Breeds similar to todays German Spaniel were present in the area of todays Germany for centuries, where they were most often used for flushing game. One of the dog breeds was the Stöberer and the German Spaniel is based on this Stöberer breed. The development of German Spaniel began in 1880s, when few German breeders, most importantly Frederick Roberth decided to create a new hunting dog breed. Roberth found few specimens of the Stöberers in Bavaria and he crossed with water dogs and sporting spaniels. The offsprings were the first German Spaniels. The German Spaniel ancestry is related to Drentse Patrijshond or to Small Munsterlander.
The main utilization of the Deutscher Wachtelhund is, and always was hunting. It is a very versatile gundog and it is mainly use for flushing the game, but they are also very good at retrieving or tracking. This breed has a strong hunting instict and prey drive, great determination and passion for the hunt, good endurance and speed and of course, great sense of smell. This is just natural hunter and even today, most of these dogs are owned and bred by hunters and foresters.
But this is not only an amazing hunter. When they are home, around its family, it is a friendly and loving companion. This breed is typically okay with other dogs in the family. On the other hand, smaller household pets might be problematic, due to the dogs higher prey drive and hunting insticts, but it can be influenced by early socialization. This is quite adaptable, loyal and active breed, which is best suited as companion dog for active people who enjoys long outdoor walks or hikes and who have plenty of time to deal with the German Spaniels energy.
The Deutscher Wachtelhund was officially recognized as a breed in 1903 by the German breed club. Of course, most of them live in their homeland, which is Germany, but you can also find them in smaller numbers in some neighboring countries. They are also quite popular in Sweden and there is approximately one to two hundred purebred German Spaniels in the USA and Canada. This is still considered to be a rare breed.
The name German Spaniel can not be more descriptive. It is a Spaniel dog breed from Germany. Deutcher Wachtelhund name is also very descriptive. Deutcher means German, Wachtel means quail, which is the prey these dogs hunt and hund means dog. So the literal translation of their German name is German Quail Dog. Sometimes they are also called just as Deutcher Wachtel.
This is a well built, muscular, strong boned dog breed with medium size and average height between 45-54 cm which is 18-22 inch and weight is usually between 18-25 kg, which is 40-55 pounds. Females are naturally slightly smaller and lighter than males.
Probably the first thing you will admire about this dog is its beautiful long wavy coat, which is quite thick, dense and close fitting. BTW, these dogs do not always have the wavy coat, even though it is prevalent. Even according to the official breed standard, the coat can sometiems be curly or smooth. Usually these dogs come in solid brown or brown roan color, but also in different shades of red. Often times they also have white or ticked markings on the toes or chest.
8) Training and exercise
Just like all the Spaniel breeds, this is an intelligent breed, but they also know how to be stubborn and they are independent. Independence is important when on the hunt, but, when it comes to classic obedience training, it makes the dog little bit harder to train. It is definitely not a pushover to train. They need patient and consistent trainer who will regularly, firmly and kindly train them and show them how to behave. These dogs are also quite energetic and if you want them to stay healthy and happy, they need daily longer walks in the nature accompanied with some vigorous playtime or fun training sessions. Without enough exercise, they can develop some unwanted behaviour, such as excessive barking or destruction.
If you want to keep the coat of German Spaniel in the best possible condition, than they require regular brushing to keep the coat tangle free, clean and by regular brushing you will also remove any dead and loose hair and minimize the shedding. You can also trim the hair between the toes or in some other places where it grows too long. No other grooming needs are necessary. So the grooming is not terribly hard, but it is not a maintenance free dog. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
In general, the Deutcher Wachtelhund is a healthy dog with few genetic problems and with average lifespan around 13 years. Of course, just like any other breed, they may suffer from some health issues, which may include hip dysplasia, some eye problems or skin allergies, but usually, this is a very healthy dog