Field Spaniels may be rare now because of the unfortunate breeding circumstances they went through when they first emerged. Throughout their history, they have made quite an impression as show dogs. In fact, their achievements in the show ring could be considered overnight success.
The earliest developers of the Field Spaniel breed had a vision to create a Spaniel that is solid black in color. This happened at a time when sportsmen preferred not to use black-colored Spaniels. Because of the work that they were supposed to do, Spaniels that had patches of white were more ideal at that time, because white patches made it easier for the sportsmen to spot their Spaniels when they are working in the field.
However, these developers wanted a Spaniel that could be recognized as a distinct breed because they wanted to win prizes in dog shows. They believed that a black Spaniel in the form of a Field Spaniel could very well win the approval of the judges. So, it was in 1901 that the Field Spaniel was classified as separate from the English Cocker Spaniel by virtue of its being larger and heavier. Those Spaniels that weighed more than 25 pounds were recognized as Field Spaniels and those that weighed less were regarded as Cocker Spaniels.
Field Spaniels that emerged to become show dogs as well as work dogs had adequate feathering with glossy and silky coats that were dense, long and impenetrable by water. The colors of this breed that were more acclaimed in the show ring were liver, black and roan. This dog breed also featured a long stride that was coupled with a driving action from its rear, which was greatly admired by dog lovers.
Since their emergence as show dogs, Field Spaniels immediately gained championship status. This is largely because of their beauty and their ability to be useful to people. They were most renowned for the beauty of their heads that were matched with expressive brows that imbued good nature and profound intelligence. Because they fared well not only in the show ring but also in hunting, tracking, obedience and agility, Field Spaniels were sure-fire hits among the dog-loving public.
Although they experienced a decline when selective breeding was done, right after their success as show and work dogs, Field Spaniels still upheld their status as champions in the show ring. They even regained their championship status in 1969 after they made a comeback and increased in numbers. Now, Field Spaniels may not number so many, but those that are around and showing what they are made of are absolutely dogs that any owner can be proud of. They are certainly dogs that will last the test of time.