Sussex Spaniel

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The Sussex Spaniel Dog Profile

The body of the Sussex Spaniel is long, low, and “rectangular,” with a muscular and hefty appearance. Because of their short legs and comparatively wide body, their movement is methodical and rolling, with a stride that stresses power over speed. Their body coat is flat or slightly wavy, and they have a lot of it. The long feather between their toes, which is often long enough to cover the toenails, is a distinguishing trait. Their face might be solemn and stern, even frowning, yet their wagging tail conceals their genuine character. The Sussex Spaniel has a proclivity for barking.

The Sussex Spaniel dog breed was established in Sussex County, England, to flush birds into the air for hunters. It is long and low, with a beautiful golden liver color. They have a reputation for being lethargic and docile, yet when they smell birds, they become animated. 

The joyful Sussex makes a good companion with adequate training and attention. They adapt well to apartment living and shower their humans with affection, but they struggle when left alone for lengthy periods of time. They desire affection and attention because they are such a sensitive breed.

Sussex Spaniel Highlights

  • Sussex Spaniels are known for dragging themselves forward by stretching their rear legs out behind them. This is known as kippering. It’s not a disorder, and there’s no need to be concerned. 
  • Sussex Spaniels have a tendency to bark. 
  • For older children who know how to engage with dogs, Sussex Spaniels can be terrific companions. 
  • Sussex Spaniels are bright and quick learners, but they can also be stubborn, necessitating the patience and consistency of a patient and consistent trainer. 
  • Sussex Spaniels require 20 to 30 minutes of daily exercise to stay fit and healthy. They adore going for walks and hiking.
  • Sussex If their feeding habits aren’t controlled, spaniels can rapidly become overweight. 
  • Sussex Spaniels shed moderately and should be brushed twice or three times per week to keep loose hair under control and avoid tangles. 
  • Sussex Spaniels dislike being left alone for lengthy periods of time and, if not given adequate attention and exercise, can become destructive or boisterous. 
  • Sussex Spaniels get along well with other pets and dogs in general, although they can be aggressive toward dogs they don’t know if they aren’t exposed to a lot of them as puppies.

Sussex Spaniel Breed Features & Ratings:
Rated base on a 5 Star Scale
ENERGY LEVEL:                                3 Star
PLAYFULNESS:                                  3 Star
AFFECTION LEVEL:                           4 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO DOGS:                4 Star
WATCHFULNESS:                               4 Star
EASE OF TRAINING:                           3 Star
HEAT SENSITIVITY:                              3 Star
VOCALITY                                             4 Star

Sussex Spaniel Breed Profile:

Dog Breed Group:  Working Dogs

Height:  15-16 inches (38-40 cm)

Weight:  40-44 pounds (18-20 kg)

Life Span: 12-15 years 

AREA OF ORIGIN:  United Kingdom 










Activites: Conformation, Hunting, Tracking, Field Trials

Type: Purebred




Litter Size: 5-6 puppies

Puppy Prizes: Average $2000 – $3000 USD

The Sussex Spaniel is a rarer breed of dog and can be difficult to find a breeder in your area. The average price for a Sussex Spaniel puppy is between $2000.00 – $3000.00, but every breeder is different and will price their puppies differently.

Sussex Spaniel Health:

Bitches sometimes skip seasons, re-absorb puppies, and require C-sections, making Sussex difficult to breed. Puppies are delicate until they are roughly two weeks old. Breeders that are responsible examine their cattle for diseases including heart disease. Some Sussex dogs are prone to bloat, and cancer is more common in elderly dogs. For pdp1, a heritable metabolic disorder, a genetic test is now available, allowing breeders to identify carriers and avoid creating affected kids.

When hunting for a puppy, it’s critical to go to a reputable breeder who does the necessary health testing on prospective parents. Regardless of how thorough your research is, every breed is predisposed to certain inheritable diseases. 

