Let's talk Clumber Spaniels

Although an active breed, the Clumber Spaniel moves at a slow pace, with an easygoing temperament that is well-suited to first-time dog owners. There’s much more to this sturdy dog than first meets the eye. A playful companion to children, once trained, the Clumber Spaniel also makes for a calm presence around the house and a loyal walking companion. While they are capable of adapting to apartment life, the Clumber Spaniel’s hunting heritage means that they would much rather be outdoors most of the time. 

Official name: Clumber Spaniel

Origins: England

Clumber Spaniel puppy looking at camera in black and white
 Drooling tendencies

High

Warm weather? Low
 Shedding level High
Suited to apartment living?  High
 Energy level * Low Family Pet? *
Medium
 Compatibility with other pets High
Can stay alone? * Low

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
Inline Image 15
Illustration of a Clumber Spaniel
Male
47 - 48 cm Height
33 - 34 kg Weight
Female
46 - 47 cm Height
29 - 30 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 - 15 months
 Adult age  15 months to 5 years
 Mature age  5-8 years
 Senior age  From 8 years

Clumber Spaniel looking at camera in front of trees

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Get to know the Clumber Spaniel

All you need to know about the breed

The Clumber Spaniel is more active than their plodding pace lets on. Originally they were hunting mates of English Dukes and today are still adept at picking up a scent and have incredible stamina. Having said that, the Clumber Spaniels laid back nature means they will adapt to your rhythm with no complaints. If you enjoy a gentle active rhythm on a daily basis, preferably in a countryside setting, then the Clumber Spaniel may well be the breed for you. Be warned, they’ll up the tempo if they catch an interesting scent, becoming relentless at following it.

Clumber Spaniels form strong attachments to their human families, often choosing one favourite member to follow around. Once trained, they make enthusiastic playmates for children. Small pets however, not so much due to the breed’s high prey drive. The Clumber Spaniel may be independent but does not cope well with being left alone for long periods. They will take to barking for attention, which is not a habit to encourage, so it won’t work if you’re often away from home.

If orderly and neat are top priorities, living with a Clumber Spaniel may be too challenging. While indoors they are content to lay at your feet, the docile Clumber Spaniel is also a heavy shedder and drools significantly. If you are up for this grooming challenge, the Clumber Spaniel’s gentle affection and loyalty will more than compensate for the excess fur.

Clumber Spaniel running through grass and white flowers

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2 facts about Clumber Spaniels

1. Mouth always full

One trait that the Clumber Spaniel picks up as a puppy and never lets go of, is the habit of carrying objects around in their mouth. It is likely to be their favourite toy of the month. Rather a harmless habit and totally endearing.

2. Keeps a distance

While the Clumber Spaniel is openly affectionate towards their family, they tend to keep a safe distance with other humans. There is no malice or aggression behind this - the Clumber Spaniel simply likes to save their energy for their favourite humans (i.e. you). Of course, it is possible to meet a Clumber Spaniel who is friendly to anyone and everyone, but this is more rare.

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History of the breed

Some like to make a French connection for the Clumber Spaniel. One popular theory involves the French Duc de Noailles shipping all of his spaniels to the Duke of Newcastle in England, to protect them during the French Revolution.

It’s a lovely tale but there’s painted evidence of the Duke standing with dogs bearing a close resemblance to the Clumber Spaniel, which predates the French Revolution.

The Duke of Newcastle lived in Clumber Park, so it is pretty clear how this particular spaniel came by its name! Not just a firm favourite of noble hunters, the Clumber Spaniel was also admired by the English aristocracy and royalty. Prince Albert (husband of Queen Victoria) was a rumoured fan of the breed.

Clumber Spaniels were first introduced to America in 1844 by a British officer, Lieutenant Venables. The American Kennel Association then registered them in 1878, but today the Clumber Spaniel is sadly a rare breed, both in the US and on home soil.

Clumber Spaniel looking at camera in black and white

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Clumber Spaniels

1. Eyes

Dark eyes that are deep set for a gentle expression.

2. Coat

A thick coat, mostly white in colour with lemon or orange markings.

3. Body

The body is powerful, muscular and robust.

Side view of Clumber Spaniel standing on short grass

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Clumber Spaniel
Close-up of Clumber Spaniel looking at camera

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Caring for your Clumber Spaniel

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The Clumber Spaniel requires some attention when it comes to grooming. They are heavy shedders so daily brushing is a must. Keep bacterial infections at bay with a weekly clean of their skin folds and ears, making sure to pat them dry. And of course, trim nails and clean teeth regularly. They may move at a slow pace, but Clumber Spaniels are an active breed that require daily exercise - at least 30 minutes per day - with additional play sessions. Jogging is out of this breed’s comfort zone and is best avoided as it will put extra pressure on the joints. However, the Clumber Spaniel is a capable swimmer, and a tireless playmate when it comes to chasing after a ball. Formerly bred to be hunting dogs, the Clumber Spaniel has a good work ethic. Combined with their intelligence, this should make training your Clumber Spaniel a straightforward process. Any food treats given as rewards during training sessions should be counted as part of their daily kibble.

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All about Clumber Spaniels

The Clumber Spaniel is indeed a rare breed, even in their native country, and has been assigned “vulnerable native breed” status by the The Kennel Club. There’s no clear explanation for the breed’s low numbers, but if you have your heart set on a Clumber Spaniel, you may have to wait - or actually find one.

This is a breed that sheds heavily, with daily brushing a necessity to keep their coat healthy and your furniture free of fur. Invest in grooming tools and be at peace with the fact that you will still find your Clumber Spaniel’s hair around the house. 

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/