Top Ten Spaniel Dog Breeds

The Spaniel breed is part of the Sporting Group of dogs.

Dogs in this group are obedient and intelligent, easily trained, and are good dogs to
choose for outdoor activities as well as pets. Besides Spaniels, some of the breeds
which are part of the Sporting Group include Pointers, Setters, Retrievers, and
Weimaraners.

The following dogs are the top ten canines under the Spaniel classification.

Number One: The Irish Water Spaniel - This Spaniel is the tallest of the spaniels and stands about two feet at the shoulder. The dog has a brown, burly coat and enjoys participating in hunting and fishing activities. The dog is a good pick for people who suffer from allergies as it is known to shed very little. Colored liver and puce, the Irish Water Spaniel or IWS has a purple cast to its coat that is unique to the breed. In addition, the dog has webbed feet which make it an agile and strong swimmer.

Number Two: The American Water Spaniel - The American Water Spaniel looks similar to the Irish Water Spaniel as it also has a brown, curly coat. This spaniel breed, also known as an AWS, is one of a few number of dogs that originate from the U.S. The dog, which was developed in the 1800s in Wisconsin, was derived from English and Irish Water Spaniel breeds. Thanks to the work of Dr. Fred J. Pfeiffer, the AWS is recognized by the American Kennel Club today. A rare breed of dog, the AWS is also notably Wisconsin's state dog.

Number Three: The Brittany Spaniel - This large spaniel breed of dog resembles an Irish Setter and exhibits a smooth coat varying in color from white and brown with roan to white and orange with roan. Full of energy and athletic, the Brittany Spaniel is a gun dog that was developed mainly for hunting birds. Although the Brittany is considered, technically, to be a spaniel, its traits and characteristics resemble more of those exhibited by a Pointer or Setter. The name Brittany originates from France and the dog is often seen in paintings and depictions from the seventeenth century.

Number Four: The Clumber Spaniel - A heavy-bodied dog, the Clumber Spaniel stands in height about 20 inches (or around 50 cm). It typically weighs about 60 to 80 pounds. Similar in dimensions to the Sussex Spaniel, the Clumber was developed in the UK. The gun dog, which is cream-colored, hunts well in dense brush and is a gentle canine that is often stand-offish with strangers. Not a good dog for allergy sufferers, the Clumber is known to shed rather consistently.

Number Five: The English Cocker Spaniel - Another breed of gun dog, the English Cocker Spaniel is an amiable breed, known to have a happy disposition - an apt description for a spaniel who is also referred to as a merry cocker. The name cocker, itself, comes from the dog's history of hunting woodcocks in the field.

Number Six: The American Cocker Spaniel - Bred since the late nineteenth century in the U.S., the American Cocker Spaniel is a popular dog breed with a compact body and wavy or soft coat. A good-natured dog, the American Cocker Spaniel is colored black, parti-colored or any solid hue other than ebony. The dog especially likes the water and is the smallest dog of the Sporting Group of spaniels.

Number Seven: The English Springer Spaniel - This breed of dog is around 20 inches in length and was used, in the past, to flush out and retrieve game. An affectionate dog, the Springer lives about twelve to fourteen years. The name "Springer" is derived from the dog's hunting role when he would spring birds airborne after flushing them out of hiding. The canine, which is colored white and black or white with liver markings, sheds in the spring and summer and occasionally in the fall.

Number Eight: The Sussex Spaniel - The Sussex Spaniel, which looks somewhat like a smaller version of the Clumber, was developed in Sussex in the UK. Somewhat slower paced, the dog, nonetheless, is energetic. The spaniel, which was first bred for hunting in the late eighteenth century, almost became extinct during World War II. Recognized by all the main kennel clubs, the Sussex Spaniel was winner of Best of Show at the 2009 Westminster Kennel Club Show.

Number Nine: Field Spaniel - A medium-sized dog, the Field Spaniel was traditionally developed for showing as an all-black show dog during the later part of the 1800s and early 1900s. During the mid-1900s, however, the dog was rebred into a spaniel that was utilized for field work. A rare breed, the dog exhibits fur that, unlike other spaniels, has no undercoat. The Field Spaniel makes a good family pet but needs to have a purpose in order to keep it from exhibiting any destructive tendencies.

Number Ten: Welsh Springer Spaniel - Seen in old paintings, the red and white colored Welsh Springer Spaniel is similar in appearance to the English Springer Spaniel. The Welsh Springer Spaniel, which was recognized by the Kennel Club in 1902, only comes in the aforementioned piebald pattern of white and red. Later in life, the dog may suffer from hip dysplasia or optical difficulties.