Sussex Spaniels are prone to a variety of ailments, including: 

  • Hip Dysplasia: In Sussex Spaniels, faulty development of one or both hip joints is rather common. This is a degenerative disease with varying degrees of severity. It can result in discomfort and movement concerns, and in some situations, surgery is required to assist the dog maintain his or her quality of life.
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency: Sussex and Clumber Spaniels might suffer from this metabolic disease. It produces lactic acid buildup in the muscles of the dog, which can lead to pain and activity intolerance. This illness can be diagnosed genetically, and it can also be treated with restricted exercise and particular nutrients. 
  • Pulmonic Stenosis is a congenital cardiac disorder in which the area between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery narrows, preventing blood from flowing adequately through the heart. Because of the obstruction in the pulmonary valve, the right side of the heart has to work harder, eventually causing it to enlarge. It can lead to cardiac failure if not treated. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the ailment and can include everything from regular veterinary supervision to medication to surgery.
  • PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosis) is a frequent congenital cardiac condition that affects a variety of breeds. It happens when the ductus arteriosis, a blood conduit that connects the aorta with the pulmonary artery in a fetus, does not close after delivery. If it remains open, blood begins to flow backward into the lungs, accumulating fluid and causing hard breathing, dizziness, dizzy spells, coughing, heart murmurs, collapse, and heart failure. Surgically, patent ductus arteriosis can be easily repaired.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): Spaniels are susceptible to back disorders including IVDD, which develops when a disc in the spine ruptures or herniates, pushing upward into the spinal cord. It could be caused by moving or being picked up in the wrong direction, falling or jumping off furniture, or an inherited disorder. A disc rupture is unpleasant and can cause weakness as well as temporary or permanent paralysis. Anti-inflammatory medicines, acupuncture or chiropractic treatment, and surgery are all options for treatment.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This degenerative condition affects many dog breeds and develops when the hip joint weakens due to improper growth and development. It affects about 42% of Sussex Spaniels, however it is rarely disabling.

Congenital heart disease, especially pulmonic stenosis and murmurs, can be a problem for Sussex Spaniels. These disorders can sometimes be treated with medication, lifestyle modifications, or surgery. They can be stagnant at times, or they can be serious and progressing at other times.

  • Major concerns: CHD, intervertebral disk disease
  • Minor concerns: otitis externa, heart murmurs, enlarged heart
  • Occasionally seen: PDP1
  • Suggested tests: hip, cardiac, (PDP1)
  • Life span: 11–13 years

Sussex Spaniel Grooming:

Bathing, brushing, and combing are all that is required of the breed in terms of general grooming. To avoid the dog from slipping, the fur on the bottoms of the feet should be cut. When a dog is neutered, his coat becomes fuzzy and cotton-candy-like, making it considerably more difficult to manage. The coat of the Sussex should not be shaved until absolutely essential, as the coat takes a long time to recover. Nails should be cut on a regular basis, like with other breeds.

The Sussex Spaniel has a thick, straight or slightly wavy coat that is not curled. The tail and legs down to the hock (called the hock) are ornamented with feathering, which is a moderate fringe of hair. The ears are covered in soft, wavy hair, and the neck has a frill of more hair. There are no other colors, markings, or hues of liver in the coat, which is a bright golden liver. 

The Sussex Spaniel sheds on a regular basis. Brushing the Sussex on a daily basis helps keep the amount of loose hair under control, but you can get away with brushing it only once a week. There is no need for trimming or clipping, but you may want to keep the hair on and around the feet clean. As needed, take a bath.

Dental hygiene and nail care are two more grooming requirements. Brush your Sussex Spaniel’s teeth at least twice or three times a week to keep tartar and bacteria at bay. Every day is preferable. As needed, trim his nails once or twice a month. They’re too lengthy if you can hear the nail clicking on the floor. Short nails keep your Sussex’s feet healthy and won’t scratch your legs when he leaps up to welcome you.

Sussex Spaniel Exercise:

Sussex is a county in the United Kingdom. Strenuous exercise should not be given to a spaniel until he is at least a year old. Sussex are slow-growing animals, and exercising them too soon will harm their growth plates. Puppies should be allowed to play to self-exert. Adult Sussex dogs enjoy swimming and long walks, but they should not begin jumping or agility training until they are at least 18 months old.

Sussex Spaniel Training:

Sussex can be stubborn; they have long memories and will never forget nor forgive rough handling. Sussex owners should strive to convey to the dog clearly what they want, and give the dog lots of praise when he gets it right.

