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Living With The Field Spaniel

Photo Courtesy of Field Spaniel Society of America

By Shannon Rodgers Daspit

Our breed is noted to be “Unusually docile, sensitive, fun-loving, independent and intelligent, with a great affinity for human companionship” and has unique individual personalities as so many of our canine companions do.  They range from the serious stalwart to the downright goofball in attitude, and we often see a range of traits within one dog!  Owners agree life is sweet with our chosen breed, but not necessarily for everyone.

As an active sporting breed, the Field Spaniel likes to be a member of its family first and foremost.  It’s sensitivity and desire to be companion to people serves it well as a medium sized hunter companion.  It is active in the home, busy with daily activity and part of your world.  Our dogs fare well having jobs – if made fun and using their natural abilities it is highly satisfying.  While active home companions, the Field Spaniel loves the games we play, from companion events (rally, obedience, agility) to tracking and field work as well as such things as nose work, barn hunt, freestyle and lure coursing.  Our dogs enjoy learning new games with us and train well using rewarding methods and a fun, positive approach.

As with all canines, proper socialization and basic obedience training is imperative for having a lifelong companion who is not only your best friend, but also appreciated in public.  Many Field owners enjoy the biddability, or ease of teaching, found within the breed.  We find their problem-solving ability to be amazing and enjoyable throughout a lifetime.  Know that Field Spaniels do best with work to do, be it within your community or through sport.

Our breed has found its home in the city, the country, and everywhere in between – from walks on suburban sidewalks to hunting quieted farm fields. With responsible ownership and access to controllable exercise, the Field thrives with people and can do well with other animals as well.

Keeping a Field Spaniel groomed is a bonding experience and keeps our friends healthy and happy.  Maintenance of the body coat is relatively simple with good nutrition.  It is single and glossy in texture, never to be body clipped.  Trimming and stripping is generally limited to the head and ears, feet and pasterns, with regular care required. Breeders are helpful in showing new owners the ropes of proper care, and when raised and trained with structure, a Field makes a lovely and sensitive canine friend.

Photo Courtesy of Field Spaniel Society of America

While noted as a land spaniel, some individuals are known to enjoy water whether in the outdoors or in the drinking capacity.  Surprisingly, it is not always their long, pendulous ears that dip in the water, though!  Many are known to be sloppy drinkers, sometimes because of enthusiasm and at times just not minding, that they are being busy – dripping water from their lips as they happily trot by!  Strategic placement of water stations will help as will various types of containers.  Another interesting trait is the occasional snoring some do.  Still other individuals make interesting sounds, but this again may range from quiet peeps to yodels to warbling outside of the typical dog bark.

When considering the lifespan of the Field Spaniel, it is exciting to see puppies and healthy young dogs in their prime.  Many are living into their teens and active as well.  We are fortunate to have shared improved health and longevity with our breed over the years.  It is important to note that reputable Field Spaniel breeders have been working on health testing for hips, knees & elbows, eyes, cardiac, and thyroid in their stock.  Many say we have a “gene puddle” as opposed to a gene pool and so breed carefully to maintain genetic diversity.

One of their best characteristics besides being charming to behold is their apparent silly nature, at times playing the jester of a home.  Antics can be redirected and channeled into proper desired behaviors, and their humor is much revered.

Temperaments range from outgoing to reserved and should never be aggressive.  This is a breed who may take time to socialize as a puppy and in younger years and may “size someone up” before bestowing trust and friendship upon them.  They are a slow-to-mature breed, both in body and mind, but the payoff is an amazing journey of a lifetime together.   All the Fields I have known have displayed mellow moments and a spirit and joy in life that makes them fun and interesting to live with.  Life with Fields will yield hair and an air of energy in your home, as well as water and humor!  Overall, the Field Spaniel combines a lot of dog into a medium package that can play many games, suited for a variety of conditions.  A finer friend I have not found…

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Posted by on Jan 13 2014. Filed under Featured, The Buzz. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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