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Home > Dogs > Clumber Spaniel: Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Clumber Spaniel: Breed Guide, Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Clumber Spaniel

The Clumber Spaniel is well-known for its striking appearance. Like other Spaniels, it has long and straight hair. It’s one of the oldest and stockiest of the Spaniel breeds. Out of the 25 breeds of Spaniels, this breed is known as the “aristocrats of Spaniels” due to its dignified demeanor.

Clumber’s origin story begins during the French Revolution. The French Duc de Noailles shipped all his Spaniels to the Duke of Newcastle in England to save his prized dogs. As a result, the breed went by the name Clumber Park Spaniel during this period, named after the Duke’s estate.

Breed Overview


17 – 19 inches


50 – 70 pounds


10 – 12 years


White, pied

Suitable for:

Families and experienced owners


Affectionate, friendly, calm, and loving

The Clumber Spaniel made its first appearance in North America in 1844, when it got imported by a British officer, Lieutenant Venables, to Canada. From here, the breed spread out to other parts of the region.

In 1878 the American Kennel Club first registered the first Clumber Spaniel. It was among the first nine breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. Recognized as a sporting dog, this breed is ranked 122 of 155 breeds by the AKC.

Dogs are generally classified into different breed standards including, the American Kennel Club, Clumber Spaniel Club, and the United Kennel Club. Breeders use the Clumber Spaniel Breed Standard to maintain the ideal appearance, characteristics, and temperament.

Clumber Spaniel Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Clumber Spaniel Puppies

Clumber Spaniel Puppy
Image By: Alina Shekera, Shutterstock

These dog breeds are rare to find at the breeders; therefore, they have a long waiting list. They are large dogs with a typical medium height. Physically, they have massive heads and short legs and have a soft, medium-length coat that’s thick and straight.

As a highly intelligent breed, they are pretty easy to train. Despite their great hunting skills, they are nicknamed the retired gentleman’s Spaniel due to their calm personality. This dog breed is great for people looking for a calm and cuddly pup. It’s important to keep in mind that they can inherit a couple of health issues that are important to prevent with the help of your vet.


Temperament & Intelligence of the Clumber Spaniel

The Clumber Spaniel dog breed is docile, sweet, smart, and pleasant all around. They are trustworthy, playful, easy-going, and very affectionate. Unfortunately, as they get older, they become less active.

As mild-tempered breeds, these dogs will lay around in the house and relax as long as they have their daily exercise. However, Clumber Spaniels are also very emotionally needy and require human interaction at most times.

They tend to feel neglected if left alone for long periods. As friendly pups, they don’t mind meeting and befriending new people.

Although they are known to be sweet and gentle, they can also be determined and stubborn. Once they sense that their owner is passive, they’ll try to be dominant and get their way.

Clumber Spaniels can become pushy if you don’t establish dominance and leadership early on, especially the adolescent male Clumbers can become hooligans. To avoid this, they need a firm owner who provides constant discipline.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Clumber Spaniels make great family pets. Since they love being the center of attention, they enjoy human company and are highly affectionate with family members.

Before getting this pet, make sure there’s always someone at home who can spend time with the dog. Otherwise, if they feel abandoned, they quickly turn destructive.

Their calmness and friendliness make them excellent dogs for families with children. They don’t exhibit any aggression towards kids or any family member. Sometimes, your dog will choose a favorite family member and form a special bond with them.

If your kids are still very small, you’ll need to watch your dog more carefully. Since they can reach cabinets and counters in your home, they can also get to your child’s chair and take their food.

All these habits can be avoided if you train and discipline your pup early on. Also, teach your kids how to handle the dogs well, especially when they are still puppies.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Clumber Spaniels will get along with other dogs if socialized early. Their calm nature and friendliness extend to even strange dogs. However, with other pets, especially the small ones, the dogs are most likely not very friendly.

Since they were initially bred as hunting dogs, they have a high prey drive. Because of this, if you have pet birds, cats, or rodents for pets in your home, you should probably get another dog breed. Clumber Spaniels will treat these smaller animals as prey and will instinctively chase them around.


