Unique and British – One of our oldest land Spaniels, the Sussex Spaniel was first owned by the farmers of Sussex who used them for working and flushing game on their land. Their large feet coped well with the heavy Sussex clay. In the 1850’s the breed was taken up by August Fuller of Sussex England who bred them as working dogs for his large country estate.
Today this is one of our Heritage breeds with only 60-70 puppies born each year.
They are a strongly built, active and energetic spaniel. They are quite heavy and solid, an adult will weigh about 23 kilos. Their height is about 15-16 inches. They are always a unique golden liver colour.
They have lots of character and are easy to fall in love with, but must not be spoilt. They can become possessive of their owners as they are very loyal and quite tactile. When young they need to learn, therefore some rules and training should be part of the daily routine. They also need plenty of socialising when young in order that they grow up to be a well adjusted and happy dog. They make a good working gundog and a good companion.
The Breed Club has an excellent advice booklet on their website and this should be read before considering a Sussex.
Generally a healthy and long-lived breed. They can be prone to ear problems like other spaniels, but it always helps if the owner keeps a regular check and keeps the dogs ears clean. They seem to have their fair share of skin problems, but a change of food can sometimes make all the difference. Like many dogs these days they sometimes have allergies to pollen, grass, fleas etc. There have been a few incidences of bloat.
Hip Dysplasia is present in this breed and breeders are encouraged to hip-score their stock.