One of the rarest breeds of dogs out there is the Sussex Spaniel. After World War II, it was estimated that only eight dogs survived and these are the ancestors of today's Sussex Spaniels. They are native to England where the breed has a long history of being used for game hunting. They are very well suited to this pursuit with a beautiful and unique golden liver coat that camouflages them amongst the bark of trees at sunset. They love to bay and are very active for their small frame. The small frame makes them highly suitable for flushing game from underbrush, but it also makes them less desirable for hunters in America where the emphasis is on larger dogs. There are only about 400 of these classic hunting dogs registered by the AKC in America and some of these are being used as family pets now.
Finding and locating a breeder in the United States is difficult. Since the dog breed is rare, you will pay a high price for a pup. In addition, you may be put on a waiting list. While the dog can be trained to be an indoor dog, it is really happiest being outdoors where it can roam the backwoods areas. It loves the water and was used in England to retrieve fowl that had landed in the water.
The dog is used to be around other dogs and people too. It suffers from separation anxiety when it is left alone for too long. That is why the Sussex Spaniel, while small, doesn't make a great house pet, if you plan on being out most of the day. In addition, the breed is very active and requires exercise a couple of times a day and not just walking. It needs vigorous exercise and a place that it can run and be free. This can be a fenced in backyard or some other designated area. If you don't exercise the dog enough or leave it alone too often, the dog becomes stubborn and hard to deal with for you and your neighbors. It will start to exhibit destructive chewing, barking, howling, and soiling in your house. This is just because it is not bred to be a dog that sits around and does nothing all day, waiting for its owner to get home.
The dog has good intelligence and a naturally affectionate demeanor. It is not aggressive with strangers, but it can make an excellent watchdog. It does need to be have obedience training as soon as possible and it also should be heavily socialized. Within the proper environment, this dog can be both charming and loving to the right family. In the wrong environment, it might be seen as stubborn, willful, and untrainable.