Clumber Spaniel FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated June 2006

Clumber Spaniels

Author :Ed Presnall (web)

Table of Contents

Characteristics and Temperament
The Clumber Spaniel, a handsome and useful member of the spaniel family is of ancient lineage, and his solemn and majestic aspect mark him as a true aristocrat of long descent.

The Clumbers are deserving of their popularity with shooting men, for no dog is a more capable assistant to the gun. They are by inclination the keenest and most preserving of hunters, have the best noses, and, considering their massive build, have remarkable powers of endurance.

(Above) Ch. Andchelle Lord Raglan TD, VST (ImpEng)
(The First Variable Surface Tracker Clumber)

The Clumber Spaniel is easily trained, easily controlled and unusually intelligent. They take naturally to retrieving, are good water dogs, and as all round workmen have no superiors.

There is a good deal of mystery about the origin of this breed, and history carries them back to the middle of the fourteenth century. In the eighteen hundreds, the French Duc de Noailles presented a kennel of spaniels to the second Duke of Newcastle, whose Notinghamshire country place is known as Clumber Park. Here the present spaniel known as a Clumber, is said to have originated; certainly it is here that it received its name. For additional information on the originons of the breed, review the history section below.

There is no trace of their origin in France, for there at the present day the Clumber is accepted as a purely English product. It has been suggested that the Duke, finding that the spaniels that had been presented to him were too fast, reduced their pace by crossing them on some heavier breed. What the cross or crosses were will never be known, but the Clumber's general type, his massive frame, powerful limbs, white coat with lemon markings, and his solemn and majestic aspect and demeanor suggest the St. Bernard, There is also a theory that they owe their origin to a cross of Baron Cuvier's Alpine Spaniel, a dog indirectly related to the St. Bernard.

The breed standard states that the Clumber should have short, massive heads; square muzzles; well marked stop; low-set, massive body of moderate length; big bone; flat, dense coat; down-carried tail and pale orange or lemon markings. Weight of dogs average between 70 and 85 pounds; bitches 55 to 70 pounds.

The stocky, slow moving Clumber Spaniel is a great companion. Clumbers are a sedate and affectionate breed and will be great partners to those who appreciate the qualities of a fine sporting dog but do not have the time or energy to trail after the speedy flight of the setters or pointers.

Clumbers make excellent house-pets and can thrive with moderate exercise, though some Clumbers can be high energy dogs. They are actively represented in obedience and tracking, as well as being fine hunters and companions. (Right) Ch. Almarney Duke (Australia)

Hunting Clumber
(Left) Ch. Leybel Out-Of-Order, SH (ImpEng)
Clumber Spaniels, originally bred as a Gentlemen's Gun Dog, do equally well in the show ring and the field. They are wonderful companion animals and have an inbred talent for field work.

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Clumber Spaniels are equally at home in an apartment or a residential home. They, like most spaniels, require some daily exercise. While they might prefer ten acres in the country and their own pond to play in, many Clumbers thrive in city settings. As the Clumber matures, brisk walks, bicycling, or ball-chasing can keep the Clumber in excellent shape.

Clumbers, bred originally as working dogs, may require more exercise than a normal spaniel. Failure to provide sufficient excercise will result in an overweight condition, atrophy of the muscles and a reduced lifespan.

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Sparkle (left) Ch. Clussexx Rhinestone Sparkle The body coat is dense, straight, flat and is of good weather resistant texture; it 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. The feet may be trimmed to show the natural outline, as well as the rear legs up to the point of hock. Tail feathering may be tidied. Trimming of whiskers is optional. No other trimming or shaving is to be condoned.

Long-haired breeds do take some care. Clipping for pet/field dogs can be confined to the inside of the ears and around the tail. This makes it easier to keep both areas clean. Hair must also be trimmed from between the pads on the feet; without this care, the feet can splay, and the dog loses traction on slick surfaces. Nails should be trimmed often. Show people trim them weekly; some pet owners can go up to four weeks without much problem. See the FAQ on general dog health for futher health care information.

Alice (Right) Eng.Sh.Ch. Leybel Token of Love at Greencourt The coat on most Clumbers has longer guard-hairs on top with a soft, dense undercoat, depending on seasonal conditions. All dogs lose coat at some point during the year, and the hair they do lose is long enough that it's pretty easy to sweep or vacuum. Extreme stress or health problems can lead to excessive shedding. Daily brushing will help keep things under control.

