Back in the 1800s, brittish hunters used spaniel type dogs, but these dogs were not classified by breed, but rather by their size and job. Those working hunting spaniels are ancestors of today Field Spaniel. The Field Spaniel we know today was developed to be an all-black Spaniel, which will remain its amazing hunting skills, but that will also make a great looking show ring dog. And indeed, the Field Spaniel is both. There were several breeds used in the breeds development, for example larger black Cocker Spaniels and Sussex Spaniels.
2) Almost extinct
Several times in the 1900s, the Field Spaniel almost went extinct. Especially in 1950s and 1960s the numbers of this breed were extremely low. By the late 1960s, enthusiasts got back to basics and revived the breed. Luckily, the numbers of Field Spaniels increased considerably in the past ten years and the breed is not on the verge of extinction anymore.
Even though the Field Spaniel is a great hunter, today they are most often living the spoiled life of family companions. And they are superb companions, especially for active people. The Field Spaniel loves human companionship and is very loving, affectioante, lively and sensitive dog. They want to spend as much time with their people as possible and they tend to be very attached to them. They can also live with other dogs or kids in the family without problems. Other smaller household pets might be problematic, due to the dogs higher prey drive, but this can be vastly influenced by early socialization.
4) Active dog
The Field Spaniel is a active and tireless country man. They love to be outdoors and you must take them on several daily longer walks. You can also try some dog sport with them, for example field trials or agility. These dogs also hate to be left alone and they if they are left home alone regularly for long periods of time or if they are not provided with enough exercise, they can develop some unwanted behaviour, such as excessive barking or destruction.
These dogs will be happy, if they are used for hunting - and they are excellent hunters. They have higher prey drive, they are very active and pretty tough, they have amazing sense of smell, great hearing and they are very just as good and endurant in the water, just as on the land. Naturally they work on the land, but they can be trained to be great water retrievers as well.
The Field Spaniel is one of the larger Spaniel breeds. It is larger than the Cocker Spaniel, but smaller than for example Clumber Spaniel. The average height is between 40-48 cm, which is 16-19 inch and weight should be between 16-27 kg, which is 35-60 pounds.
Just like with all dogs, early training and socialization is esential to have obedient and well behaved dog. The Field Spaniel belongs among the smarter and more intelligent dog breeds, but because they know how to be stubborn they are not total pushovers to train. They definitely need very patient and consistent training to become completely obedient. These dogs can also be little bit aloof and reserved with strangers, but they should never be agressive towards them.
The Field Spaniel is not always all black, they can also be in solid liver or roan color. They have a moderately long single coat with feathering on the chest, ears, belly and on the back of the legs. Next to the coat, the Field Spaniel is very popular for their extremely gentle expression and great looking face, which contains of long ears, almond shaped dark brown eyes, long and lean muzzle, large nose and close fitting lips.
Another great fact about the Field Spaniel is, that their coats are relatively easy to keep in good condition and clean, especially in comparsion to other Spaniel breeds. You should only brush their coat regularly, especially the highly feathered areas, to remove surplus hair and keep the coat healthy and shiny. Other than that, you should regularly check the ears, eyes, nails and teeth and clean them and clip them if needed. Pay particular attention to the ears and keep them clean and dry!
There are few health conditions to which the Field Spaniel has a predisposition and those include retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia and cataracts. The average lifespan is not the highest, around 11 or 12 years.