German Spaniel - Biography Points

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German Spaniel (Deutscher Wachtelhund)

The German Spaniel, alternatively referred to as the Deutscher Wachtelhund or German Quail Dog, boasts a rich heritage dating back to 1890 Germany, where it emerged as a prized hunting companion. Originating from the esteemed lineage of the Stöberer, a favored breed among commoners post the 1848 German state revolutions, this versatile canine was cherished for its adept hunting skills. The Stöberer, now synonymous with the Wachtelhund, epitomizes a distinctive type of hunting dog exclusive to Germany. Despite its prominence in German hunting circles, global recognition eluded the breed until 1996 when the United Kennel Club finally acknowledged its prowess.

Characterized by a sturdy frame and a coat exhibiting various shades of brown with sporadic white markings, the German Spaniel possesses a remarkable capacity for game retrieval and tracking. Its lineage intertwines with that of the Small Münsterländer (“Heidewachtel”) and the Drentse Patrijshond, both tracing their ancestry to the quail dogs of the 15th century. While predominantly revered for its hunting prowess, the German Spaniel, with its alternate monikers, is steadily garnering attention beyond German borders, emerging as a formidable contender in the realm of companion canines.

Renowned for their adaptability and amiable disposition, these canines exhibit a congenial rapport with strangers and fellow canines alike. However, their exuberant nature may prove overwhelming for young children, warranting cautious supervision. Novice owners are cautioned against the acquisition of these spirited hounds due to their robust energy levels, formidable prey drive, and occasional obstinacy. Nevertheless, as stalwart companions in the pursuit of hunting endeavors, they epitomize loyalty, versatility, and unwavering competence, thus solidifying their status as a preferred choice among German hunters.

While historically revered for their hunting prowess, the German Spaniels are gradually transcending their traditional roles to emerge as cherished companions. For those intrigued by this spirited breed, delve deeper into the following discourse for a comprehensive exploration of the German Spaniel’s captivating traits and capabilities.

Scientific Classification

  •  Deutscher Wachtelhund
  • Deutscher Wachtel
  • German Quail Dog
Height Males 48–54 cm (19–21 in)
Height Females 45–52 cm (18–20 in)
Weight 18–25 kg (40–55 lb)
Coat Mostly wavy
Color Solid Brown/red; Roan (brown and white or red and white).
Temperament Versatile, Passionate, Intelligent, Docile, Lively, Friendly
Origin Germany


Frederick Roberth, a notable German dog breeder, is acclaimed for developing the modern Deutscher Wachtelhund circa 1890, drawing from a diverse mix of breeds. Among these, the prominent influence came from the now-extinct Stoeberer, a breed dating back to at least 1719, celebrated for its exceptional scenting abilities akin to a Bloodhound. The tumultuous events of the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states precipitated a surge in hunting among the populace, necessitating a versatile companion—the Stoeberer emerged as the quintessential choice. Roberth, in his pursuit of refining the breed, identified prime specimens of the Stoeberer in Bavaria during the late 19th century. Through strategic crossbreeding with water dogs and sporting spaniels, the modern German Spaniel was meticulously crafted, boasting a unique blend of traits tailored for hunting prowess.

Other names

  • Deutscher Wachtelhund
  • Deutscher Wachtel
  • German Quail Dog

Formal recognition of the Deutscher Wachtelhund came in 1903, accompanied by the establishment of the Verein für Deutsche Wachtelhund (VDW), the esteemed German breed club. The term “Stoeberer” subsequently evolved into a distinct category of hunting dog in Germany, with the Wachtelhund reigning as its sole representative. In 1910, the VDW meticulously curated the breed standard, drawing upon eleven exemplary dogs carefully selected from various regions of Germany, a testament to the breed’s nationwide prominence. To this day, all registered German Spaniels trace their lineage back to these foundational canines.

