Spaniel (Field) Breed Standard

© The Kennel Club - Unauthorised Reproduction of Text and Images Prohibited.

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.

To view photos of this breed please visit the Kennel Club Picture Library


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

Ideal for rough shooting or companion for the country dweller. Not suitable for city.

Unusually docile, active, sensitive, independent.

Head and Skull
Conveys the impression of high breeding, character and nobility. Well chiselled, occiput well defined, lean beneath eyes. A thickness here gives coarseness to whole head. Slightly raised eyebrows. Moderate stop. Nose well developed with good open nostrils. Muzzle long and lean neither snipy nor squarely cut. In profile curving gradually from nose to throat.

Wide open but almond-shaped with tight lids showing no haw. Grave and gentle in expression. Dark hazel in colour.

Moderately long and wide, set low and well feathered.

Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

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

Shoulders long and sloping and well laid back. Legs of moderate length. Straight, flat bone.

Chest deep and well developed. Ribs moderately well sprung. Length of rib cage is 2two-thirds of the body length. Back and loin strong, level and muscular.

Strong, muscular; stifles moderately bent. Hocks well let down.

Tight, round with strong pads and not too small.

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

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

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.

Black, liver or roan. Any one of these with tan markings. In self-coloured dogs white or roan on chest permissable. Clear black/white or liver/white unacceptable.

Height: approximately 46 cms (18 ins) at the shoulders. Weight: between 18-25 kgs (40-55 lbs).

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 on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Last Updated - December 2008

Glossary of Canine Terms

Some links to health information and resources that may be relevant to this breed:

Veterinary screening schemes - The Kennel Club operates these with the British Veterinary Association.

DNA screening schemes - detect disease-causing mutations in a number of breeds.

Current Accredited Breeder Scheme health screening requirements and recommendations - for Kennel Club Accredited Breeders show what is required and recommended for the sire and dam of any litter of this breed bred by a Kennel Club Accredited Breeder.

Breed WatchBreed Watch - a tool aimed at dog show judges and exhibitors to highlight and tackle any current concerns in a breed

Health Test results Finder Tool - access results of any official KC health testing scheme for Kennel Club registered dogs

2004 Purebred Dog Health Survey Results - Individual summaries are available where the breed response rate was greater than 15%.

Recommended Reading

All the below publications are available from the Online Shop.

Breed Standards

Kennel Club Breed Standards

Kennel Club Breed Standards are available for most breeds indicating the qualities which competition judges normally take into account and the standard or model which breeders endeavour to achieve.

The Breed Standards can be purchased by group.

Breed Clubs and Societies

FIELD SPANIEL SOCIETY. Sec. Mr J Robertshaw. Tel No: 01282 859535.

This breed of dog is a 'Vulnerable Native Breed'.


Date page created:
Gundog Group 

This article has been read 40025 times.

Bookmark and Share