Field Spaniel

Table of Contents

field spaniel portrait
Unleash the adventure with the Field Spaniel, a breed that combines boundless enthusiasm with a heart full of love! With their velvety ears, soulful eyes, and a spirit as vast as the great outdoors, these lively companions captivate dog lovers around the globe.

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, ideal environment, grooming, exercise requirements, training tips, dietary needs, health concerns, history, and more.

Best For

The Field Spaniel is perfect for those seeking a loyal, affectionate, and energetic companion. Ideal for families, outdoor enthusiasts, and even first-time dog owners, these versatile pups adapt well to various lifestyles.

Overview

OFFICIAL NAMEField Spaniel
ORIGINEngland
BREED GROUPSporting Group
BREED SIZEMedium
HEIGHT17-18 inches
WEIGHT35-50 lbs
LIFESPAN12-13 years
LIVING SPACESmall
SENSITIVITY TO COLD WEATHERModerate
SENSITIVITY TO WARM WEATHERModerate
GROOMING NEEDSModerate
EXERCISE NEEDSHigh
TRAINABILITYHigh
BARKING TENDENCYLow
BITING TENDENCYLow
DROOLING TENDENCYLow
SHEDDING LEVELModerate
POPULARITY RANK157th
field spaniel standing on grass
Photo: slowmotiongli/Getty Images

Appearance

The Field Spaniel is a beautifully balanced and elegant breed with an appearance that exudes grace and charm. Medium-sized, they typically stand between 17 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 35 to 50 pounds. Their well-proportioned bodies and moderate musculature give them a sturdy, athletic build that’s perfectly suited for their energetic nature.

One of the most striking features of the Field Spaniel is their noble, refined head. With a slightly rounded skull, a well-defined stop, and a long, lean muzzle, their face is both expressive and endearing. Their dark hazel or brown eyes are almond-shaped and set wide apart, giving them a gentle, soulful expression that’s hard to resist.

The ears of a Field Spaniel are another characteristic that sets them apart. Set low on the head and hanging close to the cheeks, these ears are long, wide, and well-covered with silky, wavy hair. When they’re alert or curious, their ears frame their face, adding to their overall appeal.

Field Spaniels have strong, slightly arched necks that flow gracefully into their shoulders, giving them a regal appearance. Their deep chests and well-sprung ribs provide ample room for lung capacity, a nod to their sporting heritage. They possess moderately long bodies, which contribute to their powerful and agile movement.

The breed’s tail is an extension of their topline and is usually docked in countries where it’s permitted. It’s carried horizontally or slightly elevated, but never curled over the back. In motion, the tail serves as a lively and expressive indicator of the dog’s mood.

One of the most distinctive aspects of the Field Spaniel is their stunning coat. Their silky, single-layered fur is either flat or slightly wavy, with moderate feathering on the ears, chest, belly, and legs. The coat comes in various shades of liver, black, and roan, often with tan markings. Their lustrous locks are not only beautiful but also serve as protection from the elements during outdoor activities.

Overall, Field Spaniels emanate an air of effortless elegance, thanks to their well-balanced, harmonious proportions. Their combination of soulful eyes, silky coat, and athletic build creates a captivating appearance that’s both eye-catching and alluring.

field spaniel running in a field
Photo: slowmotiongli/Getty Images

Temperament

Field Spaniels carry an air of gentle nobility, a calmness that is infectious and soothing. Yet, beneath this serene exterior, there is an ever-present spark of fun-loving spirit and playful energy.

They are known to be sweet-natured and affectionate. They have this unique ability to form deep, emotional connections with their human companions. Their love is not the loud, boisterous kind; rather, it’s a serene, steadfast affection that is felt more than it is seen. Field Spaniels don’t just live with you; they become a part of your life, seamlessly blending into your routine and becoming your silent partner in whatever you do.

Despite their calm demeanor, Field Spaniels are not lazy dogs. They are always up for a game or an adventure. They carry a sense of curiosity about the world around them, making every walk a thrilling exploration and every play session a joyous celebration. They might be reserved at first, especially around strangers, but once they warm up to you, they reveal a playful side that is truly endearing.

