Clumber Spaniel

An author once said this about the breed; “as a sporting spaniel, the Clumber Spaniel has no equal.” That claim is certainly up for debate, but there’s no arguing that the Clumber has the scenting skills of a hound and the hunting ability of a spaniel.

Moreover, Clumbers are actually the largest of the spaniel class and ten times the size of a English Toy.

Built and bred for the noble crowd, today the Clumber is a Sporting Group breed for everyone.

So what makes this breed such a great addition for your family?

Here is what you need to know about the Clumber Spaniel.

History

When it comes to telling the story of Clumber Spaniels, there may not be another breed that captivates so much imagination than Clumbers. Why is this? The answer is uncertain, but most enthusiasts admit that the history of this breed is unknown and entertaining at the same time.

The mainstream narrative is that the Clumber Spaniel was suck into England around the late 17th and early 18th century. Allegedly, a Frenchman brought with him a group of hunting dogs into Nottinghamshire. The story has it that the nobleman from France was escaping the tyranny of the French Revolution. During this time, there was fear that the ruling class had morbid intentions to exterminate these hunting dogs.

Once in England, the Duke of New Castle took the dogs in, and with his gatekeeper, began breeding these dogs with Basset Hounds, the extinct Alpine Spaniel, and later on, with the Bernese Mountain Dog.

As you can see, there are plenty of holes with this story, but like other breeds, it appears this story is the general consensus. In fact, this makes plenty of sense judging by the Clumber Spaniel’s excellent tracking abilities of a hound dog, and their long Basset Hound like body. Moreover, it appears this breed was much smaller in size, which is where the large breed Bernese comes in.

The Duke had this property with 400 acres of land. The name of this estate was Clumber Park. This is where the breed gets their name. Furthermore, the Duke began giving this new breed to his neighbors, who were county seat officials. The Clumber Spaniel would end up with elites like Prince Albert,  King Edward the 7th and George the 5th.

Specifically,  Queen Victoria wrote a book describing that Prince Albert took 7 Clumber Spaniels with him on hunting expeditions.

From the 1700’s to the late 1800’s, Clumber Spaniels were in charge of tracking and retrieving bird game for the wealthy elite. Additionally, there are many engravings, wood painting and artwork featuring this noble breed performing as gun dogs and as companions.

World War 1 was a harsh period for the Clumber Spaniel. Numbers were down. In fact,  thanks to enthusiast, King George V,  made it his prerogative to redevelop the breed from extinction. 

In the United States, the American Kennel Club was forming in the late 1800’s, as recognition was given to the Clumber Spaniel in 1878. However, even today, the breed faces an uphill battle with regards to registration numbers. 

The Clumber Spaniel is still a rare breed in the United States. According to the American Kennel Club, this breed is the 144th most popular breed. That’s out of 192 breeds. Meanwhile,  the United Kingdom continues to import Clumbers hoping to brew up higher registration counts.

Today, the breed is still a great field and bird dog as well as a wonderful companion.

Size

The AKC considers the breed large due to their maximum weight potential. Otherwise, in all actuality, the breed is a medium size.

A male Clumber Spaniel should fall between 70 and 85 pounds, where a female will weigh between 55 to 70 pounds.

With regards to height, a male should stand between 18 to 20 inches, and a female between 17 to 19 inches.

Personality/Temperament

You’ll have your hands full with Clumber Spaniel puppies. If drool and a bit of maintenance isn’t your thing, this breed may not be a proper fit. That said, owning a Clumber is great for someone who loves the outdoors. You can take the Clumber fishing, hunting, dog parks, and of course, walks along the trail.

Here is a breed that enjoys routine, which gives them a better chance to learn and adapt to new tasks. While some Clumbers can be agreeable and eager to please, others may make you work for their attention and cooperation. Once you get their attention, they do have the intelligence to pick up on tasks quickly. Moreover, this breed does have stubborn streaks, in which a calm and positive reinforcing hand is necessary. Someone with patience to push through that moment of independence.

At home, the Clumber Spaniel is a dog that is calm and relaxing. Once they mature and grow out of their puppy phase, they are a breed that knows when to turn it on and off. At home, the Clumber Spaniel is loving and caring, seeking after your affection and returning the favor. Great with children of all ages, and even dogs too.

Once they learn something and perform it, the Clumber wants a reward. A snack hound by nature, Clumber Spaniels may be prone to some weight issues. So you should make sure you limit the treats. 

A quiet breed unless someone or something gives them matter to bark about. This is a breed that doesn’t want to be alone, but is fine living in apartments, and with other pets. Companionship will help any destructive traits they get when dealing with boredom. 

In summary, the Clumber Spaniel is a wonderful companion and household pet. They are loving and sweet at home, but once the Clumber is given a task, they are tireless and fearless workers.

