Broad muzzles, drooping ears and wavy coats are characteristics common among the different breeds of spaniels. Spaniels are a group of hunting dog and need to be kept active.
Over 20 types of dog comprise the spaniel group. The King Charles spaniel and the Papillon are toy dog breeds weighing only about 10 pounds. The Clumber spaniel, the largest spaniel, is a large English breed reaching up to 85 pounds that specializes in hunting in heavy cover. The German spaniel and the French spaniel are other large spaniel breeds.
The Irish water spaniel is a curly coated dog resembling a standard poodle and is one of the oldest spaniel breeds. The English water spaniel, now extinct, was bred to retrieve waterfowl shot down over water.
The Welsh springer spaniel is a hunting dog from Wales that assists hunters by springing on bushes to flush out game birds. The cocker spaniel is a popular pet dog, is the smallest recognized member of the American Kennel Club's working group, and was originally used to hunt woodcock in England.
The American Kennel Club describes temperaments of dogs in this group as intelligent, happy, obedient and affectionate; however, professional trainers, behaviorists, veterinarians and shelter workers emphasize the importance of considering the characteristics of an individual dog over breed generalizations. They also recommend researching breeders for socialization and health history of the dogs breed.