- Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
- Height: 1 foot, 4 inches to 1 foot, 7 inches (40.64 to 48.26 centimeters) tall at the shoulder
- Weight: 37 to 45 pounds (16.78 to 20.41 kilograms)
- Life Span: 10 to 12 years
If you are looking for a medium-sized dog with energy to spare then you can't go wrong with the Field Spaniel. He is a little larger than the English Cocker Spaniel but smaller than the English Springer Spaniel.
The Field Spaniel makes a wonderful family companion if you can meet his needs for exercise, training, and companionship. In return you will get many years of competition in dog sport arenas such as agility, rally, tracking, hunting tests and conformation. A breed of dog that all hunters really appreciate.
These are dogs that really love people. They are eager to please, loving, and loyal. They also really love to play in the water and have been known to use their water dishes as the local swimming hole.
Sometimes reserved with strangers they are not usually fearful, shy, or aggressive with the proper training. Field Spaniels usually bond with the whole family but occasionally prefer bonding only with their master. They are also quite fond of children but when they play gets a bit rough or noisy they will look for a quieter place to do something else.
Proper training and socialization will help to prevent your Field Spaniel from becoming bored and getting into trouble. They do have an independent streak which must be worked around. Using motivational methods and frequent rewards should give you a happy dog that is a joy to work with. It is also important to handle these dogs with kid gloves as they do not appreciate loud tones of voice or harsh handling.
Field Spaniels do not require a lot of grooming. As a matter of fact, they require less than other spaniel breeds. Perhaps a quick brushing two or three times a week is all that you will need.
This is a relatively rare breed that can be hard to find. It is absolutely essential that you do your research on the breeder. A good breeder who is responsible will ensure that the puppy's parents have been screened for any genetic and health conditions.
Field Spaniel FAQs
- Does the Field Spaniel adapt well to apartment living?
- The Field spaniel is a dog that requires quite a bit of space. They thrive best in a rural situation where there are plenty of fields to run in and places to hunt. Although they can be trained to live in an apartment environment they will certainly not be happy. (See List of Dogs Not Well Suited to Apartment Living.)
- Is the Field Spaniel a good dog for novice dog owners?
- Sometimes you get a dog that is considered to be a difficult dog to own and he is completely the opposite. The Field Spaniel is neither a very difficult dog to handle nor an easy dog to handle. They tend to be better with owners that have some experience with dogs. (See List of Dogs That Are Good For Experienced Owners.)
- Is the Field Spaniel a sensitive dog?
- Some dogs can take some stern reprimands while others will sulk in a corner for hours. The Field Spaniel does not like to be told off and will probably avoid you when reprimanded. These dogs require a gentle yet stern approach to being controlled. (See List of Dogs That Have A Low Sensitivity Level.)
- Can the Field Spaniel tolerate being left alone for extended periods of time?
- Many dogs tend to bond quite closely with their owners and family. These dogs usually freak out when they are left alone. The Field Spaniel falls into this group. With these dogs it is probably best to crate them when you need to leave them alone for an extended period of time. The alternative is to always make sure that there is someone there at all times to keep the dog company. (See List of Dogs That Are Poorly Suited To Be Alone.)
- Does the Field Spaniel tolerate cold weather well?
- Today there are really no domestic dogs that can really tolerate the cold well. Some breeds, however, tolerate it better than others. The Field Spaniel is fair in this respect. They can tolerate the cold for a certain amount of time but they are not designed for an extended stay in the cold. (See List of Dogs That Are Poorly Suited To Cold Weather.)
- Can the Field Spaniel tolerate hot weather?
- Not all dogs with a long coat have a high vulnerability to hot weather. The Field Spaniel is one of those dogs. They are capable of tolerating hot weather better than other dog breeds. (See List of Dogs That Are Poorly Suited for Hot Weather.)
- Is the Field Spaniel an affectionate dog with the entire family?
- Some dogs just hook up with one family member and don't really bother with the rest of the family. Others have so much love that they have to share it with everybody. That's the Field Spaniel. This dog will love everybody equally. (See List of Dogs That Are Not Affectionate With Family.)
- Is the Field Spaniel a kid-friendly dog?
