The Clumber Spaniel is an English sporting breed that was initially invented to locate and retrieve feathered game for hunters. Presently lots of hunting enthusiasts work to rehabilitate this dog as an excellent gundog. Additionally its steady disposition, gentleness and exceptional trainability make it a wonderful pet.
It’s unknown as to how the Clumber Spaniel came to existence but according to today’s predominant point of view it was bred by sportsmen and gamekeepers in the second half of the XVIII century. The breed’s name is derived from the Duke of Newcastle’s estate at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire, England. To a large degree it owes its appearance to the breeding efforts of the Duke’s gamekeeper, William Mansell. It’s speculated that this avid hunter primarily used Bleinheim Spaniels in his breeding program. However it’s also highly probable that the Alpine Spaniel, the Bloodhound, or even the St. Bernard were actively involved in its development.
Regardless of how truthful suppositions about the Clumber Spaniels’ ancestry are, the cause of its creation was exclusively practical. Thanks to its low-slung stature it could effectively function in the thickest vegetation and easily found shelters of game birds. It stood out for its slow yet steady pace as well as for its capability to trace the quarry for hours on end. The early variant of the Clamber Spaniel had lighter build and more miniature head although it still possessed white-and-orange coat coloration that is typical for its modern specimens.
The breed’s popularity kept on growing throughout XIX century and these dogs were even shown at an early canine exhibition in 1859. The Clumber Spaniel also found favour in the eyes of lots of British aristocrats. It had royal fanciers in Prince Albert and Edward VII who kept a great deal of its members in their residences.
The first Clumber Spaniels was brought to North America in 1844 by a British officer, Lieutenant Venables, who served in Nova Scotia, Canada. The American Kennel Club (AKC) fully recognised the breed in 1884. Today it’s considered as a rare canine variety and a great hunting companion although many of these dogs are acquired solely for companionship.
The character of the Clumber Spaniel can be portrayed as affectionate, calm and confident. This dog is also prized for its incredible determination in pursuit and sharpness so it has certain propensity to stubbornness and needs a strong human pack leader especially if you plan to make it a part of your family. It also usually develops the deepest affection to only one member of its family who becomes for it an absolute authority. Once correctly socialised the breed turns into a fearless protector of children and gladly participates in their most exuberant games.
The Clumber Spaniel is marked by aloofness and moderate suspiciousness towards strangers. Nevertheless this dog is primarily incapable of immediate aggression and would rather walk away from unwelcomed petting of a strange person than snap or even growl at him/her. It rarely barks and therefore it’s ill-suited for the role of a watcher. Although this breed is more than willing to defend its favourite people from any kind of danger it lacks territorial instinct to become a dependable property guardian.
Thanks to its easy-going personality the Clumber Spaniel usually lives in concord with other dogs and has very little dominative issues. But it’s still advisable to supervise the interaction of your pet with its counterparts because if provoked this dog won’t back from a fight. Despite its hunting heritage the breed is perfectly compatible with other types of companion animals if it has undergone a proper amount of early socialisation. But it still poses serious danger for stray animals and particularly birds.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· intervertebral disc disease;
· patella luxation;
· eye problems;
· cardiovascular problems;
· anal gland problems;
· interdigital cysts;
· perianal hernia;
· canine hip dysplasia;
· panosteitis (juvenile lameness).
The Clumber Spaniel is a fastidious breed as far as it concerns its grooming. This dog sheds a great amount of fur оn the permanent basis and therefore needs daily brushing to remove loose hair and somehow control this process. Excess feathering in such areas as ears, legs, chest and rear end should be regularly sheared.
Furthermore the Clumber Spaniel prone to slobbering so its master may want to wipe its mouth several times a day. Hanging ears of this dog become easily infected and should be carefully cleaned at least weekly. Prepare to bathe your pet relatively frequently especially after each and every hunting trip.
Moderate amount of efforts are commonly required to successfully train the Clumber Spaniel. It wants more than anything to make its master happy and can learn fairly easily advanced commands and even sequences of commands. But sometimes its training is complicated by its tendency to independent thinking so a great deal of patience is necessary in the work with this canine.
Start obedience training as soon as the puppy arrives in your dwelling and you will get a well-behaved and responsive family dog double-quick. It’s recommended to keep this breed properly motivated only with its favourite food and praise since it reacts very negatively to yelling or physical punishments.
The Clumber Spaniel is a tough yet tranquil dog, which will be quite happy with a 30-minutes daily walk. It doesn’t mean that this dog won’t enjoy such activities as swimming, playing or hiking. But its measured tread will probably disappoint an avid jogger or bicyclist.
Because of its sedate temper this breed commonly makes an excellent apartment dog as long as its exercise needs are properly met. Without some essential minimum of physical stimulation the Clumber Spaniel will become overweight, which is very detrimental for the dog’s overall health.