From 4-6 puppies with an average of 5 puppies per litter
AKC Sporting Group and Gun Dog
CKC, FCI, AKC, NKC, NZKC, ACR
There is only one acceptable tint for the Sussex spaniel, which is considered the mark of a pure breed. It is a rich golden red color with a tinge of gold at the tips. If there are any whites on it, then it is not a real Sussex spaniel.
15-16 inches (38-40 cm.)
40-45 pounds (18-21 kg)
13-15 inches (33-38 cm.)
no less than 40 pounds (18 kg)
Sussex Spaniels can adapt to both the indoors and the outdoors. And they can very well live in apartments as well. However, they are characteristically active dogs, and they should be given sufficient exercise as they tend to gain weight fairly quickly. As one of the spaniel breeds, they feel more comfortable when they are in the outdoors, but they can be equally happy inside the house. Sussex spaniels can also live in a doghouse located in the garden or backyard, but it is essential to ensure that they have a temperate place to sleep. Even an undersized backyard will do, with a little space for them to walk about.
Sussex spaniel is a strong, medium sized dog. In fact, the Sussex spaniel can be classified as the stockiest of all spaniels. It has a long muscular body with a wide skull. The shape of its head is rather broad and long, with a deep recess in the middle.
The eyes of the Sussex spaniel are hazel in color and they bear a serene expression, probably because they are somewhat droopy. Its ears are quite large, and they hang down to the level of the jaw. A standard ear of a Sussex spaniel should stick closely to its body and not too wavy. The overall structure of the face should have a strong and yet gentle expression. Some people even remarked that they see some kind of sadness on the face of a Sussex spaniel.
The tail never goes above the body level and it is usually parallel to the ground when the dog is excited. And it is well-known that the Sussex spaniel moves its tail a lot. The body is proportionately long, and the ideal height is no more than 16 inches. Sussex spaniels have short fore legs and long hind legs, with rather large bones in the feet and short feathery hair between the toes. The ideal color of the coat should be golden liver with the tips of the fur swaying to a more golden persuasion.
The coat of a Sussex spaniel is golden-red in color, and the tips of the furs tend to be more golden compared to the rest of the body. The fur also shows a slightly wavy and flayed look, but they are not woolly. A Sussex spaniel is basically quite furry throughout the body, from the head with soft hair to back of the legs and the tail where the fur is a little feathered. It also has a good undercoat to provide warmth during the cold seasons.
Sussex spaniels got their name from their place of origin, which is Sussex of England. They were developed as a separate breed during the 1880's by Mr. Fuller of Rosehill. He used these dogs as work dogs and kept the same line for 50 years. However, this breed of dogs was almost extinct during the World War II. Breeding was discouraged during that time, and only one person in America was able to continue the Sussex spaniel line.
Since 1945, Joy Freer successfully kept the line alive, and all her Sussex spaniels were kept for the sole purpose of saving the pedigree. However, she also experienced breeding problems around the 1950's, and the attention shifted back to the UK where original lines could still be found, though very few in numbers. Currently, the Sussex spaniels are considered a very vulnerable breed.
Sussex spaniels are known to be a very friendly breed towards humans as well as other animals. This type of dog can easily get along with children, other dogs and even cats. Although some of them can be aggressive with new dogs in the environment, they will usually calm down once they sense that there is no significant threat.
Gentle and friendly as they are, Sussex spaniels are known to be experts in retrieving small games and they bark a lot while on the hunt, which shows their great enthusiasm for hunting. These dogs are generally very smart, and they have the ability to catch new concepts fairly quickly. Though they are highly teachable, you have to be firm when teaching or instructing them, or they will not respond with obedience. They also have the tendency to do things on their own and discover new possibilities for a particular task.
Sussex spaniels love human company as they are very sociable, and they are particularly loyal to their owners. They are not known to show aggression towards ordinary humans, even to strangers they meet for the first time, but if they detect any suspicion or threat, they can be quite ferocious. The Sussex spaniel is known as the best watchdog among spaniels. When they are not in the environment of threat, they can be quite adorable as they have the habit of sticking their tongues out most of the time. These dogs also adapt well to different environment, and they seem to know how to behave themselves in different locations. When they are indoors, Sussex spaniels are very calm, almost without any hint of liveliness. However, once they are taken outside, they immediately come to life with lots of jumping and running around, and they will participate in everything you order them to do, with great excitement. These dogs, however, can be rather stubborn at times, and they will only obey firm command. Sussex spaniels also tend to be clingy and they try to be within short distance of their owners. When their anxiety is aroused, they can be quite rowdy, howling, barking and even breaking things.
Since these dogs can be quite unpredictable, they should not be left alone in the house when you are going out or they may mess up the whole place. These temperaments are present in all adults that are not properly trained. Proper care and training will ensure that the temperament of your Sussex spaniel will be well controlled.
A number of medical concerns are commonly associated with Sussex spaniels. For having ears that are rather large and close to the body, Ear infections often occur in this breed. It is important that you check the ears regularly for ticks and other insects. Sussex spaniels are also known to gain weight very fast, and a good Diet is required to keep them at a good fitness level. Health Problems are also likely to occur in the hearts, eyes and spines of these dogs, and such afflictions should be treated at the veterinarian. If left unattended, these problems may develop into serious medical conditions, such as cardiomyopathy, Cataracts, Entropion or retinal dysplasia which can result in heart failure or blindness.
The coat of the Sussex spaniel should always be kept clean, and the luster of the fur should be maintained. This can be done by regular brushing of the fur, ideally twice a week. Ears should also be cleaned and checked regularly to prevent infection. Excessive fur under the ears and paws should be cut. Trim the hair that grows around the lower part of the paws, and leave the furs that grow upwards from between the toes. All these grooming measures should also be applied to a puppy, but special attention must be given to the teeth.
The puppies' teeth should be monitored regularly because the teeth of a young Sussex spaniel are very sensitive during formation period. If they are not given special care, they will most probably turn out jagged and crooked. Another essential grooming practice is nail care. If the nails are not cut regularly, they may cause discomfort when the dog is walking or running.
Baths should be given only when necessary and remember to avoid using human shampoo, because it may ruin the sheen and texture of the coat. Try to get special dog shampoo from the pet shop or the veterinarian for the best effect. Even though they have a great deal of hair, Sussex spaniels usually shed very little hair, and if any excessive shedding is noted, you should consult your local vet immediately. It is also important to check the eyes regularly for any kind of infection, irregularity or staining. Sussex spaniels are highly susceptible to eye related diseases and any kind of irregularity should be reported to the vet immediately. In order to prevent problems that are related to grooming, a regular monthly check up is imperative for the Sussex spaniel. For overall advice on grooming, it is best that you consult a veterinarian who is familiar with Sussex spaniels. But generally, Sussex spaniels are a dog-breed that requires very low maintenance.
Sussex spaniels can easily be overweight. Therefore, regular exercise is compulsory for this breed. A regular two mile walk is the minimum requirement to keep the dog's fitness level in check. If you are living near the woods, get the dog some good exercise by taking it for strolls in the woods. You can also train your Sussex spaniel to retrieve small games, which is a cause for excitement for this breed. When in the outdoors, it will mostly follow you wherever you go, but keep in mind that it has a very good nose and will probably wander off in search of anything that has an interesting scent. Sussex spaniels are very friendly, and they are very eager to interact with other dogs in the park or in the woods. Use a leash when you bring them outdoors, as they can get quite out of control when they are excited. But even if they wander off to somewhere else, they will eventually show up beside you as you continue with your own exercise. Sussex spaniels are also great swimmers. Taking your dog for a swim at least once a week will also do wonders to its physical condition. If you are planning to let the dog participate in retrieval competitions, a well rounded exercise schedule and retrieval practice will just about get your Sussex spaniel ready for action.
Sussex Spaniels are very active dogs, and they love all kinds of activities. Training is practically a breeze because these dogs are known for their physical prowess and stamina. Their intelligence and willingness to explore new concepts make them very easy to train. The ideal training ground for Sussex spaniels is a fun environment with lots of interesting activities. If you manage to make the training session exciting, these dogs can typically pick up any notion or skill you wish to impart to them. Spaniels are generally very playful, and they are open to learning anything that appeals to their interest. On the other hand, if you frustrate or make them anxious, they will be impatient to any kind of training or activity. When they are in a good mood, they are so easy to train that you will not even need the service of a professional trainer.
You can train them to adopt simple manners and obey simple commands, such as sitting, staying, rolling or retrieving. While they are rather well-behaved under normal circumstances, there are other areas where a Sussex spaniel needs some discipline. Due to their curiosity and impulsiveness, there are times when they can be quite difficult to control. However, if you are patient enough, you can train Sussex spaniels to do quite extraordinary things. For example, you can train them to bark once when someone is at the door and twice when they need to go outside and so on, though these habits require great patience to instill. Yet for simple manners, Sussex spaniels will always perform to expectations, and they will remember all the commands easily. Their intelligence and alertness, coupled with good training and exercise, make them a good breed to have, and they are perfect for joining dog shows and sporting events.