Sussex Spaniel Food and  Nutrition:

Sussex Spaniels are a breed that grows slowly. A high-quality dog food, whether commercially created or prepared at home with your veterinarian’s supervision and consent, should suffice for the Yorkshire Terrier. Any diet should be tailored to the age of the dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Intact Sussex are almost never overweight since they eat only what they require. 

Recommended daily amount: 2 cups of a high-quality dog food daily, divided into two meals.

How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you’ll need to shake into your dog’s bowl.

Sussex Spaniels gain weight easily but should be fed a high-quality food. 

Because of its strong appearance, the breed is more prone to gaining weight than other dogs. In North America, obesity is a big issue for dogs. It can lead to a variety of more significant health issues, as well as a reduction in your dog’s quality of life. 

Measuring your dog’s food, ensuring they get enough exercise, and avoiding offering them too many unhealthy snacks or table scraps can all help to keep your dog in good shape.

Discover which human foods are suitable for dogs and which are not. If you have any concerns regarding your dog’s weight or diet, consult your veterinarian. At all times, clean, fresh water should be available.


  • Mellow and affectionate
  • Less busy than some Spaniel relatives
  • Fun-loving


  • More vocal than most Spaniel-types
  • Can be prone to separation anxiety
  • Can be prone to resource guarding

Sussex Spaniel Temperament and Personality:

In comparison to other spaniels, the Sussex Spaniel is more laid-back. They are well-suited to city life, yet they still value and require daily exercise. They might be a little louder than other spaniels. If they are left alone while other activities are taking place, they may become frustrated and bark or scream. They are usually composed, steady, and laid-back members of the family. Their solemn demeanor is deceiving, as they are frequently happy.

Sussex Spaniel Care/Upkeep:

The Sussex Spaniel needs daily exercise, although a good stroll or a quick frolic in a fenced yard would suffice. They will welcome a longer walk if given the opportunity. Brushing and combing their coat two to three times a week is typical.

To stay in top shape, the Sussex requires 20 to 30 minutes of daily activity. Long treks or excursions will appeal to him, especially if they take him through woodland areas where he may hunt for birds. He’s a serious spaniel who doesn’t appreciate running in circles, but he does enjoy spending time with his folks in the great outdoors. He prefers to be indoors, but he should have access to a securely fenced yard so he can keep a look out for birds, squirrels, and other wildlife.

It might be difficult to rain in Sussex. This breed’s members have their own thoughts. Sussex Spaniels are intelligent and quick learners, but they require consistency and patience to complete the training. 

Barking is an issue that should be addressed at an early age. Sussex is not like other spaniels. When hunting, spaniels let their voices reverberate. This extends to personal life as well. They’ll bark when visitors come to the door or just for the sheer pleasure of hearing it. If you don’t teach your Sussex to bark in moderation, you’ll end up with a dog who barks excessively at everything. When left alone for long periods of time, the Sussex is especially likely to bark and howl.

The Sussex Spaniel shares many of the same features as other spaniels. They have a lot of stamina and are affectionate, cheerful, and intelligent. 

Although they enjoy going on long treks with you and can compete in agility, they aren’t as active or speedy as some of their Spaniel ancestors. They have a serene but upbeat disposition and form strong bonds with their family members. They’re a velcro’ dog that can easily become your shadow.

They’re also usually louder than other spaniels. You’ll rapidly become accustomed to their numerous grumbles, mumbles, and whines. Although they aren’t guard dogs, alert barking is widespread. To keep this from becoming an escalating problem, you may need to work on rewarding an alternative behavior. 

They can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time, which can be followed by wailing and destructive behavior. 

Although they are not guard dogs, they can be protective of their family and territory, and resource guarding can become an issue if not managed properly.

While Sussex Spaniels form strong bonds with their owners, they aren’t recognized for being very child-friendly. They’d be best suited to a household with an adult or older children who are respectful of their surroundings. 

They can also be bossy, which can cause problems with other dogs if not handled properly. 

