The Field Spaniel Society

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Prospective Puppy Owner’s Guide

" Many people ask for a Field for a pet and to these I tell the whole truth, for if, after hearing it, they still want a Field, I know it will have a happy and loving home. People must be told how big a Field will grow, what a lot it will eat and how much more exercise it will require than a run in the park or a walk on a lead. They must be told that this is not a breed for people out at work all day, for a Field, shut up alone for hours will quickly get bored and take to chewing the carpets or stripping paper off the walls. Fields can also be very noisy and a Field voice is something to be conjured with and can soon annoy the neighbours. Many Fields are the best escapologists in the world; I had one who could clear a height of six feet from a standing start! They can demolish wire or tunnel underneath it with the speed of light, and unless your garden is securely fenced will be off hunting for hours. People buying a Field must remember that the modern Field was conceived to be an active working gundog, and to a greater extent, it still is. So a Field needs plenty to occupy his mind if it is not to develop bad habits. Above all, Fields are sensitive and affectionate creatures who love the company of humans, and get very lonely if left alone for too long ".

Extracted from The History and Management of The Field Spaniel, 1984, p229, Scan Publishing (Books) Limited, by kind permission of Peggy Grayson.

I would like to buy a Field Spaniel puppy, how do I do this? -

By contacting a reputable breeder. You can access breeder details from the Field Spaniel Society Secretary

I have children can I take them with me to view the puppies? -

Yes, you should arrange this with the breeder.

What questions should I ask the breeder? -

Ask to see the dam. Ask about hip scores and eye tests.

What will I expect from the breeder when collecting the puppy?

The breeder should provide you with an information pack and this may include:

What can I do to make my puppy's journey home comfortable? -

Provide the puppy with a suitable cardboard box or a travel cage, lined with warm bedding.

How should I introduce my puppy to his/her new home? -

On arrival home, accompany the puppy whilst he/she explores his/her new surroundings. When you view the puppies leave a piece of dog bedding with the breeder who will ensure that it is scented by the litter. Keep this with the puppy for the first few nights as he/she will be comforted by the smell of his/her siblings. Your puppy may take a day or two to settle and to develop a feeding pattern.

How do I introduce the puppy to my other dog? -

As with all pets they should be introduced under close supervision. Never leave a young puppy alone with an older dog. Beware of jealousy from the older dog.

My puppy won't eat the diet recommended by the breeder, what should I do? -

Contact the breeder for advice. Do not start chopping and changing the puppy's diet. Some Field Spaniels are notoriously faddy eaters and you could end up with a variety of foods that the puppy may eat vigorously at first and then refuse to eat. When following manufacturer recommendations for feeding be aware that they are only recommendations and your puppy's requirements may vary.

I never seem to be able to feed my puppy enough, why is he/she always hungry? -

Over feeding is as bad as underfeeding therefore check with the breeder that you are following a reasonable feeding regime. Check the puppy for worms. Your puppy will have been wormed and you should follow the worming program given to you by the breeder. Or ask your vet for advice. Never over feed a Field Spaniel puppy; too much weight particularly across the shoulders on a young puppy can cause the front legs to bow and push the elbows out. Always ensure the puppy has access to water especially if using a complete diet.

My puppy wants to run about and play all day, is this OK? -

Field Spaniel puppies like all puppies should not be over exercised. You must decide when your puppy will rest, don't allow him/her to run until he/she drops. Do not allow your puppy to climb up or down stairs and discourage him/her from jumping on or off Obstacles as these could push elbows out and or bow his/her front.

My puppy looks as though he is flapping his front feet, why is this? -

This is known as ' being down on the pasterns or collapsing front'. It is a temporary condition usually occurring during teething around 3 to 3 ½ months and can persist until teething is complete. Give plenty of rest and follow advice from previous question. Walking the puppy over gravel sometimes helps, this is uncomfortable on the puppy's feet causing him/her to tighten the feet up and this in turn can tighten the muscle controlling the pastern. Speak to the puppy's breeder for further information and advice on this condition.

If in doubt about any issues concerning you puppy contact your puppy's breeder.

Welcome to the world of Field Spaniels and Good Luck with your new puppy.

Don't play tug of war with a young puppy. Tugging hard could cause problems with his/her bite.

Grooming your puppy regularly gives you an opportunity to check him/her for any lumps, bumps or health problems. Check eyes, ears and feet for grass seeds.

Keep the hair on the inside of the ear trimmed out to allow air to flow to the ear, this helps to prevent smelly ears. Trim the hair out from under the pads as this stops collection of mud or snow under pads and allows puppy to walk on the pads and not on hair. Keep toe nails short as this helps keep neat round feet.

Bath using a shampoo designed for a canine coat. A dog's PH is different to ours.

Using clippers on a Field spaniel coat can cause the coat to become curly and this is not desired.

Spayed Field spaniel bitches can develop a fluffy/ duffle type coat texture. She may also become slightly incontinent when older. Speak to your vet for more information on the latter.

Castrated dogs may develop a fluffy/ duffle type coat texture.

Ask your breeder and or vet about vaccinations prior to collection. Your puppy may already have had the first part of the initial vaccinations.

Socialisation of Field puppies, as with all puppies, begins in the nest with his/her dam and siblings. The breeder may already have introduced your puppy to normal household sounds and sights.

Once the vaccinations are complete, ask the vet when you can begin to walk the puppy and begin his/her training. Field spaniels are intelligent dogs but can be stubborn and require gentle, consistent training, once a week at training classes and ten minutes each day is usually sufficient.


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