Choosing a Field Spaniel

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Considered a rare breed, the field spaniel is thought by many to have the best personality of all spaniels. A sweet and loving dog, the field spaniel makes an excellent companion, especially for active families.

History and Origin

The field spaniel originated in England in the 1800s as a bird dog with a calm temperament. This breed was developed through breeding of the English cocker spaniel and for a while they were actually considered the same breed, just different weights. At some point, breeders decided to exaggerate some of the breed's characteristics and a shorter and stockier dog was developed. It was at this point that the breed lost popularity and people preferred the English cocker spaniel. In the mid 1900s, breeders began developing a more balanced dog and eventually the field spaniel of today was created. Unfortunately, it is doubtful that the field spaniel will ever be as popular as the cocker spaniel.

In 1894, the field spaniel was recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the sporting group.

Appearance and Size

The field spaniel is a medium sized spaniel was a noble appearance and serious yet gentle expression. He is heavier and longer than the cocker spaniel. The eyes are almond shaped and the ears and long, pendulous and wide with fringe. The tail is typically docked but can be left natural.

The coat of the field spaniel is medium length with lots of feathering and may have a slight wave. The coat is glossy and water resistant. The color of the coat varies and may be black, liver or shades of gold. Some are roan with tan markings.

The adult field spaniel stands around 18 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 35 to 50 pounds.

Personality

The field spaniel is a docile and calm dog that sometimes can be stubborn and even temperamental. Known as the spaniel with the best personality, the field spaniel loves everyone they get to know but can be a bit reserved around strangers.

Home and Family Relations

The field spaniel is an excellent family dog that does well with busy active families. The breed can do well with children if introduced to them at an early age. This spaniel is very protective of his family and will bark when strangers approach.

The field spaniel needs a home with a fenced yard. They tend to not do as well in an apartment unless taken on frequent long walks. This is an active breed that thrives on human companionship. This breed can live well with other pets if raised with them.

Training

The field spaniel is easy to train and can excel in obedience. This breed responds best to kind and consistent positive training.

Special Concerns

The field spaniel does not like to be left alone with nothing to do. They are intelligent dogs with lots of energy and need mental stimulation and exercise to prevent destructive behaviors. This dog should not be allowed to roam off leash since he may chase small quick little creatures or follow any interesting scent.

Common Diseases and Disorders

The field spaniel is a hardy breed that has few known diseases. The most common are

  • Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.
  • Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland does not function adequately.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate. The condition usually begins in older pets and can lead to blindness.
  • Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to loose transparency and can result in blindness.
  • Ear infections are also common in this breed.

    Life Span

    The average life span of the field spaniel is 10 to 12 years.

    We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.

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