The Sussex Spaniel is a medium-sized, heavily built, sturdy dog, with rather short and strong legs. They have a wide head and a frowning, quizzical expression. The short, abundant coat is a most attractive colour: rich golden liver, shading to gold at the hair tips. Adult Sussex Spaniels measure 38-41cm and weigh approximately 23kg.
- Category size: Medium
- Grooming requirements: More than once a week
- Shedding: Little
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Not too noisy
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Gundog
- Alone: 1 to 3 hours
- Other pets: High
- Stability as a guard: Low
The Sussex Spaniel dog breed was around in the early 1800s as part of a melange of land spaniels. The main interest in the breed began with Mr Fuller, a Sussex landowner, who kept several spaniel breeds, including Sussex Spaniels. He bred them for working and owned the breed for 50 years until the 1850s. By the time of the Second World War there were few Sussex being bred from and it is thought that after the war only 5 Sussex Spaniels remained. Fortunately the breed has had dedicated followers that have kept the breed alive, though it is still numerically small.
These happy and adaptable dogs can be very laid back, though it is important that they are introduced regularly to children, dogs, cars etc. until mature. They love hunting and are sometimes more interested in this than anything else when outside, so training when they are young is essential. Time invested in this dog is well worth the effort and the result is a happy and loyal companion.
The Sussex Spaniel is generally a relatively hardy breed, as with many breeds however, they can suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) and spinal disc disease. They are also prone to ear infections.
Sussex Spaniel dogs should not be over exercised when very young. They need stimulation or they easily become bored. Country dogs at heart, Sussex Spaniel adults needs two-plus hours of daily exercise.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food. There have been cases of bloat in this breed. Smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
As a rule, a brush or comb through is required several times a week. The ears should be kept clean and checked for foreign bodies regularly. The hair around the pads should be trimmed and check between the claws for grass seeds.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information