Once almost extinct, the Field Spaniel survives today because of the efforts of dedicated breeders in England. Hunters who love spaniels as hunting companions recognize the desire of this hunting dog breed to hunt as well as its excellent nose. This kind of spaniel can hunt in different kinds of areas, be it a thick cover or a wide open space. Extremely versatile, they are capable of adjusting their range and speed the type of cover in the area being hunted. They may be slower than Springer Spaniels but they can find prey that others have passed on.
Trainability & Hunting Style
What makes the Field Spaniel one of the best hunting dogs is their ability to find birds. Of course, they are aided by a fantastic nose that can sense birds that are quite a distance from them. Then again, this sensing ability also depends on the wind pattern. But generally, they can locate prey fairly quickly and also return downed birds. Bred to hunt the English midlands, they work well in tight cover or in fields that are small in size. However, they perform quite well when hunting wild pheasants in open prairies. A Field Spaniel may be slow but they really cover ground until they can sense game then put effort into going after it. This hunting dog breed also makes good retrievers, be it on land or water. They seem to have their own mind when hunting, and their idea can wildly differ from that of their hunting partner. Scolding them for this won’t do any good as this breed doesn’t respond well to being corrected in a harsh manner. Being firm but fair is the best way to deal with this type of gun dog.
A great combination of beauty and purpose, the Field Spaniel is a well balanced medium-sized gun dog with a noble carriage. The hunting dog’s build makes it suitable for activities requiring endurance particularly in heavy cover as well as in water. A Field Spaniel is usually 17 to 18 inches tall and can weigh between 40 to 55 pounds. This breed has a coat that is long and silky which comes in black, liver or roan. Their long coat has no undercoat with a bit of feathering on the belly, back of the legs, chest and ears. Although their coat is not as heavy as other spaniels, it requires frequent grooming to prevent matting.
Although fields are gun dogs, they do well with indoor living as long as they have a purpose. If they don’t find anything to do, they will try to find something that will amuse them which often leads to mischief. Fields are good with children and are loyal to their family. They need to be socialized at an early age so they can get along with other hunting dogs.
Field Spaniels have long coats which require regular brushing as well as an occasional trim. Doing this ensures their coat remains in good condition. Affectionate and smart, fields may be deemed docile but they do enjoy the occasional activity. They also have an independence about them that is rather interesting to owners. They are patient and respond well to training.
The Field Spaniel is prone to several ocular issues including retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia and cataracts. The British line seems particularly prone to hip dysplasia while a survey by the Kennel Club found that cancer was the most common cause of death. The hunting dog breed will normally live for 10 to 12 years.