Spaniel

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For the American R&B doo-wop group from the 1950s, see The Spaniels. For the Thoroughbred racehorse, see Spaniel (horse).
English Cocker Spaniels are small spaniels.
Spaniel on the beach

A spaniel is a type of gun dog. It is assumed spaniels originated from Spain as the word spaniel may be derived from Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula) or possibly from the French phrase "Chiens de l’Espagnol" (Dogs of the Spaniard). Spaniels were especially bred to flush game out of dense brush. By the late 17th century spaniels had become specialized into water and land breeds. The extinct English Water Spaniel was used to retrieve water fowl shot down with arrows. Land spaniels were setting spaniels—those that crept forward and pointed their game, allowing hunters to ensnare them with nets, and springing spaniels—those that sprang pheasants and partridges for hunting with falcons, and rabbits for hunting with greyhounds. During the 17th century, the role of the spaniel dramatically changed as Englishmen began hunting with flintlocks for wing shooting. Charles Goodall and Julia Gasow (1984)[1] write the spaniels were "transformed from untrained, wild beaters, to smooth, polished gun dogs."

Definition and description[edit]

A drawing of a typical skull of a Spaniel.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Spaniel as "a breed of dog with a long silky coat and drooping ears".[2]

Not much has changed about spaniels in general over the years, as can be seen in this 1921 entry in Collier's New Encyclopedia:

Their distinguishing characteristics are a rather broad muzzle, remarkably long and full ears, hair plentiful and beautifully waved, particularly that of the ears, tail, and hinder parts of the thighs and legs. The prevailing color is liver and white, sometimes red and white or black and white, and sometimes deep brown, or black on the face and breast, with a tan spot over each eye. The English spaniel is a superior and very pure breed. The King Charles is a small variety of the spaniel used as a lapdog. The water spaniels, large and small, differ from the common spaniel only in the roughness of their coats, and in uniting the aquatic propensities of the Newfoundland dog with the fine hunting qualities of their own race. Spaniels possess a great share of intelligence, affection, and obedience, which qualities, combined with much beauty, make them highly prized as companions.

History[edit]

King Charles Spaniels, photographed in 1915, one of the smaller breeds, is primarily a lap dog.

The origin of the word spaniel is described by the Oxford English Dictionary as coming from the Old French word espaigneul which meant "Spanish (dog)"; this in turn originated from the Latin Hispaniolus which simply means "Spanish".[2] In Edward, 2nd Duke of York's work The Master of Game, which was mostly a 15th-century translation of an earlier work by Gaston III of Foix-Béarn entitled Livre de chasse, Spaniels are described as being as much from Spain as you could consider all Greyhounds to be from England or Scotland.[3]

Sixteenth-century English physician John Caius wrote that the spaniels of the time were mostly white, marked with spots that are commonly red. He described a new variety to have come out of France, which were speckled all over with white and black, "which mingled colours incline to a marble blewe".[4]

Celtic origin theory[edit]

In the added appendices added to the 1909 re-print of Caius' work, the editors suggested that the type of dogs may have been brought into the British Isles as early as 900 BC by a branch of the Celts moving from Spain into Cornwall and on into Wales, England and Ireland.[3] Theories on the origin of the Welsh Springer Spaniel support this theory, as it is believed that the breed specifically is a direct descendant of the "Agassian hunting dog" described in the hunting poem Cynegetica attributed to Oppian of Apamea, which belonged to the Celtic tribes of Roman-occupied Britain:[5]

There is a strong breed of hunting dog, small in size but no less worthy of great praise. These the wild tribes of Britons with their tattooed backs rear and call by the name of Agassian. Their size is like that of worthless and greedy domestic table dogs; squat, emaciated, shaggy, dull of eye, but endowed with feet armed with powerful claws and a mouth sharp with close-set venomous tearing teeth. It is by virtue of its nose, however, that the Agassian is most exalted, and for tracking it is the best there is; for it is very adept at discovering the tracks of things that walk upon the ground, and skilled too at marking the airborne scent.

