Dog Breeds – Flushing Spaniels

by Jonni

Flushing Spaniel Breeds — American and English Cocker spaniels, Springer spaniel, Clumber spaniel, Field spaniel.

The flushing spaniel breeds include some of America’s favorite bird dogs, the American and English Cocker Spaniel and the Springer spaniel, as well as the Clumber and Field spaniels, among others. And of course the cockapoo, the once insanely popular intentional mutt, has to be included, sort of.

These dogs are bred to assist the hunter by first finding the birds in the brush, then flushing them out when their hunter is close enough for a good shot. They have always worked closely with their human partners, and they will look to humans for direction and guidance, making them excellent pets for people who have active lifestyles.

In the 50’s the American Cocker became one of the most sought-after and soon over-bred dog in the country. Bad breeding resulted in a loss of the warmth and responsiveness that caused them to become so popular in the first place. Mutts with American Cocker genes may inherit the old personality and soundness, but it can’t be guaranteed.

The other flushing spaniels seem to have been spared from this fate, and are more apt to act true to type.

The fate of the American Cocker spaniel illustrates how easy it is to lose the behaviors, temperaments and physical soundness that breeders have spent hundreds of years developing in a breed. A few short years of indiscriminate breeding, or breeding for physical appearance rather than instincts or personality, and the dog is plagued by poor mental and physical health.