Larger than a Cocker Spaniel and smaller than a Springer Spaniel, the Field Spaniel is a medium-sized bundle of energy. They have steadier temperaments than their spaniel counterparts and are generally friendly to everyone, even though they are usually not outgoing. They love the outdoors and are at their happiest when involved in family activities such as swimming, hiking, biking and hunting. They are incredibly agile dogs, allowing them to maneuver quickly in heavy brush and marsh to flush birds from their hiding places. Field Spaniels love people and consider all members of the family to be best friends. They also love water and have a reputation for creating quite a mess with their water dish, splashing around as if it is a tiny wading pool. Their temperament, trainability and patience with children makes Field Spaniels make an excellent choice for a first time dog owner, if that person is committed to an active lifestyle.
Field Spaniels were not meant to be lazy house pets. Their medium size might make them appealing to apartment and condo dwellers, but that living situation would be quite unfair to the Field Spaniel. They are active animals who love being outdoors and need time to run every day. Sending them out in the yard to run around isn't going to cut it, however. Instead, this breed should be involved in interesting activities that involve humans. Biking, jogging, hiking and swimming are high on a Field Spaniel's list of fun activities. Agility and obstacle courses are even better, and if possible, hunting is the Field Spaniel's favorite activity. Their agile bodies and webbed feet makes them exceptional bird hunting companions. They can flush birds out of their hiding places without being detected, and they can efficiently retrieve a hunter's prize from the water.
If a Field Spaniel does not get enough activity they will become anxious, and that anxiety can often be severe. Destructive behavior in a Field Spaniel is almost always related to lack of adequate exercise.
Field Spaniels, like other accomplished sporting breeds, can have an independent streak which can sometimes present training challenges. They like to do things their own way, however with enough treats and praise on hand to reward good behavior, Field Spaniels can be trained with moderate ease. It is best to do the training in short spurts, so that the dog doesn't become bored, and should always be conducted with a gentle hand. Field Spaniels won't respond to discipline or harsh treatment.
Barking and chewing are common complaints of Field Spaniel owners, but this is almost always related to lack of activity, or the dog being left alone for too long. This breed loves to be with people and gets quite attached to family. Leaving him alone for more than a few hours at a stretch can be devastating to a Field Spaniel.
Field Spaniels are barkers and are quick to alert everyone in the home (and the neighbors) that someone is approaching on foot, on a bike, in a car, in an airplane, etc. Training him to obey a stop barking command is essential early on.