The Clumber Spaniel dog breed belongs to the Sporting Group, but it is not as highly strung as the other breeds of this group. Even though they are good hunters, they have very moderate exercise needs as housedogs. This makes them suitable for living in small spaces, even in city apartments. They are ideal for people who want a large but non-aggressive dog as a quiet companion.
The Clumber Spaniel dog breed originated in England, and is named after the Clumber Park where the Duke of Newcastle had a estate in which these dogs were bred. The exact history of the breed is not known, but they have been around since the late 18th century. Their lineage is assumed to involve the heavy-headed Alpine Spaniel and the low-bodied Basset Hound.
These dogs found favor with the royals, and participated in hunting campaigns as evidenced by paintings from the 18th century. They had a good nose for tracking prey and a large head that made retrieving even large animals easy. Their gentle disposition and elegant manners also appealed to the gentry. Queen Victoria described the seven Clumber Spaniels in Prince Albert’s hunting party as “such dear, nice dogs.” This breed remained the exclusive property of the aristocracy for quite some time.
The Clumber Spaniel dog breed first reached Canada by the middle of the 19th century, and from there to the United States soon after. Recognized by AKC in 1884, they are among the first ten breeds to be registered by this club.
This large spaniel breed has a long and heavy body that stands at 20 inches or less, nevertheless weighing up to 85 pounds. The head is large-sized and heavy, with large hanging ears and a square muzzle tipped with a large nose. They have a thick coat of long dense hair that lie straight. The coat color is mostly white with some patches of orange or brown on the ears, around the eyes, and at the base of their long, plume-like tail.
Clumber Spaniel dog breed is known for its gentleness and affectionate nature. They are loyal to their family, but remain respectfully aloof with strangers. They enjoy a quiet life, usually spent in eating and sleeping most of the time they are indoors, giving the impression that they are lazy. But, they are quite playful as puppies.
Even though they are the largest among the spaniel breeds, Clumber Spaniel keeps a low profile, but they are good hunters, capable of working for extended periods of time once they are out in the field. As a working dog, they have a fair amount of stamina. Their quiet working, assisted by a good nose, makes up for their lack of speed.
Grooming and exercise
Being a long-coated breed, Clumber Spaniels require a fair amount of grooming. They are heavy shedders too. Thorough brushing every other day may be necessary to keep their coat in good condition. These dogs drool copiously, and should have regular baths to stay clean. The areas that tend to get dirty should get special attention while bathing.
These sporting dogs should have their daily quota of exercise to stay healthy, but Clumber Spaniels do not need vigorous exercise. They are generally slow, and a long walk or a trek should provide them with all the physical exercise they need. They may even show some reluctance to go for walks, but they should be persuaded to have some physical activity for the sake of their health.
Their thick coat gives them ample protection from cold, and they are capable of staying outside in the cold. But heat affects them adversely, making them dehydrated quickly. During the hot season, they need protection from the sun and a cool place to rest. These gentle and well mannered companions are better off staying inside the house with their human family, even though their snoring and drooling can be a problem.
Common health issues of Clumber Spaniel dog breed
The Clumber Spaniel dog breed has a few breed-related health problems such as spinal disc herniation and temporary lameness during puppyhood. They are prone to impaction of anal sacs and hip dysplasia. Ear infections and eye problems such as ectropion and entropion are relatively common in this breed. Regular health checkups may help keep this breed in reasonable good health. It has a life expectancy of about 10 years.