Spaniel Guide for New Owners and Buyers has been written to provide a brief outline of what sort of Breed Spaniel dogs are.
Spaniel dogs are one of the most fantastic dog breeds in the canine kingdom. Spaniels hold a special rank in the kingdom of dogs “dogdom” for their special characteristics and features. Many people love to keep a Spaniel dog as a pet because it is such a cute and loving dog that your heart will definitely miss a beat at first glance of a spaniel. Here, we will provide a characteristic guide about Spaniel dogs for the new owners and buyers.
What are Spaniels?
Spaniels are known as “the dogs of Spain.” Spaniels are the dogs that have been used in history as hunting companions. They were also used as gun dogs to flush out the game, especially in the bushy areas. These dogs would bravely jump into the bushes and drag the game out of it into the open for their hunters to hunt. The hunting qualities of Spaniels made them popular amongst the gamekeepers on country estates. Another quality of Spaniels is their brilliant nose and sense of smell. They can not only drag out the game from bushes, but could also find them hidden anywhere. These dogs were competent and could hunt anywhere, such as in bushes, briars, woods, and marshlands. Some Spaniel breeds were also used to retrieve the game from water as well. The nose of Spaniels is regarded as one of the “Top 10 noses of the Dogdom.” Spaniels were also used to find and bring the game to the hunter after it was shot. Their nose helped them a lot in performing this duty well. Today, Spaniels have become the family pet dogs. They are no more known as hunting companions. Their active and playful personality have made them popular amongst people to keep them at home. They seem to behave very well as a family companion.
Spaniel Dog History
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word Spaniel originated from the Old French word ‘espaigneul‘, which means Spanish. The meaning of the word leaves no doubt that Spaniels belong to Spain. They originated from Spain, then travelled through Europe and other continents, and spread all over the world to reach the level of fame where they stand today. Spaniels are also associated with having a Celtic origin. It is said that Spaniels came or were brought to the British Isles somewhere around 900 BC. It was done by a group of Celts travelling from Spain to Cornwall. From there, they also travelled to England, Wales, and Ireland, introducing the Spaniels everywhere in the world. There is another theory about the origin of Spaniels. It says that the Romans brought Spaniels to Britannica by means of trade and introduced them to Southern Europe. The Spaniels evolved as the sporting dogs somewhere around 1300 to 1600 AD.
Spaniel dogs do not exist as one single dog breed. There are more than 25 breeds of Spaniels, each one having the same attraction, charm, cuteness, and brightness as the other one. Apart from active and playful personalities, there are many other similarities in the different breeds of Spaniels dogs, like floppy ears, feather-like coats, long tails, etc. The breeds may differ in appearance, such as size, colour, shape, height, weight, and also in temperament, etc. Some famous breeds of Spaniel are Clumber Spaniel, Boykin Spaniel, Brittany, English Cocker Spaniel, The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, and Welsh Springer Spaniel. However, there are also a few Spaniel breeds that got extinct during the 19th and 20th centuries. These Spaniel breeds are Alpine Spaniel, Norfolk Spaniel, Toy Trawler Spaniel, and Tweed Water Spaniel.
Personality Traits & Temperament of Spaniels
Spaniels are famous in the canine kingdom for their unique personality traits, making them one of the best family dogs. Spaniels are alert, active, and highly responsive dogs. This is why they have remained really close to the hunters. They are smart and intelligent and can perform their duty in the best possible way. They are loyal, follow the commands, and are highly trainable. Contrary to these hunting capabilities, Spaniels are cute, loving, humorous, and bright dogs. They like to play and interact with people and other animals too. Most of the Spaniels have sweet nature and show lots of affection towards their owner and other family members. Obedience, intelligence, playfulness, and affection are some innate qualities of Spaniel dogs that are rarely found together in other dog breeds. Sometimes they would become good lapdogs, and some other times, they would be highly energetic and show interest in playing and doing activities. Spaniel dogs love to be surrounded by people, and they can suffer from anxiety if left alone. It also brings us to the fact that all Spaniels do not have the same temperament. Depending upon their personalities, their temperaments also differ. For example, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small breed, and it shows little interest in doing a lot of exercises. Springer is a larger breed, and it is very active and energetic, always looking for something new to do. Clumber Spaniels are an easy-go breed. It loves to lay back and act like a lapdog.
Apparent Characteristics of Spaniels
There are many apparent characteristics of Spaniels that will confuse you and make you think about which breed of Spaniel it is. It is normal and usually happens to many people. There is a lot of variation amongst the Spaniel breeds. Even then, they have many similar apparent characteristics. The most prominent one of these is the ears. Most Spaniels breeds tend to have long, floppy ears. Some Spaniel breeds can be differentiated by having curly hair on their ears, which is a special feature of some breeds. The Spaniel dogs usually have a coat measuring medium to long in length. The coat is fine, wavy, silky, and shiny. Some Spaniel breeds also have hair on their chest, belly, thighs, tails, and legs. It provides extra protection to Spaniels during hunting. Some breeds can also have a curly coat. The head shape is not the same in all the Spaniel breeds. Some breeds tend to have a shorter head, while others have a standard head size. Similarly, some Spaniel dogs have short-muzzle while others have long-muzzle.
Size & Weight of Spaniels
These are the two features of Spaniels where you can clearly observe the difference amongst different breeds. Some Spaniel breeds are tall, some are short, while some are toy Spaniels, meaning very short.
Tall Spaniel Breeds
The average size of tall Spaniels lies between 17 and 24 inches. The dogs of these breeds weigh around 40 to 65 pounds. The average life span of tall Spaniel breeds is 13 to 14 years. Some famous dogs of this breed are English Springer Spaniel, Blue Picardy Spaniel, and American Water Spaniel.
Short Spaniel Breeds
The dogs of short Spaniel breeds have a height of around 11 to 15 inches. The short Spaniels weigh about 20 to 40 pounds. Their average life span is 10 to 12 years. The significant dogs of this specific breed are American Cocker Spaniel, Brittany Spaniel, and Sussex Spaniels.
Toy Spaniel Breeds
Toy Spaniels are the particular dog breeds of Spaniels. These dogs have very short height and are lightweight, thus they have the name “toy”. The height of these dogs is around 7 to 11 inches. They weigh about 6 to 10 pounds and have a life span of 10 to 12 years. Some famous Toy Spaniels are Papillion dog, English Toy Spaniel, Clumber Spaniel, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Despite their short size, Toy Spaniels share all the traits, characteristics, and qualities of the other Spaniel breeds.
Are you the one looking forward to becoming the owner of a Spaniel breed? It is indeed a good idea. But before that, you must do detailed research about the Spaniel breed that can easily adjust to you and your home environment.
The information provided in this article about Spaniels might have helped you choose a Spaniel breed. Do share your learnings. Also, share your experience with a Spaniel dog if you are already a Spaniel owner.