—Oppian, Cynegetica, I, 468–480[6]

Roman origin theory[edit]

Another theory of the origin of the spaniel is that the ancient Romans imported the Spaniel into Britannia, by way of the trade routes to the far east. Colonel David Hancock[7] adds a belief that the sporting type of spaniel originated in China from the short-faced ancestors of dogs such as the Pekinese, Pug and Shih Tzu. The theory goes that these ancestors were introduced into Southern Europe and evolved into the small sporting spaniels of the period around 1300–1600 AD. The issue of how a short-muzzled dog could evolve into a longer-muzzled dog is addressed by pointing to the evolution of the King Charles Spaniel into the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in less than a century.[8]

Arabic origin theory[edit]

The first French Spaniel is speculated to have originated in the middle east towards the end of the 11th century. French knights in the Holy Land were accompanied by their pointers and other hunting hounds. Breeding between these dogs and the Arabic Greyhounds was considered inevitable, and the progeny became the first French Spaniels.[9]

Hunting[edit]

A 16th century drawing of a hawking party with spaniels.

In assisting hunters, it is desirable that Spaniels work within gun range, are steady to shot, are able to mark the fall and retrieve shot game to hand with a soft mouth. A good nose is highly valued, as it is in most gun dog breeds. They are versatile hunters traditionally being used for upland game birds, but are equally adept at hunting rabbit and waterfowl. Whether hunting in open fields, woodlands, farm lands—in briars, along fencerows or marshlands, a spaniel can get the job done.[10]

On the basis of function and hunting style, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) draws a distinction between continental and Anglo-American spaniels. FCI places continental dogs of the spaniel type in the pointing group (Group 7, sect. 1.2) because they function more like setters which "freeze" and point to game. Breeds in this group include the Blue Picardy Spaniel, the French Spaniel, the Brittany, the Pont-Audemer Spaniel, and the Small Münsterländer. FCI classifies most other dogs of the spaniel type as flushing or water dogs (Group 8, sections 2 and 3).[11]

Breeds[edit]

Contemporary[edit]

Type of SpanielAlso Known AsCountry/Region of OriginMin. HeightMax. HeightMin. WeightMax. WeightImage
American Cocker SpanielCocker Spaniel
(in the United States)
United States13 in (33 cm)15 in (38 cm)24 lb (11 kg)29 lb (13 kg)[12]Cockeramericain1.jpg
American Water SpanielUnited States15 in (38 cm)18 in (46 cm)25 lb (11 kg)45 lb (20 kg)[13]Chien d'eau americain champion 1.JPG
Blue Picardy SpanielEpagneul Bleu de PicardieFrance22 in (56 cm)24 in (61 cm)[14]43 lb (20 kg)45 lb (20 kg)[15]Epagneul bleu de picardie 868.jpg
Boykin SpanielUnited States15 in (38 cm)18 in (46 cm)25 lb (11 kg)45 lb (20 kg)[16]Boykin spaniel.jpg
Cavalier King Charles SpanielEngland12 in (30 cm)13 in (33 cm)13 lb (5.9 kg)18 lb (8.2 kg)[17]CarterBIS.Tiki.13.6.09.jpg
Clumber SpanielEngland17 in (43 cm)20 in (51 cm)55 lb (25 kg)85 lb (39 kg)}[18]Clumber spaniel 767.jpg
Drentse PatrijshondDutch Partridge DogNetherlands21.5 in (55 cm)25.5 in (65 cm)55 lb (25 kg)77 lb (35 kg)[19]Drentse Patrijshond.jpg
English Cocker SpanielCocker Spaniel
(In the United Kingdom)
England15 in (38 cm)17 in (43 cm)26 lb (12 kg)34 lb (15 kg)[20]EnglishCockerSpaniel simon.jpg
English Springer SpanielEngland19 in (48 cm)20 in (51 cm)40 lb (18 kg)50 lb (23 kg)[21]EnglishSpringerSpan2 wb.jpg
Field SpanielEngland17 in (43 cm)18 in (46 cm)35 lb (16 kg)50 lb (23 kg)[22]Field spaniel 581.jpg
French SpanielEpagneul FrançaisFrance21 in (53 cm)24 in (61 cm)50 lb (23 kg)70 lb (32 kg)[23]Epagneulfrancais.jpg
German SpanielDeutscher WachtelhundGermany16 in (41 cm)20 in (51 cm)44 lb (20 kg)66 lb (30 kg)[24]Płochacz niemiecki 2009 pl.jpg
Irish Water SpanielIreland21 in (53 cm)24 in (61 cm)45 lb (20 kg)65 lb (29 kg)[25]Irlandzki spaniel wodny 676.jpg
King Charles SpanielEnglish Toy Spaniel
(in the United States)
England09 in (23 cm)10 in (25 cm)06 lb (2.7 kg)12 lb (5.4 kg)[26]King Charles Spaniel Mike 3.jpg
KooikerhondjeNetherlands14 in (36 cm)16 in (41 cm)20 lb (9.1 kg)24 lb (11 kg)[27]Płochacz holenderski (kooikerhondje) 11.jpg
Large MünsterländerGroßer MünsterländerGermany23 in (58 cm)25 in (64 cm)55 lb (25 kg)70 lb (32 kg)[28]GrosserMuensterlaender.jpg
PapillonContinental Toy Spaniel,
Épagneul Nain Continental
France08 in (20 cm)11 in (28 cm)[29]05 lb (2.3 kg)10 lb (4.5 kg)[30]Outdoor Continental Toy Spaniel Papillon.jpeg
PhalèneContinental Toy Spaniel,
Épagneul Nain Continental
Belgium08 in (20 cm)11 in (28 cm)05 lb (2.3 kg)10 lb (4.5 kg)[31]Spaniel miniaturowy kontynentalny phalene 546.jpg
Picardy SpanielÉpagneul PicardFrance22 in (56 cm)23.5 in (60 cm)44 lb (20 kg)55 lb (25 kg)[32]Epagneul picard 685.jpg
Pont-Audemer SpanielÉpagneul Pont-AudemerFrance20 in (51 cm)23 in (58 cm)[33]40 lb (18 kg)53 lb (24 kg)[34]Epagneul de pont-audemer h67.jpg
Russian SpanielRussian hunting spaniel