The breed is intelligent and generally easygoing, yet they can sometimes be headstrong and strong-willed. It isn’t the ideal way to try to compel someone to do something they don’t want to do. When it comes to training, utilizing reward-based strategies is not only the friendliest but also the most successful way to motivate kids.

Sussex Spaniel Relationship with Children and Other Pets

Sussex Spaniels have a placid attitude and get along well with kids, particularly if they’ve been raised with them. They’re best suited to homes with children who are at least six years old and understand how to interact with dogs, as with most dogs. It’s never a good idea to leave dogs and little children alone. They should always be supervised to prevent either party from biting their ears or pulling their tails. 

Although he’s believed to be a bit pushy, the Sussex gets along well with other pets, even cats. If Sussex aren’t socialized as pups, they may become violent with dogs they don’t know, so don’t skip this crucial step. 

Sussex Spaniel Names
RankBoy NamesGirl Names

Sussex Spaniel  History:

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Fuller family on the Rosehill Estate in Sussex, South East England, is claimed to have produced the Sussex Spaniel. The goal was to have a sturdy, low-to-the-ground spaniel that could help them navigate the dense vegetation of the area. They were also developed to bark (give tongue) while working, unlike other Spaniels, to assist the hunter to maintain track of them while they weren’t visible.

The Sussex Spaniel was brought to North America in the late 1800s and was one of the first nine breeds approved by the American Kennel Club, which was founded in 1884. 

Their numbers declined in the middle of the twentieth century as other Spaniel relatives became more popular.

After WWII, it was estimated that there were fewer than ten purebred Sussex Spaniels remained in the UK, which was ironically even fewer than in North America. Mrs Joy Freer, a breed lover, is credited with preserving the species from extinction. 

Even though the breed is still uncommon, it has a small but devoted following in the United Kingdom and North America.

All About Sussex Spaniel:

When hunting, the Sussex’s long, low, “rectangular” body, along with a muscular and somewhat big build, allows it to penetrate dense cover. Because of its short legs and comparatively wide body, its movement is methodical and rolling, with a stride that stresses force over speed. The thick body covering is flat or slightly wavy, providing thorn protection. The long feather between the toes, which should be long enough to cover the toenails, is a distinguishing trait. The face seems solemn and stern, even frowning, but the wagging tail betrays the actual nature of the creature. When hunting, the Sussex barks, which aids the hunter in locating it amid dense cover.

With a reduced energy level, the Sussex spaniel is less lively and demonstrative than other spaniels. This makes it more suited to city life, although it still enjoys the opportunity to go out into the wild and hunt for birds. Its proclivity for barking when hunting has made it less popular among hunters than other breeds; some even bark or wail when not hunting. It is placid, steady, and laid-back at home, however it can be violent around unknown canines. Its solemn aspect is deceiving, as it is actually rather lively.

This distinctive spaniel with the cheerful tail stays faithful to his hunting history, and he’s frequently seen in the field or competing in hunt tests. He’s a deliberate hunter who travels at a slow pace, with plenty of stamina and a “never give up” attitude, qualities that make him a good companion for individuals who don’t hunt but like lengthy walks or excursions with a nature-loving dog. He’ll be content with backyard prey like birds, butterflies, and insects if he’s not utilized as a hunting dog. 

The Sussex has a distinct voice among spaniels. He’s not shy about telling the hunter how he’s doing, and he brings that outspoken personality into his personal life. 

The Sussex, affectionate and companionable, thrives in a home where he is not left alone for long periods of time each day. He enjoys following his owners around and socializing with other dogs. If ignored, a Sussex forms deep relationships with family members and can become unhappy and destructive. 

When reared with children, this kind, even-tempered dog fares well, but he’s best suited to a home with older children who understand how to engage with a dog. Young children can hurt Sussex puppies if they are dropped, hit, or stepped on, therefore close supervision is essential.

Sussex Spaniels adore people in general, but they can be possessive of their own family members, refusing to let strangers approach them. To avoid this, early and frequent socialization is critical. They normally get along with other dogs because of their sporting dog lineage, but if they aren’t introduced to other dogs at a young age, they can be violent toward dogs they don’t know. 

