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Sussex Spaniel

Group: Gundogs (Group 3)
Club: Victorian Gundog Club Inc (Group 3)
Contact: Ms Sally Haynes
Phone: 0412 629 262

Brief History

The Sussex Spaniel, as the name implies, hails from the County of Sussex in England and has been a recognised breed since the 1850’s.The early breeders developed a dog capable of working all day on the heavy, clay soil and in the dense undergrowth. The Sussex Spaniel is the only gundog that gives tongue (babbles) so the shooters know where he is when they are out working.

Average Life Span

When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 11 to 13 years.


Whilst having a typical spaniel love for the human race, they do prefer their own family and can be intolerant in terms of accepting other animals in the family, so this is something of which new owners need to be aware. A Sussex will happily run the house for you; whether he is grinning at you for something he shouldn’t have done or crawling along the floor. Life is never dull with a Sussex Spaniel.

General Breed Description

The Sussex Spaniel is known as the “5 L dog” – Long, Low, Level, Large (in bone) and Golden Liver. This sums him up very well. They are a strongly built dog, and the golden liver colour is unique in the canine world. He is an active, energetic dog who needs his daily exercise. Like other gundogs, he can compete in a variety of dog sports such as Tracking and Scent Work.

Coat and Care Requirements

Unlike most of the other spaniels, the Sussex does not require clipping, but does need regular grooming with a brush and comb, occasional bathing and trimming around the feet. Clipping under his large ears keeps the air circulating and the ear canals easier to maintain. He requires regular exercise and mental stimulation, and basic obedience training is a must, as birds and other small animals are extremely enticing.


Height: 38 to 41cms (15 to 16ins).

Weight: 22.5kgs (50lbs).


All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Sussex Spaniel is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (PDP1) and Hip Dysplasia (HD).


Sussex Spaniels are suitable for most people who have the time to spend with them and take them for a daily walk. They are not suitable for units or flats as they can be noisy and destructive if bored.

In Conclusion

Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders

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