Spaniel (Field)

Last updated April 2022

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.

From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch information related to this breed for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However, if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as highly undesirable, it must not be rewarded in the show ring.

General appearance

Well-balanced, noble, upstanding, sporting Spaniel built for activity and endurance.


Ideal for rough shooting or companion for the country dweller. Not suitable for city.


Unusually docile, active, sensitive, independent.

Head and skull

Conveys the impression of high breeding, character and nobility. Well chiselled, occiput well defined, lean beneath eyes. A thickness here gives coarseness to whole head. Slightly raised eyebrows. Moderate stop. Nose well developed with good open nostrils. Muzzle long and lean neither snipy nor squarely cut. In profile curving gradually from nose to throat.


Wide open but almond shaped with tight lids showing no haw. Grave and gentle in expression. Dark hazel in colour.


Moderately long and wide, set low and well feathered.


Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Long, strong and muscular enabling dog to retrieve his game without undue fatigue.


Shoulders long and sloping and well laid back. Legs of moderate length. Straight, flat bone.


Chest deep and well developed. Ribs moderately well sprung. Length of rib cage is two-thirds of the body length. Back and loin strong, level and muscular.


Strong, muscular; stifles moderately bent. Hocks well let down.


Tight, round with strong pads and not too small.


Previously customarily docked. Docked: Docked by one third. Set on low. Never carried above level of back. Nicely feathered, with lively action. Undocked: Set low. Never carried above level of back. Nicely feathered with lively action. Reaches approximately to the hocks. Of moderate length in balance with the rest of the dog.


Long, unhurried stride with great drive from the rear. Short, stumping action undesirable.


Long, flat, glossy and silky in texture. Never curly, short or wiry. Dense and weatherproof. Abundant feathering on chest, under body and behind legs, but clean from hock to ground.


Black, black and tan, blue roan, blue roan and tan, liver, liver and tan, liver roan, liver roan and tan. In solid coloured dogs, white or roan on chest is permissible. All other colours, including clear black and white, clear liver and white, orange, red, golden or sable highly undesirable.


Height: approximately 46 cms (18 ins) at the shoulders. Weight: between 18-25 kgs (40-55 lbs).


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – The Kennel Club breed standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the size measurements stated in the breed standard.