Russia’s Little Gundog
The Russian Spaniel is a breed of gundog that was developed in Russia. Used to hunt mostly fowl, they are also able to track wounded game as well. The Russian Spaniel is one of the youngest of Russia’s breeds.
Russian Spaniels stand between 15-18 inches at the withers and weigh between 28-34 pounds. Somewhat small for a gundog, they somewhat resemble a Springer Spaniel. Their fur is medium length, with wavy fringes on the back of the legs and on the long ears. Colors are usually white with either black, brown, or red spots; the head is almost always the same darker color. Solid and tricolor Russian Spaniels occur as well.
The Russian Spaniel was developed mostly by crossing English Springer Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels, along with various Russian dogs. The first spaniel to be brought into Russia was a black English Cocker Spaniel at the end of the 19th century. Later more spaniels were imported into St. Petersburg and Moscow, by the beginning of the 20th century a somewhat mixed spaniel breed existed. The breed itself started to emerge after WWII, and the first standard for the breed was written in 1951. The Russian Spaniel remains largely unknown outside of Russia, even today.
Even though the Russian Spaniel is a gundog, it is largely kept simply as a companion as well. They are fairly easy to train and devoted to their owners, never letting them out of site. In most cases they get along with children, and have no problems with other dogs in the household. Greatly prized for their hunting abilities, the breed does best in an area with lots of game. Because of their size they can become exhausted, and do not do well in dense or harsh conditions. Either kept as gundog or simply pet, the Russian Spaniel has become well loved in its homeland.