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  • Temperament: Mellow, Amusing, Gentlemanly
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 144 of 192
  • Height: 18-20 inches (male), 17-19 inches (female)
  • Weight: 70-85 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Group: Sporting Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Clumber Spaniel standing in three-quarter view
Clumber Spaniel head facing left
Clumber Spaniel sitting facing forward
Clumber Spaniel coat detail
Clumber Spaniel lying on a white background.
Clumber Spaniel standing sideways facing left.
Clumber Spaniel head and shoulders facing forward.
Close up of a Clumber Spaniel's head lying in green grass under filtered sunlight outdoors.
Clumber Spaniel

Find a Puppy: Clumber Spaniel

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Clumber Spaniel is a long, low, substantial dog. His heavy brow, deep chest, straight forelegs, powerful hindquarters, massive bone and good feet all give him the power and endurance to move through dense underbrush in pursuit of game. His white coat enables him to be seen by the hunter as he works within gun range. His stature is dignified, his expression pensive, but at the same time he shows great enthusiasm for work and play.

HEAD

The head is massive with a marked stop and heavy brow. The top skull is flat with a pronounced occiput. A slight furrow runs between the eyes and up through the center of the skull. The muzzle is broad and deep to facilitate retrieving many species of game. The nose is large, square and colored shades of brown, which include beige, rose and cherry. The flews of the upper jaw are strongly developed and overlap the lower jaw to give a square look when viewed from the side. A scissors bite is preferred. The eyes are dark amber in color, large, soft in expression, and deep set in either a diamond shaped rim or a rim with a “V” on the bottom and a curve on the top. Some haw may show but excessive haw is undesirable. Prominent or round shaped eyes are to be penalized. Excessive tearing or evidence of entropion or ectropion is to be penalized. Ears are broad on top with thick ear leather. The ears are triangular in shape with a rounded lower edge, set low and attached to the skull at approximately eye level.

BODY

The Clumber should have a long neck with some slackness of throat or presence of dewlap not to be faulted. The neck is strong and muscular, fitting into a well laid back shoulder. The back is straight, firm, long and level. The brisket is deep and the ribs well sprung. The chest is deep and wide. The loin arches slightly. The tail is well feathered and set on just below the line of back; it’s trimming minimal, serving to tidy the feathering to allow for a natural appearance and outline. The tail is normally carried level with the topline or slightly elevated, never down between the rear legs. The tail may be docked or left natural, both being of equal value. If docked, the tail’s length should be in keeping with the overall proportion of the adult dog. If natural, the tailbone should extend to the point of hock, but should not extend to the ground.

FOREQUARTERS

The Clumber shoulder is well laid back. The upper arm is of sufficient length to place the elbow under the highest point of the shoulder. The forelegs are short, straight and heavy in bone, with elbows held close to the body. Pasterns are strong and only slightly sloped. The front feet are large, compact and have thick pads that act as shock absorbers. Removal of dewclaws is optional.

COAT

The body coat is dense, straight and flat. It is of good weather resistant texture, which is soft to the touch, not harsh. Ears are slightly feathered with straight hair. Feathering on the legs and belly is moderate. The Clumber has a good neck frill and on no condition should his throat be shaved. Evidence of shaving is to be penalized. The hair on the feet should be trimmed neatly to show their natural outline and for utility in the field. The rear legs may be trimmed up to the point of the hock. Tail feathering may be tidied. Trimming of whiskers is optional.

HINDQUARTERS

The thighs are heavily muscled and, when viewed from behind, the rear is round and broad. The stifle shows good functional angulation, and hock to heel is short and perpendicular to the ground. Lack of angulation is objectionable. The rear feet are not as large or as round as on the front feet but compact, with thick pads and are of substantial size.

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About the Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniels are powerful bird dogs of heavy bone, built long and low, with a massive head. They stand 17 to 20 inches; a small female might be 55 pounds, and a large male could go 85 pounds. Built to push through thick cover in the field, Clumber movement is nonetheless free and easy. The dense coat is primarily white, with sparse lemon or orange markings.

Clumbers are sweet and easygoing at home, but these outdoorsy fellows can be relentless on scent. Smart and eager-to-please Clumbers respond well to training. Though a bit wary around strangers, Clumbers are friendly dogs who bark only when they have something to say, and so make indifferent watchdogs. They love swimming and fetching, and are sturdy childhood playmates.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Clumber Spaniel

Find a Puppy: Clumber Spaniel

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Clumber Spaniel Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

It is very important that a Clumber not become overweight, as excess weight puts strain on joints and bones supporting the breed’s sturdy, heavy build. A high-quality dog food appropriate to his age (puppy, adult, or senior) should have all the nutrients the breed needs. If your vet thinks your dog is becoming overweight, you may need to feed a low-calorie dog food. Clumbers are very food oriented. If you use treats while training, do so in moderation. Never feed cooked bones or fatty table foods.

