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Clumber spaniel

Breed overview

  • Breed group — Sporting group (American Kennel Club)
  • Height — 18-20 inches (male), 17-19 inches (female)
  • Weight — 70-85 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
  • Coat length & texture — Dense, double-coat, of medium-length. Silky texture.
  • Coat color — Clumber spaniels are always white with orange, lemon, and brown markings. The markings usually occur on the ears or face.  clumber spaniel puppies are born with unique markings, and the coat color will not change over time.
  • Exercise needs — Low
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — Low, only bark to alert
  • Life span — 10-12 years
  • Temperament — Relaxed, polite, charming, loyal
  • Hypoallergenic — No
  • Origin — Unknown

Clumber spaniel fun facts 

👉 Coming up with a pet name can be fun but tricky. Search no further! According to PetScreening’s 2024 database, the majority of our users name their male Clumber Spaniels Bear or Winston. Meanwhile, most of our users with female Clumber Spaniels love Freya.

  • The clumber spaniel was named after “Clumber Park.” Clumber Park was part of a large English estate owned by the Duke of Newcastle, where the spaniels were used for hunting.
  • They love to carry things around. Clumber spaniels tend to carry items around in their mouths (with pride), whether it’s a toy, a sock, or a stick.
  • They’re a rare breed. The American Kennel Club receives only about 200 clumber spaniel puppy registrations in the USA annually.
Clumber spaniel face

Clumber spaniel temperament and characteristics 

The clumber spaniel is a two-sided coin. On one hand, they’re mild-mannered and the definition of unbothered. The breed was historically owned by British royalty and depicted in fine art. On the other hand, it’s not unusual for your adoring clumber spaniel to greet you with a drool-soaked tennis ball shoved in both cheeks.

They’re hunting dogs at heart but also fantastic couch potatoes. Well suited for families, the clumber spaniel is affectionate and loving to kids of all ages and other animals, although early socialization is always recommended. The breed is content indoors or out and is mainly concerned with being wherever their humans are.

A clumber spaniel pays little attention to strangers and is unlikely to bark when someone comes in. For that reason, they’re no guard dogs. Almost any home environment is suitable for a clumber spaniel, as long as you don’t mind the drool and plenty of hair.

Common clumber spaniel health problems

Clumber spaniels are a generally healthy breed, although there are a number of conditions to watch out for. Some serious conditions like autoimmune disorder and pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase 1 deficiency (PDP1) occur in clumber spaniels but are rare. Here are some more common conditions to discuss with your vet and take preventative measures when possible.

  • Hip dysplasia. Clumber spaniels suffer from a high rate of hip dysplasia, which affects about 44% of the breed.  Some sources claim that all clumber spaniels have some degree of hip dysplasia. Avoid strenuous exercise (especially over long periods) and overfeeding pups to lower the chances of painful hip problems.
  • Invertebral disc disease. This serious condition affects clumber spaniels more than any other breed. When it occurs, ruptured discs press against the spinal cord, causing pain and inflammation. In some cases, it can cause paralysis.
  • Ear infections. The breed is prone to ear infections, which can be recurrent. If there’s a smell coming from your pup’s ear or your notice them shaking their head, it’s time to get the ears checked.
  • Eye conditions. Clumber spaniels can suffer from entropion (eyelid growing inward) and ectropion (droopy eye).  Signs of entropion are rubbing of the eyes and discharge.  Ectropion is easily identified by sagging lower eyelids, redness, and discharge.

Cost of caring for clumber spaniel

The most common health problems for clumber spaniels are hip dysplasia and eye problems (entropion and ectropion).  The likelihood of your clumber spaniel developing one of these conditions is high and should be considered when deciding if this is the right puppy for you. Each can require diagnostics, a range of treatments, and even surgery.

Pet health insurance may be a way to reduce out-of-pocket expenses and provides the greatest benefits to pet clumber spaniel owners who sign up their pets early. Other alternatives, such as budgeting for your pet or opening a pet savings account, could be helpful if you plan to adopt a clumber spaniel puppy.

Sleepy clumber spaniel

History of the clumber spaniel

The true origin of the clumber spaniel is a fairytale. Where they originated from is unknown, but there have been plenty of guesses, including France and the United Kingdom. We can agree that the first known clumber spaniels belonged to England’s Duke of Newcastle and were named for his large estate, Clumber Park. Some think the Duke’s gamekeeper may have even bred the first clumber spaniels.

Clumber spaniels have been a part of many royal British families and the subject of paintings by 18th-century artists like Francis Wheatley, George Bouverie Goddard, and John Emmes.

After being brought to the United States, the clumber spaniel was one of the first nine dogs registered with the American Kennel Club. Because there are so many early depictions of clumber spaniels, we can see that the breed has mostly stayed the same over the last 200-plus years.

