AKC Dog Breeds: Sussex Spaniel

Post Pic

As dog owners and people who care deeply for animals and wildlife, we wanted our Dog Encyclopedia to be a website that could empower pet owners to create the most positive, loving environment for their dogs. Dog Encyclopedia realizes that owning a dog is like adding a new member to your family.

Sporting Group
Height:15-16 inches   Weight: 40-45 pounds  Color: rich golden red with a tinge of gold at the tips

Although the Sussex Spaniel originated centuries ago, the breed’s appearance has remained virtually unchanged still today. The Sussex possesses a rich golden liver coat unique to the breed, and has a long, low and somewhat massive body. Although not as fast as other Spaniel breeds, the Sussex has a great nose and is well suited for working through dense underbrush on the hunt. While the Sussex Spaniel was one of the original nine breeds recognized by the AKC in 1884, it has actually existed as a breed for much longer. It originated in the 18th century in the county of Sussex, England, where it was used as a field dog. At that time, the custom of hunting on foot made the Sussex a popular hunting companion and very useful in flushing and retrieving upland game.

General Appearance
The Sussex Spaniel is a strong, massive dog. Its stand demands a well-balanced head which is broad and somewhat heavy. The chest is deep and well developed. It has a liver-colored nose, scissors bite, and a well-marked frontal stop. The dog has a golden-liver colored coat that is flat or slightly wavy without being curled. The legs, undersides and tail are feathered. The loose skin and heavy long ears are somewhat reminiscent of a Basset Hound. The eyes are hazel and fairly large with a sweet expression. The tail is docked to 5-7 inches (12½-17½ cm). The ears are rather large, tight to the head, covered with soft, wavy hair. The neck is slightly arched. The golden-liver color of its coat, especially at sunset, blends with the color of the trees and game, so hunters using Sussex Spaniels need to be very careful not to shoot their dog accidentally. This may be why the breed is not widespread.


The Sussex Spaniel is a friendly and placid dog, 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 medium length coat of this breed should be brushed and/or combed regularly. The Sussex Spaniel is prone to ear infections and dirty ears so ear cleaning is of significant importance. The puppies' teeth should be monitored regularly because the teeth of a young Sussex spaniel are very sensitive during formation period. If they are not given special care, they will most probably turn out jagged and crooked. Baths should be given only when necessary and remember to avoid using human shampoo, because it may ruin the sheen and texture of the coat.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
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. Sussex spaniels are also known to gain weight very fast, and a good diet is required to keep them at a good fitness level.

Activity Level

The Sussex Spaniel commonly battles weight problems so he should have sufficient exercise daily. Swimming and retrieving are sports this breed really enjoys. A regular two mile walk is the minimum requirement to keep the dog's fitness level in check. If you are living near the woods, get the dog some good exercise by taking it for strolls in the woods. You can also train your Sussex spaniel to retrieve small games, which is a cause for excitement for this breed. This dog does okay without a yard but loves a brisk run.


Dog Breeds:

Dog Encyclopedia has added beautiful dog photographs on each of our Dog Breed pages to enhance your experience. Each section in Dog Encyclopedia helps to educate pet owners, enabling both the dog, and the owner to have a safe, high quality experience

search boxers at Dog Encyclopediachoows are great petsDogue Bordeauxtwo english setters are twice the funbull terriers at dog encyclopediaboston terriers in love

Sussex Spaniel dog featured in dog encyclopedia
Sussex Spaniel profile on dog encyclopedia