The Clumber spaniel has a rather murky history. People just aren’t sure whether this dog is from France, England, or Spain. Nevertheless, it has developed into a popular, unique, and recognizable breed across the world. In this guide, we will study the breed’s history, standards, temperament, and all other details that will come in handy when raising a Clumber spaniel.
Cool facts about the Clumber Spaniel
- Clumber spaniels were bred as specialized hunters.
- There are many theories about their origins: some believe it came from a Basset and an Alpine spaniel cross. Others believe that the ancient Blenheim spaniel may be an ancestor of the breed.
- At the beginning of the French Revolution, a number of spaniels were moved from France into kennels in Clumber Park, Nottingham, England. And that is the origin of their name.
- Clumber spaniels were brought to America during the colonial days; it was one among the first nine breeds to be recognized by the AKC.
- The famous 19th century painting The New Keeper by C. Burton Barber depicts several Clumbers as lively hunters and companion dogs. They make great muses and many paintings have depicted these dogs.
- Prince Albert, the prince consort of Queen Victoria, was a fancier of this breed.
Males stand at 18-20 inches and bitches are about 17-19 inches at withers. Female Clumbers weigh between 50-65 lb and males between about 70-85 lb. Ideal coat color is white with lemon or orange markings on the head, legs, and ears, although fewer the markings, the better it is for show dogs. The coat is dense, water-resistant, and straight and flat.
Clumbers are affectionate and loyal dogs. They are often portrayed as lazy and inactive but, in reality, they love to play and exercise. Clumbers responds to affection with loyalty and protectiveness. They are stoic at the veterinary clinic but may urinate when excited or frightened.
This is a ‘doggy dog’ meaning he won’t be lying in the corner all day but would be ‘in your face’. Clumbers do possess certain qualities that potential owners need to be aware of as these behaviors may not go down well in all households. For example, they have a tendency to gain weight which can bring about many health issues. They are also heavy shedders. Naturally, they need a strict owner, a healthy diet, regular grooming, and plenty of exercise. They also have a tendency to drool especially after drinking water. Many Clumbers snore heavily but most dog owners find that endearing.
More than anything else, the Clumber spaniel is a fun-loving dog and he wants his antics to be rewarded with affection and praise. Every chance he gets, he will be kissing you or showing affection in other ways like leaning over you. You can rarely forget that there is a Clumber in your room and he would most likely be sleeping on your bed or your couch.
Clumbers love people and they won’t hesitate to show their affection by jumping on people and licking them. They also have a distinct characteristic feature of making a ‘U-shape’ with their bodies and shaking their rear when they are excited, happy, or want to greet someone! These qualities do not make them great guard dogs or watchdogs. Also, they are not loud barkers and might as well escort the intruder right into your home!
Being hunting dogs and also due to a bit of ‘retriever’ skills, they will always pick up something in their mouth and carry it around, be it a toy, your shoe, a bone or a towel. Worry not: they won’t destroy it; they just want their owner’s praise and affection. In short: this dog will bring a lot of love and sunshine in your world. They will never fail to wag their tails the moment you walk into the room; as if their owner is their gift. ‘Being partners’ with their humans is the ultimate purpose of this breed’s life.
Training a Clumber Spaniel
Clumbers are clever dogs and they will learn most basic commands except the ones that conflict with their activity or inactivity at the moment. As with most breeds, early and consistent training practices will work well with a Clumber. They are known to perform well in obedience and track-events and perform their hunting and retrieving duties with great enthusiasm.
Socialization is very important for this dog. It is important that owners introduce their dog to new people and pets. One of the best ways to meet other people and dogs is by taking him daily for walks in the dog parks.
Here are some training tips for successfully training your Clumber:
- Whether on a leash or off, always train in a secure, fenced area
- Begin training from an early age.
- Use treats and rewards; never shout or hit your pet.
- Be consistent in training. Use one-word commands and be clear in your instructions.
- It is a good idea to enroll your pet in obedience classes or puppy kindergarten. This way; he will know how to interact with other dogs favorably.
While Clumber spaniels cannot be described as athletic, they are certainly not as lazy as they are thought to be. They will happily spend their time sleeping at your feet on the couch but all they really want is to be a part of all family activities. Walking and playing fetch with their owners are activities that Clumbers love and both constitute good exercise. Clumbers can play fetch for hours as they have inherent retrieving skills. Since they have a tendency to gain weight, you must make sure to exercise your pet at least twice a day.
Where to find a Clumber Spaniel
If you are convinced that a clumber spaniel is right for you; then you can begin your search for a good Clumber spaniel breeder first. You can look for a Clumber spaniel rescue dog by contacting shelters nearby. If you decide to buy your pet from a breeder, begin your search on the website of the Clumber spaniel Club of America. Here you can find a list of reputed breeders near you. Contact a couple of breeders and ask to see their dogs and kennels. Their dogs should appear well-groomed and friendly. If possible, ask to see the litter. Most breeders won’t release the puppy until it is about 10 weeks of age. The average price of a clumber spaniel is $1500.
Grooming your Clumber Spaniel
The breed’s shedding can be controlled with regular brushing. You must pay attention to your dog’s eyes during grooming. If tear staining has occurred, wipe it down with special eye-cleaning products. Check your pet’s ears from time to time. Bathe your pet once a month using vet-approved shampoos.
Canine hip dysplasia is a serious issue in the breed, though good breeding programs are trying to minimize this issue. Anasarca is a serious congenital disorder reported frequently in Clumbers: it causes severe edema due to cardio-lymphatic defect. Allergic dermatitis and food hypersensitivities are also reported in the breed. Atopic dermatitis may occur due to pollen, fleas, or other allergens and can lead to rough, itchy, and oozing skin. The average life-span of this good-natured dog is 10-12 years.