The sturdy chest, big bones, and powerful build of the Clumber Spaniel helps her push through the thickest undergrowth to flush birds on the hunt. Slow and steady is the Clumber's usual pace, which affords her the stamina for extra long days in the field. This upland hunting dog originated in England, and has the distinction of being one of the first 10 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. The sweet-natured Clumber has a dignified manner, though she is known to let her fur down and get silly sometimes. Clumber Spaniels are both laid back and eager to please, making them an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. If you can put up with their tendency to snore and drool, Clumbers are irresistible.
Clumber Spaniels are also called Clumbers for short.
The Clumber Spaniel's medium-length coat is straight and soft to the touch. It is dense and lays flat, offering protection from inclement weather. The fur grows slightly longer around the neck, and moderate feathering exists on the ears, belly, and tail. The coat color is predominantly white with sparse lemon or orange markings on the face, ears, and legs.
Average Height: 17-20 inches
Male: 70-80 pounds
Female: 55-70 pounds
Breed Standard & History
Clumber Spaniels are long and low slung, with a wide body and short legs. Though decidedly stout, their movements are free-flowing and even agile. Their broadness combined with their short legs gives the Clumber Spaniel's steady gait a distinctive rolling quality. The Clumber's body and head are larger than most of her spaniel cousins. The face possesses a slight droop, and the dark amber eyes have a gentle, kindly expression. Clumbers are happiest at work in the field alongside their favorite people.
Like all spaniels, the Clumber's early history is hazy. The breed draws its name from Clumber Park, the Duke of Newcastle's estate in Nottingham, England. It was there in the mid-1800s that the Duke and his gamekeeper, William Mansell, developed the modern Clumber Spaniel. The stout bird dog became beloved by British aristocrats for its calm determination on the hunt, and sweet companionship at home. Clumbers were original competitors in early dog shows in Britain and went on to become one of the first 10 breeds recognized by the newly formed American Kennel Club in 1884.
AKC Breed Category
With their amiable, tolerant natures, Clumber Spaniels make excellent family dogs. They are devoted to their people and want only to make them proud on the hunt or during games in the backyard. They have a focused, dignified quality at work and at play. Somewhat reserved with people they don't know at first, Clumbers warm up over time.
Are Clumber Spaniels Good with Kids? Clumber Spaniels adore the children of their pack when they know them from puppyhood. But this burly dog may bowl over young children during rambunctious play, so she fits best in a home with older children.
(Note: Every dog has a unique personality and distinct life experiences that affect her disposition. As a rule, adults should always supervise playdates between kids and their four-legged friends.)
Are Clumber Spaniels Good with Other Pets? Clumbers enjoy the company of other dogs with whom they've been raised, and may tolerate the family cat as long as the feline is a respectful housemate. Because of their strong prey drive, the breed is not a wise choice for homes with small pets.
Clumber Spaniels are cautious of strangers and protective of their territory.
Are Clumber Spaniels Good Guard Dogs? Clumber Spaniels will likely bark when people approach the house but will settle down quickly when they get the 'all clear' from their owners.
Clumber Spaniels are low-energy dogs who take life at a leisurely pace.
- Become destructive when bored
- Heavy shedders and droolers and may require furniture protectors or dog-proof blankets
- Chronic and loud snorers
- Puppyhood lasts until they are three or four years old
- Prone to submissive urination
- May develop shyness when not properly socialized
- Will counter surf and raid the refrigerator and cabinets in search of treats
Clumber Spaniels adore their families and should live indoors with them. This breed is notorious for counter surfing in search of treats, and for their ability to open cabinets and the refrigerator in pursuit of goodies. Avoid bringing chocolate home because it is toxic to dogs. Many Clumber owners lock cabinets, refrigerators, and garbage cans so their dog can't get to the food inside. The Clumber's luxurious coat sheds heavily, so keep the vacuum handy.
Clumber Spaniels should spend an hour or two outdoors, playing and exercising. This breed has sedentary tendencies, but they'll get up and go with encouragement from their owners. Don't leave your Clumber outdoors alone for very long or she'll search for a route out of the yard and set off after birds—albeit at an amble.
A healthy, adult Clumber Spaniel requires about one hour of moderate-intensity physical activity each day.
Clumber Spaniels have the stamina for several short play sessions and a couple of 15-minute walks per day.
Activity distance rating
- Running Miles: Clumber Spaniels are not strong running partners; leisurely walks are more their speed.
- Hiking Miles: Clumber Spaniels will enjoy hiking with you for two to three miles, but then they'll want to hit their dog bed.
Clumber Spaniels require about 2 to 2½ cups of good quality dog food each day, split between two feedings. The exact amount they should eat will vary significantly depending upon their age and activity level. Talk to your veterinarian about the optimal diet and quantity of food for your Clumber.
Clumber Spaniels don't enjoy spending time without their people, though they'll tolerate an hour or two alone. It's necessary to crate train your Clumber before leaving her alone because she will turn your kitchen inside out trying to get her paws on every last tasty morsel.
Health and Grooming
The Clumber Spaniel's luxurious coat doesn't require excessive care—a weekly brushing and monthly bath will keep it healthy and clean. The Clumber's ears should be cleaned weekly with a gentle, dog-friendly cleanser to prevent the buildup of dirt and wax that can lead to infections. Brush your Clumber's teeth several times a week, and trim her nails every month or so to prevent painful cracking.
Common Health Issues
Clumber Spaniels may develop breed-specific health conditions—some serious—including:
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Otitis externa
- Ectropion and entropion, conditions in which the eyelids roll outward or inward, respectively.
- Ear infections
You can minimize serious health concerns in your Clumber Spaniel by purchasing her from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices, and through screening for common diseases and conditions.
Clumber Spaniels are smart and eager to please. They'll learn basic obedience commands in a jiffy, especially when training sessions are kept short and fun. An abundance of praise and dog treats also help.
Clumber Spaniels benefit from advanced training and dog sports because these activities prevent them from being couch potatoes and putting on weight.
Sporting Dog Training
Clumber Spaniels are excellent bird dogs, with a particular aptitude for following quarry through rough terrain.
Here are a few commonly asked questions about Clumber Spaniels.
No. Clumber Spaniels shed throughout the year and, as a result, distribute pet dander in your home. Dander is the primary cause of pet related allergies.
Clumber Spaniels are prone to slobbering and drooling, especially after meals or taking a drink of water—you don't want to stand within drooling distance when your Clumber shakes her head, or you'll be slimed. It's wise to keep a drool towel on hand to help manage the slobber.
Most Clumber Spaniels enjoy swimming, and playing fetch in the water is a great way to keep them active in the heat. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, always keep a close watch when she's in or near the water.