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Clumber Spaniel

One of the original nine breeds registered by the AKC, the Clumber Spaniel’s long and low build is particularly unique among spaniels. Although not as speedy as other sporting dogs, the Clumber will work all day, trotting along in his signature slow, rolling gait. He may appear dignified and pensive, but he possesses great enthusiasm for both work and play. The breed possesses a beautiful white coat and may have lemon or orange-colored markings.

A Look Back
Some doubt exists about the origin of the Clumber Spaniel, but most believe the breed originated in 18th-century France with ancestors such as the Basset Hound and early Alpine Spaniel. The Clumber was prized for his ability to hunt in heavy cover and his quiet style, which allowed him to come up very close to the game. The breed received its modern name when a large French kennel moved Duke of Newcastle’s Clumber Park at the start of the French Revolution in an effort to save its dogs.

Right Breed for You?
Playful and loving, the Clumber Spaniel fits in well with families and other animals. They enjoy daily walks, but they are not for those who want a jogging partner. Clumbers shed moderately year-round and tend to slobber and drool more than other breeds. An intelligent and independent thinker, the Clumber responds best to positive training.

If you are considering purchasing a Clumber Spaniel puppy, learn more here.

  • Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1884.
  • Ranging in size from 17 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder and 55 to 85 pounds.
  • Gundog.

Clumber Spaniel Breed Standard

Sporting Group

General Appearance
The Clumber Spaniel is a long, low, substantial dog. His heavy brow, deep chest, straight forelegs, powerful hindquarters, massive bone and good feet all give him the power and endurance to move through dense underbrush in pursuit of game. His white coat enables him to be seen by the hunter as he works within gun range. His stature is dignified, his expression pensive, but at the same time he shows great enthusiasm for work and play.

Size, Proportion, Substance
The Clumber is rectangular in shape possessing massive bone structure and has the appearance of great power. The ideal height for dogs is 18 to 20 inches at the withers and for bitches is 17 to 19 inches at the withers. The ideal length to height is 11 to 9 measured from the withers to the base of the tail and from the floor to the withers. Dogs weigh between 70 and 85 pounds and bitches weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.

The head is massive with a marked stop and heavy brow. The top skull is flat with a pronounced occiput. A slight furrow runs between the eyes and up through the center of the skull. The muzzle is broad and deep to facilitate retrieving many species of game. The nose is large, square and colored shades of brown, which include beige, rose and cherry. The flews of the upper jaw are strongly developed and overlap the lower jaw to give a square look when viewed from the side. A scissors bite is preferred. The eyes are dark amber in color, large, soft in expression, and deep set in either a diamond shaped rim or a rim with a “V” on the bottom and a curve on the top. Some haw may show but excessive haw is undesirable. Prominent or round shaped eyes are to be penalized. Excessive tearing or evidence of entropion or ectropion is to be penalized. Ears are broad on top with thick ear leather. The ears are triangular in shape with a rounded lower edge, set low and attached to the skull at approximately eye level.

Neck, Topline, Body
The Clumber should have a long neck with some slackness of throat or presence of dewlap not to be faulted. The neck is strong and muscular, fitting into a well laid back shoulder. The back is straight, firm, long and level. The brisket is deep and the ribs well sprung. The chest is deep and wide. The loin arches slightly. The tail is well feathered and set on just below the line of back; its trimming minimal, serving to tidy the feathering to allow for a natural appearance and outline. The tail is normally carried level with the topline or slightly elevated, never down between the rear legs. The tail may be docked or left natural, both being of equal value. If docked, the tail’s length should be in keeping with the overall proportion of the adult dog. If natural, the tailbone should extend to the point of hock, but should not extend to the ground.

The Clumber shoulder is well laid back. The upper arm is of sufficient length to place the elbow under the highest point of the shoulder. The forelegs are short, straight and heavy in bone, with elbows held close to the body. Pasterns are strong and only slightly sloped. The front feet are large, compact and have thick pads that act as shock absorbers. Removal of dewclaws is optional.

The thighs are heavily muscled and, when viewed from behind, the rear is round and broad. The stifle shows good functional angulation, and hock to heel is short and perpendicular to the ground. Lack of angulation is objectionable. The rear feet are not as large or as round as on the front feet but compact, with thick pads and are of substantial size.

The body coat is dense, straight and flat. It is of good weather resistant texture, which is soft to the touch, not harsh. Ears are slightly feathered with straight hair. Feathering on the legs and belly is moderate. The Clumber has a good neck frill and on no condition should his throat be shaved. Evidence of shaving is to be penalized. The hair on the feet should be trimmed neatly to show their natural outline and for utility in the field. The rear legs may be trimmed up to the point of the hock. Tail feathering may be tidied. Trimming of whiskers is optional.

Color and Markings
The Clumber is primarily a white dog with lemon color or orange color markings. Markings are frequently seen on one or both ears and the face. Facial markings include color around one or both eyes, freckling on the muzzle and a spot on top of the head. A head with lemon/orange markings and an all-white head are of equal value. Freckles on the legs and/or a spot near the root of the tail are also frequently seen and acceptable. The body should have as few markings as possible.

The Clumber moves easily and freely with good reach in front and strong drive from behind, neither crossing over nor elbowing out. The hocks drive in a straight line without rocking or twisting. Because of his wide body and short legs he tends to roll slightly. The proper Clumber roll occurs when the dog, with the correct proportion, reaches forward with the rear leg toward the centerline of travel and rotates the hip downward while the back remains level and straight. The gait is comfortable and can be maintained at a steady trot for a day of work in the field without exhaustion.

The Clumber Spaniel is a gentle, loyal and affectionate dog. He possesses an intrinsic desire to please. An intelligent and independent thinker, he displays determination and a strong sense of purpose while at work. A dog of dignity, the Clumber Spaniel may sometimes seem aloof with people unknown to him, but in time he will display his playful and loving nature. The Clumber Spaniel should never be hostile or aggressive; neither is acceptable and should not be condoned.