Springers love to do things with their people, and excel at obedience, agility, tracking, and the new sports of dockdiving and freestyle. Even at a very young age, springers can start learning and enjoy the process. Here’s a 16-month old springer from Majic kennels, Majic Azuma’s Keep It Covert, “Cooper,” starting to track human scent:
Springers also excel in obedience, a sport that includes heeling, recalls, retrieving, jumping, and at the highest level of utility, scent work and a signal exercise. Springers are a very biddable breed and especially enjoy the retrieving and jumping in obedience. Below are “Sterling” at heel with his owner Lisa Peters, and “Kani,” owned by Laura Burns, retrieving her dumbbell over the high jump:
Springers also love agility. “Echo,” owned by club member Lisa McCoy, has recently made a stunning debut in the agility ring. Here’s a recent run in Open Standard:
With their hunting ability to ground-scent running pheasant, springers are excellent trackers. Many springers have earned the beginning AKC title of Tracking Dog, which means they’ve passed a test of a 400-500 yard scented track, aged at least 1/2 hour. (By the way, Echo has also earned her TD in 2011!)
Many springers go on to do well at the advanced levels of TDX and VST. The TDX is an 800-yard track, aged for at least 3 hours. The VST is “variable surface tracking,” where the dog must track over multiple surfaces in busy areas, such as parking lots and concrete walkways.
In sum, springers are happy to do whatever you are doing. They like to learn and they like to have jobs. Find something fun to do with your springer. PSESSA can introduce you to the many fun performance events awaiting you.