(Русский охотничий спаниель)

Russia15 in (38 cm)17 in (43 cm)28 lb (13 kg)40 lb (18 kg)[35]Russpaniel.jpg
Small MünsterländerKleiner MünsterländerGermany19 in (48 cm)22 in (56 cm)30 lb (14 kg)38 lb (17 kg)[36]Kleiner Munsterlander edit.jpg
StabyhounFrisian Pointer dogNetherlands19.6 in (50 cm)21 in (53 cm)30 lb (14 kg)50 lb (23 kg)[37]Frisianstaby.jpg
Sussex SpanielEngland13 in (33 cm)15 in (38 cm)35 lb (16 kg)44 lb (20 kg)[38]Sussex spaniel t43.jpg
Welsh Springer SpanielWales17 in (43 cm)19 in (48 cm)35 lb (16 kg)55 lb (25 kg)[39]Welsh Springer Spaniel 1.jpg

Extinct[edit]

Type of SpanielCountry/Region of originPeriod of extinctionImage
Alpine SpanielSwitzerland1830sAlpine spaniel.jpg
English Water SpanielEngland1930sEnglish Water Spaniel.jpg
Norfolk SpanielEngland1902Norfoldspaniel.jpg
Toy Trawler SpanielUnited Kingdom1920sTrawler spaniel goblin.jpg
Tweed Water SpanielEngland19th centuryTweed Water Spaniel.jpg

Misnamed[edit]

The following breeds are not true spaniels, but are named as such due to their resemblance to the spaniels.

