Clumber Spaniels are the perfect walking companions. Mainly because it is healthier for them to walk than to run, and their stamina is of the slow-burning kind that allows them to do one activity–namely, walking–for hours on end. They like chasing down things, since they were bred as retriever dogs, but they are just as happy lying on your feet.
The First Clumber Spaniels
The general spaniel breed, as we know it today, was bred as a hound for flushing out small game, and as a retriever dog for water-fowl. The Clumber Spaniel originated from the spaniels bred at Clumber Park (hence the name), under the ownership of the Duke of Newcastle and the oversight of the Park’s gamekeeper, William Mansell. True to their spaniel breeding, they were hunting and retriever dogs, and the largest of the breed.
How Clumber Spaniels Became Popular
After the Duke started to share his spaniels with other noblemen in the Dukeries (a district in Nottinghamshire with four Dukes), they became popular hunting dogs in the area by the 1850s. Their popularity was increased by the royals taking an interest in them hunting dogs. Prince Albert kept some, as did his son King Edward the Seventh.
World War I greatly reduced the demand for hunting dogs as the nobility began to lose homes and properties after the war. The demand for Clumber Spaniels declined as well, despite their growing popularity as show dogs. In 1925, however, King George the Fifth decided to continue developing the breed in the Royal Kennels.
What Are Clumber Spaniels Like?
Clumber Spaniels were bred for hunting and retrieving, but they have extremely calm temperaments. This means that Clumber Spaniels will happily walk by their hunters’ sides until they are told to retrieve game. They do not easily get distracted, neither are they prone to dashing off after any new scent.
Because of their temperaments, Clumber Spaniels are natural choices for families with children of all ages. This breed, because he is both tireless and non-energetic, can adjust his own energy levels to meet each person’s need. He can walk with Dad around the block, sit with Mom as she’s reading, and play catch with the kids for hours.
Clumber Spaniels do need to be exercised at the recommended daily half-hour for most dogs, but it does not need to be energetic. A walk will do well, better than a jog or a run. They are prone to hip dysplasia, or displacement of the thighbone with the hip, so they are better suited to long walks and very short dashes (like in games of fetch).
How Big Do Clumber Spaniels Get?
They are the heaviest and among the largest of the spaniel breed, but are still quite small. They can stand between 17 inches to 20 inches at the shoulder, and weigh anywhere between 55 to 85 pounds. Their size makes them perfect for families, where they are not too big for a medium-sized house and for smaller children.
Clumber Spaniels: The Best Companion Dogs
If ever there was a dog to grow up or grow old with, the Clumber Spaniel would be it. The strong loyalty, the sensitivity that allows the Spaniel to adjust to his owner’s energy levels is the most attractive thing about this sweet-tempered breed.