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Clumber Spaniel

 Photo of Clumber Spaniel
Photo: Wikipedia

Clumber Spaniel Books

Group: Gundog - Breed Standard

History

The breed's history is uncertain before the middle of the 19th century. One theory is that it originated in France, stating that the Duc de Noailles at the time of the French Revolution gave his kennel of prized spaniels to the Duke of Newcastle at Clumber Park in Nottingham. Another theory holds that it was developed in Britain from older breeds of hunting spaniels, perhaps by crossing them with Bassets or St. Hubert's hounds. What is certain is that the breed took its name from Clumber Park and that the Duke of Newcastle's gamekeeper, William Mansell, is credited with their development and improvement. Prince Albert, the Prince consort of Queen Victoria, was a fancier and promoter of the breed, as was his son King Edward VII, who bred them at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk. The breed was shown in England from 1859 onward. They are referred to in Queen Victoria's diary: on October 16, 1840, she wrote, "Walked out directly after breakfast before Albert went to shoot. He had his 7 fine Clumber Spaniels with us and we went into the Slopes, with such a funny old Gamekeeper, Walters, in order that I should see how the dogs found out their game. They are such dear, nice dogs."

Sh. Ch. Raycroft Socialite, bred by Rae Furness and owned by Ralph Dunne of County Cavan, Ireland, won the coveted honor of Best In Show at the 1991 Crufts Centenary Show.

Description

A long and heavy-bodied, low-stationed spaniel, it stands only 17 to 20 inches (43-51 cm) in height but weighs from 55 to 85 pounds (35-38.5 kg). The Clumber has heavier bone than other spaniels, a massive head with a hound-like face and expression, a deep muzzle, large square nose, and broad low-set ears. His coat is dense, weather-resistant, straight, and flat. Clumbers are predominantly white in colour with lemon or orange markings.

Character/Temperament

The Clumber is a serious gundog still, not as fast as some, but is an excellent when upland hunting in heavy cover and a good retriever when trained. He is also an excellent tracker. His temperament is described as gentle, loyal and affectionate, but dignified and aloof with strangers. Disadvantages of owning a Clumber are said to be constant shedding, snoring, drooling, especially after a drink of water, and an incredible inventiveness for raiding kitchen counters, cabinets, and even the refrigerator. Puppies are especially curious and inventive. The combination of a very people-focused disposition and a strong urge to carry something has led to many missing shoes and other articles of clothing.

When hunting, the Clumber's flush is softer than that of the English Springer Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel. This "English flush", as it is often called, is claimed by advocates to be more appropriate to flushing birds in heavy cover. Birds in heavy cover, the argument goes, have little chance of running. The more aggressive flush of the Springer and English Cockers could be necessary in open spaces, especially when pheasant hunting, as birds are more likely to run than flush in such circumstances.

Breed Health

Canine hip dysplasia has been a serious issue in this breed in the past. Diligent breeding programmes have reduced the incidence considerably in recent years. Other health issues are entropion and ectropion (turning inward or outward of the lower eyelid) and hypothyroidism.

Training

See our books on training


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Last link added: 09 Nov, 2006