The first time you see a Sussex Spaniel, you might think you’re looking at a Cocker Spaniel in a fun house mirror. They have a definite resemblance, but the Sussex is shorter, longer, and heavier, with a muscular and solid build. Here are some interesting facts about the Sussex Spaniel.
1. The Sussex Spaniel is named after Sussex, England. They were developed there as a field dog during the 18th century. By the 19th century, they had become known for their wonderful hunting abilities and were used on large estates in and around Sussex County. They are still used for hunting today.
2. In the 1700s, the hunters of Sussex developed this breed to have short legs and a long, husky body, so it would be perfectly suited to pushing through the area’s thick underbrush while flushing out game. Because the dog is so low and the vegetation is so high, the Sussex has a tendency to give tongue, or vocalize, while following a scent trail. That allows the hunter to keep track of the dog’s position. So you can expect a Sussex to be chattier than other spaniels in his day-to-day activities.
3. Although low to the ground, standing only 13-to 15-inches high measured at the withers, the Sussex is a heavy dog and weighs as much as 45 pounds. It’s a member of the Sporting Group and is described by the breed standard as massive, due to its heavy bones and deep chest.
4. The Sussex has a marvelous nose and excels at following a scent. He is a great hunting companion and is suited for tracking trials, as well.
5. The serious and sad expression on the face of a Sussex is not representative of his personality. These spaniels are actually easygoing, friendly, and affectionate. If raised with children, the Sussex does very well with them. Like many other breeds, Sussex needs socialization with children and other animals they will be living with. Children should always be supervised around dogs, and especially puppies.
6. The Sussex Spaniel was one of the first breeds to be recognized by the American Kennel Club back when the club first formed in 1884. In 2009, a Sussex Spaniel won "Best In Show" at the Westminster Kennel Club, the only Sussex yet to do so. Ch. Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee, also known as Stump, was the oldest dog, at 10 years of age, to ever win the coveted title.
7. Sussex have an abundant coat in a rich, golden liver color. Their gorgeous soft, wavy fur needs regular brushing to look its best. Be sure to brush their flowing ear hair, as well, to remove any trapped debris.
8. These are dogs with a medium activity level. They enjoy playing fetch and taking walks with their family. Their nose can lead them into leash pulling, however, so positive training and proper socialization will help develop good manners.