Spaniel (canis extrarius, Linn.), a well known variety of hunting dog, in form a small setter, with silky hair, long in some parts of the body, and long, soft, pendulous ears. It is figured on some of the later monuments of ancient Italy, and is supposed to be the C. Tuscus of the Romans; it probably originated in Spain, whence the name. The colors are various, black, brown, pied, liver-colored and white, and black and white. The English breed is considered the best for sportsmen, being strong, with an excellent nose, and fond of the water. The water spaniel differs from the common breed in the eagerness to hunt and swim in water, whence it is used to drive ducks into the nets in decoy ponds; the hair is also harsher. (See Poodle.) The Alpine or St. Bernard spaniel is the largest and most celebrated of the race, being 2 ft. high at the shoulders, and 5 or G ft. from nose to end of tail; it has a peculiar appearance about the inner angle of the eyes, due probably to their being kept partly shut to avoid the high winds and the glare of the snow; this is one of the breeds which search the mountain passes in the vicinity of the hospice of St. Bernard in quest of bewildered or weary travellers.
The Newfoundland dog resembles the Alpine spaniels; it is large and has great strength, and is probably their indigenous American representative, and useful for many purposes of a beast of burden; it is gentle, very intelligent, and affectionate; it is an excellent swimmer, the toes being partly webbed. The springer is a small spaniel of elegant form, small head, and long ears, usually red and white, the latter predominating, with a black nose and palate; the Marlborough breed is considered the best. The King Charles spaniel is a small and beautiful breed, prized as a lady's pet, generally black and white, or black and tan-colored; the hair is soft and silky, the ears pendulous, the forehead elevated, and the eyes intelligent; the variety prized by Charles I. of England was wholly black; this is the C. brevipilis (Linn.). It is supposed to be the parent of the cocker, a sprightly little bird dog, usually black, or white with reddish spots, and comparatively shorter in the back than the spaniel. The Maltese dog is perhaps the most ancient of the small spaniel races, being figured on Roman monuments, and mentioned by Strabo as the C. melitmus; the muzzle is round, the hair very long and silky, and the color usually white; it is diminutive, and fit only for a lap dog.