The Field Spaniel was originally used to hunt and flush game, before being refined for the show ring in the late 19th century. This led to a number of crosses in the breed, which reduced its popularity in the field. However, in the mid-1900s, the breed was redeveloped with an input of springer blood to create the breed we know today, which remains rarer than other types of spaniel.
Field Spaniel: Key Characteristics
Today, the Field Spaniel is a sturdy, moderately boned dog with a noble head, gentle expression, low set ears, and a glossy, predominantly black coat. This gundog breed is active, inquisitive, and independent, but it can also be docile and very attached to its owner.
This dog shares some characteristics with cocker, springer, and Sussex Spaniels, although it’s not quite as excitable as the cocker spaniel, and it’s much larger too.
Field Spaniels are hardy dogs, requiring lots of outdoor activity. They can be wilful and naughty, but with a sense of humour, responding well to patient, reward-based training. With early socialisation, this breed makes an excellent family pet that’s good with children and friendly with other dogs and pets.
This gundog breed is a mid-sized working dog that makes a tireless rough shooter’s dog, with a keen nose and a willingness to face heavy cover. This breed can also be worked in the beating line or in picking up at shoots.
Owning A Field Spaniel: Pros And Cons
Pros Of Owning This Breed
- Life span of 10-12 years on average
- Easy to train - very responsive during training
- Naturally sweet, sensitive nature
- Very affectionate - usually good with other dogs and with children
- Highly intelligent
- Playful nature
- Dense, waterproof coat to protect against the elements
Cons Of Owning This Breed
- Can naturally be quite timid, so needs socialising from a young age to build confidence from an early stage
- Needs regular contact with people - can experience separation anxiety if left alone for long periods
- Quite high-maintenance in terms of grooming due to relatively long coat
- Very energetic - requires a high level of daily exercise
- Can have a tendency to follow its nose and wander, so requires a certain level of firmness during training
These dogs require a lot of grooming to keep their long, silky coats in prime condition. With this in mind, here are our top grooming tips for this gundog breed:
- Brush or comb your spaniel’s coat at least twice a week to ensure it doesn’t become too badly tangled or matted
- Regular trimming is also important to help prevent tangling and matting
- Check your dog’s ears and paws after every walk - keep an eye out for grass seeds in the pads, and look for any foreign bodies in the ears to help reduce the risk of infection
Learn more about the different working dog breeds in the spaniel family here.