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 :
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.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 8 - Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs
Section 2 : Flushing Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Clumber Spaniel
Female : Between 17 and 18 in
Male : Between 18 and 19 in
Female : Between 55 and 64 lb
Male : Between 64 and 75 lb
White, white and orange.
Type of coat
Abundant, tight, silky and straight. Medium-length.
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.
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.
The Clumber is very loyal and loving by nature. This big dog loves strokes and is extremely affectionate towards his favourite people.
He is much slower and larger than his fellow spaniels, and is therefore not the best playmate.
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.
This dog has a high level of intelligence. He can quickly pick up basic obedience commands.
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
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.
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
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
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.
A generally quiet breed.
Tendency to run away
Although his hunting instincts remain, he is not really an adventurous dog.