The Sussex Spaniel is low set with a heavyset build and has a unique coat with a rich golden liver color. The development of the breed in the 1800s is credited to Augustus Fuller from East Sussex in England who had desired a gun dog which could easily maneuver in rough terrain – particularly thick clay soil – and dense underbrush during the hunt.
It is believed the Field Spaniel, the Liver and White Norfolk, hounds and quite possibly early Springer Spaniels contributed to the Sussex Spaniel.
The American Kennel Club recognized the Sussex Spaniel in the Sporting Group in 1884. After World War II, the breed suffered greatly and there were only a few left. It is claimed this small group is the foundation of the majority of today’s Sussex Spaniels.
Height: The height of a Sussex Spaniel when measured at the shoulder is between 13 – 15 inches (33 – 38 cm).
Weight: The weight of a Sussex Spaniel is between 35 – 45 pounds (16 – 21 kg).
Coat Type: The Sussex Spaniel has an soft, silky, thick and plentiful coat with little to no wave. This breed is a moderate shedder.
Color: The Sussex Spaniel’s coat has a characteristic rich, golden liver color.
Temperament: The Sussex Spaniel is charismatic, calm and friendly with a sweet disposition. This breed makes a wonderful family companion and is especially good with children. The Sussex Spaniel thrives when he is with his family therefore he should never be neglected or left alone for long periods. This in an intelligent breed that learns quickly, although can be stubborn at times. It is very important a Sussex Spaniel is socialized and trained – starting at an early age. Training should be firm, consistent, patient and positive. The Sussex Spaniel’s owner always be dominant. This is a low to moderate energy breed, but it is still important these dogs are exercised daily – such as long walks.
Health Concerns: Overall, the Sussex Spaniel is healthy breed, although there are health issues which can affect them such as heart related problems, hip dysplasia, prostrate disease, hypothyroidism and eye and deafness problems. The average life span of a Sussex Spaniel is between 12 – 14 years.
• The Sussex Spaniel is considered a rare breed.
• The Sussex Spaniel has a very keen nose.
• The Sussex Spaniel has a distinctive gait which is described by the Westminster Kennel Club as a “rolling gait and a happy tail”. No other Spaniel has this type of movement.
• The American Kennel Club was formed in 1884 and the Sussex Spaniel was one of the first ten breeds officially recognized in their Stud Book.
• A ten year old Sussex Spaniel by the name of Clussexx Three D Ginchy Glee a.k.a Stump – won Best in Show in 2009 at the 133rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Stump is the oldest dog to win this title.
AKC: Sporting Group
ANKC: Gundogs Group 3
CKC: Sporting Dogs Group 1
FCI: Group 8 Section 2 Flushing Dogs
UKC: Gun Dogs