Spaniels definitively fall into two types: ones that seek prey in water and others that seek it on land. Spaniels are the oldest class of gundog in existence, going back at least to the late Renaissance. Flushing spaniels combine hunting, flushing, and retrieving skills. Flushing spaniels that are used in the modern field include the Brittany, the English Springer Spaniel, the slightly smaller Welsh Springer Spaniel, and the field bred American and English Cocker Spaniels. The larger two chiefly are used for retrieving and flushing game in thick grass or mild underbrush, with the Brittany having working habits closest to later developed pointers. Cocker Spaniels are generally used for thick prickly brush that they can duck, dive and dodge in pursuit of smaller game like rabbits, and Clumbers, Sussex, and Field Spaniels are preferred for their slower, methodical hunting pattern.
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