English Sprointer

Ana Oliveira
Dr Ana Oliveira (DVM, University of Lisbon)
Photo of adult English Sprointer
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Gentle and sweet, the English Sprointer is a crossbreed between the English Springer Spaniel and the English Pointer. This hybrid dog is very recent in the history of dog breeds and crossbreeds, and his main traits – both physical and temperamental – can be inferred from taking a close look at his parents’ breeds.

English Sprointers make good family pets, as they are loyal and fond of children. They love the outdoors and actively engage in their family’s activities. They have a strong sense of smell, due to their ancestors’ past as hunters, which may translate into a difficulty in keeping focused, being easily distracted and thus difficult to train. They are also explorers and may have a tendency to roam, so garden fencing should be a priority.

About & History

Because English Sprointers are a recent crossbreed, we know very little about them. We can, however, infer most of their characteristics from both parent breeds, the English Pointer and the English Springer Spaniel.

English Pointer

The English Pointer has probably originated in continental Europe, but the breed was later refined in the UK. The breed developed in the 17th century in the Iberian Peninsula for hunting purposes. They were considered great companions with excellent hunting skills.

They would smell the scent of prey and “point” to it, while other dogs would proceed and do the killing. After arriving in the UK, probably around the 19th century, the breed was further developed, and English Pointers became the athletic and elegant dogs we know today.

English Springer Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel is a very old breed with different historical records pointing to the years 17 AD and 300 AD. The breed has probably originated from the Iberian Peninsula but spread across the Roman Empire.

Cocker Spaniels and English Springer Spaniels are thought to share the same ancestors, but around the 17th century, the division was made and both breeds carried on their breeding separately. The breed was eventually taken to the UK, where it was refined and two lines were created, a show and a working dog line, each tailored to their specific purposes. Overall, English Springer Spaniels are excellent hunters with an extraordinary sense of smell.


Being a crossbreed, English Sprointers present a combination of both their parents’ physical traits. Elegant, medium-sized, and compact, English Sprointers have a noble appearance, being proportionate and carrying their heads high. They have brown eyes and a black nose, with long ears, slightly pointed and hanging downwards. Their tail is long, if not docked, and carried either horizontally or upright.

English Sprointers have short, wavy hair, of normal density (not too rough or too soft). Coat colors vary from brown to white and black. Typically, a male English Sprointer will weigh between 23 and 34 kg (50-75 lbs) and a female a bit less, between 20 and 30 kg (44-65 lbs). Males are 46 to 71 cm (18-28 inches) tall, while females are somewhat shorter, being 43 to 66 cm (17-26 inches) tall.

Character & Temperament

English Sprointers are friendly pets, being good around children and generally happy. Again, they will show a mixture of personality traits and temperament inherited from both their parents’ breeds. They are said to be somewhat suspicious of strangers, which would make them good watch dogs potentially. Some dogs, however, are too friendly, even with strangers, so guarding would probably not be a great job for them. They are, nonetheless, extremely loyal dogs, with lots of energy and a playful attitude.

They get along well with other dogs and pets, mostly because their ancestry was bred to hunt birds and not preys that could resemble pet rabbits or even cats. In any case, English Sprointers should not be left unsupervised with pets, without their owners assessing the true risk of such interaction. They love the outdoors and are great in engaging in active family activities. They are affectionate and loving dogs, an interesting choice to be considered as a family pet.


While the English Springer Spaniel is considered easy to train, the English Pointer may be less so. Pointer puppies are clumsy and easily distracted, so it may take some time for housetraining to be completely accomplished. Likewise, English Sprointers may follow their Pointer parent tendencies, requiring persistence and consistence. Crate training can be an option to consider.

Due to their excellent smelling abilities, English Sprointers may get distracted with their surroundings and therefore lose focus frequently. A continued and structured training scheme is encouraged. Rewards and praise should also be included as positive reinforcement.


The lifespan of this crossbreed will probably range between 12 and 15 years, approximately the same as its parent breeds. However, and due to a phenomenon called hybrid vigor, a tendency of crossbreeds to show increased qualities and better health when compared to their parents, the English Sprointer may end up living longer and healthier. The major concerns associated with the English Sprointer are:


Both his parents have a tendency to suffer from entropion – a condition of the eye in which the eyelid folds inward, leading to the irritation of the cornea resulting from the eyelashes touching and rubbing continuously against the eye surface. If irritation persists, it may develop into an ulcer. Entropion can be easily fixed surgically.

Hip Dysplasia

A condition in the hip that originates from a malformation of the hip joint (the hip socket does not fit properly onto the socket). This results in a constant wear and tear of the articulation, creating inflammation, lameness, pain and, as the condition progresses and the joint becomes less and less functional, may lead to arthritis.

Elbow Dysplasia

A condition in the elbow joint resulting from uncoordinated growth of the bones of the front limb (humerus, radius, and ulna) due to inconsistent cartilage growth or occurring after a traumatic episode. It causes lameness of the front limb, with associated inflammation and pain.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The English Sprointer is a very active dog. Given both his parent breeds are hunting dogs, it is not surprising that the resulting crossbreed is also a dog requiring an active lifestyle. One to two hours of exercise each day are enough to keep up with his exercise needs.

Besides hunting, the English Sprointer may also excel in activities, such as agility and tracking. This is a great choice for families who spend a lot of time outside as this crossbreed will love to participate in the family’s activities, be it hiking or exploring the great outdoors. Keeping busy will contribute to both the physical and mental health of English Sprointers, who may otherwise develop anxiety-related issues due to not being exercised enough.


English Sprointers require weekly brushing. They tend to shed, just like their parent breeds. If they happen to have a coat pushing towards the English Springer Spaniel (with longer hair), rather than the English Pointer, brushing may be needed more regularly, about two or three times a week.

Trimming around the head, ears, feet, and tail may be a good option, to keep him cleaner and preventing knots and mats. Baths are recommended only when needed and the occasional nail trimming is also part of the grooming routine. Checking the ears and keeping them clean and dry is also important to prevent ear infections.

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