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spaniel: see sporting dog; toy dog.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



any one of several breeds of hunting dogs. Spaniels are used for hunting game birds in marshy places and in dense thickets. The dogs are native to Spain, where they have been known since the 15th century. Modern spaniel breeds, for example, the cocker spaniel, springer spaniel, field spaniel, and Norfolk spaniel, were developed in Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the USSR a local type of spaniel was developed from the cocker spaniel.

Spaniels are distinguished by a keen sense of smell and good vision. They have a developed instinct for scenting and flushing out birds, then finding the dead bird and retrieving it. Spaniels have a rather large body, short legs, a relatively long head, and long, pendant ears. The tail is docked to half its original length. The coat is long, straight, and soft; the coloring may be black, various shades of red, cinnamon-brown, or white, with speckles and spots of the same colors. The height at the withers is 36–44 cm. The spaniel’s beautiful appearance and even temperament have made it a popular house pet. In Great Britain a number of pet breeds have been developed, for example, the King Charles spaniel and English toy spaniel, whose height at the withers is 18–22 cm.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. any of several breeds of gundog with long drooping ears, a silky coat, and formerly a docked tail
2. either of two toy breeds of spaniel: see King Charles spaniel
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Thus, any hunter wanting a small flushing spaniel can once again find field-tested cockers, either field-or show-bred, that he can both hunt and love.
However, this country has many more spaniel hunting tests than cocker field trials, simply because the former are open to all flushing spaniels whereas the latter are restricted to two breeds: cockers and English cockers.
What I mean by this is that some wonderful training tools were introduced that allowed trainers to take the vast majority of flushing spaniels to a place of being quite well-trained and steady, so the variables in field performance from a field trial standpoint changed a bit.
Over the course of the long drive home from the trial, Danny and I discussed the present and future of flushing spaniels. Both of us have some gray in our hair (what's left of it), so I suppose it may be a simple case of "It ain't as good as it used to be." It is important, however, and only ethical as dog people to consider the motivations that steer the future of the breeds we love.
The four basic ty-pes of gun dogs are featured--retrievers, pointing dogs, versatile breeds and flushing spaniels. Featuring Bob West and Roger Sparks.