The Sussex Spaniel was first bred in the 19th century. They very quickly gained popularity, especially with large estates on the hunt. They were very delicate when out hunting, flushing birds towards the hunters. They also have an excellent nose and can pick up a scent from miles off. After the Second World War the breed’s numbers declined, but numbers began to rise in America in the mid 20th century. They are still classes as a rare breed and have a limited gene pool.
The Sussex Spaniel loves to be outside, ideally working. They are cheerful dogs that love being around people and make for a great addition to any family. They are relaxed and laid back when inside and will get on well with any other pets if socialised properly from a young age. Sussex Spaniels will want to be around you at all times and work best if someone is at home all day. Separation anxiety and excessive barking can be a problem if they are left alone for too long. They are a very vocal breed and will let you know when someone is approaching the door, though they will greet visitors with a wagging tail.
Sussex Spaniel learn at a slower pace than most other Spaniels, they like to take things at their own pace. This doesn't mean that they aren’t clever, most of the time they just can't be bothered. Time, patience and lots of treats will be needed to make progress with this breed. Dispute their medium size, they are a strong breed and lead training will need to start early on. They don't react well to harsh words. They can become possessive of toys and even their owners, so training against this will also be needed. Sussex Spaniels do well in field tracking, retrieval and scent work. They are even tempered and happy when working, praise is all they need. Recall is usually good and they can plod around on long walks for hours without tiring. A long daily walk is enough to keep them happy, but more if you can. If properly socialised, they love the company of other dogs and will gladly play with them in the park.
Their elegant coats will need brushing a couple of times per week and their ears will need the occasional trim to prevent matting.
Sussex Spaniels have a gentle and affectionate temperament. They are a smart breed, though they can sometimes think that they are in charge and early training will be needed to prevent problems later on. Generally happy to meet other dogs and people, this is a very sociable dog - though early socialisation is still advised.
Health problems may include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), heart disease and intervertebral disc disease (pressure on spinal cord which can cause paralysis).
- Status: Rare
- Life Expectancy: 11 - 12 years
- Weight: 35 - 44 lb
- Height: 13 - 15"
- Rare: Yes
- Coat: Medium
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Country
- Minimum Home Size: Small House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Breed Type: Gun Dog
- Size: Medium
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Over 2 hours
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