Field Spaniels are also great listeners. They have an uncanny ability to pick up on human emotions and respond accordingly. If you’re feeling down, they’ll be there by your side, offering silent comfort with their warm presence. And when you’re happy, they’ll share in your joy with their wagging tails and enthusiastic leaps. They are sensitive dogs, in the best way possible, always attuned to the feelings of their beloved humans.

One more thing to note about the Field Spaniel is their independent streak. Yes, they love their humans, but they also value their own space. They enjoy having some alone time, whether it’s to snooze in a cozy corner or to explore the backyard on their own. This independence makes them excellent companions for people who appreciate a pet that is affectionate but not overly clingy.

Ideal Environment

The Field Spaniel is a versatile breed that can adapt to various living environments as long as they receive the love, attention, and mental stimulation they crave. These dogs are happiest when they’re with their humans, making them well-suited for families, couples, or singles looking for a loyal companion.

Physical Environment

When it comes to the physical environment, Field Spaniels appreciate having access to outdoor spaces like a fenced yard or nearby park where they can explore, sniff, and play.

Their curiosity and love for adventure make them great companions for hiking, camping, or simply strolling through the neighborhood. That being said, they’re also capable of adapting to apartment living, provided they receive regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Climate Adaptability

Field Spaniels have a moderate tolerance for both hot and cold climates, thanks to their silky single-layered coat. However, some precautions are necessary to ensure their comfort and well-being. In colder weather, consider providing your pup with a warm doggy sweater or coat during outdoor activities, and always monitor them for signs of discomfort.

In hot climates, it’s essential to provide plenty of shade, fresh water, and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day. Be mindful of hot surfaces like asphalt or sand, which can be harmful to their sensitive paw pads.

Ideal Owner

An ideal pet parent for a Field Spaniel is someone who enjoys spending quality time with their furry friend, engaging in play sessions, walks, or simply cuddling on the couch. They thrive under the care of attentive and patient owners who offer positive reinforcement and gentle guidance, as these sensitive souls respond best to kindness and understanding.

Other Pets

Field Spaniels are social creatures that generally get along well with other pets, including fellow canines and even cats. Their friendly and easygoing nature makes them excellent candidates for multi-pet households, where they can enjoy the companionship of furry siblings. However, proper introductions and supervision are crucial to ensure harmony among all household members.

field spaniel's face up close
Photo: slowmotiongli/Getty Images

Grooming

The Field Spaniel is a stunning breed with a silky, slightly wavy coat that requires regular grooming to keep them looking and feeling their best. While their grooming needs are not overly demanding, it’s essential to establish a consistent routine to maintain their health and appearance.

Coat Care

The luxurious coat of a Field Spaniel should be brushed at least two to three times a week to prevent matting, tangles, and remove loose hair. Start with a slicker brush to gently work through the fur, paying close attention to areas prone to matting, such as behind the ears, under the legs, and around the collar.

Following this, use a metal comb to ensure all tangles have been removed and to give the coat a smooth, polished finish. Regular brushing not only keeps your pup’s fur in top condition but also provides an opportunity for bonding and helps you spot any potential skin issues or parasites.

Bathing

Field Spaniels typically require a bath every four to six weeks, depending on their lifestyle and activity level. Use a gentle, dog-specific shampoo to avoid stripping the natural oils from their coat and to maintain its lustrous shine.

Be sure to thoroughly rinse the shampoo and always check the water temperature before bathing your pup. After the bath, towel dry your Field Spaniel and use a hairdryer on a low, cool setting to finish drying their coat while brushing it to prevent tangles.

Ear Care

Given their long, pendulous ears, Field Spaniels can be prone to ear infections. To keep their ears clean and healthy, check them weekly for any redness, swelling, or unpleasant odors.

Gently clean the outer part of the ear with a cotton ball dampened with a vet-approved ear-cleaning solution – never insert anything into the ear canal. Regular ear checks and cleaning will help prevent infections and allow you to address any issues promptly.

