Sussex Spaniel

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The Full Sussex Spaniel Description

Though small in size, the Sussex is one of the most dignified of spaniels. He has a serious but soft and contented expression. He moves slowly and deliberately, with a gentle rolling gait, his head held low. Like all spaniels, he enjoys the close companionship of his family. He loves them dearly, and is especially fond of children.

Did you know?

The Sussex Spaniel is named after Sussex, England, where the first and most important kennel of these dogs was established.
Specimens of the breed competed in Britain as far back as 1862.
The rich golden liver colour is unique to the breed.

So you want to own a Sussex Spaniel?

The Sussex Spaniel's coat requires a fair amount of grooming every week.
The Sussex Spaniel loves the freedom of the country, but will easily fit in as a city dog as long as he is given plenty of exercise.
The Sussex Spaniel is a loving devoted companion especially for families with children. The Sussex Spaniel places his family and friends first and is somewhat cautious with strangers. But, once you are accepted as the Sussex Spaniel's friend you will have a friend for life.

Indicative Breed Standard


General Appearance

Massive, strongly built. Active, energetic dog, whose characteristic movement is a decided roll, and unlike that of any other Spaniel.


Natural working ability, gives tongue at work in thick cover.


Kindly disposition, aggression highly undesirable.

Head and Skull

Skull wide, showing moderate curve from ear to ear, neither flat nor apple headed, with centre indentation and a pronounced stop. Brows frowning; occiput decided, but not pointed. Nostrils well developed and liver in colour. Well balanced head.


Hazel colour, fairly large, not full, but soft expression and not showing much haw.


Thick, fairly large and lobular, set moderately low, just above eye level. Lying close to skull.


Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Long, strong, and slightly arched, not carrying head much above level of back. Slight throatiness, but well marked frill.


Shoulders sloping and free; arms well boned and muscular. Knees large and strong, pasterns short and well boned. Legs rather short and strong.


Chest deep and well developed; not too round and wide. Back and loin well developed and muscular in both width and depth. The back ribs must be deep. Whole body strong and level with no sign of waistlines from withers to hips.


Thighs strongly boned and muscular; hocks large and strong, legs short and strong with good bone. Hindlegs not appearing shorter than forelegs or over angulated.


Round, well padded, well feathered between toes.


Customarily docked. Docked: Set low and never carried above level of back. Lively actioned. Customarily docked to a length from 13-18 cms (5-7 ins).
Undocked: Set low, of medium length, and not carried above the level of the back. It should taper gradually to a point and be moderately feathered.


True fore and aft with distinctive roll.


Abundant and flat with no tendency to curl and ample undercoat for weather resistance. Ears covered with soft, wavy hair, but not too profuse. Forequarters and hindquarters moderately well feathered. Tail thickly clothed with hair but not feathered.


Rich golden liver and hair shading to golden at tip; gold predominating. Dark liver or puce undesirable.


Ideal height at withers: 38-41 cms (15-16 ins). Weight: approximately 23 kgs (50 lbs).

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