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(left) CH Erinveine Herald At Arms Am/Can TD (ImpAust) Clumbers generally enjoy robust good health, thriving on exercise. They love the water, yet can adjust to a quiet, city life. They do need human companionship, though they can snooze all day while you're at work as long as they get good attention and exercise when you're home. Keeping the mature dog's weight within the guidelines will optimize health. See the FAQ on general dog health for futher health care information.

All floppy-eared dogs need consistent ear-care. Most veterinarians recommend cleaning the ears weekly as a preventative. If you see dark brown wax, or smell a rancid odor, it is a sure sign of trouble. Don't let ear problems wait; bacterial, fungus or mite problems will require a veterinarian's care. (Above)

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Some Clumbers have been diagnosed with eye problems. Retinal Dysplasia (RD) is a genetic defect present at birth in which the retina may be curved or irregularly shaped and may also be detached.

Responsible breeders will check their litters by the age of 8 weeks, and will offer written documentation to the buyer, signed by a AVCO Board-Certified Vet, of "clear eyes" or to the extent of any detected eye defects.

Most of the time, this condition if diagnosed in puppies does not get worse. For additional information on RD visit the Canine Eye Research Foundation CERF Web Page

RD is caused by a simple recessive gene. It takes a defective gene from each parent to produce an affected dog; however, an unaffected dog could be a carrier of the gene. Dogs which are known carriers should not be bred.

Additionally, Clumbers are abnormally susecptible to eye problems known as entropion. Entropion is the rolling inwards of the eyelid, sometimes allowing the stiff rim of the lid to rub and irritate the eye. In Clumbers it seems to be the lower lids that cause the most problems. The lid may roll so far as to allow the hair on the lid to rub the eyeball itself. Depending on the dog this may cause considerable discomfort, corneal ulcers, infections and even blindness. For lucky owners the dog may be somewhat resistant to this abrasion.

Clumber owners should, on a daily basis, place a soaked warm washcloth over the eyes, soften any crust or tear residue and wipe away. This process takes only about a minute and should feel good to the dog.

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Joint Problems
As in most of the medium to large breeds, Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) affects most Clumbers. Although the percentage of affected dogs is decreasing, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) statistics for shows the Clumber Spaniel to be the 5th highest rated breed for hip dysplasia with a total of 450 animals evaluated with 2.9 percent rated as excellent and 47.8 percent rated as dysplastic. For additional information view the OFA Web pages.

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Clumbers sometimes have skin/allergy problems; however, the percentage of dogs with these problems is fairly low. Keeping the environment clear of fleas, as well as supplementing the diet with veterinarian approved suppliments can go a long way to controlling skin flare-ups.

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The Clumber is a loyal and affectionate dog; sometimes reserved with strangers, but never hostile or timid. Clumbers get along well with just about everyone - other animals included. They are not aggressive and can be fine guardians for children.

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An average Clumber lives around 12 years, however in the past twenty years, it has not been uncommon for a Clumber to live to the age of 15 or 16.

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The Clumber Spaniel, like all other spaniels, came from one common stock. For more than a thousand years the story of the spaniel has been handed down from generation to generation, by word of mouth, by old writings.

One of the earliest mentions of spaniels as a recognized variety of dog comes from the Principality of Wales. In the 'Laws of Howel Dda', a Welsh prince who died a century before the Norman Conquest.

(Left) Return From The Shooting, Francis Wheatley, 1788. The second Duke of Newcastle with Col. Lichfield and Mansell the head keeper, seen with spaniels and pointers.

In Canterbury Tales, Chaucer (1340-1400) wrote in the prologue to the wife of Bath's tale, 'For as a Spaynel she wol on him lepe.' Gaston Phoebus de Foix, who died in 1391, also alludes to spaniels in his hunting manual, later translated by Edward Plantagenet, second Duke of York. Phoebus de Foix, a Gaston feudal baron living close to the borders of spain wrote ...

    'Another manner of hound [general name for a dog at that time] there is, called hounds for the hawk, and Spaniels for their kind comes from Spain, notwithstanding that there are many in other countries. Such hounds have many customs, good and evil. Also a fair hound for the hawk should have a great head, a great body, and be of fair hue, white or tavele [i.e. pied, speckled, mottled], for they be the fairest and of such hue as is commonly best.'
It is strange that in the fourteenth century, a writer should describe in so few words, a Clumber Spaniel.

