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Field Spaniel

Field Spaniel

The Field Spaniel is a medium-sized dog, slightly longer than they are tall and with a gentle, noble expression. The coat is medium/long, glossy and thick with ample feathering on the chest, stomach and backs of the legs.  

  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Medium dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Weight:  18 – 25kg 
Height:  46cm
Colours:  Rich liver, black or roan, with or without tan markings 
Size:  Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Gundog


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 3/5

The Field Spaniel is an active dog. Whilst calmer and less ‘busy’ than the Cocker, the Field Spaniel is still a spaniel, with the brains and desire to work that is common across all the spaniel types. 
Ideally suited to an outdoor, country life, the Field Spaniel is an excellent mix of sweet temperament and working ability, in the right home.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

Developed approximately 150 years ago from a mixture of Cocker and Sussex Spaniels, and possibly others, the breed fell out of favour during both world wars. In the 1960’s breed enthusiasts revived the Field Spaniel by introducing Cocker and Springer Spaniel blood. 

Considered to be sweet, affectionate and mild, the Field Spaniel remains a rare breed with many people favouring the more active and flashily marked Cocker Spaniel or the larger Springers.

Health and Common Issues

The Field Spaniel is generally a hardy breed. As with many breeds, they can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise Needs

Two or more hours of dog exercise per day ideally via a variety of activities that engage this clever dog’s mind, as well as their body. Versatile and intelligent, the Field Spaniel will do well in a range of dog sports and competition, as long as they are with their family and kept well entertained.

Space Requirements

The Field Spaniel does not require lavish housing, but will want to spend time with their family, and will require a securely fenced garden and access to interesting and varied country walks. Country or rural suburbs will suit the Field Spaniel best as they are likely to find the busy, noisy city environments overstimulating and stressful.

Nutrition and Feeding

The Field Spaniel needs to have a balanced diet including all the main nutrient groups and a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed your pet at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of their particular food. 

Grooming Field Spaniels

The medium/long coat of the Field Spaniel is silky to the touch, but is also very practical, being dense and waterproof to protect against the elements and environment when the dog was out working. The coat should be groomed several times a week, paying particular attention to the feathering, which is prone to tangling. Check after each walk, paying particularly attention to ears and paws. Find out more about dog grooming and daily care with our article. 

Training Field Spaniels

The Field Spaniel will enjoy a wide range of activities, as long as they are working with their owner or family, they’ll have fun. Field Spaniels find carrying and holding objects in their mouths inherently reinforcing, so early and consistent training in retrieving to hand, and being willing to swap items for toys and treats is vital to ensure misunderstandings do not occur. This is a busy dog who likes to follow scent and explore the open countryside so a strong recall and good training to ignore livestock is a must. Easily motivated to work for toys or treats, the Field Spaniel is fun to train and work with.

Best Family Dog Breeds

The Field Spaniel is an excellent family dog for those with children old enough to understand how to behave around dogs and ideally help with training and enjoy long country walks or dog sports. As spaniels enjoy picking up and carrying objects it is important to teach the dog to retrieve and swap and to teach children not to take items from the dog or chase the dog to get items back as this can lead to behavioural problems. 

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with each other and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them. 

did you know?

Did You Know?

The Field Spaniel is one of Britain’s Vulnerable Breeds, with the highest number of puppy registrations in the last five years only 80! The Vulnerable Breeds list was created to highlight breeds at risk of disappearing and it is a shame the Field Spaniel is not more popular, as being calmer, they are often far better suited to family life than the more popular Cockers, Working Cockers or Springers.

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