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Top 10 Most Popular Types Of Spaniels

Spaniels are a wonderfully loving dog bred as a hunting dog to flush birds out of the brush.

There are water spaniels and land spaniels, depending on whether they were used to flush prey out of waterways or to find field prey in brush and wild grasses.

Most of the spaniel class is known for having long ears, long silky coats, and a broad muzzle and are beloved in many households around the world.

Here are ten of the most fan favorites of the spaniel dog breed.

1. American Cocker Spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel was the most popular AKC registered dog breed for 18 years. It is the smallest breed in the Sporting Dog classification.

Round skulls, a compact body, and long ears are standard. Its coat can be many colors and are typically flat or wavy haired.

They aren’t low or high intelligence, hitting mid spectrum on that scale, however they act on command and are good to show restraint when needed.

This particular spaniel is friendly, outgoing, and is a great companion dog with their pleasing nature.

  • Origin: United States
  • Height: Between 13-15 inches (33-38 centimeters)
  • Weight: Between 24-29 pounds (11-13 kilograms)
  • Average Litter Size: 5-7 pups
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 15 years

2. American Water Spaniel

One of the only dogs first bred in the USA, the American Water Spaniel is the state dog of Wisconsin.

It is bred to be a hunting dog. It can work in the water, on land, and take cold temperatures well – perfectly suited for the Wisconsin weather.

They have coiled coats that are thick and helpful in preventing problems in the freezing water. They come in liver, brown and chocolate colors with wavy or extremely curly hair.

They are able to be trained well, enjoys attention, and have excellent endurance. Typically, they have few serious medical concerns.

  • Origin: United States
  • Height: Between 15-18 inches (38-46 centimeters)
  • Weight: Between 25-45 pounds (11-20 kilograms)
  • Average Litter Size: 4-6 pups
  • Average Life Span: 13 to 15 years

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Another very popular spaniel breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a toy breed with long, silky hair.

They are especially known for their long, high-set ears. The breed is happy around children and other dogs, making them wonderful as family pets.

They have average intelligence, curious and easy to please.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels come in four standard colors: Black & Tan, Tri-color, Blenheim, and Ruby.

  • Origin: England
  • Height: Between 12-13 inches (30-33 centimeters)
  • Weight: Between 13-18 pounds (5.9-8.2 kilograms)
  • Average Litter Size: 5 pups
  • Average Life Span: 9 to 14 years

4. English Cocker Spaniel

This energetic Sporting Group dog, is powerful in their hunting abilities, able to work through dense cover.

They are an upland flushing dog, easily trained and quick learners. They are intelligent and just slightly larger than the American Cocker Spaniel.

They’re known for a slight longer muzzle, low hanging ears, and a lesser defined stop to their skull. They are kind, loyal, and very affectionate.

They need play and socialization else their personality will become muted with too much time alone.

  • Origin: England
  • Height: 15-17 inches (38-43 centimeters)
  • Weight: 26-34 pounds (12-15 kilograms)
  • Average Litter Size: 3-12 pups
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 15 years

5. English Springer Spaniel

A member of the gun dog breed group, the English Springer Spaniel is a quick learner and perfect for flushing out game.

Their name even comes on the way the dog “springs” up on their prey. They are now mostly used as retrieval dogs in hunting.

They are good family dogs, with their easy temperament and their obedience. With proper training, they can get along with other pets.

Keep in mind that this particular spaniel will need exercise to ensure fit and health.

  • Origin: England
  • Height: 19-20 inches (48-51 centimeters)
  • Weight: 40-50 pounds (18-23 kilograms)
  • Average Litter Size: 4-10 pups
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 14 years

6. German Spaniel

This Sporting Group dog is a German quail hunting dog. Typically, they are brown and white or all brown with thick and wavy hair.

The breed has strong, muscular builds. They can track and retrieve and do well in dense brush.

