Clumber Spaniel Dog Breed History, Health And Care

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Introduction Of Clumber Spaniel Dog

The Clumber Spaniel is a breed of dog in the Sporting Group. Low to the ground and famous for its steady, slow, and rolling gait, the Clumber Spaniel is one the first Spaniel breeds to have been created for a specific purpose. This breed was recognized by the AKC in 1884 and AKC approved in 2001.

The average Clumber Spaniel stands from 17 to 20 inches at the withers and weighs between 55 and 85 pounds, with females being on the smaller side. Their dense, straight coat can shed constantly, and many Clumbers slobber and drool year-round. Regular brushing will help to keep the coat clean and control shedding. Clumbers will also snuffle and snore more than the average breed.

Clumber Spaniel Dog Breed Quick Facts

Adaptability3/5
Affection Level4/5
Apartment Friendly2/5
Barking Tendencies2/5
Cat Friendly3/5
Child Friendly4/5
Dog Friendly3/5
Exercise Need3/5
Grooming Needs3/5
Health Issues3/5
Intelligence4/5
Playfulness4/5

Clumber Spaniel – Appearance & Grooming

Appearance

Clumber Spaniels are large dogs, low to the ground, with a heavy bone structure. They have very broad chests, which sport an apron of long hair. The nose is either flesh-colored or brown and the eyes of the Clumber are amber in color.

Their front legs are straight and heavy and their feet are webbed to aid in swimming. Clumbers have dewclaws which may or may not be removed. Docking of the tail is a common practice, although it is illegal in many parts of Europe.

They have a medium-length, thick coat that requires daily brushing and mostly white in color with orange or lemon colored markings at the ears, eyes or head. Some Clumbers have spots on their muzzles which resemble freckles, which are undesirable in the show ring but do not disqualify a Clumber from being a companion.

Size and Weight

The ideal height for a Clumber Spaniel is 18 to 20 inches at the withers for males and 17 to 19 inches for females. Males should weigh between 70 and 85 pounds, while females will weigh in slightly lighter- between 55 and 70.

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The Clumber is rectangular in shape possessing massive bone structure and has the appearance of great power. The ideal height for dogs is 18 to 20 inches at the withers and for bitches is 17 to 19 inches at the withers.

The ideal length to height is 11 to 9 measured from the withers to the base of the tail and from the floor to the withers. Dogs weigh between 70 and 85 pounds and bitches weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.

Coat and Color

The Clumber’s coat is medium in length, thick, straight and soft. It lies flat against the body except on the ears, legs and belly, where they have light feathering. The longer frill of hair at the neck is often called the Clumber’s apron. Show Clumbers are not to be shaved or trimmed other than the feet, tail and back legs, as a natural appearance is desirable.

Clumbers are mostly white with orange or lemon colored markings at the ears, eyes or head. Some Clumbers have spots on their muzzles which resemble freckles, which are undesirable in the show ring but do not disqualify a Clumber from being a companion.

Grooming Needs

Clumbers shed year round, and during season changes can shed quite heavily. Brushing should be conducted on a daily basis to minimize debris around the house, as well as removing loose hair from the dog’s body. Trimming may be done on the rear legs, tail or feet and a breeder can teach the proper technique.

The white coloring of the Clumber can make the dog appear dirty more often than he looks clean. But regular bathing won’t damage the dog’s coat, as long as the shampoo is made for dogs and is a gentle formula for frequent baths.

A Clumber’s ears should be checked every week for signs of irritation and infection. Because the ears hang, they can be prone to wax and bacterial build up. Use only a veterinarian-approved solution when cleaning a dog’s ears. Teeth should be brushed weekly to prevent bad breath, gum disease and tooth loss, and if the dog goes not naturally wear down his toenails, monthly trimmings may be required.

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Clumber Spaniel – History and Health

History

The history of the Clumber Spaniel is unclear. Current thinking is that the breed was developed by hunters and gamekeepers in the latter part of the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries – who bred dogs to fit function to practical demands. The breed name comes from the Duke of Newcastle’s estate at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire, England.

A number of titled families and local gentry hunted in that area, known as “the Dukeries,” with Clumber Spaniels, and apparently bred them with the Duke’s dogs to create this fine hunting spaniel.

Old pictures of this breed depict them almost always as white and orange, with less bone and smaller heads than today’s breed. Clumbers were first shown in England in 1859. The breed came to North America in 1844, coming to Canada with a Lieutenant in Her Majesty’s 97th Regiment stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The first Clumber recognized by the American Kennel Club was in 1878, six years before the American Kennel Club was founded.

It is clear is that the breed was created to be low to the ground in order to quickly search through the underbrush while on the hunt. Its low and rolling gait was developed for endurance instead of agility or speed. This is a gentle, loyal and affectionate dog with an intrinsic desire to please.

Health

Clumbers have a life expectancy of between 10 and 12 years, but they are prone to health problems which include dysplasia, skin allergies, ectropion, entropion, and a tendency to become obese. These are not high energy dogs, and they move at a pretty slow pace, but they do require daily walks to keep their weight under control and to alleviate boredom.

Clumber Spaniel – Temperament & Personality

Personality

Clumber Spaniels are odd-looking, bottom heavy dogs who usually have no idea just how big they really are. They will try to climb on laps, or will lay on feet, with complete disregard for the comfort level of the person they are smothering.

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They are a happy breed, eager to greet anyone and everyone at the door. Clumbers are not guard dogs, they’ll happily walk away with a stranger if you aren’t paying attention.

Excited Clumbers will pick up the nearest item that will fit in their mouths and shake their entire rear end while tail-wagging, which can lead to hours of laughter. They are polite dogs who rarely make a nuisance of themselves and would much rather sunbathe than alert you that the mailman is approaching.

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Activity Requirements

Clumbers are very lazy indoors and may need a bit of prodding to leave the house, but don’t let their laziness fool you – Clumbers need lots of activity. Luckily, their requirement is easy to fulfill. Daily brisk walks will do it, as Clumbers are not runners.

They love to fetch, and can be entertained for hours with a ball and someone willing to throw. They can be raised in the city or the suburbs, though city dwellers should have a large enough living space that this “bull in a china shop” can move around in without knocking things over.

Trainability

Clumbers are moderately easy to train. Positive reinforcement and a lot of treats are the only way to get a Clumber to do what you want them to do, but they pick up on commands quickly when they learn there is food in the deal.

Treating a Clumber with a harsh hand will result in his absolute refusal to move. A Clumber who doesn’t appreciate a trainer’s tone will sit down and refuse to go any farther, so patience and enthusiasm must always be employed. Consistency is also very important when training a Clumber. They are like teenagers, always looking for a loophole in the rules and will test boundaries daily.

Behavioral Traits

Clumbers are easy-going companions with very few behavioral problems as a breed. Separation Anxiety can lead to destructive behaviors, however. Proper exercise and mental stimulation can keep anxiety from developing.

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