"What's the difference between a Clumber Spaniel and a Brittany Spaniel

"What's the difference between a Clumber Spaniel and a Brittany Spaniel

There are lots of different spaniel breeds around whether native to the UK or elsewhere in the world and although most have always been highly prized in the field, many have also become popular companions and family pets not only because of their lovely looks, but also because of their kind and loyal natures too. Two breeds worth considering if you are hoping to share your home with an active, intelligent canine companion are the Clumber Spaniel and the Brittany Spaniel which are compared in this article.

Clumber Spaniel origins

The Clumber Spaniel is one of the UK's treasures and are among the country's oldest breeds of working spaniels. They were named by the Duke of Newcastle and there are some breed enthusiasts who think that the Duke bought some spaniels back with him from France which he bred on his property which is called Clumber Park. However, there is no real proof of this and other people believe the breed to be a purely English spaniel and that they don't have any French ancestry at all.

Brittany Spaniel origins

The Brittany is native to France where they were bred to Hunt, Point and Retrieve. English Lords took their spaniels with them when they visited France on hunting trips and often left them behind when they returned to England. These spaniels which were typically Pointers and Setters were crossed with French local spaniel breeds and the result became known as the Brittany Spaniel. Today, the Brittany Spaniel is still one of the most popular choices for working gundogs not only in France, but in other European countries too and they have found their way into many homes both as companions and family pets.

Clumber Spaniel Temperament

Clumber Spaniels are lovely, calm, even-tempered dogs which is why they are such a good choice for first time owners. Intelligent, loyal and affectionate they form very strong ties with their families and thrive in a home environment loving nothing more than to be involved in all that goes on around them. With this said, they are best suited to households where one person stays at home so they never spend too much time on their own.

Independent by nature, the Clumber Spaniel likes to take things at their own pace which many people think is them being stubborn which is not the case at all. Young Clumbers can be boisterous, but soon calm down when they are around two years old. They can be real clowns when the mood takes them which can keep their owners entertained.

Because of their soft"" mouths, Clumbers are known to slobber more especially when excited or when they have just had a drink of water which can prove a bit messy at times. Although extremely affectionate towards their families and people they know, Clumbers tend to be wary of strangers, but would just keep their distance until they get to know someone.

Brittany Temperament

Active, energetic, loyal, intelligent and gentle, the Brittany Spaniel thrives on being given things to do. They love being in a home environment providing they are given plenty to do. They have always been a popular companion and family pet in France as well as being a highly prized working dog. They are a great choice for people who lead active outdoor lives and would not be happy living with anyone who leads a more sedentary life.

They are a good choice for first time dog owners thanks to the fact that Brittany Spaniels are so amenable by nature and just love to please. With this said, they need to be given a ton of attention and exercise because otherwise they might just get bored which could result in a dog developing some unwanted and destructive behaviours.

Clumber Spaniel Shedding

Clumber Spaniels shed copious amounts of hair throughout the year only more so during the spring and the autumn when their summer and winter coats start to grow through.

Brittany Spaniel Shedding

The Brittany Spaniel sheds a lot less hair than the Clumber, but they still shed quite a lot throughout the year and again, this tends to be more in the spring and then again in the autumn.

Clumber Spaniel Training

Clumber Spaniels are intelligent and therefore very amenable when it comes to training. They love to please which makes training a Clumber such a pleasurable experience and why they make great first time family pets.

Brittany Spaniel Training

Brittany Spaniels are also very intelligent dogs and they learn things quickly. The downside to this is that a Brittany is fast to pick up some bad habits too. Their education and training must start early and it must be consistent throughout a dog's life so they understand what is expected of them. With this said, a Brittany would be quick to show a more dominant side to their natures if they are not handled correctly.

Clumber Spaniel Exercise

Clumber Spaniels need to be given a good hours' exercise every day, but puppies and younger dogs should be given less because their joints and bones are still developing. It's only when a Clumber is around 6 month's old that their exercise can be safely increased.

Brittany Spaniel Exercise

Active, high-energy and intelligent, the Brittany Spaniel needs to be given a ton of exercise every day which ideally should be at least 2 hours with as much off the lead time as possible so they can really let off steam.

Children and Pets

Clumbers are known to be extremely tolerant of children of all ages because they thrive being in a home environment and involved in everything that goes on in the household. They are also good with other animals and pets they have grown up with. With this said, care should be taken when a Clumber is around smaller animals and pets just to be on the safe side. Providing a Clumber has been well socialised from a young enough age, they generally get on well with other dogs too.

Brittany Spaniel Children and Pets

Gentle and kind, the Brittany Spaniel is a great choice as a family pet and they too, thrive in a home environment. They are also known to be good around other dogs more especially if they have been well socialised when young. With this said, care should be taken when a Brittany is around smaller animals and pets thanks to their high prey drive, but they generally get on well with a family cat they have grown up with.

Clumber Spaniel Coat

The Clumber boasts a silky, straight close-lying coat with their legs and chests being nicely feathered.

Clumber Spaniel Coat colours

The accepted coat colours are as follows:

  • Plain white body with lemon markings
  • Plain white body with orange markings

Brittany Spaniel Coat

The Brittany Spaniel has a dense close-lying flat coat or they can have slightly wavy one. Their front legs are slightly feathered whereas their hind legs are well feathered right to the mid-thigh.

Brittany Spaniel Coat colours

The accepted breed colours are as follows:

  • Orange & white
  • Liver & white
  • Black & white
  • Tri-colour
  • Roan

Clumber Spaniel health

Clumbers are prone to suffer from a few hereditary health disorders which include the following:

  • Hip Dysplasia - DNA test available
  • Eye issues - Entropion and Ectropion - Tests available
  • Disk problems

Brittany Spaniel health

The Brittany is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which includes the following:

  • Hip Dysplasia - DNA test available
  • Epilepsy
  • Luxating patella
  • DLE- Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
  • Ears Problems

Clumber Spaniel life expectancy

The average life span of a Clumber Spaniel is between 9 to 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.

Brittany Spaniel life expectancy

The average life span of a Brittany Spaniel is between 12 and 13 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.


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