The Field Spaniel is affectionate, sweet, playful, sociable, sensitive and independent. Field Spaniels are docile and sweet-natured dogs, but can have stubborn streaks. They should be well socialized with people and animals from a young age to prevent them becoming overly timid or reserved. The Field Spaniel generally loves everyone, including dogs, household pets and children. However, they can sometimes be cautious with strangers, but this usually depends on their upbringing. Field Spaniels are intelligent and will learn quickly, but harsh training should be avoided as these dogs are very sensitive and it can have an adverse effect on them. Field Spaniels bond closely to their family and tend to become attached to a particular family member. Field Spaniels should not be kept away in a kennel as they thrive on human companionship and being part of a family.
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Regular brushing and combing about once or twice a week is sufficient for Field Spaniels. If being shown then professional grooming is necessary and the coat also needs to be stripped (the dead hairs plucked out). The ears need to be kept clean and any straggly hairs should be trimmed.
Field Spaniels need plenty of exercise and are ideal pets for an active family. They love to explore and run freely off the lead, however they should only be off the lead within a controlled environment as they are likely to run off after exciting scents. Daily walks and opportunities to play in a well-fenced yard is sufficient exercise for these dogs.
Originally the sporting spaniel family were classified as Field Spaniels, however it was changed so that the dogs were separated by weight and the larger dogs became known as field spaniels and the smaller dogs as Cocker Spaniels. Other spaniels in this bloodline include the Sussex, Irish Water and English Water Spaniels. It was in 1892 that the Field Spaniel was recognized as a separate breed for show purposes, but unfortunately the breeding for the show ring caused a significant deterioration in this breed's working ability. At the end of World War II, Field Spaniels were almost extinct, but by 1969 the numbers had safely increased.
General Appearance: Proud, gentle, alert and solid.
Color: Liver, black, golden liver or roan (speckled) with or without tan markings. White is accepted on the chest, throat and brisket.
Coat: Single coat: silky, glossy, moderately long, water-resistant, dense and flat or slightly wavy. Moderate feathering should be on the chest, underbody, back of the legs, buttocks and underside of the tail. Trimming of the coat is allowed, provided it enhances the natural appearance of the breed.
Tail: Set low, carried with a natural downwards inclination and preferably docked (natural tails are allowed).
Ears: Set slightly below the eye level, moderately long, pendant, well feathered and hanging close to the head with slightly rounded tips.
Body: The body is somewhat longer than tall and the chest depth is roughly equal to the length of the front leg (from elbow to ground). The ribs are well-sprung and extend well back. The loin is short, deep and strong with little or no tuck up. The back is level and well muscled and the croup is short and rounded.
- Field Spaniels happily fulfill the role of a family companion or as a working dog and hunting in open terrain.