Bearing a strong likeness to its cousin, the Clumber Spaniel, the Sussex Spaniel is an excellent gun dog as well as a loyal companion, well known for his loving nature.
Sussex Spaniel History
While he may resemble the Clumber Spaniel, as his name suggests, the Sussex Spaniel was actually developed by a gentleman named Fuller, of East Sussex. Interested in creating a gun dog that would uncharacteristically sound off, to alert the hunter of quarry located in the dense undergrowth, he began to breed of variety of hunting dogs in hopes of creating just that.
It’s believed that dogs, such as the extinct liver and white Norfolk and a variety of other spaniels, went into creating this unique breed. Whatever the mix however, it seemed to work, and this unique breed has survived throughout the centuries. While he was one of the first breeds accepted by the AKC, the Sussex’s popularity would wane in the 1940s. At one point, less than a dozen of these magnificent little dogs were registered with the English Kennel Club. Recent years have seen a rise in popularity for the Sussex Spaniel and the world was set abuzz when this unique breed won Best in Show at the 2009 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Sussex Spaniel Appearance
The Sussex Spaniel has a long and powerful body, set on short and muscular legs. Standing no more than 15 inches at the top of the shoulder, these magnificent little dogs weigh in between 35 and 45 pounds as adults. Their coat is dense and thick, with either a slight wave, straight hair, or a combination of the two. Silky to the touch, their hair is a glossy golden liver shade and is particularly thick around the legs and ears of this beautiful dog.
Sussex Spaniel Temperament
The Sussex Spaniel is known for his good temperament. Not as hyper and active as some of the spaniel breeds, he is well-suited for family life, due to his moderate personality. While he’s active enough to play with the family, he’s not the type of dog to be overly demanding or get destructive if you don’t keep him constantly entertained.
Sussex Spaniel Exercise Info
While not a sedentary as the Clumber Spaniel, the Sussex Spaniel is hardly high maintenance. He may enjoy a good game of fetch and he’s a good worker, out in the field, but the Sussex Spaniel also enjoys his quiet time and a good belly scratch!
Sussex Spaniel Grooming Info
The Sussex Spaniel has a wonderfully soft and silky coat that is both soft and thick. However, with such soft hair comes a price – The Sussex Spaniel is a serious, almost constant, shedder. Anyone considering the breed must be prepared to live with a lint-roller in hand!
Sussex Spaniel Training Info
Sussex Spaniels are very intelligent dogs and generally love to please, though they can have a stubborn streak. They respond very poorly to harsh tones or a strong hand, often leading impatient individuals to believe that they are “dumb dogs.” Nothing could be further from the truth however! In fact, the uncooperative Spaniel Spaniel is probably doing his best to be patient and train YOU how he believes things should be done!
A great deal of patience and lots of positive reinforcement will work wonders with this breed. They love to please and will certainly repeat behaviors that they learn make you happy.
Sussex Spaniel Health Info
Sussex Spaniels are surprisingly healthy dogs and generally live 12-14 years on average. Like most breeds of purebred dog, however, they are prone to a few different health concerns. These are, but are not limited to the following:
Intervertebral disc syndrome
Sussex Spaniel Right Breed Info
The Sussex Spaniel is a wonderful dog for just about any family – active enough for the kids and yet not hyperactive or yappy, he is intelligent, beautiful and very loving. Additionally, these wonderful canines are excellent gun dogs.
The Sussex puppy isn’t for everyone, however – despite his short stature, he’s a very powerful and often times headstrong, individual. He also sheds quite a bit, throughout the year. If you don’t mind a bit of hair stuck to you, this could very well be the perfect breed for you!
More Information about the Sussex Spaniel Dog Breed
Sussex Spaniel on Wikipedia