The origin of the field spaniel dog breed is very old; in fact, it comes from the ancient land spaniels of both Devon, UK, and Wales. It has the same origins as the cocker, in fact originally the two differed only by weight. Lighter specimens were classified in the cockers, while heavier ones, above 25 pounds, were considered field. This dog got its name from its great ability to work in the open country in fields, in English field.
It was once considered better than the cocker itself in work and better than any other spaniel, in hunting trips; this was until the late nineteenth century. After this period, selection favored aesthetics and not functionality. This is why the field spaniel did not find much success both within its native territory and in the rest of Europe; in the United States it found slightly wider interest.
When it was in vogue it was trained for hunting for and retrieving game, it was the ideal specimen for hunting in rough terrain or companion to those who live in the countryside. It is a good working dog that is very docile and active. Not highly regarded by hunters, it is still a good companion dog, although it always remains very independent.
Character of the field spaniel dog breed
The character of the field spaniel is mild, sweet and tender. It is a very intelligent dog and quite easy to train, although it is sometimes a bit stubborn. It is not suitable for living in the city or even in an apartment. He needs outdoor space, so the countryside is his ideal place, a house with a garden where he can spend several hours a day, not forgetting, however, that he is very afraid of loneliness, so he cannot be alone relegated to the garden, but needs to feel part of the family.
He needs exercise every day, so long walks and outdoor runs. He quickly becomes attached to the people around him, and with the owner he establishes a special relationship, considering him the “top dog,” and sometimes this affection becomes a very strong attachment. To him it is loyal and very respectful.
Like most hunting dogs, he turns out to be quite independent, so he has no problem being alone for a few hours a day, but only for a few hours, as already mentioned he suffers from loneliness. With strangers he turns out a bit wary, but never aggressive, then if he sees them often in the house, he becomes their friend. With children he is tolerant and can establish a good relationship with them, provided, however, that the child respects his moments of independence and when he wants to be alone.
As for training, being a very intelligent breed, they understand very early what you want from them, but precose socialization must begin from the first weeks of life; with other dogs they usually get along well, with cats much less so, as they see them as prey. Only if they grow up together can they get along well.
He is not a dog suitable for elderly or sedentary people, as he needs a lot of daily exercise to discharge all his energy, which is really a lot. At home, however, he is calm and knows how to behave.
Appearance of the field spaniel dog breed
The field spaniel is a medium-sized but small specimen; the height at withers of a male is around 45 centimeters for a weight between 18 and 25 kilograms, the female usually a little less.
It closely resembles the cocker, although it has a more elongated body and shorter legs. Its build however is sturdy and elegant, well-proportioned, noble bearing, built for activity and endurance. Its limbs are straight and muscular and its feet round but not too small. It moves with long, regular strides. The tail is attached low, fringed, never carried above the level of the back, endowed with lively movements.
The head is proportionate to the rest of the body, and the muzzle is dry and long to the truffle, which is generally dark with wide-open nostrils. The eyes are generally dark, hazel or brown in color and have a very sweet expression. The ears are wide, broad and are attached rather low. The ears like the tail are also well fringed.
The coat is what characterizes this breed; it is long and smooth, very thick and glossy. Abundant fringing appears in some areas; usually on the chest, under the trunk, behind the legs, at the ears and tail. Its fur is also waterproof. The colors are: black, golden liver-colored, mahogany with or without fringing, but always plain.
Care and health of the field spaniel dog breed
The field spaniel is a well-built dog and tends to be strong. However, joint diseases such as hip dysplasia, and some recurring hereditary conditions may occur, as in all breeds. They can also be affected by otitis, progressive retinal atrophy, and hypothyroidism, although these diseases are quite rare in this breed.
It has an average life expectancy of around 11 years. It does not particularly fear heat or cold, but the case of severe heat it is good to move physical activities to the cooler hours of the day. As for cold weather, although it is a hardy dog, it much prefers to sleep indoors in winter.
For nutrition, there are no special dietary tricks; a controlled and balanced diet based also on daily exercise is enough, and if he gets enough exercise, he has no obesity problems.
Coat care requires regular maintenance, so it is good to brush it a couple of times a week to avoid knots and felting. The ears need to be checked often to prevent debris or dirt from getting in.