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Group Gundogs (KC)
History These dogs originated in England and are descendants of the English Cocker Spaniel. This breed was created particularly for the purpose of conformation showing. Since most spaniels had the color white in their coat, breeders wanted to develop a spaniel that will boast of a solid black coat. Among the spaniels bred to create this kind of breed was the Irish Water Spaniel. When the Field Spaniel was introduced, it became popular instantly. However, due to the focus of show breeders on these dogs, they rapidly declined in number and the remaining ones were cross-bred with Basset Hounds and Sussex Spaniels. Doing so, though, led to a number of health problems, which eventually caused these dogs' popularity to decline.
Since the dogs were in danger of becoming extinct, breeders exerted efforts to restore these dogs to their old form. The dogs were then cross-bred with English Springer Spaniels. However, even though these dogs are now back to normal, they didn't become as popular as they were before. Thus, they remain rare and are used in show rings, or in the fields for hunting purposes.
Appearance These dogs are moderate in size, and are a little longer and heavier than the Cocker Spaniel. They have silky coats that sometimes sport markings or speckling. They have feathered chests, legs, tails, undersides, and ears. Their noses are large, with nostrils that are very open. They have muscular and strong necks, and they have pendant ears and docked tails.
Colours Coats of these dogs usually sport solid colors which are either black or liver. There are some of these dogs that have markings of tan. White markings on the chest area are also acceptable.
Temperament These dogs are independent, but they are also affectionate, sweet, and friendly. These dogs love everyone, although they may become quite shy around strangers. They can get along well with other dogs and household pets. They are also good with children, although they do not enjoy roughhousing and will thus be able to interact better with older, more considerate children. Dogs of this breed bond well with their family members, although it is said that they tend to focus their strong affections on only one member of the family.
Weight They are 43 - 46 cm in height and 18 - 25Kg in weight.
Problems Like other dogs, Field Spaniels are susceptible to developing hip dysplasia. They can also get afflicted with ear infections as well.
Living Conditions Dogs of this breed should not be kept inside apartments nor locked away in kennels. They should be provided with at least a large yard where they can roam. However, the yard should be fenced properly because these dogs have innate hunting instincts. They also do better in areas with cool temperatures.
Requirements Since these dogs are working dogs, they need lots of exercise. These dogs must be taken for walks daily, and they should also be given the opportunity to run around and play.
Training Requirements These dogs may be temperamental and stubborn, but they are, more often than not, calm dogs. They are intelligent and they learn easily. Owners must make sure that they train these dogs with kindness and consistency. Since these dogs can be sensitive to the owner's tone of voice, they should not be trained using a harsh and tough approach as these will only bring about negative effects.
Life Expectancy These dogs can live for as long as 10 to 12 years.
Grooming Coats of these dogs should be combed and brushed at least once a week. Dead hairs must be plucked, and hairs on their legs, neck, and ears should be thinned out. Their ear passages should also be checked for dirt and cleaned regularly. Field Spaniels that are meant to be show dogs should also be groomed by a professional approximately four times in a year.
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