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Field Spaniel: Breed Information

field spaniel dog

Introduction

The Field Spaniel is a show dog that doubles as a loving companion due to its affectionate personality. This dog gets along wonderfully well with kids, pets, and even strangers. This spaniel breed is very easy to train, has a lot of energy, is very playful, and is incredibly smart. Read on to discover all there is to know about the Field Spaniel and see if it is the right pup to bring into your home.

Breed History

Spaniel breeds have documentation dating back to 1576 when the different British breeds were written about in John Caius’s “Treatise of English Dogs”. The lineage fragmentation grew with time and by 1801 there were two spaniel breed classifications—the “Cocker Spaniel” and the “Springer Spaniel”.

The Field Spaniel was once a Springer Spaniel. This breed spent most of the 19th century as a top show dog. Fancier spaniel breeds took over in the 20th century. The breed’s population went down for a while but a few passionate breeders kept them from going extinct. It is now seen as a great choice of family pet and, while it is a rare breed, their popularity is on the rise.

This strain of spaniel breed holds many of the original characteristics of the spaniels from back in the 1500s. Originally, the spaniel’s primary role was to serve as a hunting companion. These dogs are known for their bird flushing capabilities. Over time, the Field Spaniel breed became a more popular choice of family pet and show dog. Do not let this fool you, though, as their game hunting instincts are still intact.

Appearance

The Field Spaniel is a medium-sized dog that is usually around 17 inches (female) to 18 inches (male) in height. Regardless of gender, these dogs typically weigh between 35 and 45 pounds.

Field Spaniels have a solid stature due to their heavy bones and large paws. Their fur typically sheds in the summer months but can also shed in the fall season. This breed’s fur coat is very easy to groom without any professional help.

Field Spaniel Colors

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes six color classes for the Field Spaniel.

  1. Black
  2. Blue Roan
  3. Golden Liver
  4. Golden Liver Roan
  5. Liver
  6. Liver Roan

Tan is the only color of marking that the AKC recognizes for this breed.

Behavior

The Field Spaniel is a friendly and loving dog by nature. This breed is especially known as being a “people-pleasing” type of dog. Their behavior is easy to train as they are adaptable and always willing to obey. They are a close cousin to the English Springer Spaniel which ranks 13th most intelligent breed in Stanley Coren’s “The Intelligence of Dogs”.

The Field Spaniel breed is sociable overall and will generally respond well to any other pet in the home. They behave very well with other dogs and will be playful without getting too rough. These spaniels are, however, not recommended as companions for cats.

A big plus is that the Field Spaniel loves interacting with kids of all ages. They are generally protective but do not serve as guard or watchdogs. They have the tolerance to clumsiness from children so you do not need to worry about your dog lashing at your little ones.

With strangers, the Field Spaniel is friendly overall. Most spaniel breeds will bark excessively at strangers that enter your home. Some other spaniels even bark at strangers when they go for a walk. The Field Spaniel is known to be much more humble and will usually stay quiet unless the person seems to be a threat.

Personality

This breed is very affectionate but also has a lot of energy. Without proper attention, they will show distressing signs of neglect. Their behavior could take a toll for the worst as a result. It is important that anyone who gets a Field Spaniel has the time to give the pup a lot of attention. In reality, this breed is perfect for a home with many people.

Field Spaniels are known to respond incredibly well to their training which is a double-edged sword. An inadequate breeder will influence the worst characteristics to come out in this breed. Some weaknesses that could exist in pups from a bad breeder include excessive timidity, aggressiveness, or separation anxiety.

The standard personality of a Field Spaniel is very upbeat, people-pleasing, attention-seeking, active, and playful. This breed needs to be familiar with socialization at a young age. Training and obedience classes as a pup would be a great choice. Their personality is very hyperactive when not given enough stimulation. Thus, it is essential to dedicate yourself in the early stages of their development to avoid bad behavior.

Living Space

An apartment lifestyle is not ideal for the Field Spaniel. This breed needs adequate space to run around and play. These dogs should be getting roughly 45 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. If necessary, a smaller living space will be doable but sufficient mental and physical stimulation is essential.

An optimal situation would be a fenced-in backyard and regular walks. This kind of dog is also great for jogging or running with and is easy to train to keep going at your pace. Physical activity should be kept up year-round—if you live in an area with cold winters it might make sense to invest in a dog treadmill.

Another important consideration for living space is the fact that these dogs can bark a lot at times. While this behavior could be worse, they are quick to woof when some enter the home. They also bark when they feel like someone is about to come inside.

Hunting Skills

The Field Spaniel has hunting roots but most people who own this dog like the visual appeal and lovable companionship. Regardless, there are numerous Field Spaniels out there that actively serve as flushing dogs. Their bird-hunting skills are phenomenal and this is a big reason for why the breed’s lineage dates back 500 years. Their instincts still exist but other hunting spaniels might be a better first choice.

The Field Spaniel bred with the English Springer Spaniel to create four new hunting breeds. This initiative came about as a means to prevent extinction in the Field Spaniel because of its dying popularity. Over time, these new breeds proved to be very effective at hunting game. Most modern Field Spaniels have one of these four breeds in their lineage.

Besides their upland hunting skills, some of their other hunting talents include:

  • Scenting: Field Spaniels are known to sniff out the nearby game in wet and dry areas by smelling the wind.
  • Retrieving: These dogs will bring you back the caught bird and drop it in your hand. A good Field Spaniel will have a “soft mouth” which means the bird will be brought without any puncture wounds.
  • Quartering: This breed knows how to stick within a set parameter to make sure the hunter is within range to shoot the game bird.

Other hunting skills they possess include being able to hup, follow hand signals, steady, and blind retrieve. Any weaknesses in hunting ability is typically the result of poor training. However, sometimes it has to do with the breeding and can come down to heredity flaws.

Common Health Problems

The Field Spaniel will typically live for 12 to 14 years. The biggest health concern with this breed is hip dysplasia. Their ability to carry extra weight makes them at higher risk of this hip issue so a weight management diet is a good idea. While not as common, elbow dysplasia is another possible health risk.

Some other possible health concerns with the Field Spaniel include patellar luxation (dislocated kneecap), cataracts at as young as three years old, autoimmune thyroiditis, mitral valve disease, and epilepsy.

All forms of dysplasia are typically inherited. Checking the lineage is the best way to know if your puppy will be at risk of these conditions later in life. DNA testing has come a long way and can help you get an idea of the high-risk health issues that a pup might inherit.

Pet Health Insurance Helps

The health concerns rise as your dog gets older. The cost of treating an issue like hip dysplasia runs far into the thousands. Other possible medical problems that can come up, such as cancer, can cost five figures. You should never put a price tag on your dog; pet health insurance helps when you need financial help. The premiums are a small cost for collateral to protect your dog’s life.

Pet health coverage plans are super affordable. Check out our Insurance Quote Checker to see exactly what you will pay for insurance on your Field Spaniel. It’s a great breed to own and a perfect family pet or hunting companion. If you make the investment into owning one, put the same initiative into protecting its health for the long-term.

 

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