Sussex Spaniel

Sussex Spaniel

Breed Fact

Country of Origin: Sussex
Hypoallergenic: No
Height: 15 - 16 inches (38 - 40 cm)
Weight: 40 - 44 pounds (18 - 20 kg)
Color: Golden Liver
Life Expectancy: 13 – 15 years
Temperament: Cheerful, Devoted, Sociable, Companionable, Friendly, Calm
Litter Size: 3 - 6 puppies
Health Problems: Prone to ear infections; the ears should be cleaned regularly. Some minor concerns are intervertebral disc syndrome, otitis exerna, heart murmur and enlarged heart. Gains weight easily, do not overfeed.

Brief info: The Sussex Spaniel is a fairly rare breed. It was developed in the 1800s in Sussex, England. It is a small-game hunter and companion dog.

The breed was probably developed from crosses of spaniels with hounds. The dogs were used as field hunting dogs. Their slow pace along with their fine nose, good strength and stamina made them popular for hunters on foot flushing and retrieving upland game. The breed numbers plummeted during World War II.

An English breeder by the name of Joy Freer is credited for saving the breed. Joy owned eight of these dogs which she saved and fed during the war. The Sussex Spaniel is a strong, massive dog with a long, low body that has a level topline. The skull is wide, broad and somewhat heavy, moderately long with a full stop.

The muzzle is square in profile and is about 3 inches long (7.6 cm). The nose is liver colored. The large eyes are hazel in color. The large, low-set ears are long and hanging, covered with soft, wavy hair. The neck is slightly arched. The chest is deep and well developed. The legs are very short.

The tail is customarily docked to 5-7 inches in length (12.5-17.5 cm.). Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. The coat is either flat or slightly wavy. There is feathering on the neck, legs, tail and feet. The coat comes in a rich golden liver color.