Health

Due to their long bodies, the Clumber Spaniel does face certain health issues mostly pertaining to orthopedic matters. Moreover, this is a breed that faces issues with their eyes, dental disorders, endocrine system disorders and tumors.

The Clumber Spaniel is relatively healthy, in which they live 10 to 12 years. When you buy a Clumber, make sure you purchase this breed from a breeder with a considerable reputation. The breeder should provide you with health clearance documentation. Furthermore, you can enhance your Clumber’s well being, when you schedule regular visits with the veterinarian.

First, the Clumber Spaniel suffers terribly from Hip Dysplasia. The breed ranks 8th among the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals survey. This puts the breed behind dogs such as the Pug, Bulldogs, and Napoleon Mastiff. With a 43.9% dysplastic rate, the breed fares slightly worse than their relative Basset Hound. Hip Dyslasia is a hip malformation causing wear and tear on their cartilage, which painful, and sometimes leads to osteoarthritis.

The breed fares much better with Elbow Dysplasia ranking 42nd among OFA’s survey with an 8.8 dysplastic rate. This incorrect formation of the elbow joint leading to pain and lameness affects breeds like the Chow Chow, Boerboel and Airedale Terrier much more commonly. 

A condition affecting the eyelids of a dog, in which the eyelid rolls in or outward, thus leading to rubbing and possible ulcerations is common with Clumber Spaniels. Entropion and Ectropion can extremely aggravating and painful for the breed. 

Another issue affecting the Clumber Spaniel is Intervertebral Disc Disease. This disease limits the crucial disc in the spine to absorb shock. Lack of appetite and hair loss are common symptoms. This disease also affects breeds like the Dachshund and Corgi.

Hemangiosarcoma, a deadly and rapidly progressive cancer, which is most prevalent with dog than any other specie, comes in three types, which affect the spleen, liver and dermal regions. Boxers, Dobermans and Labs also come down with this form of cancer.

Care

If you let the Clumber Spaniel slouch around then they will. Of course, if you give them a task and activity, the breed thrives among the best of them. This is especially true with field and hunting tests. They should get regular exercise, from 20 to 30 minutes per day.

The breed does come with a bit of grooming maintenance. Of course, this is a dog that does drool quite often. You will need to take special care of the hair on their feet. Check their ears regularly for any build up or infection from bacteria. You should bathe them once a month.

If you have children, make sure they respect the dog, especially since the Clumber Spaniel does have a long back. Their big bone body puts extra stress on their joints, which is something you may need to watch for.

Early socialization and training will help raise this breed into quite a friendly dog. They do well with other dogs and children. If you socialize them early on, you’ll be able to bring them along with you to dog parks, trails, lakes for swimming and etc. They respond best to positive reinforcement such as treats and confidence.

This is a breed that should do fine in hot or cold weather, small or big spaces including apartments and farm houses. 

Feeding

The Clumber Spaniel, if a working or sporting dog, will require quite a bit of calorie replenishment and quality protein diet. Meat should be the first ingredient, and you should steer clear of filler, corn, soy and wheat.

First, how much your Clumber Spaniel eats will depend on how active the dog is, their metabolism rate and their age. Spaying and neutering also plays into consideration.

Furthermore, if you really want to pinpoint your Clumber’s diet, then consult with a veterinarian about the proper amount and best choices to feed your spaniel.

Lean chicken, beef and poultry seem to work for most Clumber fanciers. The recommendation for a Clumber is 2 to 2.5 cups of top quality dry food per day.

As always, you should provide your Clumber Spaniel with fresh drinking water.

Coat

The Clumber Spaniel will shed a bit and make you work for their upkeep. Prepare to brush between one to two times per week. The breed should have one coat color, white. They should have lemon and orange markings.

Clumber Spaniels have a straight, dense and flat coat with slight feathering in various areas like ears and feet. While there is some work, the coat is rather easy to care for, by most fanciers accounts. The coat is water repellent.

Fun Clumber Spaniel Facts

  • The U.K Kennel Club gave the Clumber Spaniel recognition in the 1920. The club designates the breed as rare, with certain annual registration numbers below 300.
  • The famous painting, “Return From the Shooting.” by Francis Wheatley, features a Clumber.
  • This breed is athletic, despite its appearance, and often fares well in field tests, while being a pretty good swimmer.
  • Big N’ Beautiful, that’s one way to describe the stockiest of all spaniel, the Clumber Spaniel.

Closing Words

It was once said that the Clumber Spaniel is a dog for the “gentleman.” From their enriching history, that may be true, but one thing for sure is, this breed is for everyone with a place in their heart for a playful and loving dog.

If you’re looking for a dog, that is great with other dogs, wonderful with children, and that you can take just about anywhere, including the lake, then the Clumber Spaniel is the perfect bird dog you’ve been waiting for.