- Some dogs will not tolerate a child period. Others will tolerate them for a while. The Field Spaniel does really love children. But they are not dogs that like rough play or a lot of noise. In those situations the Field Spaniel will seek a quieter place and entertain himself. You will still need to train your dog on how to get along with children as well as teaching the child how to interact properly with a dog. (See List of Kid-Friendly Dogs and our List of Dogs That Are Not Kid-Friendly.)
- Is the Field Spaniel a dog-friendly dog?
- Is the Field Spaniel friendly towards strangers?
- Does the Field Spaniel shed a lot?
- Some dogs drop their hair like crazy. A hazard of the domestication process. Others barely shed at all. The Field Spaniel is not a heavy shedder but he does shed constantly. (See List of Dogs That Shed Very Little.)
- Does the Field Spaniel drool a lot?
- Some dogs are just prone to drool. The Field Spaniel is considered a very dry dog in this respect. The only time that they will probably drool is while you are preparing their daily meals. (See List of Dogs That Don't Drool A Lot.)
- Is the Field Spaniel an easy dog to groom?
- Some dogs require regular grooming and bathing. The Field Spaniel is a relatively clean dog that require only the occasional brushing and rarely ever needs a bath. (See List of Dogs That Require More Grooming.)
- Is the Field Spaniel a healthy dog?
- Many dogs suffer from certain conditions and genetic problems because of poor breeding practices. The Field Spaniel, although a relatively healthy dog, does have certain conditions that he is prone to. (See List of Dogs That Are Prone To Health Problems.)
- Does the Field Spaniel have a high potential for gaining weight?
- Some dogs are big eaters and without the necessary exercise they will gain weight quite rapidly. Others tend to maintain their body weight without much effort. The Fields Spaniel needs to have a daily regimen of exercise otherwise they will gain weight. For these dogs it is important that you measure their food and not overfeed them.
- Is the Field Spaniel a big dog?
- In terms of the spaniel breed the Field Spaniel is larger than the English Cocker Spaniel but smaller than the English Springer Spaniel. In terms of all dog breeds the Field Spaniel is considered a small dog by comparison. (See List of Dogs That Are Small and our List of Dogs That Are Medium-Sized.)
- Is the Field Spaniel an easy dog to train?
- Dogs that can form an association between a prompt, an action, and a consequence are great candidates for learning new things. The Field Spaniel is a dog that fits that bill quite nicely. Plus he is also a dog that loves attention which is a plus in the training arena. He will realize at a very young age that pleasing you will get him a lot of attention. (See List of Dogs That Are A Challenge To Train.)
- Is the Field Spaniel an intelligent dog?
- Intelligent dogs are usually those that have been bred to do a job as they need decision making skills. They should also possess a high ability to concentrate on the task at hand. The Field Spaniel has both of these qualities and loves to show off his intelligence to everyone who will pay attention. (See List of Dogs That Have Low Intelligence.)
- Is the Field Spaniel a mouthy dog?
- When we talk about mouthiness in dogs we do not mean barking or howling. Instead this refers to the tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite during play. As with most dogs, the Field Spaniel tends to use his mouth to play but not as much as with other breeds of dog.
- Does the Field Spaniel have a high prey drive?
- Dogs that have an inborn desire to hunt and chase are usually dogs that have been bred to hunt. These dogs will chase after anything that catches their eye. The Field Spaniel is a dog that was used for hunting and therefore has a high tendency and urge to chase after small game, especially birds. For this reason you should always keep your Field Spaniel on a leash when going for a walk. (See List of Dogs That Have A Low Prey Drive.)
- Does the Field Spaniel have a high tendency to bark or howl?
- Some breeds seem to love the sound of their own voice and will bark and/or howl almost constantly. Others will barely make a peep. The Field Spaniel is not known to be a barker. He will, however, bark at other animals (game mostly) and maybe even when a stranger approaches. But for the most part this dog is considered to be a quiet dog. (See List of Dogs That Are Mostly Quiet.)
- Does the Field Spaniel have a high wanderlust potential?
- Some dogs just love to roam around and explore their neighborhoods. The Field Spaniel is no exception to this. These dogs have a really high urge to explore and will wander off exploring whenever they can. For these dogs it is really important that they are kept in a fenced-in back yard. The fence should be at least six feet high and go underground by at least three feet. If not these dogs are quite capable of jumping over a low fence as well as digging a hole three feet deep within an hour or two. (See List of Dogs Less Prone to Wander.)
- Does the Field Spaniel have a lot of energy?
