English Water Spaniel How It Went Extinct? [Answered]

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A medium-to-large-sized Spaniel that existed until the early twentieth century, the English Water Spaniel was a popular hunting dog in England like any other spaniel that is considered by the American Kennel Club.

At one point in the breed’s history, it was widely utilized for hunting both waterfowl and ducks like the field spaniel.

When it came to aesthetics, the English Water Spaniel had a long, lean body with long legs and ears, as well as a long tail and ears.

They also had a brown back, curly fur, and a white underbelly on the underside of their bodies.

Similar to how certain species have been extinct over time, there are a number of distinct canine breeds that are no longer in existence today, as well.

Many of these dog breeds have left long-lasting legacies, with their relatives making up some of the most popular and successful canines in the world right now.

Many others have faded into oblivion, with little or no evidence of their previous existence remaining.

Researchers and dog aficionados have worked tirelessly to obtain precise information on these dog breeds and to attempt to give a realistic image of what they originally looked like and the duties for which they were bred.

Some were short-lived, perhaps only a few decades, while others had existed for hundreds of years and were eventually exterminated by modern society.

English Water Spaniel How It Went Extinct?
English Water Spaniel How It Went Extinct?

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What caused the extinction of the English water spaniel?

Their numbers dwindled as new breeds of water dogs, such as the labrador retriever and curly coated retriever, were introduced in the area, and owners began to lose interest in the English water spaniel. They were eventually extinct. As a result of the search for a superior dog breed, the hunting breed was mostly abandoned.

What Causes Dogs to Become Extinct?

Despite the fact that many of our modern dog breed are closely related to the English Water Spaniel, the last of the true breed members died out in the early twentieth century.

The English Water Spaniel is considered to be one of the oldest of the Spaniel breeds, having been developed in the 16th century in England.

The majority of sources claim that this breed had a curly, waterproof coat of liver and white that was curly and waterproof.

Although the English Water Spaniel was known for its ability to “dive like a duck,” it was primarily used to hunt ducks and other waterfowl.

The dog was extremely popular in Britain during its prime, and a large number of hunters relied on it for their hunting needs.

Given its widespread distribution, the English Spaniel is believed to have contributed to the history of many other Spaniels, including the English Cocker Spaniel, to name just one of the numerous examples.

Its contribution to the other Spaniel breeds is thought to have played a crucial role in its demise, since it was outbred to the point where purebred numbers became extinct over time as a result of outbreeding.

Several factors can contribute to the extinction of a breed, all of which must be considered.

Some people were in the wrong place at the wrong moment, and this was the case for them.

This is especially true for those sad breeds who were wiped off during World War II – a period in which the world around them was in turmoil and many dogs were utilized as sources of food for the Allied forces.

Others had a less dramatic end, as they just went out of style or were overtaken by similar breeds that were determined to be more suited to modern-day living circumstances.

Modern society rendered some working breeds completely obsolete, and those who were unable to adapt to or keep up with changing demands fell out of favor entirely, as was the case for many other working breeds.

For a final lucky few, while they may not be around anymore, they have naturally ‘evolved’ into new breeds and as a result, while they may be labeled as extinct, they continue to exist in different forms to this day.

The Origins and History of the Word

There are a plethora of hypotheses about the origins of the English Water Spaniel.

It is widely believed to have originated in the United Kingdom, however, some think it to have originated in the Middle East.

This breed is thought to have been introduced throughout Europe by Crusaders, who mistook it for a Saluki and brought it to the United Kingdom.

William Shakespeare, the famed poet, had already made reference to English Water Spaniels in some of his plays, including ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’ and ‘Macbeth.

In the play Macbeth, he makes reference to water rug, as well as in the line ‘She has more attributes than water spaniel’ in the first play.

Due to the fact that the plays were written in the 17th century, it is likely that the dogs existed in English during that time period.

Until the nineteenth century, English Water Spaniels were quite popular and were frequently employed for hunting.

For a long time before the development of firearms, these dogs were used to detect and chase the birds that were to be hunted out of their hiding places in the bushes.

Later, the hunters would release trained falcons or throw nets to capture the birds they had captured earlier.

What Caused the Extinction of the English Water Spaniel?

In the early twentieth century, the English Water Spaniel became extinct as a result of a lack of effort to preserve the breed.

As a result of the introduction of the St. John’s Water Dogs from Newfoundland to England, their popularity and utilization began to wane.

Due to their expertise in a variety of areas including hunting, retrieving, and water sports, the St. John’s Water Dogs were able to accomplish this.

Starting in 1891, just fourteen dogs were registered between that year and 1903.

This was the beginning of the breed’s demise.

The Great War had a significant influence on the English Water Spaniels as well, with the majority of them losing their lives.

The dogs that had survived the rigors of the war passed away as a result of old age.

As a result, they became extinct completely in the 1930s.

Behavior, temperament, and personality are all important factors to consider.

The character of the English Water Spaniel was one of affection and loyalty.

They were so dedicated to their jobs that they could labor on a single assignment for hours on end without becoming fatigued.

Their patience and wisdom assisted them in entering the water slowly and without upsetting the beings in the vicinity of the water.

They were also motivated by a desire to work and delighted in the opportunity to be trained for duck hunting, quarry hunting, and other bird hunting.

Was the English Water Spaniel a good dog for children to have around?

In fact, due of their loving and charming temperament, the English Water Spaniels were excellent with youngsters.

They were much like any other Spaniel in that they were friendly, energetic, and delighted around children.

The attention that the English Water Spaniels used to receive from these dogs was much appreciated by them.

In fact, if they were reared together, they would create a very deep attachment that would last a lifetime.

