Sussex Spaniel – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Sussex Spaniel is a breed to consider if you want a polite family dog. This dog is so polite, that they're mannerly even with strangers. Read on to discover more about this golden-coated breed.
Dog Breed Group:
Sporting Dogs
1 foot, 1 inch to 1 foot, 3 inches tall at the shoulder
35 to 45 pounds
Life Span:
11 to 14 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Sussex Spaniel is a popular dog best known for his unusual appearance.

They are low-built bord dogs with great strength and strong bodies. They have a one-of-a-kind golden liver color.

Native to Sussex in southern England, this breed was carefully developed to flush birds into the air. This compact dog is an old breed similar in appearance to the Clumber Spaniel.

Males have up to 15 inches, and a maximum of 45 pounds, while females are slightly smaller.

If treated right and cared for properly, the Sussex Spaniels can live up to 15 years, while the average is 13 years.

Keeping this breed’s coat clean and healthy will demand some time investment. Proper grooming of this breed includes occasional bathing, weekly brushing, and combing.

Grooming is a serious process here – the hair on the bottom of the feet should be trimmed to keep the dog from slipping. They shouldn’t be shaved unless it’s really necessary.

If you choose to shave your Sussex Spaniel you should know that it will take a long time for the coat to recover.

Quick Facts

Real name: Sussex Spaniel
Other names: Sussex
Origin: England
Breed type: Sporting Dogs
Weight: 35 to 45 pounds
Height: 1 foot, 1 inch to 1 foot, 3 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 11 to 14 years
Litter Size: 5 – 10 puppies
Color: Golden liver
Coat: Medium length and silku outer coat, with weather-resistant undercoat

Sussex Spaniel History

Sussex Spaniel is a fairly old breed.

These dogs first appeared in South East England, in the late 18th to early 19th century. Their development is tightly linked with the Fuller family – as Sussex dogs were first developed on Fuller’s estate.

The idea was to create a breed that is sturdily built and set low to the ground.

This way they would be thick enough to move slowly without being noticed.

From day one these powerful dogs were set as gun dogs to work in areas where the terrain is rough.

To create this breed, breeders used the Field Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniels.

Breeders wanted a new spaniel with a barking ability since giving tongue isn’t something common in most Spaniel breeds.

In 1872, the UK Kennel club recognized the Sussex Spaniel as an official breed, while the AKC recognized the breed in 1884.

Like with any other breed, the WWII period was very hard for this breed. In fact, that period was so hard for these dogs.

Luckily, the English breed Joy Freer decided to preserve the successful breed.

All Sussex Spaniels that we get to meet today are descended from the dogs she saved. The English Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1947.

All in all, this breed can be found across the globe, while they are mostly popular in the United Kingdom and the States.

Are Sussex Spaniels Rare?

Simply said, yes. Sussex Spaniels are considered to be rare dogs and getting one will take time.

This doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to get Sussex Spaniel, but it just means that you should focus on finding a responsible dog breeder.

Just to put into perspective how rare this breed is, you should know that back in 2011 only 52 Sussex Spaniels were registered to the UK Kennel Club.

Luckily, their numbers are increasing, but at more of a slow pace.

Sussex Spaniel Physical Apperance

Sussex Spaniel is a breed to easily recognize. They commonly come with a lavishing coat that only can be described as abundant.

Their coat should always be straight or slightly wavy, but never too curly, or anyhow curly.

Feathering is present on the tail and the legs down to the heel. Ears are larger in size and are always falling down.

Ears are also covered with soft and wavy hair. The neck is also covered with hair, known as a frill. As for the size, they usually have between 35 to 45 pounds and stand around 3 inches at the shoulder.

All in all, the Sussex Spaniel is a compact spaniel or golden liver-colored coat. This coat is somehow unique to the breed.

You may see Sussex Spaniels of black, black and tan, and even liver and white Spaniels.

Eyes are commonly hazel. Overall, this breed is a short and well-packed dog.

Sussex Spaniel Personality

If you want a calm breed that is great with children, the Sussex Spaniel is a breed to consider.

