Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniel
Clumber Spaniel

The largest of the spaniel breeds, the Clumber Spaniel is a large, heavy-bodied dog. His name is taken from Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire, where this breed was first developed. The Clumber Spaniel was first used as a gun dog and specialised in tracking prey through dense countryside. This is a gentle and loyal breed, which can be a little aloof around strangers. 


Key facts about the Clumber Spaniel

  • Life expectancy : Between 10 and 12 years
  • Temperament : Calm
  • Size : Medium
  • Type of coat : Long
  • Price : Between £600 and £900

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 8 - Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs


Section 2 : Flushing Dogs

Physical characteristics of the Clumber Spaniel

Adult size

Female dog Between 17 and 18 in
Male dog Between 18 and 19 in


Female dog Between 55 and 64 lb
Male dog Between 64 and 75 lb

Coat colour

White, white and orange. 

Type of coat

Abundant, tight, silky and straight. Medium-length.

Eye colour

Brown, orange.


The Clumber is a very special spaniel, and different from his cousins. A large, heavy-set dog with a long, dense coat, and a low tail, he has a big, square head, flat ears that hang forward, and a soft and thoughtful expression. His body is chunky and barrel shaped, with short, stubby legs. 



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The Clumber is very loyal and loving by nature. This big dog loves strokes and is extremely affectionate towards his favourite people. 


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He is much slower and larger than his fellow spaniels, and is therefore not the best playmate.


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An adult Clumber Spaniel is a relaxed house-dog. However, the puppies are extremely active. They also mature slowly, displaying puppyish behaviour well into the 2nd and 3rd years.


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This dog has a high level of intelligence. He can quickly pick up basic obedience commands.


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This is a natural hunter with excellent tracking abilities. Even for a dog, the Clumber Spaniel has a superb sense of smell. Nowadays, however, he is more often seen as a companion or show dog.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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Despite his imposing physiques, the Clumber is actually quite shy and timid around people he doesn’t know, especially if he has not been properly socialised.


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This big dog does have its independent side. Start training as early as possible, otherwise he might become difficult to handle. He tends to become devotedly attached to a particular member of the family.

Behaviour of the Clumber Spaniel

Tolerates solitude

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The Clumber Spaniel was bred to live and work around people. He needs lots of company and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. It takes time and consistency for him to get used to being calm in the absence of his humans.

Easy to train / obedience

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This dog is fairly easy to train. He should be educated from an early age, with firmness and gentleness, consistency and respect. This is a dog who quickly understands what is expected of him.


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A generally quiet breed.

Tendency to run away

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Although his hunting instincts remain, he is not really an adventurous dog.


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This big dog is very calm, and will not be destructive, even when the masters are away.

Greedy / Gluttony

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For obvious reasons, big dogs have big appetites. Pay attention, or his waistline will grow quickly!

Guard dog

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He is a poor guardian because he is kind to everyone and barks very little.

First dog

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He is a very good choice for a first dog, because he is both cheerful and calm. He is docile, well-balanced, and pleasant to live with in everyday life.


Clumber Spaniel in a flat

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He can easily adapt to all lifestyles, and is as comfortable in the city as in the country. As long as his needs are met he is happy.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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A good 30 min walk each day will keep this big dog in good shape. Don’t over-exercise him as a puppy. Big dogs tend to develop a lot slower than smaller canines. Too much exercise can damage their growing bones.

Travelling / easy to transport

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Travel requires organization, especially on public transport, but it is possible. 


Clumber Spaniel and cats

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He can easily coexist with a cat, especially if he has known it from a young age.

Clumber Spaniel and dogs

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The Clumber Spaniel is a great choice for owners who already have dogs.He also responds well to any new dogs that are brought into the family home. 

Clumber Spaniel and children

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This is a really good dog for families with children

Clumber Spaniel and the elderly

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His temperament allows him to live comfortably with the elderly.


Between £600 for Non KC Registered dogs, and £900 for KC Registered dogs. Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £90 to £140 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


His coat requires lots of grooming. He needs to be brushed every few days to avoid knots, and trimmed once every few weeks.


Moderate shedder

Nutrition of the Clumber Spaniel

A carefully monitored diet is important to avoid weight gain. Two rations a day is good, but he should absolutely not be allowed self-service.

Health of the Clumber Spaniel

Life expectancy

This is a generally healthy breed, with an average life expectancy of 11 years.

Strong / robust

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The Clumber Spaniel is a big, strong, and sturdy animal, who can nevertheless have various health issues.

Withstand heat

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Because of his thick coat, the Clumber can suffer from heat sensitivity. Keep him in the cool during the hottest parts of the day. 

Withstand cold

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He has a thick dense coat that keeps him warm and dry through the winter, but he must have a shelter if he lives in the garden.

Tendency to put on weight

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Older Clumbers tend to pile on a few extra pounds. As they age, they become less active. Reduce food intake accordingly. 

Common illnesses

Good to know

Clumbers have a tendency to drool a lot. They’re also big snorers. 

Clumbers often have difficulties giving birth. Many require C-sections.

Origins and history

Not much is known about these dogs before the mid 19th century. 

Some reports claim that they originated in France when the little-known Spaniel of the Alps crossed with the French Bassets. At the end of the 18th century, when the French Revolution broke out, the Duke of Noailles sent his dogs to England to save them. The friend who received these dogs was the second Duke of Newcastle at Clumber Park, hence the name of the breed. 

However, some authors maintain that this is only a legend and that this dog is instead of English origin. The Duke of Newcastle is indeed already represented on a painting from 1788 with three dogs that look like Clumber Spaniels and who could very well be the ancestors of this dog. They were a popular choice for members of the British Royal Family. Illustrious owners include Prince Albert, Edward VII, and George V. 

They were introduced into Canada and the USA in 1844 and were one of the first ten breeds to be recognised by the American Kennel Club. 


Snowy, Frank, Pearl, Precious

Find out more dog name ideas here


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