The Sussex Spaniel is a rectangularly shaped dog with short legs. The appearance is similar to a Clumber Spaniel but the Sussex has a unique liver-colored coat. The body is muscular and rather massive. The expression of the face is rather somber and serious appearing with slightly drooping eyes and a furrowed brow. The ears are set low, feathered and long. The tail is customarily docked to 5-7" in the U.S. When left natural, it is long and feathered. The nose is wide and liver colored. The eyes are large and hazel colored.
The Sussex Spaniel was developed in Sussex, England in the early 1800's to hunt small game in difficult terrain with lots of undergrowth. The breed was one of the original nine breeds first admitted to the AKC in 1884. The Sussex Spaniel was nearly wiped out in England during World War II. Joy Freer is credited for saving the breed by sustaining eight of them during the war. The breed has more of a following in the United States than anywhere in the world but is still considered a rare and endangered breed. A Sussex Spaniel won best of show at the Westminster Dog Show in 2009.
The Sussex Spaniel has a cheerful, friendly personality in spite of their rather somber expression. They can be stubborn if allowed to be dominant. If he knows his proper place in the family, this is a wonderful companion. Can be prone to barking, so must be trained that one bark is sufficient notification. They are relatively calm indoors when given their daily walk. Can be trusted with children, cats and other dogs. This dog does well as a service companion.
Breed Club Links: Sussex Spaniel Club of America
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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.