Field Spaniel Breed Guide
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Field Spaniel Background Info and History
Field Spaniels have a history that predates the formation of the AKC in 1884. The Field was primarily developed from a mix of larger black Cocker Spaniels and Sussex Spaniels, as well other regional Spaniel strains. The Field hit an apex of popularity in the late 1800s when it was used as a gun dog to flush out birds in the field.
By the turn of the 20th century, the Field had diminished in popularity as smaller Spaniel breeds began to be favored as companion dogs. The breed almost disappeared entirely throughout the first half of the 20th century but was saved through the efforts of a few dedicated breeders. All modern Field Spaniels descend from 4 dogs from the 1950’s and 1960’s era.
Field Spaniel Temperament and Personality
Field Spaniels are a fun loving, affectionate breed that thrives as part of a family. They are known to be docile and sensitive. Fields lean towards a laid-back demeanor around the house, but are active in the field or outdoors.
Field Spaniel Training Tips
The Field Spaniel is an intelligent breed that loves to please their owner. This is a versatile breed that does well in competitions, or as a gun dog in the field. Training and socialization should begin young to bring out the best in the Field Spaniel.
Exercise Needs of Field Spaniels
Fields are a highly active breed when outside of the home. This breed must be provided daily exercise to keep them healthy and entertained. A long walk or vigorous play session is highly recommended.
Field Spaniel Lifespan
Field Spaniels live between 12-13 years.
Field Spaniel Breed Popularity
Fields are still a very rare breed in the United States, although they have gained popularity since the 1960’s. They are currently the 147th most popular AKC registered breed.
Feeding Requirements of Field Spaniels
Owners should look for a food source that will adequately meet the needs of this active, medium-sized dog. A high-quality food that provides balanced nutrition and avoids any grain-based fillers is highly recommended. The average Field Spaniel weighs between 35-50 lbs., so expect to feed them between 2-3 cups of food per day. These amounts will vary depending on the activity level and size of your Field Spaniel.
Field Spaniel Grooming
Fields will need to be brushed on a weekly basis. Nail trimming, trimming the hair between the footpads, and trimming the hair inside the ears will also need to be done on a regular basis as part of your dog’s grooming process.
Are Field Spaniels Good With Kids?
Fields are great family dogs and excellent with children. They are gentle and affectionate, but playful and have the energy levels to keep up with even the most active children.
Common Health Problems of Field Spaniels
Hip dysplasia in dogs is a condition characterized by a loose fit between the femur and pelvis in the hip assembly. The loose fit between the two bones of this ball-and-socket joint causes the cartilage padding the bones to wear down unevenly over time.
As the cartilage wears down it leads to the formation of scar tissue, resulting in painful arthritis, bone spurs, and lameness later in the dog’s life. Hip dysplasia can be assessed from a young age through a physical examination by a veterinarian and will present as excess laxity in the hips.
Hypothyroidism in dogs is a condition where the thyroid gland is underactive and fails to produce a sufficient amount of the hormone thyroxine. This hormone is critical for regulating metabolic activity within the body.
Field Spaniels that are suffering from hypothyroidism will present signs of weight gain, low energy levels, and hair loss or other skin conditions. Hypothyroidism is most often treated with medication that replaces thyroxine with a synthetic hormone.
Patellar luxation in dogs is a condition where the kneecap, or patella, dislocates from the groove it rides in on the femur. This is an extremely painful condition that has a sudden onset.
Be mindful if your Field Spaniel displays any signs of spontaneous lameness during or following exercise, is reluctant to place weight on a limb, or is shaking a limb, as these are common signs of patellar luxation. Patellar luxation should be treated as an emergency that requires immediate medical attention.
Retinal dysplasia is a condition where the retina abnormally develops at birth. The retina is located at the back of the eye and is responsible for the eye’s ability to receive light. The most common form of retinal dysplasia is characterized by folding of the retina at one or more points.
Less common, but more serious forms of retinal dysplasia include geographic retinal dysplasia in which the retina has areas of thinning, folding, and disorganization, and detached retinal dysplasia in which the retina is detached from its normal position in the eye. Retinal dysplasia can be an inherited condition or can the result of other external conditions such as a viral infection before birth. There is no cure for retinal dysplasia, and all forms carry some degree of vision impairment.
National Breed Website: Field Spaniel Society of America