Spaniel breeds

Gundog and spaniel are two words you’ll often hear together. But there are so many different breeds of spaniel from which to choose. Which would suit your purposes best? How should you choose a puppy? How to train it? Here our experts have written about the characteristics of each breed: classic working cocker spaniel, springer spaniels, Clumber spaniels, Brittany spaniels and of course the Sprocker.

Brittany | Working Cocker | Clumber | Springer | Sprocker | Welsh |

cocker spaniel

Spaniel ears – what a new owner needs to know

Q: I’ve acquired a spaniel, a breed I believe that is prone to ear infection. Should I clean his ears regularly or how else can I best prevent problems with his ears? A: The opening to a dog’s ear is unlike ours and the anatomy of the ear canal tends…

sprocker or cocker

Sprocker or cocker spaniel? How can you tell them apart?

Should you get a sprocker or cocker spaniel? I admit to being a fan of sprockers as I like their hybrid vigour. They are not a designer cross-breed like a Labradoodle but simply spaniel x spaniel, and it should not be forgotten that both breeds share the same ancestry. However, since a cocker crossed…

springer vs cocker spaniel

Which breed would suit you better – a springer or a cocker spaniel?

So you’re looking for a spaniel, rather than a Labrador. But that’s just where the decision starts. What sort of spaniel would suit you best? What are you considering in the springer vs cocker debate? There’s plenty to say in defence of each breed – and each also has its…

spaniel spaniel in cover

What can I do about the scratches on my spaniel’s face?

Q: One of my spaniels has so many cuts around her eyes and over her muzzle from having to retrieve birds from deep cover that it doesn’t take much to make them start bleeding again. Is there anything I can use to prevent spaniel scratches and stop them reopening? Treating…

English Springer

Is it time for super spaniels?

Breeds of spaniel There is a dangerously common misconception among many dog enthusiasts, assuming that a breed is similar to a species. It’s not. Species have evolved naturally over hundreds of thousands of years, but breeds are man-made creations produced by highly selective breeding and few are much more than…

springer spaniel puppy

My spaniel has horrible waxy ears. What can I do about it?

Q: My spaniel has horrible waxy ears. No amount of cleaning seems to make a difference. Any suggestions? I’m worried they may lead to more spaniel ear problems. A: Neil says: Yes, stop what you are doing. You are probably making the situation worse. We need to go back to…

English springer spaniel

The history of spaniels

If you want to wind up your cocker spaniel-owning friends, just tell them that their dogs are springers. They may argue otherwise but, technically, it’s true. History of the spaniel All spaniels are springers, as the term was originally used to separate those dogs that set game (setters) from those…

spaniel with docked tail

Tail docking: Key facts you need to know

Tail docking: It is one of the most emotive subjects in the gundog world, so education is key to knowing where owners, breeders and vets stand on tail docking.

Cavalier King Charles spaniel

Is a cavalier King Charles spaniel a gundog at heart?

I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that inside many a cavalier King Charles spaniel there’s a cocker spaniel trying to get out. So I wasn’t really surprised when I read the following story sent to me by Debbie Grounds in response for my request for stories of 
non-gundog breeds that…

Sprocker spaniel

Just why is the “sprocker spaniel” becoming so popular?

Sprocker spaniels – the lowdown Sprockers have masses of energy and need to be kept busy They are intelligent dogs and easy to train – but keep training consistent. They like to know what their owners want from them Sprockers need to know who is the ‘alpha’ in the household…

cocker spaniel

Should there be random DNA tests for cocker spaniels?

You may recall sprockergate, the scandal that shook the cocker trialling world a couple of years ago. What brought the story into the tabloids was the accusation that HM The Queen owned a dog, competing in cocker trials, that was allegedly a sprocker (English springer and cocker cross). A sprocker…

cocker spaniels in cold weather

When it’s best for your gundog to wrap up a shoot day early

One of the attractions of shooting is that it takes more than a bit of rain or a coveering of snow to put us off. It is extremely rare for a shoot to be cancelled because of the weather. But looking back on a long shooting carer I can recall…

gundog in cover

How do I stop my gundog from swapping birds?

Gundog training: My spaniel bitch is doing well in her first season but last Saturday when sent for a retrieve she picked the bird then dropped it on the way back in favour of another. How can I stop her doing this?

Slip lead on a spaniel

How to buy the right length slip lead for a spaniel

Coming back from a weekend with friends, I discovered that I had left the dogs’ slip leads behind. New ones were needed, anyway, so I went online. I like the natural rope slip leads made by the Devon-based company KJK, so went to the Dog Lead Shop to order my…

teaching a dog quartering

Teaching a young dog quartering

Quartering is probably the toughest lesson to teach a young gundog, and one of the most vital. Joe Irving discusses this most rewarding of lessons for the handler