Their hair helps protect them in harsh terrains. They are one of the better tracking dogs.

German Spaniels make good family pets because they are friendly to people and to other pets.

  • Origin: Germany
  • Height: 16-20 inches (41-51 centimeters)
  • Weight: 20-30 pounds (11-13 kilograms)
  • Average Litter Size: 8 pups
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 14 years

7. Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish Springer Spaniel is a Sporting Group dog that does well with waterfowl hunting. Hard working, these are the largest breed of the Spaniel family of dogs.

They come only in liver color, with dense curls on the body of the dog and longer curls on the legs and sides.

They shed very little, which is great for families that want to cut down on the dog hair in the household. Their webbed feet help them in the water.

They are eager to please and should be socialized at a young age to do well with other pets.

  • Origin: Ireland
  • Height: 21-24 inches (53-61 centimeters)
  • Weight: 45-65 pounds (20-29 kilograms)
  • Average Litter Size: 6 pups
  • Average Life Span: 10 to 12 years

8. King Charles Spaniel

Smaller than the Cavalier King Charles, this dome headed, flat face spaniel is also known as the English Toy Spaniel.

They are great lap dogs, with dark eyes, compact bodies, and four standard coat colors of Black and Tan, TriColored, Blenhein, and Ruby.

They are quiet and easy to get along with, but hate being alone. There can be some heart and eye health conditions, but generally are loving, attentive dogs.

  • Origin: England
  • Height: 9-10 inches (23-25 centimeters)
  • Weight: 2.7-5.4 pounds (11-13 kilograms)
  • Average Litter Size: 5 pups
  • Average Life Span: 9 to 14 years

9. Papillon

Named for the way their ear hair looks like butterflies, the Papillon has a small bone structure and slight appearance, but are full of spirit and fire.

They can be in 15 color combinations but the AKC only recognizes five of them.

These five are: white and black, white and lemon, white and red, white and sable, or tri-color (white, black and tan). They are typically healthy dogs with regular exercise.

They are very smart and have a great spirit. They need to have something to focus on or else will become bored.

They are a good breed for those wishing to enter agility competitions and obedience tests.

  • Origin: France
  • Height: 8-11 inches (20-28 centimeters)
  • Weight: 2.3-4.5 pounds (11-13 kilograms)
  • Average Litter Size: 3 pups
  • Average Life Span: 13 to 15 years

10. Welsh Springer Spaniel

A breed with a long history, the Welsh Springer Spaniel is loyal, loving, and hard working. They do well as bird hunting dogs in a variety of sport settings.

The breed typically has a red and white coat with webbed feet and dark brown eyes. They are sturdy animals and do not have many health conditions they are prone to developing.

This spaniel tends to become very attached to their humans, creating loving bonds. While similar, they are smaller and different in color than the English Springer Spaniel.

They are good family dogs, even with their stubbornness. With training, they can become wonderful pets to those with children and other animals.

  • Origin: Wales
  • Height: 17-19 inches (43-48 centimeters)
  • Weight: 35-55 pounds (16-25 kilograms)
  • Average Litter Size: 6 to 8 pups
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Final Word

No matter which of these ten Spaniel dog breeds you choose, you’re assured a loving dog with a rich heritage of hunting. These dogs are charming in appearance, and a fan favorite at dog shows around the world.

By determining each of their slight differences, you’re able to choose the perfect addition to your household and a family favorite.

They can range from wonderful lap dogs with a carefree spirit to wild child energy with laser focus. Each one characterized by its curly hair and ears, whether they are toy breeds or larger, sturdier animals.

Health-wise, they’re generally a hardy breed, with only a few health conditions to be concerned about.

Most go through their whole lives only needing basic care such as dental cleanings, proper nutrition, a bit of exercise, and grooming/baths.

For the loving dog owner, these conditions are standard care and are no problem to having a wonderful Spaniel pet in the household.

image: Pexels

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National Canine Research Association of America