16-21 Kg (Approx)
13-15 years (Approx)
Strongly built. Active, energetic dog, whose characteristic movement is a decided roll, and unlike that of any other Spaniel.
One of the noticeable features is their golden liver-coloured coat which is unique to the breed.
Historically however, there have also been examples of both black and sandy coloured Sussex Spaniels. The coat is thick (sometimes with a slight wave to it), feathering on the chest, legs and ears and consists of a weather-resistant undercoat with a silky outer coat. The eyes are hazel in colour. The silky ears are lobe-shaped typical of the Spaniel, and set moderately low. The Sussex is a short, stocky kind of dog.
The Sussex Spaniel is a breed of dog developed in Sussex in southern England. It is a low, compact spaniel and is similar in appearance to the Clumber Spaniel.
In 1795, Mr. Fuller of Rosehill Park, Hastings in East Sussex, England began breeding gun dogs to work in districts where the terrain was rough and the undergrowth very dense which meant that a spaniel was needed which could give tongue or to alert the hunter on his quarry. Fuller crossed various breeds such as the liver and white Norfolk Spaniel (now extinct), the Field Spaniel, and possibly some early English Springer Spaniels. The Sussex was bred specifically to inherit the barking ability that was not common in most Spaniel breeds during this era.
The Sussex Spaniel is a slow-paced, calm breed with somewhat clownish behaviour that normally keeps his energy and enthusiasm in check. He is always eager to be around people, is excellent around children, and can be quite protective of the family. They make excellent candidates for therapy dog work. Most Sussex Spaniels are primarily family pets, but they are competent enough to aid a hunter though quite stubborn to train. They tend to have a natural ability to quarter in the field, have excellent noses, and can be used to retrieve, given training. The breed is the only spaniel to howl once a game's scent is picked up.
General grooming for the breed is simply bathing, brushing, and combing. The hair on the bottoms of the feet should be trimmed to keep the dog from slipping. If the dog is neutered, the coat becomes fuzzy and fairy floss like, and is much harder to deal with. The Sussex should not be shaved down unless absolutely necessary, as it takes a long time for the coat to recover.