Sussex Spaniel

  • 26/11/2010

The Sussex Spaniel is a small gun dog that specializes in flushing out prey in difficult terrain. Strong and sturdy, this dog is an enthusiastic hunter and the only spaniel that bays when hunting. They are more commonly found United States today than in Britain where the breed originated.

The temperament of the Sussex Spaniel is calm and steady. They are easy to train and make fine pets for families with small children. The Sussex Spaniel is less demonstrative than other Spaniels, but does have a tendency to bark or howl when left alone.

The Appearance
Height: 15-16 inches
Weight: 40-44 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years.

The Sussex Spaniel is a strong dog with a broad, well-balanced head. The ears are large, tight to the head and covered with soft, wavy hair. The chest is deep and well developed. The short legs of the Sussex Spaniel are heavily boned rather like those of a Basset Hound. The tail is usually docked.

The Sussex Spaniel has a soft, golden-liver colored coat that is flat or slightly wavy with feathered legs, underside and tail (if not docked). This coat should be brushed and combed regularly to keep it from matting.

Using in the Field
The Sussex Spaniel is used to hunt and retrieve prey in woods and difficult terrain. It is a rather slow dog, but its short legs and narrow body make it easy to maneuver through dense undergrowth. On the hunt it barks continuously, and moves with a swinging gait. Because it is a vocal dog, the Sussex Spaniel is not recommend for hunting birds.

This dog often bays to alert the hunter to the prey and excels when hunting small game in the deep woods. It can also be trained to retrieve prey including waterfowl. The dog is small enough to fit in a canoe and to get through tough thickets where it can be difficult to spot prey.

At Home
This breed is a good companion dog that is sweet, gentle and devoted. Sussex Spaniels are sociable dogs, but less playful and demonstrative than other Spaniels. This trait makes them excellent with small children, cats and other pets.

The Sussex Spaniel craves companionship and may howl and bark if left alone. They tend to put on weight easily and need regular exercise. These dogs do well in an apartment if taken for long, daily walks.

The History
The Sussex Spaniel was developed in 1795 as a special purpose gun dog to flush out prey and bark to alert the hunter in rough terrain and thick undergrowth. It is believed that this breed originated from the Field Spaniel, Springer Spaniels and the now extinct Liver and White Norfolk.

The Sussex Spaniel is a fairly rare breed, found more commonly now in the United States rather than in its native England. It was one of the first breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1884.

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