By Avatar photoShiloh Nevada Last updated: 27th October 2022

German Spaniel


Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 27th October 2022

The German Spaniel, also known as the Deutscher Wachtelhund in Germany, is a medium-sized dog bred for tracking, hunting, and retrieving game. It is a long-haired, muscular dog that appears to be slightly longer than high. It is characterized by a flat, moderately broad skull, evenly broad muzzle with a slightly rounded end, medium brown eyes, long ears, well-muscled neck, well-defined withers, slightly sloping croup, strong shoulder, and a tail that is carried upward when excited and downward when at rest.

German Spaniel Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesGerman Quail Dog, Deutscher Wachtel
CoatMostly wavy, close-fitting, smooth, long, thick undercoat
ColorBrown, brown roan, solid red, red and white
Breed TypePurebred
CategoryGun Dog, Sporting, Flushing Dog
Lifespan12-14 years
Weight40-55 lb
HeightFemale: 18-20 in
Male: 19-21 in
Size of Litter4-8 puppies
TemperamentFriendly, intelligent, docile, versatile, lively
Good with ChildrenYes
Country Originated inGermany
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationACR, APRI, ACA, AKC/FSS, CKC, FCI, NKC, DRA, VDW, UKC

Video: Training the German Spaniel

History & Development

The German Spaniel traces its ancestry to the now extinct German breed, Stoeberer,  commonly used as a hunting dog after the Revolutions of 1848. In the 1890s, a German breeder named Frederick Roberth crossed the Stoeberer with sporting spaniels and water dogs to create the modern-day German Spaniels.

The Deutscher Wachtel was first acknowledged as a breed in 1903, and then the VDW (Verein fur Deutsche Wachtelhund) breed club was formed. Since its inception, the term Stoeberer has been used to refer to a category of German hunting dogs, with the Deutscher Wachtelhund being its sole member. The VDW chose seven females and four males to lay out the breed standards in 1910. All the registered German Spaniels are now considered the descendants of these dogs.

Temperament and Behavior

The German Spaniel is a passionate hunter, although quite docile and adaptable to play the role of a family pet. It has a balanced disposition, neither aggressive nor nervous but brave and smart in finding a game.

It has a great sense of smell, which it uses for tracking and retrieving wounded game. The Deutscher Wachtelhund can even hunt in densely forested areas with lakes and rivers and is thus considered a versatile gun dog. It can have an independent streak, which is usually controlled with proper training and guidance.

Owing to its affectionate nature, it can coexist with humans and other pets if trained at a young age.



The Deutscher Wachtel is an active breed that needs a fair amount of regular exercise. Besides going for long, brisk walks and jogs on a leash, it loves playing a game of fetch in the yard. Since the German Spaniels are known to swim, you may also teach your dog to retrieve toys from the water.


Its long, dense coat needs frequent brushing, and the hair between its pads should be clipped with fingernail scissors especially during the winter. If your dog takes part in hunting sessions, regularly check its long, low-hung ears for dirt and debris, and clean them using a cloth dipped into a vet-approved solution.

Health Problems

Though a healthy breed, instances of allergic skin conditions and problems of legs and feet have been reported in German Spaniels.



Train your dog to respond to basic commands like come, sit, stay, and go. Also, teach your German Spaniel to chase, stop, and stand down since these commands will be particularly useful when your dog takes part in hunting sessions. Reward it with its favorite treats every time it obeys your commands. Let it know that an obedient behavior is something that impresses you.

Controlling its preying instinct

Teach your German Spaniel that running behind animals or others’ pets is not acceptable behavior. For this, you need to start training your dog to accept the leash during its puppyhood. If you spot it dog going after someone’s pet bird or cat, do not try to stop it directly. Take the leash and hide a piece of meat in your hand. Then try to catch its attention by waving the treat near it. Once it comes near you attracted by the scent, put its leash on and give away the meat. Practicing this would help it in associating the ignoring a prey and accepting the leash with a tasty treat and some praises.


The German Spaniel requires a performance diet comprising foods rich in protein, fat, and carbohydrates. You may include some foods with fiber, as it will help promote your dog’s intestinal health.

Interesting Facts

  • The First Earl of Eldon, John Scott had a pet German Spaniel, which he named Pincher.
  • In Canada, the dogs are now used for tracking down and flushing out black bears.

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