Spaniel weight depends on a number of factors across the various breeds. For a springer spaniel it depends on whether the springer spaniel is of English or Welsh pedigree. The Welsh Springer has a slightly different build to the English Springer, with the Welsh dog being slightly longer, and having a lower height. English Springers tend to have bodies which are square – their height at the withers (shoulders) being much the same as their overall length. By contrast, the Welsh pedigree’s body is more elongated and less inclined to squareness. These build differences affect spaniel weight.
One other factor of note is that in Welsh springers, there is no distinction between the show dog bloodline and the working dog bloodline; these bloodlines are distinct for the English springer spaniel, with the working dog being more slender and having a finer bone structure.
Also, of course, the bitch has a smaller, lighter build than the dog but is more susceptible to weight variations.
Springers, as all dogs do, will of course vary in weight and height slightly from day to day, as we all do. So the weights quoted have a tolerance typically of 5 lbs (2kg) in the dog and more in the bitch.
If the height of the your dog is in the right range, then the dog should appear proportionately built, without excessive flesh, though appearances can be deceptive. In the adult springer, the flesh covering can be masked by generous feathering, but running the hand over the ribs will give an indication. Ribs should not be visible, but should be easily felt to a light touch, without undue fleshiness.
For English Springer Spaniels, the heights/weights are typically as follows:
Dog: Height 18-20” (46-51 cm) Weight 50-55 lb (23-25 kg)
Bitch: Height 17-19” (43-48 cm) Weight 35-45 lb (16-20 kg)
For Welsh Springer Spaniels:
Dog: Height 18-19” (46-48 cm) Weight 40-45 lbs (18-20 kg)
Bitch: Height 17-18” (43-46 cm) Weight 35-40 lbs (16-18 kg)
Springer Spaniels are generally healthy dogs but as they age they will required fewer calories and less fat and protein. It sometimes helps older dogs to cut their meals in half and feed them twice daily – this put less load on their digestion.
If your dog does develop a weight problem and you cannot adjust it with diet and exercise (remembering always to ensure that dietary adjustments are balanced), then check that he has been wormed recently.
Also, it is always worth checking that the children are not giving him extra food or secret treats which can add weight slowly but surely. This happens quite often and secretly in families. If the children want to give him treats then get a supply of proper dog treats which taste good to him but don’t have many calories.
Also families get into a habit where everyone leaves a bit of supper for ‘Sammy’ and he ends up with an extra meal. If you do want to give him scraps, then keep them till his next regular meal and add them in, ensuring that the overall quantity is not increased. Also, check that your neighbours are not feeding him treats – this does happen but is more common with cats who can wander more easily. The whole family has to commit to keeping his weight healthy!
If after all this your springer still has a weight problem, then it is worth discussing it with your veterinarian; most of the reasons for weight gain (excluding the possibility that ‘Sally’ is expecting pups!) lead to a slow increase in weight, but any rapid weight increase should be checked immediately.