At the turn of the century, the Clumber was the dog to beat in the Spaniel field trials in England. This long, low heavy-boned, massively headed dog -- the largest Spaniel -- was a favorite of British royalty, including King Edward VII and George V.

Queen Victoria wrote in her diary, on October 16, 1840, the following:
    Walked out directly after breakfast before Albert went to shoot. He had his 7 fine Clumber Spaniels with us and we went into the Slopes, with such a funny old Gamekeeper, Walters, in order that I should see how the dogs found out their game. They are such dear, nice dogs.

His distinctive lemon or orange-ticked white coat and easygoing manner would seem to mark him for greater popularity than he has enjoyed. Interest to the breed has increased significantly in recent years with the publicity of major show wins at Crufts and Westminster.

Sh. Ch. Raycroft Socialite, owned by Ralph Dunne of Co. Cavan, Ireland, won the coveted honor of Best In Show at the 1991 Crufts Centenary Show. Socialite, bred by Rae Furness, represents eight generations of Raycroft breeding.

Ch. Clussexx Country Sunrise, owned by Richard & Judith Zaleski of Florida, took top honors at the 1996 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show with his Best In Show win. "Brady"represents five generations of American breedings. He was the Number One winning Clumber Spaniel in U.S. history.

American Clumbers --

Spaniels recognizable as Clumbers have been in the United States since before the AKC was founded; indeed, the American Spaniel Club actually predates the AKC. Clumbers were among the breeds recorded in Dr. Nicholas Rowe's 1878 stud book, which subsequently became volume one of AKC's Stud Book, registered the first Clumber Spaniel. a dog named Bustler. This was the 1,353rd animal registered by the AKC.

In 2002 the AKC registered a total of 188 Clumbers ranking the breed as the 121st most popular breed. Although not classified as a rare breed, they are quite hard to find, but are well worth the wait.

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Breeder Referral
The AKC Breeder Referral program's number is 1-900-407-PUPS(7877). This will give you the name of a local dog club's Breeder Referral Representative, who can supply the dog buyer with a list of sources. There is a small charge for this call.

The Clumber Spaniel Club of America (the USA Parent Club) CSCA web site.

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The National Clumber Spaniel Rescue efforts are maintained by the Parent Club. Contact Sue Carr, 41 Compton Court, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920 (908) 580-1055. and she will get back to you with information about rescue contact people in your area.

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About the Clumber Spaniel...

The Clumber Spaniel Handbook
by Ed Presnall

1999, ISBN 09663092-1-2
PawMark Press, Box 769, New Munster WI 53152
Available On The Web At :

Here it is, a book for all reasons! If you know nothing about Clumber Spaniels this is the book for you. If you want to know about what Clumbers can do, this is the book for you. If you want more information on an aspect of showing this book is for you. Need contact information or information on more books about Clumbers? You picked the right book. If I could get the book on a tee shirt it would save me answering all the questions you get when you own a Clumber Spaniel.

Leading the new wave in electronic books, PawMark Press introduces the first in a series of breed specific books on CD-ROM. Full color images interlaced with hypertext allows the user to access specific pages, artwork, photographs or external World Wide Web links and e-mail addresses within the ebook with just a click of the mouse.

Clumber Spaniels by Jan Irving 1998, ISBN 0-86667-057-2
Hoflin Publishing, 4401 Zephyr Street, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033, (303) 420-2222
Available On The Web At :
Direct Books
4M Enterprises
Hoflin Publishing

With this book, she [Jan Irving] has reached into the depths of her experience as a Clumber breeder, exhibitor and cherished friend of the fancy to unfold the story of the modern day Clumber, the aristocrat of Spaniels. A must read book for anyone involved with Clumber Spaniels.

The Aristocrat of Spaniels
by W. Ironsides & M. Charlesworth

1996, From the Authors
Clouds George Road, Yorkley, near Lydney, Gloucheshire, GL15 4TL England
E-Mail to: Bill Ironsides
Available On The Web At :
Direct Books
4M Enterprises

Bill and Majorie Ironside have over 40 years experience in Clumbers. Founders of the Belcrum and Tavirosh kennels, championship show judges and ardent supporters of the working spaniel. A personal, in-depth view at their breeding, raising and training of the aristocrat of the breed.

