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Everything You Need to Know About 19 Spaniel Dog Breeds [Updated 2023]

spaniel dog breeds

Everything You Need to Know About 19 Spaniel Dog Breeds [Updated 2023]

spaniel dog breeds

Historically, the Spaniels have been athletic, compact, and passionate hunting companions. They are good at finding and retrieving games in various terrains and even water. These dogs are still used for hunting today, but they are also popular companion dog breeds. This post is all about Spaniel dog breeds.

This post was edited and updated in January, 2023.

The spaniel dog breed is one of the oldest and most beloved breeds in the world. The spaniel has been bred for hunting purposes and has been used as a companion animal for centuries. The spaniel breed originated in Spain and was brought to England in the 14th century by Spanish traders.

The term “spaniel” comes from the French word “espagnol,” meaning “Spanish.” Spaniels were originally used as hunting dogs, particularly for flushing birds out of dense undergrowth. They were trained to work closely with their human handlers and to retrieve game birds from water.

Over time, spaniels were bred for a variety of hunting tasks, including flushing game out of brush, retrieving game from water, and pointing out game to the hunter. They were also prized for their intelligence, loyalty, and affectionate nature, and became popular as companion animals.

Today, there are several different types of spaniel breeds, including the English Springer Spaniel, the Cocker Spaniel, the American Water Spaniel, and the Welsh Springer Spaniel. Each breed has its own unique characteristics and personality traits, but all share a love of hunting, a friendly disposition, and a strong bond with their human companions.

Spaniel Dog Breeds

Most spaniels are medium sized and have drooping ears. Spaniels are generally considered loyal, intelligent, and affectionate, but the typical characteristics and temperament of the breed vary greatly. Usually, they are more suitable for living in an active family. If there are not enough enrichment and exercise, problem behaviors will quickly appear.

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What are the different Spaniel Dog Breeds?

French Spaniel

The French spaniel is a medium-sized breed that is known for its intelligence. It is a great choice for dog owners who want a loyal and affectionate pet. This breed loves to be active, so it is important for owners to make sure it gets plenty of exercise. The French spaniel is also good with other pets, making it a great choice for multi-pet households. 

English Toy Spaniel

The English toy spaniel is a small breed known for its gentle personality. This breed is great with children, making it an ideal pet for families. It has a medium length coat that requires regular brushing and grooming. It is also important to note that this breed may be more sensitive to cold temperatures, so it should be kept warm in the winter. 

Japanese Spaniel Dog Breeds

The Japanese Spaniel is a small breed with a friendly personality. This breed is known for its intelligence and loyalty. It is a great choice for dog owners who want a pet that is good with other animals and children. The Japanese spaniel has a medium length coat that requires regular grooming and brushing. 

Irish Waters Spaniel Dog Breeds

The Irish Waters Spaniel is a medium-sized breed that is known for its intelligence and loyalty. This breed has a medium length coat that requires regular grooming and brushing. It is also important to note that this breed may be more sensitive to cold temperatures, so it should be kept warm in the winter. This breed is good with children and other pets, making it a great choice for families and multi-pet households. 

If you are considering introducing this dog to your family, a list of the most popular spaniel breeds will help you figure out which dog is best for your family.

Boykin Spaniel


spaniel dog breeds

Boykin is a Native American spaniel, not as famous as his relative Cocker Spaniel. Boykins is recognized as the official dog of South Carolina, has a sporty physique and webbed toes, and can be retrieved from lakes, swamps, and rivers. If you live near lakes or the sea, this water-loving strain might be the right choice.

This strain is known for its friendliness, kindness, and enthusiasm. This breed responds well to positive training methods, are often sociable, and love to be active. As long as they have enough exercise and contentment, they will usually be relaxing and mellow at home.

Clumber Spaniel

This is a popular English Spaniel breed that has been a royal favourite for decades. They were originally from the UK and were considered very vulnerable. The Clumber Spaniel is frequently referred to as “the king’s mellow and dignified hunting companion” with heavy bones and a huge head.


This breed was designed to allow wild birds to hunt across rough terrain in the field, giving birth to the “Clumber Movement.”Unlike many other spaniel dog breeds, the Clumber spaniel coat is flat and straight, usually white and yellow, with brown or orange freckled spots. This breed is famous for its outdoor nature.

German Spaniel


spaniel dog breeds

The German Spaniel is also known as “Deutscher Wachtelhund”. This breed’s name has been translated into English as “quail” because the German Spaniel was used in the past to hunt quail.

Due to their strength, versatility and durability, they are primarily used as hunting dogs. One of their noticeable features is their long bushy brown coat, which often features white markings. They are strong, making them ideal for investigations and tracking.

Pont Audemer Spaniel

This dog is very sturdy, hardworking, and ideal for anyone looking for a working dog. Although they are not as common as pets, they are very kind and friendly. What is fascinating is that because of their cold, pleasant and caring personality, they are often called ” le petit clown des Marais “, which means “Little Clown in the Swamp”.

American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel is native to the Upper Lake District of the Midwest and is a smart outdoor athlete who loves swimming and hunting. Although they are a bit stubborn towards strangers, they are considered happy, attractive, and enthusiastic.

Papillion Dogs

It is an ancient French breed born in France, also known as the “Continental Toy Spaniel”. In ancient times, Papillion Dog often appeared in Renaissance paintings and are also widely used as upper-class toilet dogs.