Things to Know When Owning a Clumber Spaniel

Owning a Clumber Spaniel doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. But like any other dog breed, you need to know the food and diet requirements, exercise needs, and grooming habits. By taking care of these needs, you’ll be able to maintain your pet much better.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Three cups of high-quality dog food daily should be enough for your dog. The meals you serve should also have all the essential minerals and nutrients the Clumber Spaniel needs for healthy growth and development. You also need to avoid too many treats and fatty table food.

These dogs have a healthy appetite, especially when they are younger. Therefore, you need to consider the food budget before selecting this breed as a pet for your home.

Puppies need more food and can eat about four to six cups of dog food per day. However, the appetite level reduces as they grow older; therefore, watch out not to overfeed your pet.

Feeding an adult Clumber Spaniel will depend on the age, size, metabolism, and activity level. Just like in human beings, all dogs don’t need the same amount of food. You can consult your veterinarian to give the exact food estimates to feed your dog to avoid overfeeding.

Exercise 🐕

Due to their low energy, most people assume that Clumber Spaniels don’t require much exercise. However, this should not stop you from scheduling an hour a day to ensure your pet gets the necessary exercise.

In addition, they are highly prone to joint issues and obesity. Therefore, they need you to keep them active to stay healthy.

Because of the joint issues, the exercise sessions should be on soft surfaces such as grass to protect your pup. In addition, when you take them to a dog park for a walk or a run, ensure they are on a leash. Their high prey drive will push them to explore and chase smaller animals.

Training 🎾

Like every other dog breed, the Clumber Spaniel needs early socialization. They need to get exposed to different people, sights, sounds, and experiences as puppies. This early socialization helps the dog to adapt to different situations easily.

As highly intelligent dogs, they pick on training, habits, and commands very quickly. They are obedient and easy to train because they also love to please their owners.

However, they can also be domineering if the owners don’t take leadership. A passive owner gives room for the pup to become naughty and hard to manage. Therefore, there’s a need for constant training to show who the leader is.

Grooming ✂️

Clumber Spaniels have a soft, medium-length coat that’s thick and straight. If you have a show dog, they are easy to prepare because they are required to remain natural, with no shaving or trimming except to tidy the feet, rear legs, and tail. However, since their fur coats are primarily white, these dog breeds require a little bit more maintenance than other breeds.

These breeds also have long hair that’s challenging to manage. You’ll need to brush the coat two to three times a week to keep the skin healthy and cut down on the shedding.

Clumbers are average to heavy shedders; therefore, there will be days when your house will be full of fur. Brushing reduces the shedding, but you’ll still need to vacuum the house afterward.

The white coat can hold a lot of dirt. Therefore, you can clean your pet every six to eight weeks using water and dog shampoo. Also, rinse your pet well to avoid itchy skin.

Clumber Spaniels are known for drooling. With this messy habit, you have to wipe your dog’s jaw a few times daily constantly. The same extends to your house floors.

Apart from the fur coat, you need to clean your dog’s ears and wipe the area around the eyes to prevent infections. In addition, brush your pup’s teeth at least once a week to avoid gum issues and keep the nails trimmed.

As you groom your pet, it’s best to always check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection on the fur coat. In addition, you can check for skin inflammation, redness, tenderness around the ears, nose, mouth, eyes, and feet. Having a weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

Health and Conditions 🏥

This dog breed is prone to some medical conditions that affect how it lives. Let’s take a look at some of the common medical issues.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism

Minor Conditions

Clumber Spaniels also experience some medical problems that can be easily managed if detected early.

