Walsh), in British Rural Sports, classified dogs as follows: - (a) Dogs that find game for man, leaving him to kill it himself - the pointer, setters, spaniels and water spaniels.
On the 4th of May 1898 a sub-committee of the Kennel Club decided that the following breeds should be classified as "toy dogs": - Black and tan terriers (under 7 lb), bull terriers (under 8 lb), griffons, Italian greyhounds, Japanese, Maltese, Pekingese, poodles (under 15 in.), pugs, toy spaniels, Yorkshire terriers and Pomeranians.
Dog lovers are now numbered by their tens of thousands, and in addition to shows of their favourites, owners are also liberally catered for in the shape of working trials, for during the season competitions for bloodhounds, pointers, setters, retrievers, spaniels and sheepdogs are held.
No scientific classification of the breeds of dogs is at present possible, but whilst the division already given into "sporting" and "non-sporting" is of some practical value, for descriptive purposes it is convenient to make a division into the six groups: - wolfdogs, greyhounds, spaniels, hounds, mastiffs and terriers.
Spaniels are heavily built dogs with short and very wide skulls rising suddenly at the eyes.
They may be divided into field spaniels, water spaniels and the smaller breeds kept as pets.
Field spaniels are excellent shooting dogs, and are readily trained to give notice of the proximity of game.
The Cockers are smaller spaniels, brown, or brown-and-white in the Welsh variety, black in the more common modern English form.
Of the water spaniels the Irish breeds are best known.
The poodle is probably derived from spaniels, but is of slighter, more graceful build, and is pre-eminent even among spaniels for intelligence.
The best known pet spaniels are the King Charles and the Blenheim, small dogs with fine coats, probably descended from Cockers.
Great Britain is probably the country where setters were first produced, and as early as the 17th century spaniels were used in England as setting dogs.
The breed is almost certainly derived from water-spaniels, with a strong admixture of Newfoundland blood.
The Newfoundland is simply an enormous spaniel, and shows its origin by the facility with which it takes to water and the readiness with which it mates with spaniels and setters.
I have had many dog friends--huge mastiffs, soft-eyed spaniels, wood-wise setters and honest, homely bull terriers.