Papillion dogs are exquisite and delicate, with a long silky coat and a coiled tail. Papillion Dogs are known for being lively, witty, energetic, and friendly. As a result, Papillion Dogs have become the most agile dogs and are thrilled to participate in various dog sports.

Nederlandse Kooikerhondje

Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is lively, agile, confident, kind and alert. The varieties are loyal, friendly, and homely. Outdoors it is a genuinely sporty, agile, tenacious, enthusiastic, alert and energetic dog. With enough stamina and patience, this breed likes to work and has a cheerful personality.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel



Although the Cavalier King only obtained the official approval of the AKC in 1995, King Charles still has a long and noble legacy. Today, they have become the most popular spaniel in the United States. Their popularity can be attributed to their typical affectionate, carefree, sociable, and eager personality to please them.

They are still active but not as motivated as most dogs on the list. They were originally bred as British nobles and did not need as much exercise as the average spaniel. The Cavaliers that are part of the “Toy Dog” group are smaller than most Spaniels. Their lower exercise needs, and compact size make them a popular selection for apartment living.

However, daily care is required to keep the Cavaliers coat mat free. Unfortunately, this variety is associated with some inherited health conditions. If you are looking for a puppy, finding a well-known breeder to check parents’ health is important.

Field Spaniel

At one point, the ” Field Spaniel” was widely used as a retriever that could be retrieved from the water or land and played but is now particularly suited to the “watchdog”. They are still adept at hunting, but this breed has been mobilized by multiple pets and companion dogs and is rarely seen outdoors. As you know, wild dogs are very active and require a certain amount of exercise every day. They are also compassionate and sweet, so they are very suitable as companions and pets.

Welsh Springer Spaniel



The Welsh Springer Spaniel is closely related to the English version. Although Welsh people are not as common as the SSE, they are also very kind, lively and happy. Wales is slightly smaller than ESS and can only be found with red and white markings. People also know that they are slightly relaxed indoors, but not so busy outdoors.

Welsh Springer Spaniel is a typical spaniel and has established a strong bond with his family. They do need to live with their families most of the time to prevent them from suffering. Welsh Springer Spaniel is also more prone to strangers than ESS and is more likely to issue barking warnings.

Russian Spaniel

This is a fairly modern Spanish breed that originated in the Soviet Union around the 20th century. In ancient times, Russian Spaniels were popular for hunting in rough terrains such as woodlands and swamps. Still, today they make excellent family pets and companions not only in Russia but also in their country of origin.

The Russian Spaniel is small and strong. These dogs regular silk coats have different colour combinations, and their ears are darker than the rest of their ears. In terms of personality, Russian Spaniards tend to be very friendly, loyal, and kind.

Brittany Spaniel

The Brittany Spaniel was first bred as a hunting dog and is smarter, energetic, agile, and easy to train than many other spaniel breeds. The medium size is very attractive for athletes hunting, dog sports, and family keep as pets.

The beauty of this variety lies in the boldly patterned coat, the perfect combination of white, bright orange and reddish-brown. They are an outstanding choice for people looking for excellent hunting skills, companionship and true teammates suitable for all types of dog sports.

Sussex Spaniel Dog Breeds

“Simple, affectionate, moody, deep blue, loyal” – these are all words used to describe the slow but steady Sussex Spaniel hunter. Favourite family dog. His frowning expression was happily incompatible with his usual cheerful personality.

The Sussex Spaniel is a variety of Sussex in southern England. A small, compact spaniel that is old as a ” Clumber ” and looks similar. Their pace can be slow, but they can have a low and energetic temperament.

English Cocker Spaniel

These compact, enthusiastic, and agile spaniel dog breeds were once regarded as companions for hunting. English Cocker Spaniel is believed that this is the origin of their name. Today, the English Cocker Spaniel is a popular and active companion dog. They have silky coats and soft eyes that melt their hearts. They also like to spend time with human families. Often called a Velcro dog, it is very suitable for families who spend most of their time with them.

Although English Cocker Spaniel have many similar characteristics with the American Cocker Spaniel, hunting with the English Cocker Spaniel tends to be more prominent. You may need to work on more recall training and need to make sure they get a lot of exercise and inspiration around the house.

The English Cocker Spaniel wears a well-kept coat and is susceptible to ear infections if not cut short. Keeping their ears dry and clean, especially after swimming, can minimize problems.

Picardy Blue Spaniel

This rare Spanish breed originated in France and first appeared around the Somme river in the 20th century. This breed is said to be descendants of the English Setter and Picardy. Other common names include Épagneul Bleude Picardie and Bleu Picard.

They are chosen primarily as hunting dogs because they have an average lifespan of 10-13 years, perform well in rough terrain. They are said to be very active, adaptable, playful, and calm. In other words, you may keep it as a pet.

How to Identify a Spaniel Dog Breed

The most common and prominent characteristics of the spaniel dog breeds include small and medium-size, drooping ears, silky, fairly thin, wavy long hair or coat. It is said that spaniels have some wonderful natural qualities, such as pure intelligence, liveliness, obedience, and deep love for people around them, which make them highly valued and unique.

You probably want to raise all of them, given how cute and adorable every single dog is!

The spaniel dog breed has a long and rich history, dating back centuries to its origins in Spain. Today, spaniels continue to be beloved by hunters and pet owners alike, thanks to their loyal, affectionate nature and their impressive hunting skills.

This post is all about the 10 Spaniel Dog Breeds.

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