The 15 Best Spaniel Breeds UK (2024)

Spaniel breeds UK were initially bred to be agile, precise and practical partners for hunting. These breeds of dogs are experts at retrieving games such as Waterfowls, finding them out or even using tactics to flush them out in the open in different terrains, including water.

Even today, Spaniels are used for this very purpose and kept as domestic pets for the owners to play with them, take them on walks, etc.

What is a spaniel?

Sprocker Spaniel Coat Colours

Bred to be hunting partners, Spaniels are a medium-sized dog breed; they can easily be identified due to their big, shiny, curly fur, dropping ears, and broad muzzle.

Breed Characteristics

Nearly all Spaniels are medium-sized, with a broad muzzle and a curly or shiny fur coat and droopy ears. The Spaniel dog breed usually appears in colours such as red, white, black or dark brown, even in some cases. 

Regularly exfoliating and grooming your Spaniel dog breed will also keep their fur from matting and causing a mess, along with regular cleaning of the ears to prevent ear infections.

Generally, Spaniels are better known for their intelligence and affectionate and loyal personality, which may often be a slight source of disturbance for the owner as the Spaniel breed tends to face separation anxiety if left to their own devices for long periods.

Tip

Spaniels are excellent for hiking or any sort of competitive sport for dogs. A Spaniel is said to be suited for living in a house with active family members, agile and driven by the need for energetic activities. Otherwise, the Spaniel may face trouble living in a relatively quiet environment and may cause themselves to stress out.

These are 15 of the most popular spaniel breeds UK that are full of joy and affection.

01. Sprocker Spaniel

Sprocker Spaniels are essentially the crossbreeds of English Springer Spaniel and American Cocker Spaniel; due to such a wealthy parentage, the Sprocker Spaniel enjoys the benefits of having a beautiful coat that is thick along with lively colours.

As the Sprocker Spaniels were crossbred to be tough workers, they could often tow away heavy stuff that might otherwise be impossible to do, along with being generally friendly to all people, including children.

Sprocker Spaniels are some of the best gundogs and domestic companions one could hope to have, as the Sprockers acquire good traits from their Springer and Cocker parents to the maximum. These can also be considered some of the best spaniel breeds in the UK.

Breed Overview:

HEIGHT: 14-20 inches

WEIGHT: 30-44 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Smooth, shiny and slightly wave coat colour that may range from black, red, cream, fawn, blue or white.

LIFE EXPECTANCY:  10-14 years

02. American Cocker Spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel might be one of the better-known spaniels; dog lovers are specifically fond of this breed due to their small size, which is even recorded in the American Kennel Club Sporting Group.

Coupled with their agility and affection, these breeds typically enjoy living with those who are affectionate to them, including kids and any other good company.

The coat of Spaniels might need maintenance as the coat can become very lush and thick if not taken care of and cause excessive matting over time.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 13.5 to 15.5 inches

WEIGHT: 20 to 30 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Silky, flat, or nearly wavy coat that has extreme amounts of feathering around ears, legs or chest; the colours themselves can range from solid and has profuse feathering on the ears, chest and legs; May either come in particoloured patterns or solid colours such as brown or white et

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 15 years

03. American water spaniel

The relatively rare and medium-sized dog breed which initially came from the Great Lakes region during the 19th Century in the United States from other breeds such as English or Irish water spaniels, these dog breeds are known for their excellent water retriever abilities along with being perfect domestic pets for households, while they may require a heavy nutritious diet along with requiring exercising to keep them fit and in shape.

The American Water Spaniels are also rather intelligent and quick to develop bonds with their owners and family members.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 15 to 18 inches

WEIGHT: 25 to 45 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Rather thick double coat, which can range from being either wavy or curled up tightly, also may come in three shades of brown, such as Dark chocolate, brown and might be white coloured on their chest or even toes.

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10 to 14 years

04. Boykin Spaniel

A Spaniel based in the United States, the Boykin Spaniel breeds are generally known for their energetic and friendly behaviour; they are also essentially the mascot dog of South Carolina.

The Boykin has a set of webbed-toes that helps retrieve games such as waterfowl from lakes, swamps or rivers.

This breed is most likely to take the positive rewards and learn from them as they are highly cooperative in training; if you can give them the appropriate diet and exercise, you might have both a good bodyguard and a furry friend!

Undoubtedly, Boykin Spaniel is one of the best Spaniel Breeds UK you should consider.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 14 to 18 inches tall to the shoulder

WEIGHT: 25 to 40 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Medium-length liver, a brown, dark chocolate coat that may range from straight to just slightly wavy

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10 to 15 years

05. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Recognized by American Kennel Club in 1995, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, befitting its name, is one of the most popular spaniel breeds in the United States, these breed of dogs are known to be very affectionate, loyal and always ready to please their owners.