Dental Care

Dental care is crucial for maintaining your Field Spaniel’s overall health. Brush their teeth at least two to three times a week using dog-specific toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush or finger brush.

Regular brushing helps prevent plaque buildup, gum disease, and bad breath. Additionally, consider providing dental chews or toys to support your pup’s oral hygiene.

Nail Trimming

Field Spaniels’ nails should be trimmed every three to four weeks to prevent overgrowth and discomfort. Use a dog nail clipper or grinder, being careful not to cut the quick – the sensitive, blood-rich portion inside the nail. If you’re unsure how to trim your dog’s nails or feel uncomfortable doing so, consult a professional groomer or veterinarian for guidance.

Professional Grooming

While most grooming tasks can be done at home, occasional visits to a professional groomer are beneficial for keeping your Field Spaniel looking their best. A groomer can take care of more challenging tasks like trimming the hair around the ears, paws, and sanitary areas, as well as providing a thorough bath and blow-dry.

Exercise

Exercise Amount & Types

When it comes to exercise, the Field Spaniel is an active and athletic breed that thrives on physical activity. Regular exercise is essential to keep them happy, healthy, and mentally stimulated. Expect to dedicate at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day to meet their needs.

Field Spaniels have a love for exploration and adventure. Take them on brisk walks, engaging hikes, or exciting play sessions in the backyard. Mix up their exercise routine to keep things interesting and prevent boredom. Interactive toys and games, such as fetch or hide-and-seek, can tap into their natural instincts and provide mental stimulation.

In addition to physical exercise, mental stimulation is vital for Field Spaniels. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, and training sessions that challenge their problem-solving abilities will keep their minds sharp and prevent them from becoming bored or engaging in destructive behaviors.

Dog Sports

These energetic dogs also excel in various dog competitions. Agility, obedience trials, and flyball are just a few activities where Field Spaniels can showcase their intelligence, athleticism, and agility. Engaging in these competitions not only provides a physical workout but also strengthens the bond between you and your furry companion.

Exercise Precautions

Remember to consider your Field Spaniel’s individual needs. Some may require more exercise and mental stimulation than others. Factors such as age, health, and energy level should be taken into account when planning their exercise routine.

While Field Spaniels have a natural inclination for exercise, it’s important to avoid overexertion, particularly in hot weather. Ensure they have access to shade and plenty of water during exercise sessions. Pay attention to signs of fatigue, overheating, or discomfort, and adjust the intensity or duration of exercise accordingly.

Training

Training a Field Spaniel is an exciting journey filled with joy and rewards. These intelligent and eager-to-please dogs are highly trainable, making the training process a delightful experience for both you and your furry companion.

Positive Reinforcement

Start training your Field Spaniel early on to establish a strong foundation. They are quick learners, so use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and rewards to motivate and encourage them. Consistency, patience, and a gentle approach are key to successful training.

Basic Obedience

Focus on basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come, and heel. These commands lay the groundwork for good manners and ensure your Field Spaniel’s safety. Use short and clear commands, accompanied by hand signals or visual cues, to reinforce verbal cues.

You can also enroll your Field Spaniel in obedience classes or workshops. These provide structured training environments and opportunities for socialization. Working with professional trainers can help you navigate any specific challenges and refine your training techniques.

Socialization

Socialization is crucial for Field Spaniels. Expose them to different environments, people, animals, and experiences from a young age. This helps them develop into well-rounded and confident dogs. Gradually introduce them to new situations, using positive reinforcement to create positive associations.

Additional Training Tips

Consistency is key throughout their training journey. Reinforce positive behaviors consistently, and avoid punishment-based methods that can damage their trust and enthusiasm. Field Spaniels respond best to positive reinforcement, rewards, and a gentle yet firm approach.

Remember, training is a lifelong commitment. Continue to reinforce and practice learned behaviors, even after the initial training stages. This helps your Field Spaniel maintain their skills and ensures a well-behaved and happy companion.

Diet & Nutrition 

Proper nutrition is vital to keep your Field Spaniel healthy, energized, and thriving. Choosing the right diet and feeding them appropriately will support their overall well-being and ensure they have the energy to keep up with their active lifestyle.

