What Does a Field Spaniel Look Like?
The Field Spaniel is a sturdy, medium-sized dog breed. They weigh in at 35-60 pounds and stand between 16 and 19 inches tall. They have long legs, long floppy ears, and pleading amber eyes. Their characteristic wavy coat comes in:
- blue roan;
- golden liver (roan);
- liver (roan);
- combinations of the above colors with white or tan mixed in.
They can have tan markings, and their coat is usually shiny and close-fitting. Field Spaniels have a long, gentle tail that they carry low to the ground. They are slightly longer in body than they are tall.
What Is a Field Spaniel’s Temperament Like?
Field Spaniels are gentle, loving dogs that thrive when they are part of a ‘pack.’ They are loyal and fond of their people, and they make excellent companions for active families. They can be reserved around strangers, but with proper socialization, they’ll warm up quickly.
What Are the Exercise Needs of a Field Spaniel?
These dogs are not well-suited for apartment living, as they require a lot of exercise (at least one hour per day) and room to run. A house with a yard is ideal. They are happiest when they have a job to do, whether that be field work or just playing fetch with their family.
Will They Get Along with Everyone?
The typical Field Spaniel loves children and will happily play with them, as long as they’re not too loud and rough with the dog. With proper socialization, Field Spaniels can also get along well with other pets. They should never be left unsupervised with small animals, though, as they may see them as prey.
Are They Loud Dogs?
Field Spaniels are not particularly vocal dogs, but they will bark when they hear something unfamiliar or when someone comes to the door. Still, they won’t make good guard dogs because of their docile, nonaggressive nature.
Should You Be Concerned about Their Health?
Field Spaniels are a generally healthy breed, although their lifespan may be a bit shorter than other medium-sized breeds – usually 10 to 12 years. They may also be prone to certain health conditions, including:
- hip dysplasia;
- eye problems, such as progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts;
- skin allergies;
- ear infections;
- autoimmune thyroiditis;
Puppies from responsible breeders are unlikely to develop any diseases except minor eye issues or ear infections. If they’re kept at a healthy weight, their joints should be normal as well. Still, you should take your dog to the vet for regular checkups.
What Are the Grooming Needs of a Field Spaniel?
The Field Spaniel has a single coat that’s medium in length and smooth, and it sheds moderately year-round. Brushing and combing them once or twice per week should help keep the shedding under control. You may also need to trim the hair on their heads and feet occasionally.
The most important aspect of their grooming is ear cleaning. Field Spaniels are prone to ear infections, so make sure you clean their ears at least once a week using a gentle cleanser and cotton balls. If you notice any redness or discharge, take your dog to the vet for treatment.
To prevent gum disease, you should also brush your dog’s teeth a few times a week. Use a vet-approved toothpaste and a soft bristled toothbrush. And of course, clip your pet’s nails before they start cracking and splitting – usually once a month.
Do They Have Special Nutritional Needs?
Field Spaniels are generally healthy dogs and don’t require any special diets. However, they do like to eat a lot and can be prone to weight gain, so you may need to stick to low-fat treats and dog food. Before making any changes to your pup’s diet, it’s best to talk to a professional pet nutritionist.
Where Can You Find a Field Spaniel Puppy?
Field Spaniels are not as common as other breeds, so you may have a hard time finding one at your local shelter. The best place to find a Field Spaniel puppy is a responsible breeder who screens the parent dogs for genetic health problems and tests their puppies for major congenital defects.
Puppies from good breeders will cost between $1,700 and $3,000 and come with a health guarantee. To find a breeder, you could visit the website of the Field Spaniel Society of America (FSSA). They also run a rescue, so you can fill out a form and wait until a Field Spaniel is up for adoption.
What’s the History of the Field Spaniel Dog Breed?
The Field Spaniel is a descendant of several other spaniels. They were first bred in England in the 1800s as all-black show dogs, but the breeding techniques were often criticized. The dogs weren’t popular with hunters, either – they were hard to see in the woods and their shape prevented them from moving through cover easily.
In the 1870s, a breeder named Phineas Bullock developed another variety of the Field Spaniel that looked almost like the Sussex Spaniel – and had its blood, as well as the English Water Spaniel’s. In the 1900s, elements of the Basset Hound and English Springer Spaniels were introduced. The resulting longer-legged Field Spaniels – more suitable to work as hunting dogs – became the ancestors of the breed we know today.
The Field Spaniel hasn’t gained popularity in the United States until after World War II. They were used as field trial dogs and eventually became popular as family pets. They remain a rare breed, and fewer than 50 are registered every year in their homeland. The American Kennel Club recognized them as a breed in 1984.
Is the Field Spaniel the Right Dog for You?
Field Spaniels are known to be affectionate and playful family pets, but they’re not right for everyone. If you’re considering adding a Field Spaniel to your family, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have enough space for a high-energy dog who needs plenty of exercise?
- Is there a family member that will always keep them company and play with them every day?
- Can you commit to brushing and combing them at least once a week, and cleaning their ears frequently?
- Do you have the money – up to $3,000 – for a well-bred puppy, or the patience to wait until a dog of this breed needs rehoming?
If you answered yes to all of these, then the Field Spaniel may be the right breed for you! They’re loyal and loving companions who will make your life more fun. Just be prepared to give them plenty of exercise and attention.
Remember that these dogs can’t stand being alone for long periods of time, so if you work long hours and there isn’t anyone else to keep them company, you may need to find a dog walker or bring them to a doggy daycare.
Interesting Facts about Field Spaniels
Looking for lesser-known information about these rare, single-coated spaniels? They have a long history, so there’s a lot to learn about them. Here are a few facts to get you started.
- Until 1901, the only distinction between Field Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels for show purposes was their size – Fields are heavier and have a sturdier built.
- The breed standard states that these dogs can be reserved around strangers, but should never display signs of shyness, fear or aggression upon meeting someone for the first time.
- Cocker Spaniel and English Springer Spaniel blood had to be introduced to Field Spaniel lineages to eliminate health problems stemming from their exaggerated features.
- They’ve been registered as a Vulnerable Native Breed in the UK, as an attempt to popularize them and rebuild their population.
Ready to Get One of These Brilliant Family Pets?
If you think the Field Spaniel is the right dog for you, be sure to do your research before buying. Talk to breeders, visit dog shows and read up on the breed standard, so you know what to expect. These dogs are a great choice for active families that have plenty of space and want a loving, loyal pet by their side.
Do you have any experience with Field Spaniels? Share your stories and thoughts in the comments below!
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