Sussex Spaniel

Home > Dog Breeds > Sussex Spaniel
35-45 lbs
The Sussex spaniel’s name originated from the city in England that housed the first kennel of the breed, owned by Mr. Fuller, who developed the rich golden color. These spaniels are mentioned in sporting magazines as early as 1820 due to their hard-working nature and hunting skills.
small game tracking and flushing
Date of Origin
gundog, spaniel

Sussex Spaniel Health

Average Size
Height: 13-15 inches Weight: 35-45 lbs
Height: 13-15 inches Weight: 35-45 lbs
Minor Concerns
  • Intervertebral Disc Syndrome
  • Otitis Externa
  • Heart Mumor
  • Enlarged Heart
Occasional Tests
  • Cardiac

Sussex Spaniel Breed History

Phineas Bullock, developer of the Field Spaniel, also did some work with the Sussex. This breed was initially used as a hunting companion at a time when hunting on foot along with the large quantity of game made the dog a satisfactory choice of hunting companion. However the slow speed and tendency to bark caused the Sussex to lose support from hunters who preferred a quiet breed. In addition, American hunters faced different conditions than overseas and preferred a faster breed. Even though it was one of the first breeds recognized by the AKC and an early competitor at dog shows, the Sussex spaniel has been close to extinction throughout most of the 20 th century. The breed had such a limited number that in 1954 a cross with the clumber spaniel was made in an attempt to expand the gene pool. Even though it was a success, the Sussex remains an extremely rare AKC breed. This spaniel may be slow moving, but it has a great nose and is a determined hunter. He is not too difficult to train and can be taught to be a great retriever as well.

Sussex Spaniel Breed Appearance

The Sussex spaniel has a rectangular shape and is low to the ground. Its massive build allows the breed to enter dense cover while hunting. It has a wide body with short legs resulting in a slow, but powerful gait. Its wagging tail reveals its amicable spirit, which its somber expression attempts to hide. The Sussex has loose skin and a feathered tail and legs. A unique feature of the Sussex spaniel is the feather between the toes that covers the toenail. Its coat is flat without curls and shaded in a rich golden liver color that tapers to a golden at the tips.

Sussex Spaniel Breed Maintenance

As an average shedder, the Sussex requires regular brushing several times weekly. Its coat should be trimmed every few months, and its ears and pads of its feet should be cleaned regularly. This spaniel needs regular exercise such as a walk on a leash or a game in the yard. Sussex spaniels like swimming and retrieval games. It does well as an outside pet in temperate climates provided it has a warm shelter and preferably a fenced yard, however it does even better as housedog with access to a yard. The Sussex spaniel is a quick learner with a mind of its own – meaning that training should be steady and consistent.

Sussex Spaniel Breed Activity Requirements

The Sussex Spaniel has a lower energy level than most spaniels, making it a slow and easygoing companion. Even with its calm demeanor, the Sussex is still quite cheerful and friendly, although it maintains a somber and serious expression. It is quite skilled at hunting, however it tends to bark which makes it less popular among serious hunters. It is smart and determined, but not outgoing. It tends to howl or bark, especially if left alone for a long time. The Sussex spaniel loves everyone and does well with children, especially if raised with them. It is also good with other pets, however it may be bossy.