They are known for having something that may be described s clownish part o nature.

Yet, this behavior is what keeps them energetic and enthusiastic. This breed is always first to be around people and to do its best to keep everyone well-entertained.

If you are on the lookout for a therapy dog this breed is to consider having.

As family pets, they will adapt easily to almost any living space, but they may show some moments of stubbornness when it comes to training.

When on a walk, putting a leash on is a must, because this breed has an excellent nose. They will easily run toward nay exciting smell.

On the other hand, this powerful trait can be used to serve in dog sports or can be used to retrieve.

Do Sussex Spaniels Bark A Lot?

Sussex Spaniels are proud dogs. They take huge pride in being active and helpful companions.

They will enjoy human company and should be quiet unless a stranger is approaching your home. However, if left alone or anyhow neglected, these golden-coated dogs will choose to be extremely vocal.

Housebreak is also familiar with this breed.

Sussex Spaniel Training

Dogs are capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age, and Sussex Spaniel is no exception. That being said, you should start thinking about training before your Sussex Spaniel arrives.

Do you have experience as a dog owner?

If yes, you know that preparation is the key when it comes to welcoming your Sussex Spaniel. Have training toys, dog treats, and a well-planned training session.

Are you are a first time dog owner without any experience when it comes to training dogs?

If that is you, you should know that it’s OK to ask for support.

Do your research first. Learn how to structure training, what are the most important training items, and explore some indoor games ideas.

Make sure that you follow through vaccination schedule and arm yourself with enough patience.

Also, if training scares you think about hiring a professional dog trainer, or enroll your pup in puppy classes. Both options are fine and should speed up the training process.

To get the most out of training sessions make them fun, short, engaging, consistent, and packed with treats.

Always reward nice behavior, and never use any harsh training methods.

Sussex Spaniel Grooming

When it comes to grooming should you do it, or you should hire a professional groomer? Well, truth be told, you probably know that hiring a groomer is usually costly.

It will save you time and energy, and you will always have a well-groomed Sussex Spaniel. However, if you miss entirely a grooming practice, you are losing to bond with your Fido.

Dogs are creatures of body language and they, for example, enjoy brushing sessions.

These sessions are a great way to bond with your dog further and train your dog to be comfortable when being handled.

If you opt for professional groomer services, make sure that at least you work on the brushing part.

While you are brushing, don’t forget to check the skin for fleas and any signs of skin infection.

For smooth brushing, and overall grooming practice, make sure that you use the right grooming tools.

Once you invest in the right grooming tool you are actually investing in enjoyable and stress-free grooming practice.

The rest is basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails montlhy
  • Bathe only when needed
  • Clean dog’s ears
  • Check gums weekly
  • Bathe only when needed
  • Check eyes daily for any sign of eye discharge

If you choose to brush your dog’s teeth or to bathe him, make sure that you sure products that are carefully designed for dogs.

This way you will enhance their health. Don’t overdue when it comes to bathing. Dogs have different skin than humans do, and they don’t need as frequent bathing as we do.

Be extra careful around paws during the winter and provide the proper winter paws care.

Sussex Spaniel Health

Sussex Spaniels are considered to be healthy dogs.

Are you buying a puppy? If so, you should know that dealing with responsible dog breeders should be your only option.

This way you will get a puppy that has been screened on most common health issues and present you medical documentation on the puppy.

You may provide the best care possible, and your Sussex Spaniel still might get sick.

Also, just like any other dog breed, the Sussex Spaniel may also be prone to some conditions.

In the case of this breed, it all comes down to intervertebral disk disease and canine hip dysplasia (CHD).

There are some minor conditions such as enlarged heart and heart murmurs that should be detected through regular veterinarian check-ups.

Prevention is the key when it comes to having a healthy dog.

Is Sussex Spaniel For You?

If you are a first time dog owner, this is a breed to consider.

Just make sure that you will have enough time for this breed. Otherwise, you might learn how a bored dog might act around and behave.

Sussex Spaniel is the breed for you if you want a dog who is polite with everyone, and of medium size.

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