ESS are bred as Gundogs and have an instinct to hunt, flush and retrieve game. Many dogs are bred to work for either the farmer or gamekeeper and some are bred specifcally for competition such as field trials. The diverisity of the breed ranges vastly with approx 8000 puppies being registered each year. It is fair to say that the working strain have an incredible instinct to hunt, working in all sorts of weather.
Their instinct as such means they will be very interested in being outdoors enjoying their birthright. This means that, you as owners, should respect their needs and be prepared to firstly understand their need and then match their activity.
The show bred dogs are larger than their field cousins and carry more coat. The instinct to hunt is still there, but has been detuned, making them more settled indoors, although they still like a decent walk, searching and "quartering" the ground to following the scent. Some ESS have been "mixed" with the working/show type producing a very attractive puppies that share the best of both worlds.
These considerations should be taken into account when planning an ESS as a pet. It is perhaps unfair to choose a working type if you have no intention to get involved with the dog's strong instinct and athletic ability. Please go and see the puppy's parents and their surroundings to gauge the type of dog you are hoping to take home.
Photo by David Tomlinson
WORKING TYPE SHOW TYPE