Dog Portraits and Animal Portraits by Ann Seward
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Dog Portraits - Working black labrador and springer spaniel - Dog Portraits

This pair of working black labrador and liver springer spaniel were commissioned to hang alongside their predecessors
Dog Portraits - Working black labrador and springer spaniel - Dog Portraits Back to previous page
 

The Labrador originated not in Labrador, but on the coast of Newfoundland in the 17th century. They were trained to bring in the fishing-nets through the icy waters for the fishermen and, in the early 19th century, were brought to Poole Harbour in Great Britain. These dogs were short-limbed, sturdy swimmers with short dense coats and an otter-like tail. They were so attractive that the fishermen had umpteen offers from Englishmen to buy them. The breed was instantly successful as a gundog. The Earl of Malmesbury was fascinated by these dogs, known at that time as Saint John's breed of water dogs and he started breeding them, calling them Labrador dogs. A heavy dog tax in Canada and the new quarantine laws in Great Britain caused a great reduction in the breed, limiting further breeding to be done without any more imports. Thankfully the ones already in Britain were of excellent quality and in the hands of serious breeders. Intelligent dogs, Labradors are easily trained, making them ideal for use in field sports, obedience competitions, as search dogs, as guide dogs and as hearing dogs. These dogs take a great pleasure in any of these activities. The skull should be wide with a defined stop with powerful jaws and a wide nose. The teeth should also be strong with a complete scissor bite. Medium-sized eyes should express intelligence and good temper in either brown or hazel colouration. The ears should not be heavy or large and hang close to the head. The neck should be clean, strong and powerful set into well-placed, long and sloping shoulders. The chest should be a good width and depth with a level topline. The forelegs should be well-boned and straight and the hindquarters well-developed. The feet should be round and compact with well developed pads and well-arched toes. The tail is the distinctive feature, being very thick towards the base, amply covered in short and dense coat with no feathering.

 

The English Springer Spaniel is a gundog which is used for flushing, or springing game in the field. They are the ideal breed for the rough shooter as they will work all day, on land or in the water. These dogs are very popular within a family environment, a good all rounder. It is one of the most versatile of the sporting dogs.

The English Springer Spaniel is a compact, medium sized sporting dog with long ears. This dogs expression is alert, kindly and trusting, just think of the expression 'spaniel eyes'. When they look up at you with those deep brown or dark hazel eyes they could get away with anything. Springers are friendly dogs that are always eager to please. They are well proportioned dogs, nicely balanced, built to cover rough ground well and quickly.

 

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