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spaniel

A spaniel is a type of gun dog. It is assumed spaniels originated from Spain as the word spaniel may be derived from Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula) or possibly from the French phrase "Chiens de l’Espagnol" (Dogs of the Spaniard). Spaniels were especially bred to flush game out of dense brush. By the late 17th century spaniels had become specialized into water and land breeds. The extinct English Water Spaniel was used to retrieve water fowl shot down with arrows. Land spaniels were setting spaniels—those that crept forward and pointed their game, allowing hunters to ensnare them with nets, and springing spaniels—those that sprang pheasants and partridges for hunting with falcons, and rabbits for hunting with greyhounds. During the 17th century, the role of the spaniel dramatically changed as Englishmen began hunting with flintlocks for wing shooting. Charles Goodall and Julia Gasow (1984)[1] write the spaniels were "transformed from untrained, wild beaters, to smooth, polished gun dogs."

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