The original Clumber Spaniel was a working dog which went into decline. The Clumber then emerged as a dog with exaggerated size, temperament issues, bad eyes and hips and was unrecognisable from the original. They were practically unheard of in the shooting world.
The Working Clumber Spaniel Society was formed in 1984 with the intention of breeding out the unwelcome characteristics and reintroduce as close to the original breed as possible. By breeding dogs with low hip scores, tight eyes, good temperaments and more energetic size, we see a dog today which is healthy, agile and with natural hunting instincts. As a result of these advances, the Clumber is becoming very popular, and they are being seen in the shooting world in increasing numbers, and able to compete with the Cocker and Springer Spaniels.
The Clumber is a fit, intelligent, energetic dog with a friendly, outgoing temperament ideally suited to being a pet or working dog.
They have an excellent nose and have a natural hunting instinct.
They are loyal and affectionate and will become your friend for life and love nothing better than being with their owner and having lots of cuddles. However, they are not a dog which can be left for hours on end on its own.
These are the largest (in weight) of the Spaniel breed. They weight between 29kg to 38kg and stand about 18’’ (46cm) to the shoulder, to give you an idea this makes them shorter than an English Springer Spaniel but similar in weight to a Labrador.
They have a white coat with lemon or orange makings (generally around the muzzle, ears, eyes and a spot on the base of the tail) they also can have markings on the main body.
When they are happy and excited a Clumber won’t wage its tail it will wage its entire body. They are good with children (however as with all dogs they should not be left alone with very young children) and although they are not guard dogs they have a very deep bark.
They are fairly easy to train and love routine however they tend to be very strong willed (some say stubborn) but as long as you remain the boss you will always win eventually. Clumbers don’t understand harsh treatment and can be very sensitive to over rough play.
Due to their size exercise in a clumbers first year should be kept to a minimum to allow its legs to gain the strength to carry the large body, you will find that they are quite happy with 2 to 3 mile walk a day they are not designed for long hikes, but they love to swim.
They do need grooming regularly as their white coat is shed continually all year round, and as they are low to the ground and well feathered they tend to return from most walks filthy. They also have heavy jowls that mean after a drink they can cover a room with slobber in one fair swoop. Finally they tend to snore very loudly but other than that they are your best friend and most loyal companion your will ever find.
The health of the Clumber has been an issue in the past, with entropion and ectropion, bad hips and problems with size and temperament. Recently, the problems have been improved by breeding only the best hip scores, tight eyes, and lighter dogs and hip scores can now be counted in single figures in many cases.
The Working Clumber Spaniel Society are responsible for these improvements, and continue to strive to create the perfect, healthy dog. Consequently, health problems of the past are gradually being bred out and the resulting dog is a healthy example of the breed.