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Sussex Spaniel
Winner 2009 Westminster Dog Show!

Sussex Spaniel sporting dog

Background and Description

The Sussex Spaniel is a somewhat rare breed though it has a long-standing history in the county of Sussex in England, where it was developed during the eighteenth century.

During World War II, it could have been in danger of extinction were it not for the efforts of Joy Freer, who kept the breed going from a small gene pool.

The Sussex was originally bred for hunting in the field as a gun dog.

His appearance is long and low in profile and supports a solidly built compact body covered with a very full coat. It is no coincidence that his physical attributes and full furnishings are well suited for flushing game in dense undergrowth. As a result, he has earned an excellent reputation in the field.

This is a lovely dog with a demeanor that is calm and gentle and a character that is steady and loyal.


Height:13 to 15-1/2 inches
Weight: 40-45 lbs.
Color variations: Golden Liver

sussex spaniel garden flag sussex spaniel garden flag

Coat and Care:

The Sussex Spaniel has an abundant coat with a good amount of feathering on the ears, legs, underside and tail. The hair around the eyebrows is also rather pronounced.

The coat is easily taken care of with a thorough brushing about twice a week. Also, the ears should be checked inside for signs of parasites or infection and kept clean and free of excessive hair.

Personality and Traits:

The Sussex Spaniel's personality is not quite as exuberant as others in the spaniel family. He is very loving and sociable with everyone and has definite protective traits toward his family, but is otherwise a more calm and docile companion.

Out in the field is a different matter. The Sussex comes into his own as a hunter extraordinaire with nose to the ground and enthusiasm in high gear. If kept mainly as a family pet, his needs for exploring the great outdoors should not be overlooked.

Training a Sussex mainly requires consistency and patience. There is no lack of intelligence, but a wee bit of stubbornness.

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Activity Level:

This dog needs a fair amount of regular exercise to keep from becoming overweight. Some of this can be met by romping in the back yard as well as opportunities to have a swim.

Space Needs:

The Sussex is very adaptable and will live quite happily in either house or apartment if exercise needs are met.


An excellent companion for older children, being both a calm and gentle breed. However, they do need to be well-socialized as a puppy and given obedience training. As with any breed of dog, interactions with children should always be supervised by an adult.


The Sussex Spaniel, loyal, loving and calm in nature, is an ideal breed for the elderly. Having someone available to exercise the dog is the only necessary condition.

Share Your Knowledge And Dog Pictures

Do you have a Sussex Spaniel? If you do, we know you must be proud to own this calm and somewhat rare dog breed.

We would love for you to share your dog's pictures and his story as well as your knowledge about the breed in general.

You can upload photos and tell your dog's story here. For inspiration, read some of the stories already submitted by other dog lovers.

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Book Recommendations:

Sussex Spaniel: A Complete and Reliable Handbook (Rare Breed) sussex spaniel owner guide Sussex Spaniel, A Reliable Handbook
Current information about the care and training of this unique and intelligent sporting dog. Covers breed history, characteristics and pet attributes, breed Standard, grooming, puppy, care, housetraining, nutrition and feeding, basic obedience training and proper health care. Many color photos.

Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs dr. pitcairn dog health book
Read This Excellent Book
In Paperback Or
On Your Kindle

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