GROOMING

As with all breeds with heavy, lowset ears, routine cleaning of the ears is a must to avoid ear infections. The heavy folds on the head require regular once-overs with a damp cloth. Wrinkles that are not kept dry can easily set up a yeast infection that has a bad odor and is unpleasant for the dog. Nails should be kept short with monthly trims. Bathing once a month is usually sufficient for a dog who isn’t working regularly in the field. Clumbers don’t require a lot of trimming; their coat is very easy care, requiring little more than a thorough grooming with a brush and a medium comb once or twice a week.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Regularly

EXERCISE

Despite their lumbering appearance, the Clumber can be a very active dog. They will benefit from long walks, taking occasional breaks to sniff around. Clumbers love to retrieve, so they can get ample exercise right in their own backyard, chasing after a tennis ball and enjoying time spent with their owner.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

The Clumber is steady and reliable, thorough and tenacious. These traits can sometimes make them a challenge to train, because they tend to stop and think things through before deciding to do them. Keep training sessions interesting to keep their attention on learning instead of searching for something more fun to do. Most will require a reason to do as they are told. They do not take well to a heavy-handed trainer, however.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Reserved with Strangers

HEALTH

Clumbers are generally a healthy breed, although certain conditions are sometimes seen, including hypothyroidism (with side effects of skin and ear issues) and entropion or ectropion (eyelids that turn either in or out). Like many other large breeds, growing too rapidly can cause eosinophilic panosteitis in Clumber puppies—something they usually outgrow. Hip dysplasia also occurs in the breed. Because the Clumber body is quite long, they are also somewhat predisposed to intervertebral disc disease (cervical and thoracic). Immune mediated hemolytic anemia has been encountered in some Clumbers; all should avoid being treated with sulfa drugs.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologic Exam
  • PDP1 Test

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Clumber Spaniel sitting on a white background.
Clumber Spaniel
Clumber Spaniel
Clumber Spaniel
Clumber Spaniel
Clumber Spaniel

History

Early Clumber history is, one researcher writes, “lost in a tangled web of folklore and misinformation.” We can pick up a reliable trail in the late 1700s at Nottinghamshire, England. There, the Duke of Newcastle and his gamekeeper perfected a burly spaniel named for the duke’s vast estate, Clumber Park.

Clumbers became a favorite of the many gamebird hunters among the area’s titled families and landed gentry. Since the duke’s day Clumbers have been popular with British royals, including Edward VII and George V (an important Clumber breeder in his day). The breed has been described by its partisans as naughty, mischievous, stubborn, affectionate, and entertaining, but through it all the Clumber retains the touch of regal dignity that marks him as a companion of crowned heads.

As accessories of the British upper crust, Clumbers were popular subjects for leading sporting artists and portrait painters during the heyday of the British aristocracy. Seen today, these pictures show that the breed has changed but little in all the years since.

Clumbers were on the scene for the very first British dog shows, held in the mid-1800s. They were introduced to America, by way of Canada, around the same time. Careful studbooks were kept on the breed in America even before the AKC was established, and the Clumber was among the AKC’s 10 charter breeds when the organization was founded in 1884.

Did You Know?

The Clumber Spaniel is believed to have originated in France.
The first Clumber Spaniel registered with the American Kennel Club was recorded in 1878.
The Clumber is believed to be one of the earliest spaniels developed for special uses and is especially useful for his adaptability for use in heavy cover.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Clumber Spaniel is a long, low, substantial dog. His heavy brow, deep chest, straight forelegs, powerful hindquarters, massive bone and good feet all give him the power and endurance to move through dense underbrush in pursuit of game. His white coat enables him to be seen by the hunter as he works within gun range. His stature is dignified, his expression pensive, but at the same time he shows great enthusiasm for work and play.

HEAD

The head is massive with a marked stop and heavy brow. The top skull is flat with a pronounced occiput. A slight furrow runs between the eyes and up through the center of the skull. The muzzle is broad and deep to facilitate retrieving many species of game. The nose is large, square and colored shades of brown, which include beige, rose and cherry. The flews of the upper jaw are strongly developed and overlap the lower jaw to give a square look when viewed from the side. A scissors bite is preferred. The eyes are dark amber in color, large, soft in expression, and deep set in either a diamond shaped rim or a rim with a “V” on the bottom and a curve on the top. Some haw may show but excessive haw is undesirable. Prominent or round shaped eyes are to be penalized. Excessive tearing or evidence of entropion or ectropion is to be penalized. Ears are broad on top with thick ear leather. The ears are triangular in shape with a rounded lower edge, set low and attached to the skull at approximately eye level.

BODY

The Clumber should have a long neck with some slackness of throat or presence of dewlap not to be faulted. The neck is strong and muscular, fitting into a well laid back shoulder. The back is straight, firm, long and level. The brisket is deep and the ribs well sprung. The chest is deep and wide. The loin arches slightly. The tail is well feathered and set on just below the line of back; it’s trimming minimal, serving to tidy the feathering to allow for a natural appearance and outline. The tail is normally carried level with the topline or slightly elevated, never down between the rear legs. The tail may be docked or left natural, both being of equal value. If docked, the tail’s length should be in keeping with the overall proportion of the adult dog. If natural, the tailbone should extend to the point of hock, but should not extend to the ground.

FOREQUARTERS

The Clumber shoulder is well laid back. The upper arm is of sufficient length to place the elbow under the highest point of the shoulder. The forelegs are short, straight and heavy in bone, with elbows held close to the body. Pasterns are strong and only slightly sloped. The front feet are large, compact and have thick pads that act as shock absorbers. Removal of dewclaws is optional.

COAT

The body coat is dense, straight and flat. It is of good weather resistant texture, which is soft to the touch, not harsh. Ears are slightly feathered with straight hair. Feathering on the legs and belly is moderate. The Clumber has a good neck frill and on no condition should his throat be shaved. Evidence of shaving is to be penalized. The hair on the feet should be trimmed neatly to show their natural outline and for utility in the field. The rear legs may be trimmed up to the point of the hock. Tail feathering may be tidied. Trimming of whiskers is optional.

HINDQUARTERS

The thighs are heavily muscled and, when viewed from behind, the rear is round and broad. The stifle shows good functional angulation, and hock to heel is short and perpendicular to the ground. Lack of angulation is objectionable. The rear feet are not as large or as round as on the front feet but compact, with thick pads and are of substantial size.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
White Check Mark For Standard Color 199

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Lemon Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 063
Orange Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 102

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