Clumber Spaniel

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Get all the facts about the Clumber Spaniel breed and see if this dog is a good match for you.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
10 to 12 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Medium

Temperament:
GentleAffectionateLaid-Back
Coat Color:
White With Lemon MarkingsWhite With Orange Markings

Best For

The Clumber Spaniel is best for experienced pup parents. Because they're large pups, homes with ample room to move around in and backyards are ideal, and they may do better with older kids as they don't always know their size and may knock little ones over.

Clumber Spaniel Traits

What makes the Clumber Spaniel a Clumber Spaniel? Let's find out how they stack up.

Clumber Spaniel Temperament

The Clumber Spaniel’s amiable temperament is one of their best qualities. Want to take a walk? Grab the leash. Prefer to curl up with a book? Make room on the couch. Friends coming over? Watch these pups turn on the charm, turning even those self-described “not dog people” into Clumber Spaniel converts.

This breed is most at home with adults and dogs, but these dogs can be agreeable companions in almost any living situation. Clumber Spaniels with kids? Check. Raising a Clumber Spaniel with cats? Should be just fine. The breed is not known for aggression or biting tendencies and, with proper introductions and respectful playmates, they are easy-going enough to adapt to life both with two- and four-legged family members. (Just be sure to watch these dogs around small kids; the pup may accidentally knock tiny tots over.)

The breed has an almost unflappable personality, but these dogs are smart and can be willful, which means training is a must, and it’s got to be interesting and varied to keep them from getting bored. Start training your Clumber Spaniel as a puppy and continue reinforcing the training—and adding new skills—throughout their lives.

How to Care for a Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniel dogs need a moderate amount of care to keep them healthy and happy. While they tend to be mellow, happy-go-lucky dogs who can adapt to many different environments, providing some exercise and a lot of mental stimulation mixed with ample quality time, lots of grooming and regular training will help these gentle pups thrive.

Clumber Spaniel Health

Clumber Spaniels have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, but they are prone to a lot of health issues. This shouldn’t stop you from bringing one of these lovable pups into your home. With the knowledge of these issues, you can help your pup live the healthiest life possible.

  • Allergies: Clumber Spaniels can be sensitive to environmental allergens such as dust, pollen and mold. The most common allergy symptoms include ear odors or infections, head shaking and chronic licking. Your vet may recommend allergy testing to determine the source of the symptoms and prescribe treatments such as antibiotics, antihistamines or ear drops. Diet can also be a contributing factor, so talk to your vet about whether the allergy might be food-related.
  • Eye Issues: The same expressive eyes that make Clumber Spaniels so adorable can also be the source of pain and discomfort. The breed is prone to entropion, a condition that causes the eyelid to roll inward. When the hair on the lids rubs against the cornea, it can lead to pain and even cause corneal ulcers. Entropion can be corrected with surgery. Ectropion is the opposite issue: It causes the lower eyelid to roll out, exposing the tissues that line the eyelids, leading to dry eye and discomfort. The treatments range from lubricating eye drops and antibiotics to surgery to correct the condition.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Large breeds like the Clumber Spaniel are prone to hip dysplasia. It’s diagnosed when the hip joint is misaligned with the socket, causing the joint to grind. It’s painful and can impair mobility. Depending on the severity of the condition, your vet may recommend physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications or surgery to ease the symptoms or correct hip dysplasia.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease: Thanks to their long backs, Clumber Spaniels are at increased risk for IVDD. The degenerative spinal condition causes the intervertebral disc (or the material that helps cushion the spaces between the discs) to harden, causing pain, impaired movement and, in severe cases, partial paralysis. Surgery is the only treatment for IVDD.

Clumber Spaniel History

The exact lineage of the Clumber Spaniel is unknown. The breed may have originated in France and later smuggled into England during the French Revolution. Or, they may be the result of crossing Basset Hounds with Alpine Spaniels.

One thing about their history is certain: The breed, named for Clumber Park, the British estate where the Duke of Newcastle helped develop the big-boned spaniel breed, dates back at least as far as the 1700s.

Both King Edward VII and King George V had Clumber Spaniels (King George even bred the dogs, helping raise the profile of the breed), as did Queen Victoria in the 19th century. In fact, the breeding of Clumber Spaniels was once limited to royal estates, and only nobility kept these dogs.

Clumber were bred to hunt, working alongside hunters to flush out game birds. Their thick, white coats made them easier to spot in the brush (and their dignified demeanors and skill at the sport earned them a spot in several notable paintings prized by British aristocrats).

In the mid-1800s, the British-born breed made its way overseas, quickly capturing hearts in Canada and the United States. The Clumber Spaniel was one of the nine charter breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club when it was founded in 1884.

Although the Clumber Spaniel has a long and storied history, it’s one of the lesser-known spaniel breeds. You can find reputable breeders selling Clumber Spaniel puppies through the AKC Marketplace, and spaniel rescues might also have Clumbers available for adoption. Clumber Spaniel puppies cost around $800 to $1,200. But for that, you’re likely getting a pup who’s been screened for health and temperament issues and may come with pedigree papers.

FAQs

Do Clumber Spaniels shed?

Yes, Clumber Spaniels shed. Their thick, white coats need regular grooming to remove excess hair.

Are Clumber Spaniels rare?

Clumber Spaniels are very rare and are one of the lesser-known spaniel breeds. On the AKC popularity chart, Clumber Spaniels rank 143 out of 197 dog breeds.

How long do Clumber Spaniels live?

Clumber Spaniels have a life expectancy between 10 and 12 years. With the proper diet, exercise and checkups with the vet, you can help your Clumber live a long and happy life.

How big do Clumber Spaniels get?

Clumber Spaniels are big dogs. They are 17 to 20 inches tall and weigh between 55 and 85 pounds.

Do Clumber Spaniels bark a lot?

No, Clumber Spaniels do not bark a lot. In fact, the breed prefers to speak only when they have something to say.

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Top Takeaways

Clumber Spaniels are mellow, outgoing dogs who love everyone they meet, including children and other dogs. Yes, you will end up with white dog hair all over your clothes, but it’s a good reminder that there’s a gentle pup at home who wants to be your BFF for all adventures—large and small.

Expert input provided by veterinarian Dr. Jami-Lyn Derse DVM, founder of Veterinary Housecall Care LLC and certified dog trainer Marissa Sunny CPDT-KA, canine behavior specialist at Best Friends Animal Society.

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