Clumber Spaniel

AKC Sporting Group


Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The heaviest spaniel, the Clumber Spaniel was originally developed by a French nobleman, the Duc de Noailles, and later taken to the Duke of Newcastle’s estate in England, Clumber Park, for safekeeping during the French Revolution. Though the Clumber’s early history is not well documented, Basset Hounds and St. Bernards may have contributed to the breed. Several British monarchs have favored the Clumber, including Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s consort), King Edward VII, and his son, King George V. The Clumber Spaniel has been used to hunt pheasant and partridge, both in small packs and alone, and is especially well-suited for work in dense undergrowth. Although he is rather slow in the field compared to other spaniels, the Clumber is a quiet worker with a fine nose and good stamina. He can also be trained to retrieve. This Clumber Spaniel was one of the earliest breeds recognized by the AKC.


The Clumber Spaniel is a massive-boned dog, longer than high. The chest is broad and deep. The Clumber has a broad, square head with a pronounced occiput. The muzzle is wide for good retrieving. The nose is brownish or flesh-colored, and the eyes are dark amber. Some haw may show at the bottom of the eyes. The flews hang over the lower jaw. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The front legs are short, heavy, and straight. Dewclaw removal is optional. The large, compact, webbed feet have thick pads. The tail is often docked at birth in the United States, though docking the Clumber Spaniel’s tail is not permitted in England and Scandinavia. The low-set, thick-leathered, triangular ears are wide at the top with a rounded lower edge. The soft, dense, straight coat is white with lemon or orange markings. The body should be mostly white. Freckles are common on the front legs and muzzle. The dog should have moderate feathering on the underside, legs, ears, and tail.

Key Facts

  • Height:  19 to 20 in. (male); 17 to 19 in. (female)
  • Size:  Medium
  • Weight:  70 to 85 lbs. (male); 55 to 70 lbs. (female)
  • Availability:  Very difficult to find
  • Talents:  Hunting, tracking, and retrieving


A good dog for people who like to walk frequently. Do not jog with a Clumber in hot weather or on pavement. Although the Clumber can do well in most climates, he is more comfortable in cool climates because of his dense coat and heavy body. A good swimmer. Because the Clumber loves to fetch, exercising him is easy. Tends to be very oral-needs good chew toys. Beware of hip dysplasia. Buy only from stock with OFA, PennHIP, or another national hip dysplasia clearance if possible, as there are only a small number of dogs with hip certifications in this country. Tends to drool, wheeze, and snore. Known for swallowing foreign objects. Be careful not to overfeed. Some skilled trimming of the coat is needed. May be prone to flea and skin allergies. The ears and eyes need to be cleaned and inspected regularly. The Clumber Spaniel is prone to entropion, cataracts, and dry eyes. Buy from stock with current CERF or OFA eye clearance.


Gentle and sweet. Well-behaved, quiet, and steady. Sedentary when mature. Very affectionate and playful. Active as a puppy. May be a bit willful. Tends to be a one-person dog. May be reserved with strangers, but should never be timid or hostile. Puppies may be submissive urinators. Clumbers are a gentle person’s dog. They do not respond well to heavy-handed discipline.


  • Children:  Does well with children when raised with them from puppyhood
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability:  Slightly difficult to train
  • Independence:  Very independent
  • Dominance:  Moderate
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Friendly with other dogs
  • Noise:  Not a barker
  • Indoors:  Very inactive indoors
  • Owner:  Good for novice owners


  • Grooming:  A little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  Skilled trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Feathered coat
  • Shedding:  Average shedder
  • Docking:  The tail is customarily docked
  • Exercise:  Needs lots of exercise
  • Jogging:  A good jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space:  A small yard is sufficient
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates, but does not like heat
  • Longevity:  Moderately long lived (12 to 15 years)

Useful Links

AKC® Clumber Spaniel Breed Standard

Clumber Spaniel Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniel Gifts