Field Spaniels came about as a breed in the late 1800s when Welsh Spaniels were crossed with Sussex Spaniels and English Water Spaniels, creating a long, low spaniel. Later Springer and Cocker lines were introduced to achieve a more balanced, substantial dog to suit his purpose as a hunter's companion.
Eager and hardworking, with a good scenting ability, the Field Spaniel is an enthusiastic retriever with great endurance and noble attitude. He is an active and energetic dog who can live anywhere as long as he gets lots of daily exercise.
He has sturdy legs and big feet with soft hair between the toes (that needs occasional trimming). His dense, glossy coat, wavy and feathery, is usually black or liver, but can also be golden liver, or roan (different colors of single hairs) and have tan markings. His tail is docked, to balance his overall appearance.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: A substantial hunter and companion of medium size, active and strong, solid and muscular; both noble and affectionate; sometimes reserved with strangers.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--males, ideal size 18 inches; females, ideal size 17 inches at withers.
The obedient, fun-loving Field Spaniel is one of the least-known spaniels. That is because of the great popularity of his cousins, the English Springer and the Cocker Spaniels. Actually, the breed almost died out in the 1950s. All of today's Field Spaniels are directly descended from four dogs.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.