How To Raise and Train a Clumber Spaniel
by Mr. And Mrs. R. Wilton Meyer

1965, Reprinted in 1997 as
    Clumber Spaniel
    by Mr. And Mrs. R. Wilton Meyer
    1997, ISBN 0-7938-0764-6
    TFH Publications, Inc.
    One TFH Plaza, Third and Union Avenues, Neptune City, NJ 07753
    Available On The Web At :
    Direct Books
    4M Enterprises

The Clumber Spaniel
by Peggy Grayson and Rae Furness

1991, ISBN 0851152805
Boydell Press, P.O. Box 9, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3DF England
Available On The Web At :
Direct Books
4M Enterprises

From the founder of Raycroft Kennels, a complete, in-depth history of the breed. From early fourteeth century writings to current show and field trials. Includes information on the standard, breeding, management and exhibition including numerous pedigrees and early photographs.

The Clumber Spaniel
by James Farrow
Reprint, 1991 by Dogs In Print
Hepworth, Huddersfield, England HD7 7HZ

London Fine white boards in a numbered limited edition of 200, this is a reprint of Farrow's highly respected 1912 Monograph

Sometimes available in rare book shops or occasionally from Bill Ironsides (Author, Aristocrat of Spaniels) E-Mail to: Bill Ironside

Clumber Spaniel Correspondence
by Jan Irving

Upper Beconsfield, Victoria 3808 Australia
E-Mail: Jan Irving
Web Site: Erinrac Enterprises

The Clumber Spaniel breed magazine. A publication dedicated to the Clumber Spaniel. Published quarterly in March, June, September and December. First published in May 1987

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Recommended Videos

The Clumber Spaniel
    Video Breed Series # VVT114
    American Kennel Club
    Video Fullfilment Department
    5580 Centerview Drive, Suite 200
    Raleigh, NC 27606
    (919) 233-9767

The Clumber Spaniel

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Clumber Spaniel Breed Clubs
Several breed specific clubs and organizations provide quarterly magazines on
Clumber Spaniels. Please contact them directly for subscription or membership

Breed Clubs

United States
Clumber Spaniel Club of America
Kimberly Jordan Daboo, Secretary
2901 Shadey Avenue
Pittsburg, PA 15217-2442
(412) 422-7392

The Clumber Spaniel Club
Club Secretary : Mrs Carol Page
Working Secretary: Mr Chris Page
"Micklemess" 20, Swanwick Lane, Swanwick, Southampton SO31 7HF
Tel: 01489 589734

The Club's website can be found at

The Working Clumber Spaniel Society
Secretary: Debbie Zurick
Leys Farm
Foxwitchen, Withypool, Somerset TA24 7RU
44 (0) 643-831427
The Club's website can be found at

Suomen Clumberit
Clumber Club of Finland

Secretary: Ms. Ira Sarlin
Myllymaekuja 12
FIN-01620 Vantaa FINLAND
bullet.gif E-Mail to Ms. Ira Sarlin

The Club's website can be found at

Clumber Spaniel Klubben
Lotta Olsson
Fänkålsgatan 31
754 47 Uppsala, Sweden
Ph +46 18 256755
Fax +46 18 559372
bullet.gif E-Mail to Lotta Olsen

The Club's website can be found at


Clumber Spaniel Club Nederland
Marc Charles Wynn
Noorddijk 33
3284 LB Zuid Beyerland, Netherlands
Telephone: 0186 662264


Clumber Spaniel Club of Canada
Judy Darling, President
10355 Willodell Rd. R.R., Port Robinson, ON L0S 1K0 Canada
(905) 295-4054  fax (905) 641-0371
bullet.gif E-Mail to Judy Darling, President

June Warren, Membership Chair
182 Limbrick St., Thunder Bay, ON P7C 4S7 Canada
(807)577-1337 fax (807) 577-9196
bullet.gif E-Mail to June Warren, Membership Chairman

Rarer Gundog Spaniel Club
Mrs. Lisa Franke
392 Hedley Cres
Lavington 2641, Australia
bullet.gif E-Mail to Lisa Franke

Clumber Spaniel Correspondence

Jan Irving
PO Box 29, Berwick, 3806, Australia
bullet.gif E-Mail to Jan Irving

bullet.gif Clumber Correspondence Web Site

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Clumber Spaniel FAQ
Ed Presnall,
Copyright © 2006-1996, Ed Presnall - All Rights Reserved