The Field Spaniel is an AKC-registered purebred English spaniel breed that developed as a hunter dog in the late 1800s. The exclusive feature of this extremely rare breed is its solid dark-colored coat. Their overall body structure is short, making them stand quite close to the ground level.The body is covered with medium to long hair, while the head is relatively larger, ending in an elongated muzzle. They have almond-shaped eyes, conspicuously low-hanging ears, and a furry tail.
Field Spaniel Pictures
|Coat||Long, Silky, Dense, Fine, Water-Resistant|
|Colors||Black, Liver, Black & Tan, Blue, Brown|
|Type||Spaniel, Sporting Dog, Watchdog, Hunting Dog|
|Group (of Breed)||Purebred|
|Lifespan||12 to 14 years|
|Weight||35-50 pounds (both male and female)|
Male: 17 – 19 inches;
Female: 16 – 18 inches
|Litter Size||4-8 puppies|
|Personality Traits||Affectionate, playful, loyal, active, alert, social|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Good with Other Pets||Yes (including cats and other dogs)|
|Good for New/First-time Owners||Yes|
|Climatic Compatibility||Not good with climatic extremities|
|Country of Origin||UK|
|Time/Year of Origin||Late 1800s|
|Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information||AKC, ACA, ACR, AKC/FSS, ANKC, APRI, CKC, CKC, DRA, FCI, KCGB, NAPR, NKC, NZKC, UKC|
Breed Club (USA)
Video: Field Spaniel Puppies Playing
History and Development
It didn’t take long for the Field Spaniel to be recognized by the AKC after it was introduced in the late 1800s. However, the breed had to travel a long distance to attain its present status as an excellent hunting dog.
This medium size dog derived its traits from other purebred spaniels like English Water Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, and Cocker Spaniel. Initially, it began as a large breed with an enormously long and hefty body (weighing over 25 pounds), but with a relatively shorter height – standing close to the ground level. This contrast acted as a hindrance to their free movement through cover. Also, the dark coat of this breed prevented the hunters from spotting them in hunting conditions. All these factors failed to impress the hunters and the sportsmen, and the breed gradually began to fade away in the background.
With all this in mind, the contemporary breeders took a brisk initiative to bring a change in this breed and bring it back, making it an excellent utility dog. They began with mating them with the English Springer Spaniels. The result was a success, and the first set of puppies that were born were named Elmbury Morwena, Ronayne Regal, Colombina and Gormac Teal. In the latter years, they grew up to be excellent hunter dogs and helped in the revival of the breed during that time.
However, since 2000, the breed has been on the verge of a steady decline. It is presently considered as one of the rarest dogs and has been registered as ‘Vulnerable Native Breed’ by The Kennel Club.
Temperament and Behavior
The Field Spaniel is a meek and docile-natured dog that would do well with all members of the household, including children. Though they are loyal and dedicated to their owners, they have a strain of independence that often prompts them to do such things that might be amusing to them, but apparently seem to be mischievous to the others.
Field Spaniels are very active dogs and would guard the property of their owners. This trait also makes them an excellent watchdog. They are also good with their fellow pets, including dogs, provided they are well-socialized.
It is quite evident that a hunting and sporting dog, which has an innate impulse of hunting and wandering around, needs a lot of daily exercises for releasing its energy. Go out for a daily run and a long walk for at least 30-45 minutes. Do not depend on others to take it out since your dog would run and walk more if it gets its owner by its side. Let it play freely without the leash at least once a day. However, make sure the area is properly enclosed.
A moderate maintenance is enough. Comb your FS twice to four times a week, so as to brush off the dead hair and keep the dark coat glossy and flowing. Bathe them once a month, or when you think the coat really needs a cleaning.
Other than general dog issues like allergies or obesity, watch out for ocular issues like retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia, and cataract as well. Orthopedic problems like hip dysplasia too might pester your dog, especially at old age. Cancer has been seen to be a primary cause of death in this breed.
- Take them out to interesting places at least once a day, where they can get used to seeing other dogs mingling peacefully with each other and with human companions. The best place for that kind would be a dog park. They need to regularly socialize so as to get rid of their daily mental stresses. Without proper socializing and some fun moments every day, they might end up being destructive.
- Leash training for this breed is necessary since their hunting instincts might often instigate them to run after lizards or chipmunks, or embarrass you annoying your neighbor’s cat. Begin training your dog in the leash at a tender age, so that it gets used to it without creating trouble. Treat it often with snacks and hugs, as and when it shows you the ‘good boy’ within.
Standard high-energy dry kibble diet specified for medium sized, energetic dogs, is sufficient to keep it healthy. But also be aware of its tendency to put on weight.
- The breed is becoming so rare that the Kennel Club could register only 51 individuals in 2009.