What to Feed & How Much

When it comes to selecting dog food for your Field Spaniel, look for high-quality options that meet the guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). These guidelines ensure that the food provides a balanced and complete diet for your furry friend.

Dry food, also known as kibble, is a convenient and popular choice for many dog owners. It offers a balanced nutritional profile, promotes dental health, and can be left out for free-feeding or portioned for scheduled meals.

Wet food, on the other hand, provides moisture and can be more appealing to picky eaters. Some owners choose to feed a combination of dry and wet food to provide variety and cater to their Field Spaniel’s preferences.

The amount of food to feed your Field Spaniel depends on factors such as age, weight, metabolism, and activity level. Puppies require more frequent meals, usually three to four times a day, while adult Field Spaniels can be fed twice a day. Follow the feeding guidelines provided by the dog food manufacturer, but also monitor your dog’s body condition and adjust the portion size accordingly to maintain a healthy weight.

Regularly monitor your Field Spaniel’s body condition and adjust their diet accordingly. If you notice weight gain or loss, consult your veterinarian to make appropriate adjustments to their feeding regimen.

Treats

Treats are a fun way to reward your Field Spaniel during training or simply as a special indulgence. Opt for healthy, dog-specific treats that are low in calories and made with high-quality ingredients. Treats should be given in moderation to avoid overfeeding and ensure they complement the balanced diet.

Water

Water is essential for your Field Spaniel’s hydration. Make sure fresh, clean water is always available for them to drink. During exercise or hot weather, monitor their water intake and offer more frequent opportunities for them to drink and stay hydrated.

Health

The Field Spaniel is a generally healthy breed with a life expectancy of 12 to 13 years. However, like all dogs, they can be prone to certain health issues. Being aware of these potential problems and taking preventative measures will help you keep your furry friend in tip-top shape.

Here are common health issues associated with Field Spaniels:

Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t fit correctly into the hip socket, leading to arthritis and pain over time. Regular check-ups, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding excessive strain on their joints can help manage this condition.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA is an inherited eye disease that gradually leads to blindness. Responsible breeding practices and early detection through eye exams can help minimize the impact of PRA on your dog’s quality of life.

Ear Infections: The long, pendulous ears of Field Spaniels create a warm, moist environment that can be prone to infections. Regular ear cleaning and monitoring for signs of redness, swelling, or odor can help prevent and address ear infections promptly.

Hypothyroidism: This is a hormonal imbalance caused by an underactive thyroid gland, leading to symptoms such as weight gain, lethargy, and skin issues. A balanced diet and regular veterinary check-ups can help detect and manage hypothyroidism.

Allergies: Field Spaniels can suffer from various allergies, including food, environmental, or contact allergies. Identifying and eliminating allergens, along with appropriate veterinary care, can help alleviate symptoms and improve your dog’s well-being.

To ensure your Field Spaniel remains healthy and happy, it’s essential to provide a well-balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Look for high-quality dry, wet, or raw foods that follow the AAFCO guidelines and are tailored to your dog’s age, size, and activity level. Treats can be a great way to reward and bond with your pup, but remember to offer them in moderation to avoid weight gain.

Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations play a crucial role in maintaining your Field Spaniel’s health. Annual wellness exams allow your veterinarian to monitor your dog’s overall condition and detect any potential issues early on. Vaccinations protect your dog from common canine diseases and should be administered according to your vet’s recommendations.

History

The Field Spaniel boasts a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. Originating in England, these versatile dogs were bred as hunting companions, prized for their remarkable ability to work on both land and water. Their exceptional skills and endurance made them the ideal choice for hunters seeking a reliable partner in the field.

Field Spaniels were developed by combining various spaniel breeds, including the Sussex, Cocker, and English Water Spaniels. The goal was to create a medium-sized dog with a sturdy build, strong hunting instincts, and a gentle temperament. Over time, breeders refined the Field Spaniel’s characteristics to strike the perfect balance between appearance, athleticism, and adaptability.

