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"One reason a dog
can be such a comfort when you're feeling blue
is that he doesn't try to find out why."


Author Unknown
 



 

Clumber Spaniel

The Clumber Spaniel is a breed of dog of the spaniel type, developed in Britain.

Appearance
A long and heavy-bodied, low-stationed spaniel, it stands only 17 to 20 inches (43-51 cm) in height but weighs from 55 to 85 pounds (35-38.5 kg). The Clumber has heavier bone than other spaniels, a massive 'melting' head with a hound-like face and expression, a deep muzzle, large square nose, and broad low-set ears. His coat is dense, weather-resistant, straight, and flat. Clumbers are predominantly white in colour with lemon or orange markings.

Temperament
The Clumber is an efficient gundog, although not as fast as some. It is excellent for upland hunting in heavy cover, and can be a good retriever when trained. The clumber was bred to run through bushes with their big heads and thick, but soft coat. Nothing supposedly is going to stop them on the hunt. He is also an excellent tracker. Their temperament is described as gentle, loyal and affectionate, but dignified and aloof with strangers. Disadvantages of owning a Clumber are said to be constant shedding, snoring, drooling, especially after a drink of water, and an incredible inventiveness for raiding kitchen counters, cabinets, and even the refrigerator. One disadvantage is that the dogs think of themselves as a lap dog. They will try to sit on your lap for your affection. They can't jump on couches either because of their weak hips. Puppies are especially curious and inventive. The combination of a very people-focused disposition and a strong urge to carry something has led to many missing shoes and other articles of clothing.

When hunting, the Clumber's flush is softer than that of the English Springer Spaniel or English Cocker Spaniel. This "English flush", as it is often called, is claimed by advocates to be more appropriate to flushing birds in heavy cover. Birds in heavy cover, the argument goes, have little chance of running. The more aggressive flush of the Springer and English Cockers could be necessary in open spaces, especially when pheasant hunting, as birds are more likely to run than flush in such circumstances.

 

Clumber
Country of origin: England

Health
Canine hip dysplasia is a serious issue in this breed. Diligent breeding programs would help reduce the incidence considerably. Other health issues are entropion and ectropion (turning inward or outward of the lower eyelid) and hypothyroidism.

History
The breed's history is uncertain before the middle of the 19th century. One theory is that it originated in France, stating that the Duc de Noailles at the time of the French Revolution gave his kennel of prized spaniels to the Duke of Newcastle at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire. Another theory holds that it was developed in Britain from older breeds of hunting spaniels, perhaps by crossing them with Bassets or St. Hubert's hounds. What is certain is that the breed took its name from Clumber Park and that the Duke of Newcastle's gamekeeper, William Mansell, is credited with their development and improvement. Prince Albert, the Prince consort of Queen Victoria, was a fancier and promoter of the breed, as was his son King Edward VII, who bred them at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk. The breed was shown in England from 1859 onward. They are referred to in Queen Victoria's diary: on October 16, 1840, she wrote, "Walked out directly after breakfast before Albert went to shoot. He had his 7 fine Clumber Spaniels with us and we went into the Slopes, with such a funny old Gamekeeper, Walters, in order that I should see how the dogs found out their game. They are such dear, nice dogs."

While the breed was not shown widely in the United States prior to the late 1960s, in 1844, Lieutenant Venables, an officer of the British regiment stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, introduced the Clumber Spaniel to North America. The first Clumber Spaniel listed in the AKC registry, recorded for the date of 1878 was Bustler, an orange and white dog owned by Benjamin Smith of Nova Scotia. It is interesting to note that records of breedings of dogs in the United States existed long before the American Kennel Club was founded.