The adaptable Sussex excels in a variety of canine sports, including agility, tracking, and hunt tests, but he’s a little difficult to teach. He has a gentle attitude, which means he is laid-back and easygoing, yet he can also be stubborn.

Patience, gentleness, encouragement, and a good sense of humor are all required when training a Sussex. He responds well to praise and awards, but if he receives harsh criticism, he gives up. Begin training as soon as you get him home, when he’s 8 to 12 weeks old and still willing to learn. The Sussex, despite his small stature, is a strong and powerful dog, so it’s critical that he learns to listen to you before he becomes too difficult to control. 

Brush a Sussex every day to keep matting at bay. Trim the insides of the ears and the soles of the feet once a month to maintain them tidy. The Sussex enjoys playing in the water, so if he goes for a swim in a stinky pond or lake, he’ll require a nice rinse or a wash.

The Sussex Spaniel has encountered numerous obstacles as a breed, including near extinction following World War II. The breed only survives because to the efforts of a small group of committed individuals. The Sussex is still a rare breed, but those who know him like him for his calm demeanor, even temper, deep howl, and kind demeanor.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Sussex Spaniel:

Because Sussex Spaniels are so uncommon, you’ll almost certainly have to travel further and potentially join a waiting list to get a puppy. 

The Sussex Spaniel Club of America is a good place to start looking for a trustworthy breeder. 

It’s unlikely that you’ll discover a Sussex Spaniel in rescue, but don’t let that deter you from adopting one. Many other spaniel-types are looking for forever homes in rescue shelters across the country, and it may be a very rewarding experience.

More Dog Breeds and Further Research:

If you’re interested in dogs similar to the Sussex Spaniel you could also consider the following breeds:

  • Clumber Spaniel
  • Field Spaniel
  • English Cocker Spaniel

There are lots of wonderful dog breeds out there. By doing your research, you’ll find one that will be best suited to having a forever home with you.

Sussex Spaniel Fun Facts: 

  • The breed had been widely preferred as a hunting-dog, suitable for working the hard surfaces.
  • Despite their calm demeanor, Sussex Spaniels may be difficult and manipulative when it comes to getting their way.
  • They have the tendency to drool. 


Are Sussex Spaniels apartment-friendly?

If properly exercised, the Sussex Spaniel will be fine in an apartment. Indoors, it is relatively active, and a little yard will suffice. This breed can live outside in temperate areas if it has access to warm shelter, but it does best as a house dog with access to a yard.

Are Sussex Spaniels child-friendly?

Yes. This is a suitable breed for kids and is known to be playful, energetic, and affectionate around them.

How much exercise do Sussex Spaniels?

The Sussex Spaniel should be exercised on a daily basis by taking it on a walk, where the dog is trained to heel beside or behind the human holding the lead, as the leader leads the way in a dog’s head, and that leader must be the human. Not only does the dog require exercise to satisfy its natural migrating impulse, but it will gain weight if it does not receive enough. It enjoys retrieving and swimming, as well as being outside in the woods and fields, but keep in mind that it follows its nose. If not adequately exercised and left alone, this breed may wail.

How much grooming do Sussex Spaniels need?

Grooming should be performed regularly to keep its fur in good shape. Occasional trimming or stripping needed.

How much shedding do Sussex Spaniels need?

This dog will shed on a regular basis. Prepare to vacuum frequently. Brushing your dog’s coat will reduce shedding and make it softer and cleaner.

How much training do Sussex Spaniels need?

Training won’t require too much attention and effort, though it won’t be easier than other breeds. Expect results to come gradually.

Where do Sussex Spaniels come from? 

First recorded in 1795 in East and West Sussex being at Goodwood and Rolvenden for specific hunting conditions. The breed nearly became extinct during the Second World War. Now more popular in the United Kingdom and the United States than any other countries and are recognised by all major kennel clubs. The breed was one of the first to be recognised by the UK Kennel Club in 1872. Notably a Sussex Spaniel named Stump won the best in show in 2009 at the 133rd Westminster Kennel Club, USA

Are Sussex Spaniels athletic dogs?

No. He is constantly ready to be in the company of others, is particularly good with children, and can be extremely protective of his family. They are ideal prospects for working as therapy dogs.