“Springer and Pheasant”



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by Reuben Ward Binks

Print from an Engraving

Paper Size: 14 x 12 ins / 36 x 32 cm

Image Size: 8 x 9 ins / 19 x 23 cm

With the enclosure of land in the late 18th-century and the growing sophistication of shotguns, shooting became an increasingly popular sport in which dogs played an important part. Spaniels were bred to flush game from hedges and as the sport of shooting developed, dogs were bred to carry out specific tasks. For example the Toy Spaniel was bred to enable it to move through the tight spaces found in thick undergrowth. Birds were not driven until well into the 19th-century when large scale drives were organised. As drives became more common, spaniels declined in popularity, particularly when pheasant shooting became the accepted sport of the rich. Spaniels were replaced by retrievers which were more adept at picking up heavier pheasants, and the flushing out of the game was carried out by the beaters

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