How Smart Are Springer Spaniels? – you may be surprised!




how smart are springer spaniels

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Springer spaniels are highly intelligent dogs. They are an affectionate, happy-go-lucky family dog that is eager to please. Spaniels readily obey and are quick to learn. How smart are springer spaniels? They are very, very smart and among the Einstein’s of the dog world.

How Smart Are Springer Spaniels?

Springer spaniels rank thirteenth for intelligence and also number thirteen in a group of the smartest working dogs in the world. Now you probably think that your springer is number one, and I bet they are!

Spaniels have traditionally bred to work, and they are eager, happy, and enthusiastic when they have something to do and can please you at the same time. They get on well with children as well as other dogs and new people they meet with their sunny disposition. Springer spaniels are easily trainable, retaining information quickly.

Are Springer Spaniels Smarter Than Other Dogs?

Everyone that owns a spaniel thinks that theirs is way brainier than other dogs and this may very well be true.

Studies dealing with intelligence for the smartest breed of dogs, unfortunately, places the springer spaniel as number thirteen as mentioned above. Still, that number thirteen is out of one hundred ninety dog breeds studied.

Not too, shabby! Just to give an idea of some of the smarty pants dogs, listed below are the top fifteen.

  1. Border collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German shepherd
  4. Golden retriever
  5. Doberman pinscher
  6. Shetland sheepdog
  7. Labrador retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian cattle dog
  11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  12. Miniature schnauzer
  13. English Springer Spaniel
  14. Belgian Tervuren
  15. Belgian sheepdog

A springer spaniel is up to the task of any job from tracking and agility to working in the show ring and of course, bringing you your slippers!

Their family and pleasing them is the most important thing to a springer and bonding helps increase their already high intelligence.

With all of those factors and the difference in breeds of dogs, popularity does not equal intelligence.

The border collie is listed as number one for high intelligence but only thirty-three in popularity.

Your spaniel comes above that at number twenty-seven. A recount for all of these tests may be necessary!

Springer Spaniel Intelligence

At the University of British Columbia, a professor, Stanley Coren, determined that three features distinguish intelligent dogs. These are obedient intelligence, adaptive intelligence and instinctive intelligence.

obedient intelligence-

Obedient or working intelligence shows how well different breeds learn and retain things from humans.

adaptive intelligence-

Adaptive intelligence is how well dogs perform problem-solving on their own.

instinctive intelligence-

Instinctive intelligence showcases how well a dog’s instincts kick in for subjects such as protection, herding and also bonding with companions.

Training plays a role in a dogs intelligence to a certain degree, but the greater part of sharpness lies in their breeding.

Working and herding dogs instinctively perform better when carrying out orders and taking commands. Springer spaniels, bred for working, fit the bill and are highly and easily trainable.

There is no saying that a dog whose ranking that is way down on the intelligence list cannot be super smart. It can happen. These studies were performed on standard groups for particular breeds. Dogs are also individuals, just as humans are.

Showcasing The Smart Springer.

Springer Spaniels as sniffer dogs.

Are springers intelligent? You bet they are! Because they are clever, sharp and highly intelligent, spaniels are used as sniffer dogs, where smarts and a good nose come into play and work together.

On another list, spaniels rank #7 on the best sniffer list only behind the bloodhound, basset hound, beagle, German shepherd, Labrador retriever and the Belgian Malinois.

Spaniels can be trained to sniff for human remains, counterfeit money, explosives and narcotics, just to name a few. They are also quite easily trained for these critical jobs.

Two famous springer spaniels, Buster and Jake, have received medals for ferreting out explosives.

Buster was a Dicken Medal recipient working as an explosives and arms search dog in Iraq.

Jake received a medal for finding explosives while working as a search dog with the London Metropolitan Police Department.

Springer spaniels have also been used for search and rescue missions as well as for drug detection in Canada, Ireland, Finland, Sweden and England.

Over the years, spaniels have also sniffed out illegal immigrants and nests of bumblebees.

Another famous springer spaniel, Angus, works at Vancouver General Hospital sniffing out the superbug C.difficile or Clostridium difficule which is a bacteria, causing infection in patients with symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea and fever.