The allure of the German Spaniel transcends national borders, as evidenced by its storied presence in the annals of British aristocracy. John Scott, 1st Earl of Eldon, esteemed Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, cherished a German Spaniel named Pincher, immortalized in a painting by Edwin Henry Landseer. Pincher, initially belonging to Lord Eldon’s son William Henry, endeared himself to the Lord Chancellor, becoming his cherished companion. Such was Pincher’s significance that Lord Eldon penned heartfelt correspondences detailing the dog’s exploits, underscoring his unwavering devotion. Even in death, Lord Eldon ensured Pincher’s welfare through a bequest to his daughter, Lady Frances, a testament to the profound bond shared between man and canine.

While not commonly kept as household pets, German Spaniels find favor among German foresters and professional hunters. Their exceptional abilities garnered international attention, prompting their introduction into the United States in the 1960s and 70s. Descendants of these pioneering imports now play a crucial role in Canadian wildlife management, particularly in tracking and flushing out American black bears. Further bolstering their global presence, a pair of German Spaniels arrived in the United States in 1994, catalyzing their recognition by the United Kennel Club in 1996, firmly establishing their status within the esteemed Gun dog group.


The Deutscher Wachtelhund, a robust and muscular medium-sized gundog, boasts a distinctive physique characterized by strong bones and long, thick wavy hair. Notably, their ears are of moderate length, extending from halfway to the nose to the tip of the nose, contributing to their alert and attentive appearance. With a height ranging approximately from 48 to 54 centimeters (19 to 21 inches) for males and 45 to 52 centimeters (18 to 20 inches) for females at the withers, these canines exude a balanced and proportional stature. Typically, both males and females weigh between 18 to 25 kilograms (40 to 55 pounds), reflecting their sturdy build and muscular frame.

The Deutscher Wachtelhund’s coat exhibits a distinctive blend of textures and colors, featuring short and fine hair on the head and longer, thicker, wavy, or curly hair on the body, providing ample protection against the elements. Adorned with a well-feathered appearance, the coat primarily showcases shades of brown or brown roan, often accentuated by white markings on the chest and/or legs, along with possible white ticking dispersed across the body. Variants in coat color may include red and white combinations or solid red hues, underscoring the breed’s diverse and visually striking appearance. Notably, the absence of plain black coats further distinguishes the Deutscher Wachtelhund, reaffirming its unique and captivating aesthetic.

Aspect Description
Breed Name Deutscher Wachtelhund
Size Medium-sized
Build Strong boned, muscular
Height (at withers) Dogs: 48–54 centimeters (19–21 inches) <br> Bitches: 45–52 centimeters (18–20 inches)
Weight Dogs and Bitches: 18–25 kilograms (40–55 pounds)
Coat Texture Short and fine on the head, long and thick wavy or curly on the body
Coat Color Primarily brown or brown roan, with possible white markings; other colors include red and white, and solid red
Ear Length Fairly long, reaching from halfway to the nose to the tip of the nose

Temperament & Intelligence

The German Spaniel embodies a vibrant and dynamic temperament, exuding enthusiasm and vigor, particularly in outdoor hunting pursuits alongside their owners. Renowned for their amiable disposition, they forge strong bonds with humans and fellow canines alike, displaying remarkable adaptability to varying environments. Possessing keen intellect, they readily grasp training cues, showcasing their inherent intelligence and aptitude for learning, a trait emblematic of the breed’s distinguished lineage within the Spaniel family.

Though not as specialized as some Spaniel counterparts, German Spaniels excel in multifaceted hunting roles, adeptly fulfilling tasks such as tracking, retrieving, and scenting with unwavering dedication. Their innate alertness and perpetual readiness for action underscore their intrinsic hunting instincts, rendering them indispensable companions for avid hunters. However, this inherent drive for activity may pose challenges for those seeking solely a companionable pet, as their perpetual eagerness for engagement necessitates ample mental and physical stimulation.