- Dogs that have a lot of energy are always ready and waiting for action. The Field Spaniel, being a hunting dog, has a really high level of energy. For these dogs it is necessary to provide it with some vigorous activity just before bed time to expend some of that excess energy. If you like to jog it would be a great idea to take the dog along with you as a running companion. (See List of Dogs That Have Low Energy.)
- Is the Field Spaniel an intense dog?
- Some dog are really vigorous and put everything they have into whatever they are doing. The Field Spaniel is about average in this respect. He might be really intense in whatever he is doing at the time but usually within an hour he will give up. (See List of Dogs That Are Low Intensity.)
- Does the Field Spaniel require a lot of exercise?
- This is a dog with a lot of energy. And the only way to expend this energy is through exercise. If you are not an active person then this is probably not the dog for you. However, if you lead a very active lifestyle this dog can make an excellent companion. Especially if you like to jog. (See List of Dogs That Don't Need Tons of Exercise.)
- Is the Field Spaniel a playful dog?
- Some dogs remain puppies all their lives. They are always begging for a game or want to play with someone. The Field Spaniel is one of those perpetual puppies. He is always ready for a good game or a play fight with his owner. (See List of Dogs That Are Not Playful.)
Highlights of the Field Spaniel
The Field Spaniel is a dog that requires regular contact with people. These dogs tend to become neurotic if they are kept in a kennel or out in a yard with no human companionship.
These dogs need to be socialized well as a young pup. If not them can grow up to be timid and have problems with other dogs.
Being a very active dog, you must provide them with constant regular exercise. With these dog, a lack of adequate exercise will result in a dog that is destructive in the house.
You must provide them with a fenced-in yard for their enjoyment. These dogs love to follow their nose and will do so at a moment's notice. Therefore, a fenced-in yard is a necessity. Just make sure that the fence is at least six feet high and goes underground by at least three feet.
These dogs really love to play in water. Bringing them to the lake for a day is a really good treat for them. If you can't make it to the lake they will use their water bowl as their own personal swimming pool.
The Field Spaniel is an eater who really loves to eat. If you don't keep a constant eye on this dog he will steel food right off the kitchen counter.
These dogs are generally healthy. But to increase you chance of getting a healthy dog you should never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests their breed dog against genetic diseases and who bring up their dogs to have sound temperaments.
History of the Field Spaniel
Field Spaniels come from England and were developed within the latter half of the 19th century. They were bred to be medium-sized dogs that were all black in color. At that time the all-black hunting dog was not the norm. Hunters usually preferred some white in their dogs so that they could easily see the dog during the hunt.
It is believed that these dogs were developed more as a show dog than a hunter dog. At this time in history the popularity of dog shows was increasing. People were, at that time, wanting a dog to show but also wanting a dog that was good in the field. Thus the Field Spaniel was born.
Before 1901 the Field Spaniel was divided by weight. Dogs that were over 25 pounds (11.34 kilograms) were Field Spaniels while dogs under 25 pounds were classified as Cocker Spaniels. This means that dogs from the same litter were classified differently based on their weight and not by any particular breed-specific trait.
In the beginning this was a very popular dog. But eventually breeders got carried away and the dog became longer with short legs, a large head, and a lot of fur. The was the beginning of the Field Spaniel's decline and within a few years its popularity bottomed out.
Through the breeding efforts of Mortimer Smith the Field Spaniel started to regain some popularity. Through his efforts he brought the dog back to its original looks.
In 1894 the first Field Spaniel was registered with the AKC (American Kennel Club). His name was Colehill Rufus. But in 1909 this breed was practically wiped out of the United States when the only breeding kennel was destroyed by fire killing all the dogs. This resulted in the last registration of the Field Spaniel with the AKC in 1930.
Thirty-seven years would pass until a new batch of three Field Spaniels would be imported into the United States. They became the basis for the breed as we know them today. But despite this effort, the Field Spaniel still remains a rare dog breed compared to other spaniels.
Size of the Field Spaniel
The typical male Field Spaniel stands 18 inches (45.72 centimeters) at the shoulder while females stand 17 inches (43.18 centimeters). And the average Field Spaniel weighs between 37 and 45 pounds (16.78 and 20.41 kilograms).
Personality of the Field Spaniel
If you are looking for a dog that is easygoing, sensitive, fun-loving, independent, and smart then you can't go wrong with the Field Spaniel. These dogs absolutely enjoy being around people. Although they can be a bit reserved when it comes to strangers they often do warm up to them and include them in their family. The perfect Field Spaniel is one that is not shy, fearful, nor aggressive.