Type of SpanielAlso Known AsCountry/Region of OriginMin. HeightMax. HeightMin. WeightMax. WeightImage
Japanese ChinJapanese SpanielJapan09 in (23 cm)10 in (25 cm)04 lb (1.8 kg)11 lb (5.0 kg)[40]Sachi.jpg
PekingeseChinese Spaniel[41]China08 in (20 cm)09 in (23 cm)08 lb (3.6 kg)14 lb (6.4 kg)[42]Bailey Pekingese.jpg
Tibetan SpanielTibet[43]09 in (23 cm)11 in (28 cm)09 lb (4.1 kg)15 lb (6.8 kg)[44]Tibetansk spaniel.jpg

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Goodall and Gasow, The New Complete English Springer Spaniel, 1984.
  2. ^ a b "spaniel". Compact Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  3. ^ a b Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York (1909). The Master of Game. Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. p. 195. 
  4. ^ Caius, John; Fleming, Abraham (1880). Of Englishe dogges, the diversities, the names, the natures and the properties. A short treatise written in Latine and newly drawne into Englishe. Bradley. p. 15. 
  5. ^ "Welsh Springer Spaniel Did You Know?". American Kennel Club. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Cited in: Ireland, Stanley (2008). "Chapter 15: Government, Commerce and Society". Roman Britain: A Sourcebook. Routledge Sourcebooks for the Ancient World (3rd ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 216, §507. ISBN 9780415471770. OCLC 223811588. 
  7. ^ Hancock, The Heritage of the Dog, 1990.
  8. ^ Judah, J.C. (2007). An Ancient History of Dogs: Spaniels Through the Ages. Lulu.com. p. 42. 
  9. ^ "Blue Picardy Spaniel Information". Sarah's Dogs. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  10. ^ Spaniel Journal
  11. ^ FCI - Breeds nomenclature; FCI - Breeds nomenclature
  12. ^ Fogle (2006): p. 152
  13. ^ Palika (2007): p. 131
  14. ^ "Blue Picardy Spaniel - Breed Description and Information". Canada's Guide to Dogs. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  15. ^ Fogle (2006): p. 230
  16. ^ Palika (2007): p. 172
  17. ^ Coile, D. Caroline (2008). Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (2nd ed.). Barron's Educational Series. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7641-3771-6. 
  18. ^ Smith (2002): p. 128
  19. ^ Cunliffe, Juliette (1999). The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds. Parragon. p. 323. ISBN 0-7525-8018-3. 
  20. ^ Lambert, Cathy. Getting to Know English Cockers. Animalinfo Publications. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-921537-15-8. 
  21. ^ Smith (2002): p. 134
  22. ^ Palika (2007): p. 237
  23. ^ "French Spaniel - Breed Description and Information". Canada's Guide to Dogs. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  24. ^ Fogle (2006): p. 344
  25. ^ Palika (2007): p. 269
  26. ^ Palika (2007): p. 232
  27. ^ Larkin, Peter (2003). The Essential Dog Book. Anness Publishing. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-681-86485-6. 
  28. ^ Smith (2002): p. 166
  29. ^ Hungerland, Jacklyn E. (2003). Papillons. Barron's Educational Series. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7641-2419-8. 
  30. ^ Palika (2007): p. 311
  31. ^ "Breed Information: Phalene". Purina Care: Pet Health Library. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  32. ^ "Picardy Spaniel Information". Sarah's Dogs. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  33. ^ Cunliffe, Juliette (2005). The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds (2nd ed.). Whitecap Books. p. 310. ISBN 978-0-7641-5700-4. 
  34. ^ Wilcox, Bonnie; Walkowicz, Chris (1995). Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World (5th ed.). TFH Publications. p. 383. ISBN 978-0-7938-1284-4. 
  35. ^ Cunliffe, Juliette (1999). The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds. Parragon. p. 347. ISBN 0-7525-8018-3. 
  36. ^ Smith (2002): p. 174
  37. ^ [1]
  38. ^ Spiotta-DiMare, Loren (1999). The Sporting Spaniel Handbook. Barron's Educational Series. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-7641-0884-6. 
  39. ^ Smith (2002): p. 122
  40. ^ Fogle (2006): p. 67
  41. ^ Drury, W.D. (1903). "Chapter LVIII. Chinese Spaniels, Chinese Pugs or Pekinese Spaniels, Pekinese Pugs". British Dogs, Their Points, Selection, And Show Preparation. Charles Scribner's Sons. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  42. ^ Palika (2007): p. 315
  43. ^ "FCI-Standard N° 231 / 11. 05. 1998 / GB Tibetan Spaniel". Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Retrieved 2010-10-16. 
  44. ^ Palika (2007): p. 375

References[edit]

External links[edit]