The Sussex Spaniel is a medium-sized, heavily built, sturdy dog, with rather short and strong legs. They have a wide head and a frowning, quizzical expression. The short, abundant coat is a most attractive colour: rich golden liver, shading to gold at the hair tips. Adult Sussex Spaniels measure 38-41cm and weigh approximately 23kg.
The Sussex Spaniel dog breed was around in the early 1800s as part of a melange of land spaniels. The main interest in the breed began with Mr Fuller, a Sussex landowner, who kept several spaniel breeds, including Sussex Spaniels. He bred them for working and owned the breed for 50 years until the 1850s. By the time of the Second World War there were few Sussex being bred and it is thought that after the war only 5 Sussex Spaniels remained. Fortunately the breed has had dedicated followers that have kept the breed alive, though it is still numerically small.
These happy and adaptable dogs can be very laid back, though it is important that they are introduced regularly to children, dogs, cars etc. until mature. They love hunting and are sometimes more interested in this than anything else when outside, so training when they are young is essential. Time invested in this dog is well worth the effort and the result is a happy and loyal companion.
The Sussex Spaniel is generally a relatively hardy breed, as with many breeds however, they can suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) and spinal disc disease. They are also prone to ear infections.
Sussex Spaniel dogs should not be over exercised when very young. They need stimulation or they easily become bored. Country dogs at heart, Sussex Spaniel adults needs two-plus hours of daily exercise.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food. There have been cases of bloat in this breed. Smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
As a rule, a brush or comb through is required several times a week. The ears should be kept clean and checked for foreign bodies regularly. The hair around the pads should be trimmed and check between the claws for grass seeds.