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Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniels are cumbersome looking fellows. With their droopy expression, short legs, and long body, they don’t look like the athletes that they are supposed to be. But don’t be fooled by appearances—Clumber Spaniels were originally bred in their native Great Britain to hunt partridges and other land fowl. While they aren’t as fast as their other Spaniel counterparts, they make up for their lack of speed with a quiet diligence and a good nose for hunting.

Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club

About this Breed

Clumber Spaniels are cumbersome looking fellows. With their droopy expression, short legs, and long body, they don’t look like the athletes that they are supposed to be. But don’t be fooled by appearances—Clumber Spaniels were originally bred in their native Great Britain to hunt partridges and other land fowl. While they aren’t as fast as their other Spaniel counterparts, they make up for their lack of speed with a quiet diligence and a good nose for hunting.

Clumber Spaniels, though they probably existed a bit earlier, became well known in England in the 19th century when they were favored by English monarchs of the time—including Prince Albert and King Edward VII. Even Queen Victoria wrote about the breed in her diary in the 1870s, calling them “dear, nice dogs”. Clumber Spaniels made their way over to the new word in the mid 1800s and were one of the first breeds to be recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Clumber Spaniels were never really meant to be a breed for the masses—they tended to be kept only by monarchs or other European nobility. During World War I, their number dropped so low that they almost became extinct. Even today, they are considered a “vulnerable native breed” in the United Kingdom, and thay are relatively rare in Canada and the United States.

As far as personality, Clumber Spaniels are pretty affable dogs. They are gentle and dignified dogs who love their owners and are occasionally wary of strangers. While they are still used as hunting dogs, it seems they’ve adapted to the role of “pet” quite well—they thoroughly enjoy relaxing on the couch, napping, and eating. Because of this tendency, Clumber Spaniels will do well in nearly any type of home, whether in the city, the suburbs, or in rural settings. Clumber Spaniels are generally good with other dogs and other pets, and they are friendly and loving with children.

Clumbers are “drooly” dogs, which not everyone appreciates. But if owners don’t mind, they’ll be rewarded with the devotion and affection of an unusual and lovely breed.

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