The temperament of your dog is influenced by a number of factors. Some of which include heredity, training, and socialization. A dog with a good and positive temperament is one that is curious and playful, who likes to approach people and be handled by them and is not aggressive. Therefore, when choosing a dog, look for the one that neither hides in a corner or constantly beating up its siblings.
It is always a good idea to meet at least one of the parents when choosing a puppy. If the parents have a good temperament then the puppies should also have a good temperament. Meeting your puppy while it is still with the litter will give you a good indication of what the dog will be like when it is all grown up.
You have probably heard this a thousand times before. But it is true. Every dog needs early socialization. You must expose your dog to as many different people, sights, sounds, and environments as possible when they are young. Socialization will ensure that your puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog with no phobias.
For the Field Spaniel enrolling them in a puppy kindergarten class is a great first step in their socialization. This should be followed up with visits with people and taking him to various places such as parks and stores. Steps like these are a definite asset in the socialization process and result in a very well-rounded dog.
General Health of the Field Spaniel
The Field Spaniel is a generally healthy dog. But, like all breeds of dog, they are prone to certain health conditions. Finding a good breeder is essential in lowering the risk of obtaining a dog that may be inflicted with these conditions. It is the breeder's job to try and eliminate the genetic conditions within a gene pool by not breeding dogs that have these conditions.
The following list contains the genetic and medical conditions that can afflict the Field Spaniel:
- Ear Infections: Field Spaniels can be prone to ear infections because of their floppy ears. The ears trap moisture and should be regularly checked.
- Hip Dysplasia: A degenerative disease in which the hip joint is weakened due to abnormal growth and development. This disease is found in many breeds. Although it is a genetic disease that breeders screen for, it can be found in a puppy with parents free of the disease. When it is found in such a puppy, it is usually linked to environmental factors such as poor nutrition or too much weight gain during puppyhood.
- Allergies: Allergies are common ailment in dogs. There are three main types of allergies: food-based allergies, which are treated by an elimination process of certain foods from the dog's diet; contact allergies, caused by a reaction to a topical substance such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals, and treated by removing the cause of the allergy; and inhalant allergies, caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, and mildew. The treatment for inhalant allergies depends on the severity of the allergy. It is important to note that ear infections often accompany inhalant allergies.
- Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia: Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA) is a life- threatening disease that causes the body to attack its own red blood cells. Signs of AIHA are jaundice; fainting; pale gums, lips and eye margins; dark tea- colored urine; lethargy; and a rapid heartbeat. When tested the blood will have a low red blood cell count. If AIHA is left untreated, it will generally result in death. Treatment can take months to years and usually involves the administration of the steroid prednisone and in some cases blood transfusions.
- Cancer: Dogs, like humans, can develop cancer. There are many different types of cancer, and the success of treatment differs for each individual case. For some forms of cancer, tumors are surgically removed, others are treated with chemotherapy, and some are treated both surgically and medically.
- Cataracts: A cataract is an opacity on the lens of the eye, which causes difficulty in seeing. The eye(s) of the dog will have a cloudy appearance. Cataracts usually occur with old age and can be treated by surgically removing the cataract.
- Ectropion: Ectropion is the rolling out or sagging of the eyelid, leaving the eye exposed and prone to irritation and infection such as conjunctivitis. If ectropion is severe the eye should be repaired surgically, but in mild cases no treatment is necessary.
- Epilepsy: The Field Spaniel can suffer from epilepsy, which is a disorder that causes seizures. Epilepsy can be treated by medications but it cannot be cured. A dog can live a full and healthy life with the proper management of this hereditary disorder.
- Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is caused by deficiencies of the hormone produced from the thyroid gland. A mild sign of the disease may be infertility. The more apparent signs are obesity, mental dullness, lethargy, drooping of the eyelids, low levels of energy, and irregular heat cycles. The dog's fur becomes coarse and brittle and begins to fall out, while the skin becomes tough and dark. Hypothyroidism can be treated with a daily thyroid replacement and usually requires lifetime treatment. A dog that is having daily treatment can live a full and happy life.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A degenerative eye disorder. Blindness caused by PRA is a slow process resulting from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye. PRA is detectable years before the dog shows any signs of blindness. A reputable breeder will have dogs' eyes certified annually by a veterinary ophthalmologist.
