The Field Spaniel was developed around 1850 in England, based on larger puppies from Cocker Spaniel litters. They were used as working dogs in the field, retrieving game and flushing out birds for hunters. In the late 19th century they became popular show dogs, all black at that point, and by the turn of the 20th century they were unsuitable for field work. It was only mid-century that they were redeveloped for outdoor work, with Springer, Sussex, and English Water Spaniel genes added to the mix. They are currently quite rare. The UK kennel club has less than 50 dogs registered, and the dog is even rarer in the USA.
The Field Spaniel is a loving, devoted, and excitable, craving attention. They are good with children, other dogs, and other pets, as long as they are introduced from a young age. They can be shy with strangers, so should be introduced to as many people as possible when still young. They are easy-going and not too demanding. They will get excited at the prospect of a walk, but will then be very happy to sleep on the couch or at your feet after the walk.
Field Spaniels are reasonably intelligent and like to please their owners. Affection and food reward works well during training. These dogs tend to be sensitive to moods, and harsh words should be avoided. They thrive on praise, and using games to make learning more enjoyable will also pay off. They do well in agility, tracking, and obedience tests when well trained. They will do almost anything for food, so you need to go easy on the treats and watch their weight to prevent obesity. They can be mischievous and won't always pay attention to you, especially if they catch an interesting scent.
Field Spaniels need walking every day for at least one hour, plus a play session every day. Scent tracking is something they really enjoy, and this keeps the dogs mentally active and tires them out too.
This breed’s recall is usually good, and they don't like to wander too far. They are generally less excitable on walks than other Spaniel breeds, but they do like to keep busy whenever they are out and about, so always take a ball or frisbee with you on a walk. A bored Spaniel will take it out on the furniture at home.
The Field Spaniel’s single coat requires a quick daily brush to get rid of dead hair and tangles. They are clean dogs and don't need bathing very often, unless their nose has led them through muddy puddles!
Field Spaniels are active and easy-going dogs, making great family pets. They get on well with other pets (especially if raised with them from puppyhood) and early socialization gets them accustomed to other animals. These are very sociable, and hate being left alone without human contact.
Field Spaniels are generally healthy, but may suffer from canine hip dysplasia (CHD), ear infections, and eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Older dogs may suffer seizures, but this is not very common.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
- Weight: 35 – 44 pounds
- Height: 17 - 18"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium - Double
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Country
- Minimum Home Size: Small House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Breed Type: Gun Dog
- Size: Medium
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Over 2 hours
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