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Sussex Spaniel Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Sussex Spaniel is a pretty pup, that’s for sure. With that shiny, long coat, and pointy nose, he looks like a stoic beauty. But he’s not as sad as he looks, that’s for sure. You see, the Sussex spaniel dog breed is more talkative but somehow less friendly than other spaniels.

Now don’t get us wrong…

We here at IndulgeYourPet love the Sussex Spaniel dog breed but remember not all purebreds are the right pet for everyone. So, before you get in a long-term pet-owner relationship with a Sussex Spaniel, you want to be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into which is why we decided to write this article so that if you’re ever given the opportunity to make one of these awesome dogs your own, you’ll know for sure if it’s going to be a good idea or not.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Sussex Spaniel Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: England

Original Purpose: Small game tracking and hunting

Height: 13 to 17 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 30 to 45 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Sporting group

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Origin of the Sussex Spaniel

The Sussex Spaniel dog breed is a somewhat old dog breed that dates back to the late 17th century, where these guys became quite popular in and around Sussex county England.  Here, they were mainly breed by two men named Moses Woolland and Campbell Newington.  And while these two gentlemen didn’t work together per say, they were both quite successful in creating a wildly popular dog breed that was very much appreciated for his hunting abilities.


What made the Sussex Spaniel good at what he does which is the slow and methodical approach to the hunt along with his ability to alert his owner that he was on a scent ultimately proved his undoing in that over time, hunters began to prefer quicker more “stealthy” dog breeds.


But this time, these guys also became appreciated for their personality as well and were ultimately able to transition into the role of companion animal as well which is probably why the breed still exists today.

You see…

Like with most European dogs (yes, we know that the UK is no longer in the EU!), the Sussex Spaniel faced a major decline during and after WWI. However, somehow the dog sustained, thanks to Joy Freer and eventually made their way to the USA right before the Great Depression, but to be honest, nobody seemed to care.


Despite how much they are loved by their owners, the Sussex Spaniel is still one of the rarest breeds in America. The American Kennel Club (AKC) ranks the popularity of their breeds. Out of 157 breeds & varieties they rank, the Sussex Spaniel is 154 in terms of popularity (or should we say, pup-ularity).

Physical Characteristics of the Sussex Spaniel

This dog was bred by breeders mostly for their look, though they were occasionally used for hunting. But their short legs and long fur coat makes them more of a pretty dog then a working dog. They have a brown silky coat, and are usually a bit heavyset for their overall size.

Sussex Spaniels also…

Have long, majestic ears and a sad look on their face. But looks can be deceiving; these pups are mellow but not depressed.


Because they have longer hair, of course you will need to brush it more than some of the short haired dogs out there. It may be tempting to cut their hair super short or even shave, but this isn’t a good idea.

And we should also…

Point out that this dog looks very similar to the Clumber. However, there’s a pretty distinct difference in their coloring (Clumbers are white, Sussex spaniels are golden-brown).

Temperament of Sussex Spaniel

They may seem like they don’t have any energy, but get this dog outside and you’ll see him or her come alive! He’ll be playing and having a great time. This is when you’ll really see it is a field spaniel. This is important too, because of his chunky shape; he needs to do exercise to keep healthy.

One thing to note is…

That this is a somewhat stubborn breed of dog. Some of that can be controlled if you get them when they are puppies and start the training early. But, of course some of their natural disposition can’t be eradicated. No matter how young of a puppy, you will not be able to totally weed out their strong will, so expect a bit of push back sometimes. This doesn’t have to be something serious – it can be as simple as not wanting to finish a walk or resisting to go to a room when you tell him or her to do so.

Despite this…

We should remind folks that “usually” the Sussex Spaniel are great family pets since they are calm and okay indoors.

Health of Sussex Spaniel

If you get any breed of dog from reputable breeders, your chances of facing serious genetic health problems is much, much less. A responsible breeder will have made sure to get healthy dogs for each litter, and this wipes out some of the genetic problems any particular breed might be prone to.

The best way to…

Increase the chances of a healthy dog is to make sure he/she comes from parents that have certifications from health organizations. For example, the Canine Eye Registry Foundation and Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. These two things will really help.

Despite this…

Your dog still could have a genetic problem that results in sickness. Some examples are:

Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA): a heart disease. Your vet will recommend surgery to fix this.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): back problems. If the situation isn’t too bad, your dog may just need anti-inflammatory medications. However, if it is pretty bad, then he’ll need surgery.

Pulmonic Stenosis: another type of heart disease. Your dog will need medication or surgery (or both!).

Ear Infections: This is a common problem and not too serious. However, you will have to get him treated because it’s painful for your pup. This is a recurring problem and because of this, it can get expensive – every trip to the vet’s will be $100-200. If your dog has an ear infection once a year, that’s a lot of money over the course of his life!

To Get a Sussex Spaniel or Not?

This is really a personal choice. Do you think he’ll fit in and jive with your family? Like finding a mate, you have to see if your personality matches up. That may sound silly, but it’s definitely true. What are you expecting out of your dog, and what will this breed offer? Do you have lifestyles that match up? For example, if you want a dog that’s going to run for 5 miles a day with you, it’s probably not a Sussex Spaniel. However, if you want a chilled out dog that may like 15 minutes of fetch, this is one to consider.

One thing’s for sure…

No matter what breed of dog you decide to get, be sure to get him or her insured. Even if you think your dog runs zero risk of getting a genetic disease, he or she may have an accident or get an unexpected infection. He or she might also just get general sicknesses associated with age. Whatever the reason, if your dog gets sick you will want to give him or her the best healthcare possible.

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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