The Sussex Spaniel is a friendly and placid breed, with a steady disposition and a certain charm about him. Suited to both experienced and inexperienced dog owners, the Sussex Spaniel makes for a delightful companion and family pet. He can be a stubborn and willful dog at times, and because of this owners need to be confident, assertive, yet positive in their approach. It is advisable that you provide your Sussex Spaniel with early socialization to promote a stable and confident temperament. His protective nature and tendency to bark to raise an alarm makes the Sussex Spaniel an effective watchdog. These dogs and intelligent and fairly quick to learn, but training can still prove a challenge because of the stubbornness of some of these dogs. Housebreaking can also be difficult with some Sussex Spaniels.
The Sussex Spaniel does thrive on the love and affection of his owner, and likes to get involved in activities both indoors and outdoors. These are not dogs that like to be neglected, and this could lead to barking and howling. You will also need to be watchful with regards to his eating habits, as many Sussex Spaniels can be extremely fussy eaters. The Sussex Spaniel does not like to be handled roughly and is best suited around older, gentler children. He will usually be cautious around strangers at first, but this should later turn into polite acceptance. He tends to be friendly with other animals, but can be bossy, particularly with strange dogs. The Sussex Spaniel has moderate energy levels, and will require a fair amount of exercise, preferably with plenty of interactive play.
The Sussex Spaniel is a medium sized dog, and has a long, square set body with a sturdy build. These dogs sport a very serious and sometime worries expression, yet they carry themselves with dignity. The coat of the Sussex Spaniel comprises a weather resistant undercoat coupled with a beautiful outer coat, which is abundant and silky to the touch. The silky ears hang down to frame the face beautifully. The Sussex Spaniel weighs in at around 35-45 pounds, and the height of these dogs is around 13-15 inches.
The grooming needs for the Sussex Spaniel are moderate. You will need to brush his coat twice weekly, and trim hairs from the pads of his feet and from around the bottom. The ears should be checked regularly to ensure that they are clean and dry to reduce the chances of infection. You may also need to keep the nails trimmed. The Sussex Spaniel is a medium shedder, and therefore may not prove ideal for those with allergies.
The Sussex Spaniel has a life expectancy of around 11-12 years, and there are a number of health problems to look out for with this breed. This includes heart problems, thyroid problems, HD, and autoimmune disease. The parents of the Sussex Spaniel puppy should have OFA certificates.
The Sussex Spaniel originates from the Sussex region of England, and is known to be the rarest of the spaniels. Bred for hunting pheasant and partridge, the Sussex Spaniel was registered with the AKC in 1878.