The spaniel family is quite large. They are all a product of English breeding, and in their home country with a large number of varieties they can satisfy different tastes.
The Polish name of this family of dogs aptly reflects their usefulness - flushing dogs. Hounds and scoundrels as hunting dogs are centuries old, and even a thousand-year tradition. From time immemorial, when people with a javelin, with a hatch or a crossbow they hunted big game, these dogs searched for game in the forest, drove her out of the den or mountain ravines, to finally track down an animal already wounded and proclaim it found in the thicket, where he holed up mortally wounded.
These dogs were not used for fowl. Hunters were also served by vole dogs - dachshunds or terriers - flattening a fox or badger from a hole or burrow. Much later, birds began to be hunted for birds. This type of hunting sport has only fully developed since the invention of firearms. In the past, this type of hunting was considered to be the amusement of young people and not as respected as chivalrous big game hunting, constituting a combat mortar and also playing a role in supplying knightly teams with stocks of meat. For these small game hunts, other dogs - smaller ones - were used, lighter, whose role was to explore, rummaging around and scaring small game - be it hairy, or feathered, on which the falcons were then released or shot down in front of the dog. These dogs in Poland were called flushing dogs and no name describes the role better, what they do on the hunt.
As far as hounds and hounds were kept in packs by men, the flushing dogs - as smaller dogs - were companions of children and adolescents outside the hunting service, I will give caresses. That is why old engravings or paintings show flawers in genre scenes with children or among court ladies.. Therefore, apart from hunting advantages, these dogs had to have grace and qualities of "saloons" as well as attractive appearance. They are also like that today.
So are hounds and hounds, Flushing Dogs occur in native breeds across the continent. Germanic law mentions tarantula dogs (Canis acceptarius) as dogs accompanying falconers. Similarly, Romanesque-Franconian sources mention such dogs under the name "spion” relatively later ,,spaniel”. Also in Wales, as early as in the 10th century, hunting literature mentions dogs used for hunting birds.
In the last quarter of a century, flushing dogs owe their renaissance to the breeds of English spaniels. The spaniel is an immensely useful hunter's helper as a dungeon. In our country, its usefulness is not yet properly appreciated; most spaniels have been relegated to livestock dogs.
Spaniels are characterized by tireless perseverance in rummaging and exploring, the very high mobility of the low-set tail is characteristic, which, like a pendulum in constant motion, reveals the dog's interest in the searched area. They are born retrievers on land and in water. They only need to be introduced to discipline in their youth, because they have a great temperament - they are prone to chasing hares and loud chasing deer or other disturbed animals. The handler should master them enough to return to him on a whistle or other signal. Spaniels do not have to be trained at all to play the role of a searchlight. They just need to be brought up properly. Learning can be limited to discipline exercises, absolute crouching on optical or acoustic signals and retrieving. Well arranged, they have a very nice disposition. As a rule, they are extremely mild, attached to their master, ready to execute an order, especially when they are often taken on hunting trips.
The origin of spaniels is not properly explained. Currently, England is considered their homeland, where their various races enjoy great popularity. However, presumably they are of continental origin and descended from the dogs used for hunting birds. These dogs collaborated with falconers or with hunters. The name "spaniel” would point to Spain as their country of origin, but those supposedly Spanish dogs are not there, and the Spaniards call them "perro inglese". On the other hand, medieval Dutch painting, as well as the later Belgian ones, French and English recorded many spaniel type dogs. Some linguists want to derive the name from a Carthaginian word ,,span” - wild rabbit.
Native flushing dogs (spaniel) have become a rarity; practically, you can see mainly English spaniels at exhibitions. Undoubtedly, the kennels of the feudal lords died out after the Great French Revolution. English documents testify to this, that e.g.. w XVII w. the Duke de Noailles offered to Henry XI, Prince Lincoln a pack of dogs epagneul, which supposedly started a kennel in Clumber Park, and then the clumber spaniels present. In England, however, spaniels were known before. And so, for example. in the painting by Van Dyck (1641 r.) depicting the family of Charles I., The white and brown spaniel was also immortalized. The first records of this breed in England date back to the second half of the 14th century. Numerous images of the Dutch school indicate the spread of dogs of this type (bigger and smaller) in the area currently occupied by the Netherlands and Belgium.
In Polish cynalogical literature, moreover, very poor, dogs of this type are not described here. Polish hunters dealt with hunting with hounds or greyhounds than with legavers. A specific document of Polish hunting is "Bird hunting” (1584 r.) Mateusz Cygański. There we find references to canceled or ring pointers, who was to be "clothed."” (shaggy), "Those who do not need a sheepskin coat". It was, however, rather a pointer showing birds, especially partridges, probably the ancestor of the current wirehaired pointer, not a flaker.