While they might be just as active as other dogs, they still are relatively easygoing and hence will not need as much exercising and walking around as most other spaniels would, hence this can make the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel a popular choice for keeping at home since they are reasonably quiet dogs.

Cavaliers are also an AKC Toy Group member and the best Spaniel Breeds UK you should consider.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Toy (AKC)

HEIGHT: 12 to 13 inches

WEIGHT: 13 to 18 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Long, sleek and silky coat along with feathering down the legs, around ears, chest and tail

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 14 years

06. Clumber Spaniel

Probably one of the biggest Spaniels out of all so far on the Spaniel breeds UK, the Clumber, while looking intimidating, is one of the calmer breeds of spaniels. On the contrary, the Clumber spaniel often seems to mellow around till they catch a scent, especially those of a stranger, as the Clumber are somewhat wary of those.

The Clumber responds well to socialization activities and positive training, but be warned, these fellows drool a lot, and you might need to have a cloth ready to wipe away their drool.

The Clumber spaniels are relatively rare in the USA, and one might need to search for them more thoroughly and get them from a reputable breeder and the best Spaniel Breeds UK you should consider.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 17 to 20 inches

WEIGHT: 55 to 85 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Medium-length, thick coat in white with orange or yellow markings

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10 to 12 years

07. English Cocker Spaniel

Considered to be one of the excellent Spaniel breeds UK, often called Velcro dogs, the English Cocker Spaniel are relatively agile animal with good hunting capabilities; in fact, their name comes from the very fact that they were once used for woodcock hunting.

Their silky and smooth coat colours, along with innocent eyes, will undoubtedly make even the stone-cold heart of a person turn to liquid and melt away; the Cockers can be great domestic pets as they love human interaction, but what they will genuinely be excited with is if you take them out for a hunting time.

Therefore, one may need to work hard to ensure the English Cocker Spaniel remains calm, along with getting much-needed stimulation and exercise from places around your house or having a walk in the park routinely.

English Cocker Spaniel is one of the best popular Spaniel Breeds UK trending.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 15 to 17 inches

WEIGHT: 26 to 34 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Silky and medium-length coat with feathering on legs, chest and ears, along with long and droopy ears, big snout and a relatively soft contorted body.

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 14 years

08. English Springer Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel is another Spaniel breed UK; they are considered to be some of the most active and goal-driven spaniels; therefore, for someone who is living a relatively quiet and sedentary life, an English Springer might not be best suited to be adopted.

Springers usually love doing any job; this can involve simply manual tasks such as moving heavy materials to actively being used for detecting drugs or bombs for military and police purposes.

The English Springer Spaniels are always ready to please their owners and are quick to learn from training; this breed’s positive reward-based conditioning is usually considered the best method to train them. 

Remember, this specific breed of dog is very active and will therefore need to be given exercise and walks daily.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 19 to 20 inches

WEIGHT: 40 to 50 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Medium-length and wavy topcoat, short and rather profuse but soft undercoat; ears, legs, and chest have long feathering on them; colours include: white, black, white and liver.

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 14 years

09. Papillon

While many might consider being different, Papillion actually belong to the spaniel breed. This breed initially had droopy ears before it was bred, so the ears were shaped up to look upright. Therefore, this breed is also now called Continental Toy Spaniel. These little fellows are said to be somewhat alert, energetic, intelligent dogs who are highly responsive to training and positive rewards. Still, as they are rather stubborn, you have the will to constantly keep motivating them to go further and train them to work on being quiet as they are rather loud dogs. 

Breed Overview

GROUP: Toy (AKC)

HEIGHT: 8 to 11 inches

WEIGHT: 6 to 10 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Small yet sturdy toy with a single-layer coat that is straight and has frills. Parti-coloured coat with a white base. Ears are shaped to look like butterflies in terms of their erect appearance.

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 14 to 16 years

10. Welsh Springer Spaniel

Another Spaniel breeds UK dog, The Welsh springer spaniel, which is related to its English brethren, slightly smaller and with only white and red markings.

The Welsh Springers are said to be very affectionate and playful;. However, they can show a rather laid-back nature when around closed environments such as home or other sheltered places, this breed can quickly develop a strong bond with any close member.

The Welsh springers are slightly wary of strangers and may start barking if one happens to come in their vicinity.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 17 to 19 inches

WEIGHT: 35 to 55 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Soft and straight, red and white coat that is flat with slight feathering

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 15 years

11. English Toy Spaniel

The English toy spaniel yearns for good ol’ cuddles; these breed of spaniel dogs are considered to be one of the best companions to have as they are very devoted to having bonds with their family members and will follow anyone they like to whatever place they go. The English toy spaniel has a stark resemblance to the Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

These breeds are not supposed to be left alone for too long as they can quickly become anxious and may end up mentally hurt in the long run. As the breed is tiny, you can carry the toy spaniel anywhere with you, and there is also a lesser need for exercise; a simple walk daily is good for them.

