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Clumber Spaniel

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Intelligent, loyal and affectionate, Clumber spaniels are easy to love and are wonderful family pets. They don’t require a huge amount of exercise but they shed, snore and drool. It can be difficult to find a Clumber puppy, but those that do manage to source a dog will be rewarded with a fabulous companion boasting distinctive looks.

Which breed group is the Clumber spaniel in?

Breed group: Gundog

Clumber Spaniel breed history

Clumber Spaniels are named for Clumber Park, the estate of the Duke of Newcastle who developed the breed in the UK. However, it isn’t known where these dogs originated or what breeds their ancestors were. They date back some 250 years and have always been valued for their hunting skills. Until the middle of 19th century, the breeding of the Clumber Spaniel was mostly restricted to the nobility. During World War I breeding was stopped entirely, causing numbers to decrease rapidly. In 1925, King George V re-developed a line of Clumbers in the Royal Kennel and they were used in the fields of the Sandringham Estate. The breed is now identified as vulnerable by the Kennel Club as there are less than 300 registrations each year.

Clumber spaniel breed characteristics

Clumbers are heavier than other spaniels and boast dense silky coats which may be lemon and white or orange and white. They have large, square heads, heavy brows and square muzzles. Their eyes are expressive and their ears hang slightly forward. Clumbers have thick, powerful necks, strong shoulders and muscular bodies. Their feet are round and their tails are set low, are well-feathered and are carried level to the dogs’ backs.

These intelligent dogs are easy to train and are good with children. They build strong bonds with people and tend to get on well with other dogs. They are, however, easily bored and may become destructive if left to their own devices. They can be wary of strangers but are never aggressive towards them

  • Lifespan: 9-15 years
  • Height: up to 51cm
  • Weight: up to 34kg
  • Powerfully built
  • Square heads
  • Heavy brows
  • Square muzzles
  • Expressive eyes
  • Round feet
  • Feathered tails
  • Intelligent
  • Easy to train
  • Easily bored
  • Wary of strangers

Health issues with the Clumber spaniel

This heritage breed is prone to a number of hereditary and congenital health issues as follows:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia - dogs should be tested
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Phosphatase 1 Deficiency (PDP1)
  • Cataracts
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Autoimmune hemolytic anaemia
  • Anal Gland impactions
  • Colitis
  • Skin allergies
  • Dry eye
  • Entropion
  • Ear infections
  • Umbilical hernias
  • Uterine inertia
  • Exercise induced collapse
  • Meningitis

What is the Clumber spaniel bred for?

These dogs were bred by the nobility as hunting dogs for their estates. Clumbers are still utilised for hunting and as show dogs. They are excellent pets but their limited numbers make it hard for prospective owners to find a puppy.

What sort of owners does the Clumber spaniel suit?

Loyal and affectionate, these large spaniels are great pets which are easy to train. They are very affectionate and good with children and so are excellent choices for families or inexperienced owners. They do not suffer from separation anxiety but are easily bored and so may be destructive in the home if left on their own. As such, they are not ideal for households where there isn’t at least one person who is at home all day.

Potential owners should consider that clumbers shed copiously and can be a little stubborn. They tend to slobber which could prove annoying and they snore! Clumbers require only moderate amounts of exercise but do need plenty of metal stimulation. They are best suited to living with families who are not too house proud and can live happily in both the countryside and urban environment.


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