Life span: 10-12 Years
Height: 17 – 18 inches.
Weight: 35 – 45 lbs.
A member of the Spaniel family, the Field Spaniel is noted for being slightly larger than a Cocker Spaniel. The Field Spaniel was originally bred as a show dog, as it was not very adept in the field. However, in the 1950’s the Field Spaniel was redeveloped with longer legs, making it far more suitable for fieldwork. They are noted for their lengthy ear and lustrous coat, which can be black or liver-colored, or a combination of the two colors. The Field Spaniel stands between 17 – 18 inches tall, making for a well-proportioned dog with a graceful gait.
This medium sized dog has a medium sized tail with a slight curve that remains down when resting. This is usually cut, but this is not recommended due to its cruelty. It also has long ears that flop down, and brown or hazel eyes with a black or brown nose. Their feet are webbed, and its coat is medium length, dense, water repellant, and either flat or with a slight wave. Coat colors include black, brown, and blue.
This breed is derived from the Spaniels, which have two categories: the land and the water Spaniels. Land Spaniels were called Field Spaniels, until in 1892 the English Cocker Spaniel was considered a separate breed. In an attempt to create a black Field Spaniel, this was crossbred with Basset Hounds, Sussex Spaniels, and Welsh Cocker Spaniels, but it resulted in dogs with legs that were too short, bodies too long and bones too heavy, making it unable to compete in any show or the field. In World War II the Spaniel lost its popularity and nearly became extinct, but breeders were able to restore the Field Spaniel by crossbreeding it with the Cocker Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniel. Although the resulting dogs were smaller, they were also taller than the original Field Spaniels.
This friendly dog is loyal and loving with its family, as well as sweet and gentle. This makes them perfect for children and other household pets. They have sensitive feelings, and cannot be left alone for long. They tend to be quiet and gentle when playing and dislike rough play. Usually, they can be shy with strangers, but will become their loving selves with them once they are properly introduced. Training is easy, as they are highly intelligent and willing to please. However, they do require a lot of exercise, otherwise they might develop destructive behavior, or even escape to be able to run a bit.
Field Spaniels may suffer from many diseases, including ear infections. They can also suffer from:
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Allergies that produce the same symptoms you see in humans, and depending on the cause, different treatments can be used.
Hemolytic Anemia, a disease in which the dog has two defective genes preventing the proper production of pyruvate kinase, which creates healthy blood cells. Dogs with this disease do not tend to live past their second year.
Cancer, noticeable through unusually swollen bumps, bleeding from any orifices, or sores that do not heal, along with difficulty breathing.
Cataracts, in which the lens of the eye clouds, causing partial or complete loss of vision.
Ectropion, a rolling out of the eyelid that exposes the eye to infections and can be corrected through surgery.
Epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can produce seizures.
Hypothyroidism, a disease that affects the thyroid gland, its symptoms are ear infections, skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
Their coat must be brushed weekly, as well as regularly trimmed only around the head and feet, but on a minimal level. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are quite active and need daily exercise, doing activities with their owners. Exercise is best for them when it gives them both mental and physical stimulation. Training is easy given that they are intelligent, dedicated, and willing to please their owners. Early socialization is a must for this breed.