 Breed Overview

GROUP: Toy (AKC)

HEIGHT: 9 to 10 inches

WEIGHT: 8 to 14 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Nearly wavy to straight; Glossy and silky; colours: Blenheim (white with red or chestnut marks), Prince Charles (tri-colour), King Charles (tan and black) and ruby (Mahogany red colour that is rich)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10 to 12 years

12. Field Spaniel

Like Cocker and Springer spaniels, field spaniels were used for hunting games in various fields of England and are some of the best Spaniel breeds in the UK.

These breeds are known to be very loyal and intelligent, enough so that they will quickly become closer with a family member and instantly fit in with a family.

Field spaniels need a large space to keep running around and generally are not made for tight spaces such as apartments or homes without any backyards. Without training and exercise, these dogs may become rather destructive and desperate.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 17 to 18 inches

WEIGHT: 35 to 50 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Thick and water-resistant/repellent single coat (might be wavy, long or straight); colour: black, golden, golden liver, roan and liver.

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 13 years

13. Irish Water Spaniel

Also called Rat tail spaniel due to the rather distinctive and smooth tail, the Irish Water spaniel are medium-large sized gundogs used for hunting and retrieving game such as waterfowls which may include: Ducks, geese along with flushing them; they can also catch and retrieve upland game such as pheasant.

While they are generally a pleasant breed of dogs, the Irish Water spaniel is relatively alert to strangers and won’t respond well to them trying to make small interactions.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 21 to 24 inches

WEIGHT: 41 to 68 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Strong liver (brown) to dark liver with a slightly purple tinge (called puce liver sometimes)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10 to 12 years

14. Kooikerhondje (Kooiker)

The Dutch Kooikerhondje, or kooiker for easy naming, is a relatively small and petite spaniel with a laidback and easygoing temperament.

 This breed’s small size and overall friendly nature have helped game hunters (duck, geese etc.) for centuries altogether.

Today, these breeds are experts in various canine contests such as flyball, agility and more, making them a somewhat helpful and great companion.

The kookier are also excellent watchdogs as they are wary and alert of strangers; these breeds also do not need much exercise and are relatively easy to maintain with a proper long-term diet.

A kookier’s most eye-catching feature is their black and long feathering, which may look like earrings on their ear.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 14 to 17 inches

WEIGHT: 20 to 35 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Medium-length coat that is straight with long and black feathered ears, legs, and tail; colour: white with orange to deep red marks or patches

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 15 years

15. Sussex Spaniel

While slightly rare to find than its other spaniel brethren, they can be brilliant, and have extended amounts of endurance and a capacity to form bonds with their family.

The Sussex spaniel was developed initially around the late 18tCenturyrly 19th century to navigate the thick underbrush and barking to mark a location. Somewhere around World War II, these species were nearly made go extinct.

Today, if you can find a Sussex, having one as a companion may be a good idea. They usually rely on having an emotional connection to a family member and are a very active breed of dog.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 13 to 15 inches

WEIGHT: 35 to 45 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Medium-length wavy single coat (might be flat), with feathering on legs; colour: solid golden liver; there might be a white patch on the chest at times.

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 15 years

Breeds to Avoid

Many dogs with spaniels are not supposed to be spaniels. The Brittany species of dog breed is called Britanny Spaniel, but AKC removed the term spaniel from this breed in 1992.

While a Britanny resembles a spaniel due to their long and droopy ears and long, wavy coat, they, instead of retrieving their prey, point to them for others to catch. Some dogs with “spaniel” in their name are not spaniels.

The Tibetan spaniel and the Japanese chin (sometimes called the Japanese Spaniel) are two toy breeds that do not have traits to be termed as spaniels; to be specific, these dogs are not made for hunting.

Common FAQ: 15 Best Spaniel Dog Breeds

Why is My King Charles Spaniel So big?

The size of any species of dog depends typically on the genetics of the dog and the sizes of the parents of the dog; if your King Charles happens to be born from two significant parents, then the likelihood for them to be bigger than thought goes up.

Also, remember that King Charles spaniels are prone to obesity from being overfed food or treats, make sure to maintain a controlled diet and get a checkup from an animal vet.

How Do You Train A Cocker Spaniel?

As Cocker spaniels are usually ready to please their owners, it is straightforward to train this particular breed of spaniels.

You can start by teaching your puppy lessons for basic obedience from a relatively young age and employ positive reinforcement on them rather than negative; strict training regimen will not work with this breed as they are sensitive and may react badly to such. 

What is a Sprocker Spaniel?

A relative new Spaniel breeds UK hybrid; A sprocker spaniel is the product of an English Springer spaniel and an American cocker spaniel; the breed is said to have been bred around 20 years ago. These breed of dogs are said to have an adaptable and somewhat hard-working personality which may help an owner with various tasks. 

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