Sussex Spaniel

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Sussex Spaniel

The Sussex Spaniel is a breed of dog native to Sussex in southern England and was bred to flush birds into the air for hunters. They are low-but-steady hunters and congenial housedogs and the frowning expression of them is delightfully at odds with a typically cheerful nature.

Other Names Sussex
Color Golden Liver
Height Males: 14-16 inches. Females: 13-15 inches.
Weight Males: 45-51 pounds. Females: 35-46 pounds.
Life Span 13-15 years
Personality Friendly, Merry, Even-Tempered
Exercise Regular Exercise
Popularity #176
Groom Needs 2-3 Times a Week
Kids Friendly Yes with supervision
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog
Family Dog Yes
Litter Size 5-8

Sussex Spaniel Pictures

Sussex Spaniel Video


The Sussex Spaniel may not appear much of a dog package for its low-set body, but it is a hardy, stocky and compact spaniel dog with a unique howl at the sight of a quarry, which is lacking in other spaniel breeds. The Sussex Spaniel makes a good family pet, endearing and out-going. It enjoys the company of people and makes good companions for children. A physical hallmark of the breed is their liver-colored coats. They are indeed very energetic, although quite difficult to train. They come in a thick coat, with feathering around the chest, ears, and legs. The undercoat is weather-resistant, while the topcoat is silky to the touch.

In general, Sussex Spaniels are normally 12-15 inches tall, measured from shoulder to paw, and would tip the weighing scale towards 35-50 pounds. They have been classified in the Sporting Group by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Sussex Spaniels have a life expectancy of 12-15 years, on average.

Living with Sussex Spaniel

Sussex Spaniels are moderate shedders and daily brushing is helpful to keep loose hair under control and keep the coat healthy. No trimming or clipping id required for the Sussex Spaniels, but it is suggested to trim the hair on and around the feet to keep them looking tidy. And bathe a Sussex as needed, which will vary depending upon the individual dog’s activity level. Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax buildup. Other grooming needs include dental hygiene and nail care. Brush your dog’s teeth several times a week to remove tartar buildup and prevent gum disease. Trim the nails once or twice a month, or as needed.

The Sussex Spaniel should not have strenuous exercise until he is at least a year old. Exercising too early can damage the growth plated because they are slow-growing dogs. And puppies should be allowed to self-exercise by playing. The adult Sussex Spaniels require 20-30 minutes of daily exercise to keep them in the best condition. They should be given a daily walk as well as plenty of outdoor play time. Without enough exercise, the dogs would get behavior problems. Sussex can suit to living indoors if there is a safely fenced yard for him to keep a watchful eye on birds, squirrels, and other wildlife.

Generally, it is recommended to feed the Sussex Spaniel with two cups of high-quality dry dog food every day, divided into two meals. And there should be clean and fresh water at all times. More importantly, the food amount should depend on the dog’s weight, size, age, and activity level. 

Some dogs are easy to get overweight, so you need to watch their calorie consumption and weight level all the time. Treats may be an important aid in training, but excessive intake can lead to obesity. Also, owners need to distinguish which human food is safe for dogs and which are not. If you have any problems with your dog’s weight or diet, just consult from your veterinarian.

The Sussex Spaniels are prone to the following health conditions: hip dysplasia, retinal dysplasia, ear infections, congenital deafness, patent ductus arteriosus, hypothyroidism, pulmonary stenosis, distichiasis, heart problems, etc.

Major concerns: intervertebral disk disease, CHD

Minor concerns: heart murmurs, otitis externa, enlarged heart

Occasionally seen: PDP1

Total Annual Cost: $2889

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

It may be a challenge to train the Sussex Spaniels because the members of this breed have a mind of their own. They are intelligent and can learn quickly, but consistency and patience are necessary to see the training fully succeed. And the owner should strive to convey to the dog clearly what they want, and give the dog lots of praise when he gets it right.

Sussex Spaniels tend to let their voices ring out when hunting unlike other spaniels, and this carries over into home life as well. So the owner needs to focus on training the dog respond to a “hush” command or teach him that one bark is enough.


The Sussex Spaniel originated in the Southern England region of Sussex. They had only been developed in 1792 and made it into the Kennel Club studbook in 1872, and subsequently recognized by the American Kennel Club on its establishment in 1884. However, the history of the Sussex Spaniel is widely believed to be one of the oldest amongst spaniels, even older than the Field Spaniel, English Springer Spaniels and Norfolk Spaniel. They have even been likened to the Clumber Spaniel, which is, itself, a very old breed. The Sussex Spaniel had probably begun its historic journey in Goodwood, West Sussex, however, there are records of a breeder, by the name of Augustus Edward Fuller, of East Sussex, (specifically Rose Hill) who is thought to have developed a foundation stock for Sussex Spaniels, in England.

The Sussex Spaniel was originally bred as a specialized gundog apt for rough, undulating terrains covered with dense undergrowth. They had earned their feed in that capacity for ages and soon gained a high level of popularity in all of England. However, the Sussex Spaniel couldn’t keep the top spot for long when civilization came creeping in on crude agricultural and sporting practices. Also, as is true of many other old breeds, the Second World War brought a plummet to the seething numbers of Sussex Spaniels in the 1940s, so much that it took the intervention of Joy Freer, who was undeterred by restrictions on breeding at the time, to rescue the breed from disappearing. All modern Sussex are linked to the dogs Joy had rescued at that time.

Although the Sussex Spaniel started out quite popular in England and America, its days of fame had been slowly blighted along the line of history. 

Helpful Information


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