Spaniel, or Canis avicularius, a valuable species of the dog-kind, which is supposed to have been originally bred in Spain.
Spaniels are divided into three varieties, namely, 1. Starters, or Pointers, from their use in starting game ; 2. Setters, which are employed only for the net; and 3. Water-spaniels, which are of service in recovering lost game, or fetching it out of the water. These animals are of various sizes, and colours ; but the black sorts are held in the greatest estimation, on account of their superior scent : next are the pied or spotted spaniels; and those, which are of a plain liver-colour, are reputed to be the best swimmers. The external appearance, however, is an uncertain guide by which to ascertain the relative qualities of these sagacious animals; as their excellence principally depends on the manner in which they have been trained. - Every species of dogs being subject to various disorders, of which we have already treated, the reader is referred to vol.ii. pp. 151-52. - See also Mange.