noise, and other factors. 

7. Springer Spaniels Are Easy To Train

Because English Springer Spaniels are eager to please, they are also straightforward to train. This is helpful when you are trying to teach your Springer Spaniel to obey commands and signal when they need to go outside. 

8. Springer Spaniels Need Plenty of Exercise

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, English Springer Spaniels will be the perfect companion. They love to run and race and can be trained in various outdoor activities like hiking, racing, and tracking. 

Most Protective Dog Breeds

If you are looking for a very protective dog, you should consider some breeds other than the English Springer Spaniel. 

German Shepherds 

German Shepherds are loyal and highly protective of their families. Some of the stand out features of German Shepherds are that: 

  • They get along with children and other household pets.
  • They are highly loyal to people and other animals that they consider their family members. If their family is threatened, they growl and may even bite depending on the threat level. 
  • They are wary of strangers and may only begin to trust a stranger when they see that a member of their family has placed trust in the stranger. 
  • They are intelligent and highly trainable. 

German Shepherds are highly protective but should be well trained to ensure they don’t become aggressive. 

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinchers are alert, courageous dogs that are widely recognized for their loyalty and protective nature. Here are some of the main features of a Doberman Pinscher’s temperament: 

  • They enjoy patrolling their surroundings and will alert others to intruders by barking. They will also protect their owners or family members by growling or placing themselves between a perceived threat and their family members. 
  • Dobermans are incredibly athletic, energetic dogs, which increase their capacity to guard and protect. 
  • Thanks to their nature and physical capacities, Doberman Pinschers are used in protective forces, including the police and the military. 

The AKC states that it is essential for Doberman Pinschers’ owners to train and socialize Dobermans from a young age. They also find that Dobermans thrive better as indoor rather than outdoor dogs. 


Rottweilers are working dogs that are protective towards their family but calm and confident when meeting strangers. Some of the standout traits of Rottweilers include: 

  • A loving and playful personality towards family members. 
  • A calm but aloof personality towards strangers. Rottweilers will not growl or show unnecessary aggression towards strangers but will remain aloof until they see signs of trust and affection from their family. 
  • Territorial instincts that enhance Rottweilers’ protective capacity. 

Rottweilers should be trained from a young age to ensure they are socialized and obedient. 

Final Thoughts 

English Springer Spaniels are not the most protective type of dog breed you can bring home. However, they are loyal and can occasionally be protective if they feel that their family members are threatened. If you are looking for a highly protective breed, you may be better off considering a Doberman Pinscher, a German Shepherd, or a Rottweiler. 


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