These dogs had been trained to be calm and patient hunters, and they were also taught how to interact with children and play with them.

Some Interesting Facts to Consider

Various other names for the English Water Spaniel included English Water Dog, English Water Spaniel, Old English Water Spaniel, Water Rug, and Water-Dog.

The American Water Spaniel is a near relative of this particular breed of canine.

Despite the fact that the breed was considered to have died out by the 1930s, some forebears claimed that they continued to exist after then.


The English Water Spaniel was discovered in the following colors: blue, white, and black.

Colors include: dark brown-reddish solid black and white

Brown and white color scheme

The English Water Spaniel used to weigh between 35 and 90 pounds (25 and 41 kg), and its height ranged between 18 and 22 inches (45-56 cm).


The average number of puppies born to a mother English Water Spaniel was 4-6 at a given period.

Tweed Terrier English, Toy Spaniel or King Charles Spaniel Irish Water Spaniel, Tweed Terrier Curly-Coated Retriever, Tweed Terrier Water Spaniel, and American Water Spaniel is a breed of dog that was developed in the United States.

Other Spaniel Breed That Went Extinct

Alpine Spaniel

It was once upon a time when the Alpine Spaniel performed a heroic mission in the icy slopes of Switzerland and Italy, searching for and alerting rescuers to the whereabouts of mountaineers who had become lost or buried.

These dogs, in contrast to modern spaniels, grew to heights of more than 60cm and were significantly stronger than their modern counterparts.

This creature’s coat was tightly coiled and close-fitting, providing them with protection from the harsh exterior elements.

Because of the harsh conditions in the Alps, it is believed that accidents and illness outbreaks were common, which contributed to their demise.

It is believed that the final dog died sometime around the mid-nineteenth century.

There are skulls on display at the National History Museum of Switzerland that demonstrate that the Alpine Spaniel existed in two distinct varieties, each with different head size and form.

Genetic material from the Alpine Spaniel is likely to have been used in the development of both St Bernard and the Clumber Spaniel.

The Norfolk Spaniel

The Norfolk Spaniel, sometimes known as the Shropshire Spaniel, was a huge variant of the modern-day Cocker Spaniel and was sometimes referred to as such.

They were distinguished by their pendulous ears, soulful eyes, and a medium-length coat that was either black and white or liver and white with a white undercoat.

There would have been a lot of variance within the breed because they were bred for their working aptitude and trainability rather than for a uniform appearance.

They were frequently used as gun dogs, mostly for bird hunting, and were categorized as ‘land spaniels’ rather than ‘water spaniels’ or ‘toy spaniels,’ because they were utilized for land rather than water hunting.

These dogs were extremely prevalent across England, and they were owned by individuals of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

According to legend, the breed that was once known as the Norfolk Spaniel never truly died out and simply evolved into today’s English Springer Spaniel.

The Toy Trawler Spaniel

When the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and an archaic form of the Sussex Spaniel were crossed, the result was the Toy Trawler Spaniel, which is now extinct.

Although it is assumed that this breed was originally intended to be a sporting dog, it was really only used as a companion and show dog, and it was only ever kept in the United Kingdom.

While they had a similar appearance to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel of today, their skulls were less domed, their ears were longer, and their fur was curlier and more profuse than todays.

Their movement was described as smart and prancing,’ and they were considered to be daring and good-natured in their disposition.

The breed is believed to have gone out around 1920, and one of the last remaining dogs was presented to the Natural History Museum at Tring after its death, so that it may be displayed there for all to see.

Tweed Spaniel

They were named after the River Tweed, and they lived and worked near the Scottish border as water spaniels for many years.

These Spaniels had a curly brown coat, long thin tails, and big, pendulous ears, all of which were characteristic of the breed.

They were categorized as water dogs since they enjoyed swimming and were happy to work both in and out of the water on a daily basis.

One of the most important functions of this breed was to aid fishermen in hauling enormous nets back to the shore.

It is possible that the St. John’s Water Dog was one of the breeds employed in the development of this Spaniel, according to some theories.

The Tweed Water Spaniel is perhaps most recognized for being one of the ‘parents’ of the Golden Retriever, which was developed from the Tweed Water Spaniel.

When Lord Tweedmouth created the breed, he used a bitch named Belle, who was bred to a Wavy Coated Retriever.

This was one of the first successful mating.

They were extinct by the end of the nineteenth century, which was unfortunate for the Tweed Water Spaniels themselves.

Other Extinct Dog Breed

Some of the other extinct dogs or extinct breeds:

  • Alpine Mastiff
  • Bull Terrier
  • English White Terrier
  • Hare Indian Dog
  • Moscow Water Dog
  • Old English Bulldog
  • Paisley Terrier
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Salish Wool Dog / Salish Woolly Dog
  • St Johns Water Dog / St John
  • Southern Hound

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do dog breeds go extinct?

To the contrary, in contrast to other species that have been extinct as a result of environmental factors, dogs have tended to become extinct for more superficial reasons: they have simply become unfashionable.
Dogs were bred to do specific tasks in the prehistoric era when man first began domesticating wolves and domesticating them.

Why is Tweed Water Spaniel extinct?

The Tweed Water Spaniel, often known as the Tweed Spaniel, is a breed of dog that has been extinct since the nineteenth century.
Local water dogs may have been crossed with imported St. John’s water dogs, another type that is now extinct, leading to the development of this hybrid breed.

What is the biggest extinct dog?

It was approximately 7,000 years ago that the Mesopotamian Molossus, a giant dog species, went extinct.
The Molossus breed, which has its roots in southern Europe, includes this particular dog.
Only a few relics of the ancient canines have survived, and some accounts claim that they were really utilized in war.

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