The English Springer Spaniel is the founder of all the English hunting spaniels.
During the Renaissance, it was considered the ideal companion for the European hunter. Its popularity in America began in 1700. The Clumber, the Sussex, the Welsh Springer, the Field, the Irish Water, and the Cocker Spaniel all developed out of the English Springer Spaniel.
Once considered the same breed as the Cocker Spaniel, the dogs were born in the same litter. The smaller dogs were the Cockers and were used to hunt woodcock. The larger dogs in the litter, the English Springers, were used to flush out and spring on the game, hence where the dog gets its name. Both size dogs were and still are good at hunting on land and water and good at work in brush, also making a fine retriever.
It was not until 1902 that the Kennel Club of England recognized the English Springer Spaniel as a separate breed from the Cocker Spaniel. The English Springer Spaniel was recognized by the AKC in 1910. The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association was formed in 1924 and field trials were held for the first time. Their talents include hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdog, agility, competitive obedience and performing tricks.
That last talent, “tricks”, is where Trixie got her name.
The only hunting Trixie ever did was when I would have her sit and stay in a position, then go hide a treat in another room. She would sit in that kitchen patiently until I returned and said, “okay”. She’d then run into the other room and sniff around until she found her reward. It got pretty difficult for me to find new and different hiding places as she remembered all the likely places. We always had such fun with that activity.
We even used that game as an obedience trial when we visited family. When it was time to leave, I would have Trixie sit and stay in another room until she got the “okay” command. I was so proud of her. It was one of the “tricks” she’d perform flawlessly.
The bench type is bred for conformation shows and has more liver or black on its coat, and the coats are longer and fuller. The field type has more white on its coat than the show type and a lot less hair. While never competitively shown, I believe Trixie was more the bench line. I usually tried keeping her hair cut somewhat short like the field line, but after some time passing and allowing her hair to grow she would look more like a bench dog.