Springer & Brittany Spaniel: Similarities & Differences

Choosing between a springer & a Brittany can be difficult, but understanding each breed's characteristics could help you make the best choice.

Updated September 12, 2023
Happy springer spaniel sitting on grass

So you're hunting for a new canine companion, and you've narrowed it down to two fabulous breeds: the springer spaniel and the Brittany spaniel. Both are absolutely adorable, lively, and make great family pets. But how do you choose between the two? Let's break down the similarities and differences to help you make an informed decision.

Choosing a Sporting Breed

Sporting dogs make fabulous companions because they have been bred to work closely with people. They're usually easy to train for field work, and the skills they learn there carry over nicely to other activities, such as agility trials and fly ball competitions.

Energy is never in short supply with sporting breeds. They are always ready to go whenever you are and simply wait for you to give them the signal. As you might expect, this inbred characteristic of cooperation also makes these dogs wonderful family companions. You can work them in the field and play and cuddle with them at home. What more can you ask?

With their affable natures, they normally get along well with other dogs of similar types, except for some smaller breeds that they perceive more as field quarry than fellow canines. That said, a proper introduction and initial supervision is usually enough to integrate both types of dogs into the same household.

The Springer Spaniel

A springer spaniel

The English springer spaniel is one of the oldest gun dog breeds and originally hails from England. These dogs were bred primarily for flushing and retrieving game. Over the years, they've become versatile workers and loving family pets. They're known for being incredibly friendly and sociable — they thrive on human interaction and love being part of family activities. They get along well with kids and other pets, making them an excellent choice for families.

Need to Know

These dogs are extremely attentive to their owners' every move and practically anticipate their next command.


Springer spaniels are medium-sized dogs, weighing between 40 to 50 pounds and standing around 19 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a well-proportioned body, a distinct "springer" gait, and an expressive face that often looks like they're smiling.

Energy Levels

Springers are high-energy dogs that love to run, play, and even swim. Daily exercise is a must. Otherwise, you'll end up with a bored and potentially destructive pup. If you're an active family or individual, a springer will fit right into your lifestyle. My English springer spaniel, Goober, doesn't mind whether we're hiking up the mountain or cuddling on the couch, as long as he has a sufficient walk each day. 


Thanks to their keen intelligence and eagerness to please, Springers excel in obedience and agility courses. They pick up commands quickly, which makes them relatively easy to train.


Springers have a medium-length coat that requires regular brushing to keep it free from tangles and mats. They're moderate shedders, so prepare to invest in a good vacuum cleaner if you adopt one!

Brittany Spaniel

If you’re in search of a friendly, energetic, and intelligent dog, look no further than the Brittany spaniel. Brittanys have an enthusiastic disposition and intelligence. Their loving nature makes them great family pets. While they can be independent, they are extremely loyal and form close bonds with their human families.

Brittany spaniel laying in living room


Brittanys are usually on the medium side, with adult dogs weighing in between 30 to 40 pounds and standing about 17.5 to 20.5 inches tall at the shoulders. This makes them a fantastic fit for families of all shapes and sizes, whether you're living in a spacious suburban home or a cozy city apartment.

Energy Levels

One of the most defining traits of the Brittany spaniel is their high energy level. These dogs need regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. Whether it's a long walk, a game of fetch, or a day of hiking, a Brittany is always up for physical activity. Without regular activity, these pups could become depressed or destructive.

Quick Tip

If you're an active person or have a family that loves outings and wants a dog that can keep up with your lifestyle, the Brittany spaniel is worth considering.


Brittany spaniels are quick learners who perform well in obedience and agility training. However, their independent nature means that they best respond to varied, engaging training sessions. Positive reinforcement methods usually work wonders with this breed.


One advantage of choosing a Brittany spaniel is their relatively low grooming needs. Their coat is not prone to matting and requires only occasional brushing and bathing. However, like all dogs, they need regular teeth brushing, ear checks, and nail trims.

If You're a Hunter

Purpose is an easier point to define. Do you need a pointer that will reliably find hiding game and retrieve it when the time comes? Then choose the Brittany. If you need a dog that will track down game birds and flush them out into the open for you, then the springer is the obvious choice.

Choosing a Breed

Choosing between a springer and a Brittany spaniel really comes down to what you're looking for in a dog. If you want a sociable and friendly companion, the springer might be for you. If you're looking for a more energetic and independent dog, then consider the Brittany. If you're looking for a dog that's on the clingy side, the springer fits the bill. Either way, you're in for a treat, because both breeds make fantastic pets. Our advice: get one of each and have the best of both worlds!

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Springer & Brittany Spaniel: Similarities & Differences