A kind and loving animal, the Clumber Spaniel is considered a very high quality dog due to its nature and temperament. An intelligent and durable dog, it has the ability to have the most perspective intelligence of any of the sporting group breed of dogs.
A hard-to-find breed, this breed has a strong desire to "be close at all times," lovingly touching its owner's feet, body, or hands, simply to be near them in any way as it gazes adoringly into the eyes of the person above them.
Due to its nature and love of the outdoors since its early development, the Clumber now has a coat that is straight around the upper back area and upper head area, with a feathering effect and waves on the legs, ears, neck, and underbelly to protect from the shrub and brambles when running and chasing game.
The patterns and markings of the white Clumber Spaniel are basically lemon markings on a white background or even orange markings on a white background. This is not an accident, but was developed over its early years when working out in the field retrieving game, as it can be easily seen against the green and brownish shades of nature's canvas, making the dog easily visible to the hunters in the area in order not to shoot it.
Recognized as a dog that enjoyed hunting and were lovingly owned by the French Duc de Noailles, it seems as if a split history is part of the Clumber Spaniel's background. It was during the French Revolution that de Noailles' dogs were sent to England's Duke of Newcastle for safety purposes. From that moment on, both France and England have laid claim to developing this breed on their own, refusing to share in its origin.
There are such limited records that go back to the last part of the 18th century that its family ancestry is basically unknown to everyone involved. The breed of today works in an entirely different manner than in its early hunting days. During its early days when it worked together in a team, it was known to beat game step by step toward the eager hunters awaiting them.
The Clumber originated from a specialized blending of the Basset Hound with the European Alpine Spaniel, the Alpine since becoming an extinct breed. But what is known of its ancestry is that other than the Bloodhound the ancient lineage of the Clumbers have been kept pure for many generations.
The most incorrect thought process that causes people to consider this breed stupid and not really worthy of anything, is actually the very same thing that demonstrates their sensitivity and high-intelligence. Referred to as having a "dumb-attitude" or stubborn, they will physically go down if treated as such, being destroyed emotionally and mentally through any forms of abuse. Proving adequate mental and physical stimulation will remove all areas of boredom, which has given them the wrong name.
Considered an excellent house pet, this affectionate breed is very easy-going and sedate mannered, existing on low-levels or high-levels of exercise--depending on the type of owner they have. Like most cockers, they love the outdoors, and can excel in obedience classes, tracking, and field competitions. And they will not turn down a good day to go hunting with the family!
Of all the health problems of the Clumber, the two major ones are Canine Hip Dysplasia, juvenile lameness, and entropion. As usual in most dogs, there will be a few minor ailments that may or may not occur-- eyes with little moisture, a cataract-issue, any allergy problem of some form, and disc problems.
Testing is suggested or at least becoming aware these problems may develop, and acting accordingly when they do. Probably the most problematic area is the hip dysplasia, as it involves abnormal development of the hip skeleton.
Like most cockers, this is a breed that requires a lot of brushing and cleaning, with two to three times a week to a daily grooming requirement almost mandatory. The main areas that require extra focus is behind the ears and around the legs and belly, especially under the arm area and around the back legs, always watching for abnormal skin conditions, ticks, and mites.
The ears have always been a problem area for any breed of cocker. Balls form behind the ears, while inside the ear a gathering spot will develop for dirt, oil, and mites. Ear wipes and cleaning solutions for the ears are excellent tools for grooming, to prevent serious mite conditions and ear infections that habitually form inside the cocker ears
This is the type of dog who prefers to lounge around on the couch as they get older, enjoying any type of physical activity a "no-no." Because of this they will become overly stocky and heavy as they age, which will need to be monitored for their health.
Due to their love of their owners, they will enjoy going for walks and playing ball, if take outside and providing companionship. As a puppy, they will require the same type of human companionship, but will be more apt to enjoy running and hunting. Precious and cute little things, a young Clumber spaniel has short pudgy legs and soft little mouths where everything is considered edible, once it runs it down
To train in a respectful and caring manner is the only way to work with the Clumber Spaniel. Like most dogs, this breed enjoys being in a social dog group but will automatically take the position of boss if there is not control or training provided by the owner.
Training with positive words and treats, including lots of affectionate praise will work well with this special breed. Similar to working with young children by the age of five, working with a young puppy at a young age, is best to form good habits before bad ones can be developed.