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Sussex Spaniel

Quick facts

Sussex Spaniel AKC Group: Sporting
Height: 13-15 inches
Weight: 35-45 lbs
Colors: Golden liver
AKC recognized in: 1884

The Sussex Spaniel was bred for a specific purpose. It was bred for rugged terrain and dense undergrowth that made it hard for other dogs to penetrate and be able to alert the hunter. In East Sussex, a man named Mr. Fuller from Rosehill Park, Hastings decided to cross breed various breeds, particularly the now extinct Norfolk Spaniel, Field Spaniel and possibly early Springer Spaniel. The desired breed was to be a spaniel with barking ability needed during hunting and which other spaniels did not seem to possess.

But, the Sussex Spaniel turned out to have excellent sense of smell and was good for retrieving. Its signature howl is a signal that it has picked up a scent.

During the Second World War, the dog breed almost went extinct as breeding was discouraged. Joy Freer, an English woman breeder, saved some Sussex Spaniels and continued to breed dogs that became the antecedents for the dogs that exist today.

The Sussex Spaniel has a close resemblance to the smaller and dark Clumber Spaniel. What distinguishes the Sussex Spaniel is its golden-liver colored coat. The coat is thick and double layered. The outer coat is silky and sometimes wavy and its undercoat is an amazing weather-proof coat.

It is a gun dog that flushes game fowl hiding in the dense undergrowth of the wild where it will be exposed for the hunter to fire. When the prey is felled, the Sussex Spaniel continues its job to retrieve the fallen game.

Despite its tenacity to hunt and search through the scent of animals being hunted by its master, the Sussex Spaniel is a cheerful dog that easily becomes adorable to all people, even little children.


Sussex Spaniel Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance five paws
Ease of Training five paws
Energy level three paws
Exercise Requirements five paws
Friendliness : Children five paws
Friendliness: Other Animals five paws
Friendliness: Other Pets five paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance five paws
Playfulness five paws
Protection Ability three paws
Watchdog Ability three paws

It has a serious and solemn expression that hides its inner character. It keeps his energy level down and maintains calm. But, it has a clownish behavior whenever it is motivated by the company of the people around it. It makes the person with emotional problem smile by its cheerfulness.

As a matter of fact, the Sussex Spaniel is a good therapy dog. It is an excellent family pet as it loves to play with children and have fun. It is also protective of the family and would howl when danger lurks behind it.

Although considered easy to train, if her heart is not in it, this dog can be quite stubborn. Try to train her using the right motivation, such as capitalizing on her sense of smell, and you can almost get her to do anything.

Sussex Spaniels are typically very good with other pets and dogs, but if raised without proper socialization, interacting with other dog regularly, they have been known to be dog agressive.

Health and Exercise

The Sussex Spaniel has a life span of between 11 and 14 years.

While the Sussex Spaniel is generally a healthy dog, they are susceptable to certain health problems including:

  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) - This is basically a tendency to suffer from ruptured disc. While it is normally the result of moving the wrong way or jumping down from heights, it can also be hereditary. This condition can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis if not treated by a vet.
  • Heart Disease - These dogs are known to suffer from several congenital heart diseases, including PDA and Pulmonic Stenosis.

The Sussex Spaniel needs about half an hour each day for exercise. They move a bit slower than other sporting dogs, so walks or hikes are best, especially when she can hunt for birds on the way.

These dogs are barkers. They ring out while hunting to let their master know their whereabouts, and this carries on to the home. Training this dog moderation is a must if you want a peaceful home life.

Grooming is not much of a problem with the Sussex. They shed moderately, but this can be moderated by a daily brushing. While no general trimming is required, you may want to keep the hair around his feet trimmed so it doesn't become matted.

Visitor Comments

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