Temperament: Sweet, Fun-Loving, Sensitive
- Height: 18 inches (male), 17 inches (female)
- Weight: 35-50 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12-13 years
- Group: Sporting Group
The sweet and sensitive Field Spaniel is famously docile, but vigorous and game for anything when at play or in the field. These close cousins to Cocker Spaniels and Springer Spaniels may be small in number, but their charm is enormous.
The Field Spaniel is a combination of beauty and utility. It is a well balanced, substantial hunter-companion of medium size, built for activity and endurance in a heavy cover and water. It has a noble carriage; a proud but docile attitude; is sound and free moving. Symmetry, gait, attitude and purpose are more important than any one part.
About the Field Spaniel
Field Spaniels bear a family resemblance to Cocker, Springer, and Sussex spaniels. The distinctive glossy coat is either black, some shade of liver, or combinations of the two. They stand 17 or 18 inches at the shoulder and should present the picture of well-balanced, moderately proportioned hunting companions. The long, feathery ears frame a facial expression conveying a grave, gentle intelligence.
Field Spaniels are sweet, sensitive souls with just enough independence to make life interesting. They are trustworthy with kids, tolerant of their fellow mammals, and responsive to training. The U.S. breed standard calls these tranquil house dogs “unusually docile,” but they are nonetheless playful and enjoy a good backyard romp.
NUTRITION Field Spaniels adore their meals and treats. “Owners often joke that we have Food Spaniels,” says one breed devotee. Fields can be quite motivated in training by their drive for food. It is generally agreed that the breed will thrive on a good-quality, balanced diet that is nutritionally bio-available. Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not.
GROOMING The lovely single coat is one of the breed’s most attractive features but requires regular care and maintenance. Weekly brushing and combing will keep the coat shiny and help to reduce shedding. Fields may need minimal trimming about the head and feet. The breed is not to be body clipped as some other spaniels. Their ears should be checked regularly for any signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs.
EXERCISE An active sporting breed, the Field possesses an energetic spirit that does best with regular exercise and mental stimulation. They are suitable for many canine sports and activities and enjoy brisk activity, as well as downtime at home with their families. Fields are found in a wide variety of lifestyles, from city to country, but do best when given challenges for both the mind and body.
TRAINING The Field Spaniel is an intelligent problem-solver who is trainable and can excel at any game when properly motivated. These “thinking dogs” thrive best on clear communication and reward, with minimal correction. They require early socialisation and a family sensitive to their needs. Fields love their people and range from serious to clownish in attitude. Once they understand expectations, they are solid in training, and the breed excels in multiple canine sports and activities. Fields are an amazing, soft breed that are not for everyone, but owners feel their sometimes-oafish habits such as snoring, sloppy drinking, and perpetually shedding coats are well worth their companionship.
HEALTH A generally healthy breed, Field Spaniels have seen some issues that also affect other breeds. Responsible breeders screen for genetic disease and select for health-cleared stock. Breeders are urged to adhere to recommended testing and consider orthopaedics, thyroid, eyes, cardiac, and late-onset seizures when planning mating. Temperament, structure, and health are all very important in making up this breed that is a “combination of beauty and utility” in an enthusiastic canine companion.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Ophthalmologic Exam
- Hip Evaluation
- Autoimmune Thyroiditis