Angus has been trained to sniff out this certain bacteria, with patients being treated promptly and allowing them a full recovery.

A water company in Yorkshire enlisted the help of two sniffing springer spaniels to detect leaks in water pipelines. They found where the leaks were by the seepage of chlorinated water which they had been trained to smell.

Citrus orchards in Southern California also use a canine team consisting of springer spaniels, German shepherds and Belgian Malinois to sniff out trees which have been infected by huanglongbing, which is a disease-causing pathogen that attacks and kills citrus trees.

The disease is very contagious and spreads fast with no known cure.

The only remedy is to remove the affected tree, and this is accomplished by the dogs sniffing out these trees while saving countless citrus crops. Intelligence plus smell works like a charm.

Springer Spaniels As Emotional Support And Therapy Dogs.

Yet another way springer spaniels show their keen intellect, as well as compassion and companionship, is by working as an emotional support or therapy dog. Once again they are at the top of the list for best therapy dogs coming in at number eight behind the Staffordshire bull terrier, miniature dachshund, Labradoodle, Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Yorkshire terrier, Bichon Frise and lurchers.

If you haven’t noticed on all of these different lists, many dogs are different breeds while the springer spaniel has been a constant, showing that they have the smarts for a wide variety of jobs.

Dogs that are therapy dogs all have gentle, loving natures and provide comfort and calm to those suffering from mental and physical disorders. Some dogs have a sense when people are in some sort of pain or turmoil and step right in to console. 

Springer spaniels comfort those who suffer from mental and physical disorders. They allow people to forget their pain long after the pup has left, often leaving them with a smile or happy memory.  Spaniels also succeed in cheering their human parents up every day with their cheerful and loving nature.

Most therapy dogs must also be trained and pass a test to become a registered therapy dog. Springer spaniels are up to the task being very brainy and owning an excellent personality.

Springer spaniels are so affectionate and have a love of people. Along with possessing the intelligence to do the job, they boast excellent manners. It is a proven fact that sick people get a boost in morale and feel better when therapy dogs visit. Calm, sharp dogs are needed. 

Hyper excitable dogs would never be a good choice as therapy dogs. That’s why a spaniel is at the top of the list. They have the whole package.

If you own a springer spaniel, then you already know how smart they are. You experience this every day. If you are thinking of adding a furry child to your family, a springer spaniel is an excellent choice in so many ways from adoring their family to being at the top of the list for smarts and intelligence.


How intelligent are Springer Spaniels compared to other dog breeds?

Springer Spaniels rank above average in terms of intelligence among dog breeds. They possess problem-solving skills, adaptability, and a quick learning ability, which contribute to their reputation as intelligent canines.

Can I teach my Springer Spaniel advanced obedience commands?

Absolutely! Springer Spaniels are highly trainable and excel in obedience training. With consistent positive reinforcement and proper guidance, they can learn and master advanced obedience commands.

Are Springer Spaniels good at problem-solving?

Yes, Springer Spaniels have a natural aptitude for problem-solving. Their intelligence, combined with their keen senses and intuition, enables them to find solutions to various challenges or puzzles.

Is it necessary to provide mental stimulation for my Springer Spaniel?

Yes, mental stimulation is crucial for Springer Spaniels to keep their intelligent minds engaged and prevent boredom. Providing them with interactive toys, puzzles, and engaging activities will help satisfy their cognitive needs.

Can Springer Spaniels become bored easily?

Yes, Springer Spaniels are an active and intelligent breed that can become bored if not provided with enough mental and physical stimulation. Boredom can lead to behavioral issues, so it’s important to keep them mentally and physically occupied.

How can I challenge my Springer Spaniel’s intelligence without formal training?

There are many ways to challenge your Springer Spaniel’s intelligence at home. You can introduce puzzle toys, scent games, hide-and-seek activities, or even teach them new tricks using positive reinforcement techniques. These activities provide mental stimulation and create a fun and engaging environment for your intelligent companion.

Disclaimer does not provide veterinary advice. We aim to provide you with information to enable you to make a good decision when making a purchase or to care for your dog.

All content is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned about the health of your pet, you should contact your vet for advice.

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