Despite their formidable hunting prowess, German Spaniels exhibit a gentle and docile demeanor towards strangers, rarely displaying aggression. Their unwavering vigilance renders them unfazed by sudden stimuli, ensuring a sense of security, particularly in the presence of young children. This unique combination of spirited energy and affable temperament establishes the German Spaniel as a cherished and trustworthy companion, embodying the essence of loyalty and versatility in equal measure.

Food & Diet

Given the spirited and active nature of German Spaniels, a well-balanced diet tailored to their dynamic lifestyle is imperative for their overall health and vitality. Opting for dry kibble rich in high-quality animal-based protein serves as a convenient and comprehensive source of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients crucial for their well-being. However, augmenting their diet with lean meats and organ meats is highly recommended to introduce beneficial amino acids and enhance dietary variety.

To prevent issues such as obesity, it is advisable to refrain from free feeding and instead offer controlled portions of food through two to three structured meals per day, ensuring satiety without overindulgence. Additionally, steer clear of food formulations containing filler ingredients like wheat, corn, and soy, as these additives offer little nutritional value and may contribute to unnecessary weight gain.

A daily intake of approximately 2-3 cups of premium-quality dry kibble aligns well with the dietary needs of German Spaniels. Furthermore, maintaining access to clean, fresh water at all times is essential to support proper hydration and overall health. By adhering to these dietary guidelines, you can ensure that your German Spaniel thrives on a nutritionally balanced diet conducive to their active lifestyle and well-being.

Essential Accessories

Ensuring your German Spaniel’s comfort and safety requires a selection of suitable accessories tailored to their active lifestyle. Begin with a sturdy collar and tear-proof lead to facilitate outdoor excursions, providing both control and security during walks or hunting expeditions. For shelter, consider options such as a well-insulated kennel lined with straw or hay, offering protection from inclement weather conditions while serving as a cozy retreat for your canine companion.

Alternatively, if your German Spaniel resides indoors, a comfortable basket paired with a soft blanket provides a warm and inviting sleeping area, fostering a sense of security and relaxation. Establish a designated feeding spot equipped with a non-slip food bowl and a durable water bowl to ensure consistent mealtimes and hydration.

Given the breed’s innate hunting instincts, investing in a dog whistle and a signal collar or high-visibility vest proves invaluable, enhancing visibility and aiding in communication during outdoor activities. Additionally, consider incorporating a tracking device to facilitate locating your dog over extensive terrains, providing peace of mind in case of unforeseen circumstances.

For transportation purposes, outfitting your vehicle with a sturdy grille in the trunk and a secure holder for your dog ensures safety while traveling. Alternatively, installing a crate offers a secure and comfortable space for your German Spaniel during car journeys.

To safeguard against common pests, such as fleas, a flea collar, flea powder, or spot-on treatments provide effective prevention methods, preserving your dog’s health and well-being. Lastly, to stimulate mental and physical engagement, provide interactive toys such as balls or Frisbees for fetching activities, promoting exercise and mental stimulation both at home and during outdoor outings.

Did You Know?

Main Point Description
Essential accessories for German Spaniels Includes sturdy collars, tear-proof leads, insulated kennels, cozy baskets, and designated feeding areas
Safety gear for outdoor activities Signal collars, high-visibility vests, and tracking devices enhance visibility and communication
Transportation essentials Secure holders, crates, and trunk grilles in vehicles ensure safety during travel
Pest prevention measures Flea collars, flea powder, and spot-on treatments safeguard against common pests
Stimulating toys for mental and physical activity Interactive toys like balls and Frisbees promote exercise and mental stimulation both indoors and outdoors


In summary, ensuring the well-being of your German Spaniel entails equipping them with essential accessories tailored to their active lifestyle. These include sturdy collars and leads for outdoor excursions, along with insulated kennels or cozy baskets for shelter. Additionally, investing in safety gear like signal collars and tracking devices enhances visibility and aids communication during hunting or outdoor activities. For transportation, secure holders or crates in vehicles are essential, while flea prevention measures safeguard against common pests. Finally, interactive toys provide mental and physical stimulation, promoting a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle for your German Spaniel both indoors and outdoors.


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