The English Springer Spaniel was originally bred as a working and hunting dog, thus developing a thick, weather-proof coat. This medium-length coat tends to shed a fair amount of fur year-round, which can lead to the formation of mats and knots in the silky coat without daily grooming. To avoid shedding in your home or on your clothing, regular brushing, thinning and trimming of the English Springer Spaniel's fur is necessary.
The English Springer Spaniel has a medium-length coat that consists of two layers. The outer coat is straight or wavy, while the undercoat is soft and thick. Together, the two types of fur help to make the coat waterproof and protect the dog from harsh weather and outdoor debris. The fringe-like fur of the ears, chest, legs and stomach is longer than the rest of the coat. Show-bred English Springer Spaniels have a thicker coat than field-bred ones and will shed more.
Like most dogs, the English Springer Spaniel sheds fur from the coat year-round, but will shed more during seasonal changes in the spring and fall months. While clipping the coat, especially the longer fringe, will eliminate some of this excess hair, it won't stop the shorter hairs from shedding. Clipping must not be extreme, just enough to keep the general shape of the coat and the fur neat, if you plan to show your dog professionally.
A process known as hand-stripping helps to remove hair from the English Springer Spaniels' coat, especially the undercoat, which tends to knot. Put on rubber gloves to get a firm hold of the fur and simply pluck out any dead hair from your dog's body with your thumb and forefinger, lifting the outer coat to access the downy undercoat. Shed hair is usually sticking out around the face and can be gently plucked away with your fingers. This won't hurt the dog, as the hair is already shed and not attached to the skin; it's just sticking to the fur and will prevent it from going all over you and your home.
Daily brushing of your English Springer Spaniel's coat prevents the dog from shedding fur all over your home and clothing. This grooming also removes mats from forming in the fur, causing pain and discomfort for the dog. Choose a wire-bristle brush that reaches down to the skin to brush through both the outer coat and undercoat. Every few months, a clipping and thinning of the dog's fur, especially around the head, chest, legs and ears needs to be done with a close-tooth steel comb and thinning shears. Fur inside the ears must be trimmed away to prevent infections. If you don't feel comfortable trimming your dog's fur yourself, bring your English Springer Spaniel to a professional groomer who is familiar with the breed.
Because of the type of coat, the English Springer Spaniel will shed more than other, short-haired breeds with no undercoat. Dietary changes and stress can affect how much your dog sheds. Provide your dog with a healthy, well-balanced diet, appropriate for the dog's age. Give your Springer Spaniel supplements containing fish or flax seed oil to improve the health of your dog's coat, reducing shedding. English Springer Spaniels have a genetic predisposition to developing seborrhea, a skin condition that causes dryness and flaking of the skin and may contribute to increased hair loss, according to VetInfo. If you notice patches of hair loss, dry skin or an odor to your dog's skin, take the dog to a veterinarian for an exam to help treat the condition.