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spaniel:see sporting dogsporting dog,
classification used by breeders and kennel clubs to designate dogs bred for pointing, flushing, and retrieving game. These dogs hunt by air scent—as opposed to most hounds, which are ground scenters—and their quarry is primarily game birds.
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classification used by breeders and kennel clubs to designate very small breeds of dogs kept as pets. Some are selectively bred diminutive forms of larger breeds and others are naturally small.
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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.
A. P. MAZOVER