Field Spaniel

FCI standard Nº 123

Origin
Great-Britain
Group
Group 8 Retrievers, Flushing Dogs, Water Dogs
Section
Section 2 Flushing Dogs
Working
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Monday 27 December 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Tuesday 27 July 2021
Last update
Monday 13 September 2021
En français, cette race se dit
Field Spaniel
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Field Spaniel
En español, esta raza se dice
Field Spaniel
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Field Spaniel

Usage

Flushing and retrieving dog. Ideal for rough shooting or companion for the country dweller. Not suitable for city.

Brief historical summary

Gundogs that are trained to find live game and/or to retrieve game that has been shot and wounded is a very old tradition, not the least in Great Britain. The Field Spaniel belongs to the category of Flushing Spaniels that earlier was called “Land Spaniels”. - Although Spaniels are capable of doing the same work as Retrievers. The Field Spaniel is a product of crossing the one-time Sussex Springer and the Cocker Spaniel in the late nineteenth century. Twice, the breed nearly disappeared, firstly when fashion fads all but ruined the breed in the early 1900s and, secondly, when in the 1950s breed numbers were so small that the Kennel Club withdrew championship status, this being restored in 1969 only after determined efforts by breeders to maintain the breed. Still not a popular breed by modern standards, but nevertheless makes a good companion for the country dweller.

General appearance

Well balanced, noble, upstanding sporting Spaniel, built for activity and endurance.

Behaviour / temperament

Unusually docile, active, sensitive, independent.

Head

Cranial region

Head
Conveys the impression of high breeding, character and nobility.
Skull
Well chiselled, occiput well defined, lean beneath eyes. A thickness here gives coarseness to whole head. Slightly raised eyebrows.  
Stop
Moderate.

Facial region

Nose
Well developed with good open nostrils.
Muzzle
Long and lean, neither snipy nor squarely cut. In profile curving gradually from nose to throat.
Jaws and teeth
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Eyes
Wide open but almond-shaped with tight lids showing no haw. Grave and gentle expression. Dark hazel in colour.
Ears
Moderately long and wide, set low and well feathered.

Neck

Long, strong and muscular enabling dog to retrieve his game without undue fatigue.

Body

Back
Back and loin strong, level and muscular.
Chest
Deep and well developed. Ribs moderately well sprung. Length of rib cage is two-thirds of the body length.

Tail

Previously customarily docked. Set on low. Never carried above level of back. Nicely feathered, with lively action.
Docked: Docked by one third.
Undocked: Reaches approximately to the hocks. Of mo derate length in balance with the rest of the dog.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Legs of moderate length. Straight, flat bone.
Shoulders
Long and sloping and well laid back.
Forefeet
Tight, round with strong pads and not too small.

Hindquarters

Generality
Strong, muscular.
Stifle
Moderately bent.
Hock
Well let down.
Hind feet
Tight, round with strong pads and not too small.

Gait and movement

Long, unhurried stride with great drive from the rear. Short, stumping action undesirable.

Coat

Hair
Long, flat, glossy and silky in texture. Never curly, short or wiry. Dense and weatherproof. Abundant feathering on chest, under body and behind legs, but clean from hock to ground.
Colour
Black, black and tan, blue roan, blue roan and tan, liver, liver and tan, liver roan, liver roan and tan.
In solid-coloured dogs, white or roan on chest is permissible.
All other colours, including clear black and white, clear liver and white, orange, red, golden or sable highly undesirable. (See introductory paragraph).

Size and weight

Height at withers
Males and females : Approximately 46 cm at the withers.
Weight
Between 18-25 kg (40-55 lbs).

Faults

• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

Bibliography

http://www.fci.be/

 

Detailed history

The Field Spaniel is one of the oldest specimens of Spaniels and certainly one of the finest, endowed with incontestable qualities of cynegetic. "One of the oldest Land Spaniels in England is now declining to the point where it seems to be going extinct. This long-forgotten dog has never regained its popularity, and the increasingly rare registrations recorded by the Kennel Club suggest that it will soon disappear. These alarming words, which can be read in S. Dangerfield's International Dog Encyclopedia, are fortunately a little exaggerated, since, in fact, the Kennel Club has been in the midst of eighty births for several years, which puts Field Spaniel out of danger. In addition, this dog has a core of loyal fans in the United States as well as in Western Europe, especially in France where he has been present since 1982.

The history of Field Spaniel has been most confused and eventful. Indeed, until the end of the last century, the British married without any care the different varieties of Spaniels. Thus, Obo, the famous ancestor of the Cocker race born in 1879, had for father a Sussex Spaniel and for mother a Field.