Care of the Field Spaniel
The Field Spaniel is a moderately active dog indoors which makes him a dog that is not recommended for apartment or condo life. But these are really dogs for areas with plenty of space in a house with a fenced-in backyard.
For these dogs it is not wise to lock them in a kennel or to chain them outside with little human contact. These dogs are known to become neurotic with no human contact.
The Field Spaniel is a dog that requires a great deal of exercise. He needs plenty of space where he can run and explore. Just remember that these dogs are basically hunters and will follow their nose every chance they get. So when walking these dogs it should only be don on leash.
Feeding Your Field Spaniel
The Field Spaniel is an energetic eater. Given the chance they will eat everything in sight. For these dogs it is recommended that they receive 1.5 to 2 cups of the highest quality food you can get. This should be divided into two daily meals.
Just remember that the amount of food your dog may actually require is dependent on the dog. There are many factors that need to be considered when feeding your dog. Things such as his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. This is because all dogs are individuals and they all have different requirements when it comes to feeding.
Also, these dogs should not be allowed to self-feed. To prevent them from gaining weight it is important to measure their food and to feed them at regular times during the day.
For more information checkout our guides on buying dog food & nutrition, feeding your adult dog, and feeding your puppy.
Coat Color and Grooming Your Field Spaniel
The Field Spaniel has a beautiful, dense, water-repellent single coat. The hair of which is moderately long and can be either flat or slightly wavy. These dogs actually have no undercoat.
If you look at the chest, underbody, backs of the legs, and the rear end you will notice that they have moderate feathering. Not like the masses that is found on the English Cocker Spaniel.
Colors can range from black, liver, golden liver, roan, or a mixture of any of these colors with tan points. Some dogs even have a small amount of white on their throat or chest.
The best part about owning one of these dogs is that they require much less grooming than other spaniel breeds. Basically all that is required is a regular weekly brushing and only bathe them when absolutely necessary.
Regular dental care is also required for good oral hygiene. Brushing his teeth two or three times a week will help to remove any tartar buildup and any bacteria. For optimum oral health it is always better to brush your dog's teeth daily.
Also make sure that his nails are trimmed. This is all too often overlooked and can cause your dog mobility problems. The rule of thumb here is that if you can hear the nails clicking on the ground when the dog walks then it is time to trim them. Make sure that you do not trim the nails too short. The shorter they are the more sensitive it is for him to walk due to the abundance of nerve endings in the quick. If you don't feel confident in trimming the nails have a professional trim them for you.
The ears also should be checked weekly. Look for any signs of redness or a bad odor. These can indicate an infection within the ear canal. While you are checking the ears you should clean them with a cotton ball that has been dampened with a pH-balanced ear cleaner. Do not insert anything into the ear canal. A dog's ear canal is short and inserting anything into the canal can cause damage to the ear drum and result in deafness.
Getting the dog to enjoy the grooming process should be started at an early age. You should handle his paws frequently as dogs really don't like their paws touched. Check inside his mouth also to get him accustomed to such handling. Making this a positive experience for him will make it easy for when he needs to be examined by a veterinarian.
And don't forget that the grooming process is also your opportunity to check the dog over. While you are grooming him you should be looking for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.
Children and Other Pets
Field Spaniels are quite fond of children. The only thing is that they don't like to be played with roughly or a lot of noise. And just like with any other breed you should supervise all interactions between a dog and a child. Both the dog and the child need to be taught how to behave with each other. Teach the child not to tug on the ears or tail. Teach the dog not to nip or play-bite the child.
The Field Spaniel is also quite good around other dogs. Proper dog socialization is still required so that they have proper manners around other dogs. For small animals it is probably best to keep the Field Spaniel away from them. Small animals may seem like prey to the Field Spaniel and these dogs are always ready for a good hunt.
It is unfortunate that many Field Spaniels are bought by people who really don't understand the needs of this breed. Because of that many of these dogs end up in shelters or on death row of the humane society. If you are looking for a Field Spaniel you should start by checking with your local humane society and shelters. If none are found there you can expand your search by contacting the Field Spaniel Society of America Rescue. Only when you've exhausted these channels should you then contact a breeder of Field Spaniels.
Field Spaniel Puppy Pics
Field Spaniel Puppy Pics