The Clumber spaniel is the largest of all of the spaniel breeds, with a heavy, long body with moderate height. They can weigh between 25-39kg, and stand up to 20” tall at the withers, classing them as a medium sized breed. While they are roughly similar in shape to the Sussex spaniel, the Clumber has a heavier bone structure, and significantly larger head. Their coats are thick and straight, with feathering around the belly, legs and ears, and they are mainly white in colour, with markings around the eyes and base of the tail in either brown, orange or lemon.
While the Clumber spaniel was originally developed and bred as a gun dog, today, they are much more widely owned as pets. Ownership figures for the Clumber spaniel have fallen considerably over the last fifty years, and today, they are much less common than the other popular spaniel breeds such as the Springer and the Cocker. They tend to be slightly quieter within the home than most other spaniel breeds, and are quiet, loyal and loving dogs that are very gentle. They also have a couple of traits that can be something of a disadvantage, including snoring, heavy shedding of the coat, and lots of dribbling!
If you have fallen for the charms of the Clumber spaniel and are considering buying one as a pet, it is of course vital to do plenty of research on the breed before committing to a purchase. This includes looking into the hereditary health and general wellness and longevity of the breed, which we will look at in more detail in this article. Read on to learn more.
The median lifespan of the Clumber spaniel across the breed as a whole is ten years, which places the Clumber spaniel towards the bottom of the rankings when compared to other breeds of a similar size. The breed is prone to a relatively high degree of inbreeding, which is partially responsible for the relatively short lifespan of the breed, and also means that they are prone to a range of hereditary health problems too.
The coefficient of inbreeding statistic for the Clumber spaniel is 18.2%, which is a very high figure, even for a pedigree breed. A figure of 6.25% or under is considered to be optimum in terms of avoiding the likelihood of health problems associated with inbreeding, and at 18.2%, it is fair to say that the Clumber spaniel breed as a whole is relatively inbred. Clumber spaniel breeders should aim to reduce this figure when breeding future litters.
Health schemes and DNA testing is advised for the breed, in order to reduce the occurrence rate of some breed-specific health problems. These include:
The build and physical appearance of the Clumber spaniel itself can lead to potential problems for dogs of the breed, including:
There are also various other potential health issues that can affect dogs of the breed, but for which no pre-breeding testing or health schemes are currently available. Potential problems that all Clumber spaniel owners should be aware of include: