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Form and Function
The Clumber Spaniel is a long, low dog, rectangular in shape and with massive bone. This build, in combination with a deep chest, heavy brow, and powerful hindquarters, once enabled the dog to move through thick underbrush when hunting. The coat is straight, flat, soft, and dense, imparting resistance to weather. The white color helped the hunter locate the dog.
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Date of Origin
The stockiest of the spaniels, the Clumber is also one of the oldest, dating to the late 1700s. Although the exact derivation of the breed is unknown, it is likely that the old heavy-headed Alpine Spaniel and the low-bodied Basset Hound played prominent roles in its development. The breed did not get its name until around the time of the French Revolution, when it is believed that the Duc de Noailles of France moved his spaniel kennels to the Duke of Newcastle’s English estate, Clumber Park.
Clumber Spaniels appealed to the English nobility, who appreciated this slow-moving but especially keen-nosed hunter that was also an adept retriever. The breed was not readily available to commoners because the nobility discouraged its popularity except among higher society. As befitting their high status, Clumbers were among the earliest breeds to be shown. They came to America in the late 1800s.
At home he tends to be low-key, quiet and may even need to be goaded into exercise. He is one of the few sporting breeds suitable for city life, although he will relish walks and outings. The Clumber makes a good pet, especially devoted to one person.
The Clumber enjoys a daily outing, but his exercise requirements can be met with a long walk on leash or a leisurely hike in the field. The coat needs brushing two to three times weekly, although in dirty areas it may need more frequent bathing in order to keep his coat a gleaming white. Clumbers tend to drool and, at times, snore.
- Major concerns: CHD, intervertebral disk disease
- Minor concerns: ectropion, entropion, otitis externa, PDP1, elbow dysplasia
- Occasionally seen: seizures
- Suggested tests: hip, eye, elbow, PDP1
- Life span: 10–12 years