What Breed had a Registration Drought?

Can you imagine going a quarter of a century without one single dog being registered of an AKC recognized breed?  It happened.

From 1942 until 1967, there was no Field Spaniel in the AKC’s registry even though it was one of the first breeds to be shown and registered in America, their presence in a show ring predating the founding of the AKC in 1884, and even before the American Spaniel Club was founded in 1881. Happily, a revival of the breed begin in the late 60s, something that couldn’t have happened had a few dedicated breeders in England not kept the breed from vanishing altogether.

We sometimes think the Field Spaniel is one of dogdom’s best kept secrets. Hunters shooting over the dogs are the beneficiaries of fabulous noses and dogs that hunt at a speed comfortable to walk behind. They are typically slower, methodical, and more deliberate workers in the field than some other breeds, but it’s said that a Field Spaniel will find birds that other dogs have missed. They can hunt all day with enthusiasm, but have an on/off switch making them easy companions with which to live.

There’s an additional benefit to families with split interests. Because Field Spaniels haven’t split into “field” and “show” types, the hunter in the family has a working dog, while the family fancier can go to dog shows and be competitive. In fact, the vast majority of Field Spaniels running in spaniel hunt tests are also conformation champions.


Image of Vintage Dog Illustration of Field Spaniels by Walter Weber from a 1958 book on dogs is available for purchase here


5 thoughts on “What Breed had a Registration Drought?”

  1. Beautiful dogs. The first one I saw really impressed me at an obedience trial. So many wonderful dogs. So little time. It’s a breed I wish I could have at some time, but probably won’t.

  2. Absolutely, the most wonderful dogs: energetic, exuberant, funny, naughty, and very smart. They are terrific with children. My Phoebe adores five – ten year old children (we live next to a primary school); they are over the moon for her. Downside: they are a bit high maintenance on to the grooming (lot’s of hair), really do not like to be left alone and get bored, they need exercise, and like almost all spaniels they are a bit intense in their personalities – always on the ball.

  3. Smart and beautiful with great noses. I am not a hunter but my field spaniels are great in the sport of barn hunt. They are not as intense as border collies but are easily bored and don’t like to be left alone.

    • Field spaniels are awesome dogs, Kathy, and for reasons that baffle us, somewhat uncommon. How did you get interested in the breed?

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