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Sussex Spaniel Information

Description of a Sussex Spaniel 

The Sussex Spaniel is a very sturdy, low to the ground rectangular looking dog. They have a wide chest and powerful front quarters to allow them to push through thick brush and brambles while hunting. The tail is docked and the hair on the belly, ears, legs and tail is very feathered and somewhat wavy but never curly. The dog is a solid liver color with the hair gradually turning lighter at the ends. The head appears very similar to that of a Basset Hound with longer rounded ears that are fully fringed, a somber and thoughtful expression and a heavy muzzle. The breed also has very loose skin that gives an addition look of depth and strength to the dog. 

Temperament of the Sussex Spaniel

A bit reserved, the Sussex Spaniel is never the less a wonderful pet and companion. They are far less likely to demand attention than the other breeds of spaniels.  The Sussex Spaniels are excellent dogs with children and other pets provided they are properly socialized. They love to be outdoors and to hunt, and will naturally sniff the brush for prey. They are very energetic when hunting but also very calm indoors. Easy to train, the Sussex may also have a somewhat independent streak that will require firm and consistent training to overcome. They do bay when they are hunting, and may have a tendency to howl when left alone for long periods of time.

Grooming & Shedding of a Sussex Spaniel

An average shedder, the Sussex Spaniel requires grooming every two to three days to keep mats from forming in the longer hair on the body. The area behind the front legs and under the ears is prone to matting and may need to be clipped. Check between the pads and remove any tangles that occur in the hair between them, keeping the hair between the toes trimmed will prevent this problem. Ears should be checked regularly for any signs of infections or wax build up.

History of the Sussex Spaniel breed

The Sussex Spaniel first gained notice in the early 1800's as an ideal small sized hunting dog. They were named after a kennel in Sussex, England that first exclusively developed the breed. Although a hunting dog their barking or baying behavior when they are working made them less popular than other spaniel breeds that are quiet rather than noisy. The Sussex was originally used to flush game birds but can also be trained as a retriever. The breed was almost lost during World War II but has made a comeback within a dedicated group of breeds and owners throughout England, Canada and the United States.

Sussex Spaniel Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: none
  • Minor Concerns: intervertebral disc syndrome, otitis exerna, heart conditions, ear infections
  • Occasionally seen: none
  • Suggested tests: heart


Characteristics of the Sussex Spaniel


15-16 inches (38-40 cm)


40-44 pounds (18-20 kg)


12-14 years


Medium to low


Yes – with regular exercise



Young Children


Need exercise space

Yes – ideally a small yard

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