Field Spaniel

Type: Gun Dog

Height: 17 - 23 inches. Females are generally 17 inches, males 18 inches.

Weight: 35 - 50 lbs.

Life Span: 10 - 12 years.

Litter Size: 7 puppies is average.

Country of Origin: England

Activity: Medium - High. They are lively and exuberant.

Watch-dog: Very High. Field Spaniels like to bark, and will alert their owners to whatever is happening.

Guard-dog: Low. Field spaniels are very friendly to everybody.


Description: The Field Spaniel is a combination of beauty and utility. They are a well-balanced, substantial medium sized hunter/companion. They are built for activity and endurance in heavy cover and water. Field Spaniels have are of noble carriage, have a proud yet docile attitude, and are sound and free-moving. They are slightly longer than they are tall, with evenly-distributed weight. Field Spaniels have a liver, black, or roan color with or without tan markings. They have feathering in their coat on the chest, belly and back of the legs. They can have either a docked tail or natural undocked tail. They are sturdy and much improved since the 1960s. They are an affectionate, intelligent breed who are eager to please. Suited for family life, they are also willing to work and for hunting in open terrain. Field Spaniels are happy, level-headed and of good sound temperament. They are excellent in perseverance and endurance in field trials. A lively, fun-loving and vocal breed, the Field Spaniel makes an excellent pet for those seeking a pleasurable personality.

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Colors: Black, liver or roan with tan markings; clear black, white or liver and white unacceptable. A small amount of white on the chest or throat is allowed.

Coat: Long, flat and glossy, without curls and silky in texture. There is moderate feathering on the belly, chest and back of legs. Coat is of fair length and density.

Temperament: Field Spaniels are responsive, friendly and lively. They are enthusiastic about their owners and eager to please. Field Spaniels are good at endurance and perseverance field trials, and get along with everyone. They are fun-loving, vocal, and love to play in the water. They have an even-temper, and have much the same personality as the Cocker Spaniel.

With Children: Yes, loves everyone.

With Pets: Yes, easy going, relates well to other animals.

Special Skills: Family pet and field sports dog.

Care and Training: Moderate care of the Field Spaniel's silky coat is required. Recommended brushing for 5 minutes twice a week. Care must be taken so that the coat does not mat. Professional trimming should also been done a few times a year. Regular ear cleaning, as their ears may be prone to infection. Exercise is essential for the Field Spaniel as they are a very active breed. Frequent runs on a leash and a fenced in back yard are suggested. Quick to learn, they respond to the sound of your voice. Kind and consistent training is recommended.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - High. Problem Solving - High.

Special Needs: Exercise and a job or activity to do.

Living Environment: A house with a fenced yard is essential. An owner of a Field Spaniel will need to spend a large amount of time walking and running this breed. Needs to be in contact with people as they will become neurotic if shut away in a kennel. The best owner for this breed would be an active, devoted owner living in a rural or suburban environment. Apartments are not best, as this breed needs plenty of exercise.

Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, eye problems such as ectropion, entropion, and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and thyroid disease. Other health concerns include subaortic stenosis.

History: t one time the sporting spaniel family were loosely classified as Field Spaniels, later the family was divided by weight. Originally you could find a litter who would contain two different kinds of spaniels. In the 1800s the breed was intermixed commonly with the Cocker Spaniel. Both could be conceived in the same litter, simply naming the bigger ones Field Spaniels and the smaller ones Cockers. Many of these were mixed with Springers and Welsh Spaniels as well. It is recorded that a red and white dog named Corrin of Gerwin was registered as a Welsh Cocker, then changed to be registered as a Welsh Springer, whose son initially became an English Springer. Flexibility in breeding was permissible back then, but when confusion began to mount (especially with the saying, "When is a Cocker not a Cocker? ...when it's a Springer!"), the breeds were finally separated and banned inbreeding between them in 1892. Beside the Cocker you will find the Sussex, Irish Water and English Water Spaniel in his bloodline. The late 19th century brought them to America. At the same time, the breed was deteriorating rapidly due to poor breeding. Phineas Bullock began breeding them for show, which nearly ruined the breed. These dogs were said to be extremely long, heavy, "sluggish and crocodile-like." One was reportedly 12 inches tall and weighed 40 pounds! Their heads were large, they had very short crooked legs, and a long, "hammock-slung" body. In 1948 the Field Spaniel Society did considerable work to produce a better proportioned standard type breed. Although they corrected the breed, its popularity had already declined so much that its entire existence was in the hands of a handful of breeders. The 1960s proved more helpful to the Field Spaniel, making their way back into the show ring. Today the Field Spaniel is rarely seen outside the show ring in England, and is even more rare in the United States.

First Registered by the AKC: 1894

AKC Group: Sporting Group

Class: Gundog

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 8), KC(GB), UKC