The birthplace of the Sussex Spaniel, as its name suggests, is a county of Sussex in England. A history of the breed started in the 19th century, but during the second world war the dog was threatened with extinction. Thanks to breeding programs carried out, today and we have the pleasure to know the Sussex Spaniel.
Two men have a credit to have raised and kept the breed. The first one was Moses Woolland, who obtained the first Sussex Spaniel back in 1882. Of course, the dogs of Mr Woolland were not exactly like the contemporary Sussex Spaniels.
The second man was Campbell Newington, who started his breeding program in 1887. These dogs were more like the Spaniels we now know.
The breed was registered by the AKC in 1878. Nowadays, the Sussex Spaniel is 154th amongst the 157 dog breeds accepted in a books of the American Kennel Club.
This is a medium sized dog with a long, angular body and solid build. There is a serious, sometimes uneasily expression. Coat is a combination of weather resistant inner and beautiful, lush and silky outer coat. Silky ears fall lovely over a face. These dogs’ weight is between 16 and 21 kg and their height – between 33 and 38 cm.
Character and behavior
The Sussex Spaniel is friendly and cheerful dog with a strong character and charming appearance. Suitable for experienced and inexperienced owners, it is a great companion and pet. Sometimes it can be very stubborn and insistent, so it needs a patient owner who can take care of it with confidence and a firm hand.
Training and education
This dog is not very energetic, but it needs a lot of games and exercises that be carried out in secure and safe places in order not to hurt itself and others nor to escape. Early socialization is recommended to instill the confidence, firmness and good discipline in him. This Spaniel is cautious, barks if it senses danger and is an effective watchdog. Smart and able to learn quickly, but dressage is challenging because of its stubbornness. Teaching your dog to do its natural needs of designated areas can also be a daunting task.
Although healthy in general, Sussex spaniels are prone to some diseases. Of course, these issues do not affect all representatives of the breed, but most of them suffer from: hip dysplasia, heart problems, obesity, prostate problems, eye issues, thyroid problems and ear infections. Average lifespan is about 15 years.
Grooming and care
Appearance of Sussex Spaniel requires moderate care. Coat should be brushed twice a week and to be clipped every few months around limbs and chest. Ears should always be clean and dry to avoid any infections. It is necessary to cut nails regularly. Coat falls a lot, so the Sussex Spaniel is not particularly suitable for people with allergies.
Children and other pets
These dogs get along well with older and behaved children, but does not tolerate rough hugs and touches. The Sussex Spaniel is suspicious to strangers, but when it gets to know them, it becomes calm and nice to them. Generally it gets along well with other animals, but likes to pretend to be a leader, especially to strangers’ dogs.
The Sussex Spaniel is famous with its voice. It possesses a unique bark, used to “inform” its master about the prey its whereabouts, etc. Unfortunately, the dog brings this habit at home. It likes to bark at visitors or noises. Yes, this makes it a good watchdog, but certainly not the greatest of neighbors.