From paintings by Louis Agassiz Fuertes
Identified more or less with the retrievers, because they perform similar duties,
are the sporting spaniels, which, because they are divided into so many branches,
constitute perhaps the largest dog family in the world.
The English “Kennel Club” recognizes Irish water spaniels,
water spaniels other than Irish, Clumber spaniels, Sussex spaniels,
field spaniels, English springers, Welsh springers, and cocker spaniels.
They are all used to assist the gunner to find his game and to retrieve it after it is shot.
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Differences between the Retrievers
The Irish water spaniel is in a class by himself.
You need to see him but once to remember him forever.
It is said that he was the very last dog to be made, and that it
was only known by the kennel names of their breeders,
such as Belton and Llewellyn setters.
These are excellent quail-dogs, being somewhat more of the
build of the Irish setter and considerably lighter and more
delicately put together than the staunch old English setter.
Both are white, with much fine ticking of black which in the
long white coat has a bluish appearance.
All setters should show quite a marked stop, have full,
sympathetic, and intelligent eyes, soft, fine, nearly straight hair,
a full feather along the back of all four legs, as well as from the
lower side of the tail.
They should be built much like a pointer, except that they
lack the springy arched quality of legs and back, being rather
more careful, but much less rapid, workers than these rangers of the open fields.
The stifle should be straight from front or back instead of free and out-turned.
Under his soft and rather silky coat, the setter should be hard,
finely muscled, and compact, and none of these dogs should be
allowed to get fat and lazy, as they so often become in the hands
of affectionate owners.
No dog has a more wheedling way with him, and it takes a
rather firm nature to withstand his wiles.