Field Spaniel 
Agile Working Dog

The Field Spaniel originated in the late 19th century by cross breeding the Cocker and Sussex spaniels. The intent was to develop a heavier spaniel of the type that was desired by sportsmen at that time. The resulting spaniel fell short of expectations and turned out to be very badly proportioned and entirely unsuitable as a working dog.

Field Spaniel standing on green floor looking backImage courtesy Canarian

Over time the breed has been refined to correct the original flaws and excesses by introducing more desirable qualities from other spaniel lines. This has brought about much improvement in the breed.

Field Spaniels of today are handsome and well-balanced and have all the attributes of good breeding. Their expression is as gentle and contemplative as is their calm demeanor. Their size falls in between the Springer and the Cocker.

This rare breed is not as well known as other spaniels, but they are lovely dogs and have many sound qualities to recommend them.

Characteristics of the Field Spaniel

Many owners report that the Field Spaniel is an excellent family companion, being both smart and very affectionate. They have a great affinity with people and enjoy being given a job to do.

While their nature is fun loving and independent, they can also become a bit reserved around strangers taking their own time to warm up to them.

Early socialization is recommended for this breed that can be timid but, at the same time, loves to be around people.

The Field's intelligence and background makes very responsive to training in obedience tracking or agility.

However, it is good to keep in mind that they have a sensitive nature and do best if training techniques are tailored accordingly, all the while maintaining consistency, but never harshness.

field spaniel with black coat standing in grassImage Courtesy Pleple2000

Physical Stats And Care

Height: 17-18 inches
Weight: 35-53 pounds
Color Variations: The Fieldie is mostly seen in solid colors of black, liver, golden liver, mahogany red, or any of these colors with tan.

The single straight coat is dense, rich and silky. It is of medium length and lies flat or may have a slight wave and is weather resistant.

Some feathering appears on the chest, undercarriage and backs of legs. The tail may be seen either natural or docked.

Shedding is above average so be prepared to brush the coat a few times a week. This will help keep it under control while maintaining a nice sheen to the coat.  Mats and tangles can be a bother if not dealt with promptly.

In addition, those long ears need regular attention to discourage infections and parasites. Hair should be kept clipped inside the ears, and also between the pads on the feet.

Clean teeth daily or as often as tolerated and clip nails as needed.

Health Notes

field spaniel illustration

Owners can expect to enjoy their Field Spaniel for up to thirteen years if they receive good health care and nutritional needs are met with high quality food.

Some health conditions that may affect the breed include:

  • Hip Dysplasia,
  • Eye disorders such as cataracts,
  • Retinal Dysplasia and
  • Retinal atrophy.

Responsible breeders will have these recommended health screenings completed:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Autoimmune Thyroidistis

According to the UK Kennel Club, the top cause of death in the breed has been cancer, though it is good to note that following cancer, old age is next in frequency!

Activity Level

Field Spaniels have a highly active heritage and the endurance to match.

They need to be thoroughly exercised on a regular schedule and ideally given a chance to run freely in a safe area whenever possible.  "Fields" are a favored place for this!

Agility is a sporting activity well-suited to the Fieldie for its excitement and mental challenges. He enjoys and does well in these events.

Ideal Living Space

This breed can live inside quite comfortably, but a home with an ample yard is the most suitable.

Bear in mind that a Field will naturally explore anything of interest, so do keep your property free of escape routes.

The Field Spaniel With Children?

Has a good reputation with children that know how to interact with pets in a considerate way. Though being a very patient dog, he does not like to participate in rough play and will avoid such activities.

The caution remains that an adult should always supervise interactions between children and pets.

Senior Or Less Active Families?

Field Spaniels, with their wonderful disposition and calm nature, are ideal companions for seniors or the less active,  providing exercise needs can be arranged and grooming kept up.

Without sufficient regular exercise, an active breed will act out his boredom in undesirable ways.

Share Your Knowledge And Dog Pictures

Do you have a Field Spaniel? Luck you if you do! This is a unique and rare dog breed that is often wait-listed by those interested having one. So we know you must be proud to own this lovely and lively spaniel.

We would love for you to share your dog's pictures and his story as well as your knowledge about the breed in general.

You can upload photos and tell your dog's story here. For inspiration, read some of the stories already submitted by other dog lovers.

Further Reading

field spaniel owner handbook
Field Spaniel: A Complete and Reliable Handbook (Rare Breed)

Full-color guide. Contains information about this rare breed's breed history, characteristics and pet attributes, breed standard, grooming, puppy care, house training, nutrition and breeding, basic obedience training.

Also addresses proper health care, including the potential disorders that may concern the breed.

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  • Images: Licenses CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  •  Licenses/CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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