Initially, the popularity of Field Spaniels soared, and they quickly gained recognition as outstanding show dogs. However, breeding practices focused too heavily on appearance, resulting in dogs with exaggerated features that hindered their working abilities. This led to a decline in the breed’s popularity among hunters and dog enthusiasts alike.

In the late 1800s, efforts were made to restore the breed’s original working qualities. Breeders focused on developing a well-proportioned dog with a keen nose, stamina, and a natural affinity for hunting. These revitalized Field Spaniels soon attracted attention once again, and their numbers began to grow.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) first recognized the Field Spaniel in 1894, acknowledging the breed’s distinct characteristics and impressive lineage. Despite this early recognition, the breed remained relatively rare in the United States throughout the 20th century. Even today, Field Spaniels are considered uncommon, often overshadowed by their more popular spaniel cousins, like the Cocker and Springer Spaniels.

Parent Club

The Field Spaniel Society of America (FSSA) is the official parent club for Field Spaniels in the United States. Founded in 1979, the FSSA is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and protecting the Field Spaniel breed.

The organization provides valuable resources for owners, breeders, and enthusiasts, including information on breed history, health, and events. You can visit their website to learn more about the Field Spaniel Society of America.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines established by breed clubs or kennel organizations, defining the ideal appearance, temperament, and physical traits of a specific breed.

It serves as a reference for breeders, judges, and enthusiasts to evaluate and maintain a breed’s unique qualities. Covering aspects like size, appearance, and temperament, breed standards are used in dog shows and competitions to assess individual dogs against the ideal representation of their breed.

Check out the Field Spaniel’s breed standard as set by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Acquiring

Preparation is key when considering a Field Spaniel. Research the breed’s characteristics, exercise needs, and grooming requirements to ensure it’s a good fit for your lifestyle. If buying, always choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes health, temperament, and responsible breeding practices. Ask for references and visit their premises to meet the puppies and parents.

Alternatively, consider rescuing a Field Spaniel in need of a loving home. Rescuing offers a wonderful opportunity to provide a forever home to a deserving dog while potentially saving a life.

Whether you buy or rescue, prepare your home with suitable supplies like a crate, toys, leash, collar, and nutritious food. Most importantly, be ready to offer patience, love, and consistent training to help your new furry friend thrive.

FAQs

Do Field Spaniels make good pets?

Yes, Field Spaniels make excellent pets for the right family. They are intelligent, affectionate, and adaptable, making them well-suited for families, singles, or seniors. Their friendly nature and eagerness to please also make them great companions for children.

Is a Field Spaniel the same as a Cocker Spaniel?

No, Field Spaniels and C Spaniels are distinct breeds. Although both are part of the spaniel family, they have different origins,, and temperaments. Field Spaniels are typically larger and were bred for hunting on land and water, while Cocker Spaniels were primarily bred for hunting woodcock.

Is a Working Cocker Spaniel the same as a Field Spaniel?

No, a Working Cocker Spaniel is a type of Cocker Spaniel bred specifically for its hunting abilities, while a Field Spaniel is a separate breed altogether. Both breeds excel in fieldwork, but they have distinct characteristics and appearances.

Do Field Spaniels bark a lot?

Field Spaniels are not known for excessive barking. However, like any dog, they may bark when excited, bored, or trying to communicate with their owners. Proper training and socialization can help manage barking behavior.

Are Field Spaniels easy to train?

Yes, Field Spaniels are generally easy to train due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. Consistent, positive reinforcement-based training methods work best for this breed. Early socialization is also essential to ensure a well-rounded, confident dog.

How much exercise do Field Spaniels need?

Field Spaniels are moderately active dogs that require at least 30-60 minutes of daily physical and mental stimulation. They enjoy long walks, hikes, swimming, and playtime in the yard. Engaging in activities like agility, obedience, or scent work can also provide mental exercise and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

Are Field Spaniels hypoallergenic?

No, Field Spaniels are not considered hypoallergenic, as they do shed moderately. Regular grooming, including brushing and occasional baths, can help manage shedding and maintain a healthy coat. Individuals with allergies should spend time around the breed before making a commitment to ensure compatibility.

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