The Field Bred English Springer Spaniel is different from the Show Bred English Springer Spaniel. They have been different dogs, for 70 years. Which is better? Volumes have been written on that subject. What is for sure, is that a show dog is better for the show ring, and a field bred dog is better for the field. In fact there is no way you could get a “CH” in front of your field bred springer. No conformation judge would ‘put-up’ such a dog. If you want a field trial, hunt test, or hunting dog, look to field bred stock. In the field, the dogs looks are of no consequence but a dog which has the looks or conformation to be a “CH” Champion, will never have the nose or drive to be a Field Trial Champion. This is not a statement to say that one kind of breeding is better than the other, just that, they are different.
Now, there are a number of people who will disagree with this statement. A number of people will point out dogs with a Hunt Test Title and a CH Championship. Yes, there are those dogs, and yes those dogs can hunt. However, to illustrate the point, I play golf, Tiger Woods plays golf. Without ever seeing me play golf, you know that I and Mr. Woods play golf on different levels. It is simply a statement of fact that a FC/AFC/NAFC/NFC Field Championed dog, and a CH Conformation Champion dog, have not been the same dog, for over 70 years.
You must look at the dogs, you must watch them work, you must make the decision. Any dog you decide on must be bought from a known, reputable breeder. Simply being AKC registered doesn’t guarantee you’ll get what you want, or have a healthy dog. The breeder MUST guarantee eyes, hips, PFK, and disposition, if he doesn’t, go elsewhere. To identify field bred Springers look to the parents and grandparents pedigree. Titles such as FC, AFC, NAFC, NFC will precede the names of field Champions. The title CH preceding the name of a dog, is a show Champion. Other working titles follow the dogs name. CD, CDX, UD, are obedience titles, TX, TDX, are tracking, and JH, SH, MH, are hunt test titles. The ‘titles’ of WD/WDX will not appear on any AKC pedigree. These are Parent Club ‘titles’ and denotes the equivalent of the most basic rudimentary ‘test’. Which for a ‘Field’ dog, means nothing. And of course buy from a breeder who has experience in your chosen kind of dog.
Taken from essft.com