Breed Group: Sporting
Field Spaniels are highly animated and do everything with great gusto. They are happiest with room to run and a companion to run with. These dogs need to go for a vigorous walk and a long run every day. With the highest activity level both inside and out of any spaniel, they are not recommended for apartment living or for being cooped up in a small yard with only a walk around the block for exercise. Without a significant amount of exercise to stay both physically and mentally fit they will get into trouble by creating their own entertainment. Extremely loyal dogs, they thrive on attention from their family. If ignored or kenneled for long periods they are apt to become hyperactive. Willing to be a children’s playmate until both are exhausted, they are also reasonably social with both strangers and other dogs. They even enjoy the company of non-canine pets- including birds. Some enjoy listening to their own voice and some are relatively quiet. While even these quiet individuals make a great watchdog, don't count on a Field Spaniel as a guardian. Most individuals love water, including mud puddles, and will swim enthusiastically if given the opportunity. Their webbed feet tend to track all manner of things into the house and they slobber water when they drink. An active lifestyle and sense of humor are both traits a Field Spaniel owner needs to have.
A dog of moderate size, the Field Spaniel’s physical appearance is similar to other Spaniels. Averaging 18 inches tall at the shoulders and 35-50 pounds, they are a sturdy, compact dog falling between a Cocker Spaniel and Springer Spaniel in size. Their coat is long and silky with feathers around the chest, belly, tail, and legs and needs brushed at least twice a week. Trimming every few months is recommended to keep tangles from occurring. Their coat protects them from all but extreme conditions. Most are heavy shedders. Originally bred to be black, the Field Spaniel is now available in various colors including black, liver, red, golden, and roan. Although mostly solid in color, a small white patch on the chest is acceptable in the breed standard. Their tail is always docked.
When owners spend time working with them they find a Field Spaniel is highly trainable and a good family dog. But spending time training is essential. With the breed's work ethic and intelligence, these dogs make good training partners even for less experienced trainers who should definitely consider them as an option. They are known for their independent yet affectionate nature. A sensitive breed, they should never be handled roughly.
Ae Field Spaniel is a relatively a healthy dog. However, almost 1 in 5 are affected by Hip Dysplasia. As with most Spaniels, ear infections are common. This tendency can be significantly reduced if their ears are cleaned on a regular basis. Less common health issues seen in the breed include heart problems, especially SAS, and Hypothyroidism. Field Spaniels typically live to be between 10 and 14 years of age.
Finding a Field Spaniel is a lengthier and more difficult process than finding one of the popular Spaniels. Ranked 135th in popularity by the AKC, the Field Spaniel is one of the rarest breeds in America. In a typical year, fewer than 200 dogs are registered. Buyers will need to search for a breeder and expect to be put on a waiting list for a puppy.
Originating in England, the Field Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel were originally considered a single breed. But in the late 1800's each was recognized as a separate breed. Originally created for flushing birds and hunting, the Field Spaniel is still used for these tasks today.
As a result of almost becoming extinct in the early 1900’s, every modern Field Spaniel can be traced back to four dogs bred in the 1950s. It was during this time breeders were successful in developing crosses using the English Springer Spaniel as foundation stock to replicate the original Field Spaniel. Field Spaniels have been prized by English nobility including the kings Henry VI, James I and James II. The National (US) Breed Club is the Field Spaniel Society of America.
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