Clumber Spaniel Breeders, Breed Clubs and History
The Clumber Spaniel is very different from the rest of the spaniels and probably does not share any common ancestry. He is believed to have come to the UK in the 18th century when the Duke of Newcastle was presented with some dogs by the Duc de Noailles, and he subsequently developed the breed at the family seat, Clumber Park, in Nottingham. There is a painting by Francis Wheatley RA dated 1788 of the second Duke of Newcastle with his head gamekeeper and three lemon and white dogs who are recognisably Clumber Spaniels. The colour is always a base colour of white with lemon (for preference) or orange markings.
They are not a quick breed, though tenacious, and their early function was to beat the shoot; a line of Clumber Spaniels would move forward flushing out the game for the huntsmen. The Breed Standard does not specify a height, though it indicates an ideal weight for dogs of 80lbs. In the middle of the last century the Clumber fell out of favour and was only kept going by a small band of dedicated breeders; however he has had something of a resurgence over the past 30 years and dogs of high quality are regularly competing at the highest level in the showring. An illustrious breeder of Clumbers was King Edward VII, under the family affix Sandringham.
Unfortunately he does have some potential health problems, and this should be discussed with breeders before acquiring a puppy. Today’s Clumber Spaniel is definitely dual purpose, the same type of dog capable of excelling at both Field and Bench. The club website, below, is unusually helpful. However, for his size he is a remarkably long-lived dog; Ch Topvalley Charlie of Belcrum, a working gundog and Full Champion lived to 17½ years.
The Clumber Spaniel is not a dog for everyone; he is large, close to the ground and so picks up a lot of debris, which he will later discard liberally in the house. A dog of his size obviously needs space and exercise, and his heavy bone means that careful rearing is essential if he is to fulfill his potential as an adult. He is a dignified and very intelligent dog; for the right family he is a marvellous addition, but certainly a breed where all the drawbacks should be considered before committing yourself.
- Glenariff N Ireland
- Tweedsmuir Cambs
Rescue and Rehoming
If you need to re-home your dog, first contact your breeder for support. If you are looking to adopt a Clumber contact the Breed Club.