  • Entropion: This defect appears around the eye when your pup is about six months old. It causes the eyelid to roll inward, which irritates the eyeball. Entropion can affect one or both eyes. Your dog will constantly rub their eyes when they have this medical condition. You’ll have to wait until your pup is fully grown for the condition to be corrected surgically. However, it might also clear on its own in some situations, after two to three years, when the head of your Clumber Spaniel develops.
  • Ectropion: Clumber Spaniels also develop this eye condition defect that causes sagging or rolling out the lower eyelid. When this happens, the eye is exposed and becomes highly prone to infections and irritations. In severe cases, your pup might get conjunctivitis. When the condition worsens, this defect can be treated with surgery.
  •  Ear Infections: Like most dog breeds, Clumber Spaniels are prone to ear infections because their floppy ears trap moisture. This moist environment gives room for bacterial growth that can cause further infections. To keep your pup’s ears healthy, check them often for any signs of infection. The symptoms include tender ears, redness, or a bad odor. Your dog might also scratch or paw at the ear frequently or shake its head due to the discomfort. Once you notice an infection, schedule a visit with the vet for treatment.
  • Dental Problems: Clumber Spaniels require a well-balanced diet. In addition, you should brush their teeth once a week to keep the teeth and gums healthy. If you skip these routines, your dog will develop dental issues that’ll make it harder to eat or chew food.

Serious Conditions

Clumber Spaniels get some severe conditions that can get fatal if not treated. Here are some of them.

  • Hip Dysplasia: This medical condition happens when the thigh bone doesn’t fit perfectly on the hip joint. When this happens, your dog might exhibit pain on one or both rear legs. However, some canines don’t show any symptoms. Arthritis can also develop as the dog grows. Since this condition is inheritable, dog breeds prone to hip dysplasia should not be bred. Before buying a puppy, ask your breeder for documentation showing the parents had tests for this condition.On the other hand, environmental factors can also trigger this issue, such as your puppy gaining weight within a short period or an injury from jumping or falling. In addition, because this breed is short, their hips look different from other dogs. Clumbers are highly prone to this condition; therefore, you should keep them healthy to keep the joints healthy. Also, have them exercise on soft surfaces to avoid injuries. If they have this problem, your vet can recommend some supplements.
  • Hypothyroidism: This medical condition is a result of a deficiency of the thyroid hormone in the body. When your dog has this problem, the symptoms include lack of energy, mental dullness, or obesity.Their fur coats might also become brittle and fall off while the skin darkens. If your dog has this condition, the veterinarian can prescribe a daily thyroid replacement pill.

Male vs. Female

Male and female Clumber Spaniels have a few differences. The males will tend to be larger and heavier than the females.

They are about three inches taller and 15 pounds heavier. Both sexes are friendly and calm in terms of personality, making excellent pet choices for your home.

However, male Clumber Spaniels tend to have more energy due to their natural hunting instinct and may exhibit a higher prey drive.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Clumber Spaniel

1. Clumber Spaniels were initially bred for hunting.

Despite their calm nature, these breeds were initially meant for hunting birds and small animals. Because of that, they tend to have a high prey drive. However, they still showcase their skills, which has made them popular in dog shows.

2. They’re known as the “Retired Gentleman’s Spaniel”.

When you get a Clumber Spaniel as a pet, you’ll notice how calm and easy-going they get around the house. They’ll have higher energy levels during exercise sessions which usually drop when they are back home.

This calm demeanor and personality have earned this dog breed the nickname the “Retired Gentleman’s Spaniel.” Therefore, if you need a low-key dog that’s easy to handle, a Clumber Spaniel will do it.

3. Clumber Spaniels are known to be too intelligent.

If you need an intelligent dog to train easily, a Clumber Spaniel is an excellent choice. However, their abilities can also be used for other destructive behaviors. For example, they can open cabinets, doors, and refrigerators to access food when hungry.

Because of this, they can also access all areas of your house that you’d rather restrict. Therefore, you might have to add child locks on your cabinets if you have this pet around.



Clumber Spaniel dog breeds are calm, affectionate, and friendly. They make great family pets as they get along with kids and other dogs. However, they are not a good choice due to their high prey drive if you have smaller pets such as cats and birds.

These dog breeds are extremely needy and require human companionship at all times. So if you get one for your home, make sure there’s always someone at home. They tend to act out if they don’t get the necessary attention.

If you are a first-time dog owner, this breed is well-suited. It’s easy to train as long as you keep training them constantly.

You’ll only need to keep up with the grooming because they are average to high shedders and tend to drool a lot. Otherwise, Clumber Spaniels make a great companion for your family.

Featured Image Credit: Lenkadan, Shutterstock

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