Russian Spaniel is a Soviet dog breed developed after the World War II. It physically resembles the English Cocker Spaniel, but has a longer body and a shorter, tight coat with some feathering on ears and legs. Its large oval eyes are always kind and a little alert. Its coat is usually white, with black, brown or red spots and speckles. Part of the dog’s medium-sized head and its hanging ears are usually black, brown or red too. In general, the Russian Spaniel is a gun dog and a companion dog which is still rare in the West.
The history of this Russian dog is quite similar to other Russian dog breeds, developed in the Soviet Union after the WWII. The first Spaniels (English Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, and other European Spaniels) were brought to Russia at the end of 19th century by the Russian aristocracy. After the communist revolution in 1917 their number has reduced dramatically, and the remaining dogs have all crossed leaving no purebred Spaniels in the whole country.
When the war was over these dogs were used to create a new versatile hunting breed which had to be small, strong and suited for Russian climate. The new hunting Spaniel was first standardized in the Soviet Union in 1951.
The Russian Spaniel quickly became popular as a reliable hunting dog, alongside with Russian Laikas, hunting hounds, and Russian wolfhounds. Its small size made it easy to keep it in apartment and to transport it to the hunting site. Its ability to serve as a flushing spaniel as well as a retriever was widely used in hunting duck and hare.
Gaining popularity in its native country, this Russian dog was introduced abroad only in the 1990s, and is still recognized by just a few kennel clubs.
The Russian Spaniel possesses an easy-going nature and devotion to its master. It is an intelligent and loving friend which gets very well with children and other pets. If not trained as hunting Spaniel this pleasant Russian dog turns into a good family companion.
The life span for this breed is about 14 years. It is generally healthy, and, unlike with most other Spaniel breeds, doesn’t require much grooming.
Owning the Russian Spaniel doesn’t create any special problems. It easily adapts to any living conditions and is very obedient. To stay in good shape this hunting Spaniel still needs some everyday exercise and outdoor activities.
Russian Spaniel Size:
Height: 15 to 18 inches
Weight: 20 to 35 pounds