Caring for your clumber spaniel

Preparing to welcome a pup of any breed can be overwhelming. Fur parents must make their first trip to the vet and schedule their dog’s vaccinations. We can even help you take care of things like puppy-proofing your home and preparing for teething.

While no one likes to think about losing their new dog, preparing for the worst is a good idea. FidoAlert provides a free Fido ID and tag, so you’re prepared just in case.

Here are some other basics specific to clumber spaniels.


Clumber spaniels are mellow loungers, but they do require daily exercise. Clumber spaniels can maintain a mild trot for long periods in their natural environment as hunting dogs. Your pup will be more adept at a moderate-paced walk than a strenuous hike. Clumber spaniels are the heaviest breed of Spaniels. They aren’t built for jumping or twisting dog sports (think rousing games of frisbee) or endurance at high intensities (like tagging along on your marathon training).

The breed isn’t particularly adverse to hot or cold, but pet parents should keep the dense double coat in mind during warmer months. Like any breed, you should avoid exposing your clumber spaniel to extreme temperatures for prolonged periods.

Clumber spaniel running


Clumber spaniel’s grooming needs are high. To properly groom this breed, expect to do a little pampering once a week and a good bath once a month. A high-quality slicker brush should be used to brush your gentle giant weekly. Clumber spaniels are heavy shedders year-round, and brushing can help reduce the excess. It will also keep their silky white coat looking its best.

👉Ask your veterinarian which dog shampoo to use for your clumber spaniel, who will need a bath once a month. 

Regularly clean the folds of your dog’s face with a damp cloth. Ears should be routinely checked, cleaned, and dried to prevent infection.

This breed needs regular nail trimming for their solid and fast-growing nails, and pet parents should incorporate teeth brushing to prevent periodontal disease.

Diet and nutrition

Clumber spaniels are short and heavy by nature and can be prone to obesity, so it’s important not to overfeed. Overfeeding as a puppy, in particular, can lead to hip dysplasia, which is already a high-risk factor for clumber spaniels.

Generally speaking, a healthy clumber spaniel pup should eat 3-4 times per day, while an adult should eat only twice (morning and night). Refer to your veterinarian for food portioning, including treats. Regarding “people food,” clumber spaniels can tolerate apples, salmon, popcorn, and quinoa, but other foods should be avoided.

This breed is food-motivated, so using appropriate treats for training may be helpful. Some clumber spaniel owners add Glucosamine or another joint supplement to their pup’s food to try and prevent arthritis and pain associated with hip dysplasia. Talk with your vet to see if supplements suit your fur baby.

Training your clumber spaniel

Clumber spaniels are intelligent and very trainable when you understand them. The most important thing to know is that this breed does not respond well to punishment or harsh training. A disciplinary approach will cause your clumber spaniel to shut down and become stubborn. Instead, the breed responds well to positive reinforcement and patience.

Originally bred to sniff out and retrieve birds, the clumber spaniel can be distracted when a scent catches their attention. If your clumber spaniel thinks they’re on the hunt, they may turn their ears off while the nose is on. They’re methodical and may pause to think something through before doing it. Once you understand this about the breed, training becomes easier.

Since clumber spaniels take pride in whatever they’re carrying around in their mouth, your pup may be reluctant to part with their “treasure.” Next time your clumber spaniel won’t drop their ball, remember that they view it as their prized possession.

Clumber spaniel playing with a ball

Breeds similar to the clumber spaniel

Not sure if a clumber spaniel is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Cocker spaniel. The Cocker spaniel is smaller, with a longer coat and higher energy levels. Like the clumber spaniel, they’re excellent family dogs (just with more barking.)
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel. The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a toy breed and only needs brief romps between naps. They’re a popular breed, great with kids, and have a longer life expectancy than their counterparts.
  • Boykin spaniel. Boykin spaniels are the most energetic of the breed and with the highest grooming needs. But, like other spaniels, they’re good with children and other animals.

Frequently asked questions

Are clumber spaniels hard to find?

Yes. Only a couple hundred clumber spaniel puppies are born yearly and carry a high price tag.

Are clumber spaniels lazy?

No. Although the breed is a staunch nap advocate with a mellow temperament, the clumber spaniel has long been a hunting dog who can reach unexpected speeds. Your couch potato will equally love a good walk and romp in the yard.

Are clumber spaniels aggressive?

No. clumber spaniels are loyal and affectionate with their people and tend to be aloof and dismissive with strangers.

Do clumber spaniels have a lot of health problems?

No. They are susceptible to certain conditions that can sometimes be serious but are overall healthy breed. Proper diet, exercise, and grooming will promote good health in your clumber spaniel.

Are clumber spaniels noisy?

Yes and no. They rarely bark, but they’re prone to snoring.

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