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Field Spaniel

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Is the Field Spaniel right for you?

Species group:

The basics:
The Field Spaniel has had its ups and downs over the years. At one point, a breeding fad transformed the original hunting animal into a long, low, grotesque-looking dog that quickly passed from fashion. However, it has been revived as the natural athlete that it is, in part thanks to the efforts of the Field Spaniel Society of America. The modern dog is intended to be a fine specimen in the show ring, an eager to please hunting companion in the field, and a loving family pet. Because it can be somewhat reserved, owners should be not just outdoorsy but also good dog psychologists who know how to handle a sometimes-sensitive animal.

The original Field Spaniel dates back to the latter half of the nineteenth century, when breeders developed a dog that could work in dense cover or retrieve game from land and water. At that point, the spaniel hadn't yet diverged. You could have dogs in the same litter that were considered different breeds. Cocker Spaniels weighed in at less than 25 pounds. English Springer Spaniels were the large liver and white or black and white dogs. The Field Spaniel was simply a solid collared dog weighing more than 25 pounds.

Appearance / health:
The Field Spaniel is a well-balanced dog of medium size, built for activity and endurance in dense cover and water. It is larger than the English Cocker, yet smaller than the English Springer. The almond-shaped eyes are of medium size. The wide ears almost reach the strong lean muzzle. The nose is large and well developed.

The Field Spaniel requires little grooming. A weekly brushing or combing is sufficient. Owners may need to clip the dog's toenails, the hair between the pads of their feet, and the hair inside their ears.

They require moderate amounts of exercise. Daily walks, jogs, sprints, and swims keep the dog happy and healthy.

Two most common health problems seen in Field Spaniels are hip dysplasia (abnormal hip formation) and thyroid disease.

Behavior / temperament:
Field Spaniels are enthusiastic workers that love to please their owners. Though they are alert, they do not make good watchdogs. Hunting comes naturally to them, and they can work in both land and on water. They are busy dogs who find things to do on their own if owners do not keep them engaged. Retrieving comes naturally to them. They are friendly but may appear reserved with strangers. They tend to snore.

Kenneling and chaining the dog for long periods may result in disturbed behavior.

They are fast learners and are not difficult to train. Early training and socialization is necessary with these dogs. Training needs to patient, kind, and consistent.

They can be noisy if not trained well.

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