The Friendly Field Spaniel

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Field Spaniel
Weight: 35 — 50 lbs
Height: 17” — 18”
AKC Rank 2008 #138
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs
Group Sporting
Origin: England

Dog Breed Info - The Field Spaniel

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Breed Overview

Origin: 1800’s/ Original function: Bird flushing and Retrieving. Today: Bird flushing and Retrieving. Colors: Black, red, golden-liver, solid or bi-colored.

The Field Spaniel started out very much like the English /cocker Spaniel with the main difference being size. They were derived from the Sussex, Cocker and English Water Spaniels and were all black. In the late 1800’s they became noted as a separate breed which were bred heavily with Sussex Spaniels resulting in dogs with extra length, heavier bones and shorter legs. The breed lost popularity and became nearly extinct in the early 1900’s. Crosses to English Springer Spaniels were an attempt to recreate the breed back to its original form which proved successful. The modern Spaniel is an excellent replica of it’s former self and is also a worthy hunter. The breed was registered by the AKC in 1894. It reached some popularity in America but by the mid 1900’s lost favor to the English Cocker Spaniel and is now one of the most rare breeds in the country.


Field Spaniels are very trainable and respond well to kind, good-natured training and positive reinforcement with clicker training as back up. They are sensitive so they need a firm but friendly trainer who is persistent and calm. The breed wants to please and enjoys training sessions.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Spaniel puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The Field Spaniel puppy isn’t too hard to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. They learn pretty fast. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


The Field Spaniel is active, alert and needs something to do to prevent boredom. He can not be left alone for long periods, does not do well in kennels or tied up in the back yard and needs a LOT of exercise every day. This is a gun dog with a lot of energy that prefers to hunt, flush gamer, but is also a wonderful house pet and companion. He’s intelligent, playful and VERY affectionate. This breed is usually reserved with strangers and is a fairly good watchdog. This docile indoor dog ican be as great friend to anyone once he gets to know them. Outdoors, they tend to roam and follow their nose if they pick up a scent so they must be kept on leash..

If you happen to get an Field Spaniel with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."


Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Moderately friendly. May pick and chose his dog friends. Not aggressive, Like all dogs, this breed likes some but not all dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

.Does well with other house pets. Introduce dogs on common ground with a dog walk in the park or parking lot. Introduce cats by placing cat in a crate in the room an hour a day for 4 days and let the dog sniff, then let the dog and cat mingle together while you supervise. It might not even take that much.

It’s even better if the dog is raised with the other pets.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Reserved with strangers. Can be timid, stand-offish, even fearful until the dog becomes familial with the stranger.


Very playful. A happy, fun-loving dog. Teach his plenty of games!


Extremely affectionate. Needs to be with his family of humans and needs plenty of companionship. This breed ca not be pushed aside and left alone.

Good with children?

Yes, especially older, well-mannered kids, 6 or 7 and up that know how to behave around a dog. He has little tolerance for the screaming, poking, pulling and pushing antics of small children. He also does not like rambunctious, rough play. “Well-mannered kids” is the keyword here.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Maybe. The Field Spaniel could work for seniors of they are into jogging or walking for health. This dog is loyal, playful, affectionate, calm and docile so he could be a perfect match for the senior as long as he can get his exercise.

Living environment

House with a medium to large fenced yard and doggie door, farm or ranch are best so the dog can roam and sniff about.


Energy level

High energy. Rate this about 9 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

Fairly high. The Field Spaniel makes a good jogging partner. Or, two long walks on leash. Also, some games of fetch or other creative play sessions and maybe some training sessions too.


Will definitely announce people at the door or in the yard.

Guard dog

Will protect his one family, but is not known for guarding abilities. Too sweet a personality.


Moderate shedding.


  • Brush or comb the coat 2 or 3 times a week.
  • Clip hair between toes on footpads and in ears regularly.
  • Clean the ears with a cotton swab. Remove excess oils, wax and hair once a week to prevent bacterial infections which this dog is prone to. (See Otitis externa below)
  • Consider taking the dog to a groomer every three to four months.


Suggested Reading—The Field Spaniel

  • At far lefdt—A Comprehensive Owners Guide for the Field Spaniel. Hardcover. Limited quantity available.

  • 2nd book from the left—”How To Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves” is a training book for the serious outdoors man and hunting enthusiast.

  • 3rd book from the left—”50 Games To Play With Your Dog” is a collection of simple to teach and play games that will stimulate your dog’s mind and keep him active and alert. It's a fun book.

  • Book at far right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog health, emergencies and injuries. It’s a valuable reference manual for all dog owners. Vol 2, 2008, includes a DVD.

Field Spaniel Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Field Spaniel puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training. Field Spaniel Breeders with puppies for sale. As I write this, the link is showing only 3 breeders world wide. Try an online search for Field Spaniel breeders or puppies for sale.

Field Spaniel Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Field Spaniel Rescue group in your area, here is a link that might help:
Petfinder - Field Spaniel Rescue As I write this, Petfinder is showing only 7 dogs available to adopt in the USA. That might be enough, but in case you want more selection, go online and search for Field Spaniel Rescue or Clubs or kennels. This is a VERY rare breed. If you do find one to adopt, try to locate any dog health records and save for possible future reference.

Dog Health Issues For The Field SpanielBelow: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Field Spaniel by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are the dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia CHD- Hind end limping, hind/back leg acts lame, can't move, weak legs. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing the Field Spaniel great pain, weakness and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Otitis externa—Ear infections—Inflammation and infection of the outer ear, especially dogs with long, floppy ear flaps. Dirt and moisture collect and breed yeast and bacteria. Ear hair and wax contribute to the infection environment. If left untreated it can become a serious infection. If at home treatments with cleaning and meds don't work and the problem worsens, surgery might be the last resort.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—(PRA) An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Cataracts—Hazy or cloudy vision which, if not treated, can cause total blindness.

  • Patellar luxation—Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg, weak legs. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs. It’s most common in small dogs like the Field Spaniel. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, lame or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

  • Heart murmurs—Caused by congenital heart problems of acquired heart disease. A murmur can suggest an abnormal; heart valve, muscle disease, and abnormal opening, heartworms, a thyroid problem, or even anemia. Symptoms: Breathing problems, slow or fast heart rate, loss of appetite, total collapse, weakness, couching. There are many causes of murmur. Treatment depends on the cause and type of source.

  • Seizures—A serious disorder that usually show u0p at around 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in dogs.

Other health problems could occur with your Field Spaniel. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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