For a long time, specialists had distinguished only Spaniels working on land; Land Spaniels; and those used in the marsh; the Water Spaniels.

In 1859, during the first exhibitions, an attempt was made to differentiate the lighter Land Spaniels, but the dog was then only in its infancy, and this separation was not retained until 1870, Field Spaniel thus being the first type characterized among Land Spaniels. Then a separate class was created for the Fields weighing less than twenty-five pounds, which was soon named Cocker Spaniels. Given their small size, these dogs were particularly good at hunting under the thickest cover, which was a great success in England, where they were also appreciated for their temperament. Abroad, the race was also quickly recognized.

The powerful and robust Spaniels, meanwhile, were especially popular hunters wealthy, with large areas game. Thus, the Clumber Spaniel was adopted by King George V. Only the Springer Spaniel, before becoming the master of the field-trials, remained on the sidelines of the cynophilia.

The Field Spaniel was too beautiful, especially in his black dress, the most common, to remain confined in a role of hunter. It could not be the smallest or the largest: so we tried to make it the longest, and it is also a fact that the different Spaniels have a more rectangular silhouette than their continental counterparts, the Spaniels.

But the choice of this "look", original as it may have appeared, was an unfortunate initiative, because the lengthening of the body did not increase the dog's ability to hunt, while not promoting its use as a dog by company, nor embellishing it. It would have been preferable for the Field to see its original morphology preserved, to remain the big brother of the Cocker, thus being suitable for people wishing to have an efficient hunting dog with class and colors of interest. On the contrary, the British breeders transformed him at the end of the century into a low-legged dog, with a very elongated body, which became in a way a voluminous basset dressed in Spaniel. This modification was of course not going to be successful, and the Field was the object of violent attacks: "Heavy head, hunched, lazy, evoking a crocodile, a German sausage, a caterpillar", such were the qualifiers that the we used to describe it. He even went so far as to assume that there were too many legs to prevent his belly from dropping to the ground.

The examination of the champions of the time, Solus, Matford Daisy, Ace of Trumps, Barum King and Trumpington Dora, confirms this exaggeration, both from the breeders, who even presented their specimens in extension to accentuate their length, and that of the judges, who distinguished the most disproportionate subjects. If we can not challenge the British breeding genius, we must also report their few failures, especially about the Clydesdale Terrier and Field Spaniel. Moreover, the English themselves recognized their error by suppressing the inscriptions of the race in 1919 in the Book of Origins, and abolishing the classes reserved for the Field in exhibitions.

However, the breed had not disappeared, and in the 1920s the breeders finally returned to a well-built type, showing activity and endurance. But the harm was done, so that, in the minds of dog enthusiasts, the Field long remained an animal unfit for work and physically ridiculous. It is clear that bad reputations have a hard life. And yet, this dog had its place, as shown by the rather surprising efforts made by Cocker breeders on their side to select a larger type, which proved mediocre.

Hit, like most races, by the Second World War, Field found itself in a very bad position in the sixties, which confirms the figures of the Kennel Club which recorded, then hardly more than two litters per year, while that in the United States there was only one annual birth. Fortunately, the seniority of this dog has earned him attention that has allowed him to pass this difficult course. The phenomenal success of the Cocker probably did a lot of harm to his eldest, the Field Spaniel, and it would be fair for him to take advantage of Cocker's popularity.

Indeed, those who appreciated the Cocker, especially for his gifts of hunter, could today profitably use a larger and more robust dog like the Field, who is also a tireless bushman and a retriever able to bring back the most big pieces. After having possessed a dog as racy and elegant as the Cocker, they will be able to be seduced by the beauty of Field's dress and by its natural nobility. In addition, sporting companion, rustic, lively, always cheerful and playful but also docile, calm, of balanced temperament, the Field; not insignificant detail; is a rare breed.

The neophyte immediately appears to the Cocker, but he will soon be able to recognize his class and his presence, because, despite the notable similarities between these dogs, the Field is not an enlarged model of the Cocker. A rather attentive examination will reveal a dog more strongly built, with a longer body, but without exaggeration, with a stronger and more extended head conferring on him a great distinction.

The happy owner of a Field will, in addition to the pleasure of owning an ancient and unusual breed subject, the privilege of being part of a circle of knowledgeable amateurs, whose passion is to safeguard the qualities of a dog still too little known and was once decried.

By its size, the Field is not intended to lead a city life, because it must provide an active life, sports, if not able to lead on its original path, hunting. If he has space and exercise, this excellent hunter will be a companion of a stable character and easy, very affectionate, especially with children whom he will be the preferred friend.

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