Puppy Buyer's Guide
This guide will help you learn about the characteristics of the Clumber Spaniel (Clumber), find the right breeder, and connect with fellow Clumber lovers.
Anyone who owns a Clumber Spaniel will tell you that loving, caring and sharing your life with a Clumber is a joy. However, you need to know the whole picture so you can make a decision whether the Clumber Spaniel is the right dog for you and your family. Clumbers may appear heavy and slow, but there is nothing slow about Clumbers in movement or intelligence.
Our candid discussion should only be part of your decision making process. Please assess your own strengths and weaknesses to determine how well your personality and lifestyle mesh with that of a Clumber. Keep in mind that you are making a commitment for the next 10 to 12 years.
Find out a little…
- Clumbers are the largest of the spaniel breeds: males range in height from 18-20 inches at the shoulder and weigh from 70-85 pounds. Females range from 17-19 inches tall and weigh between 55-70 pounds.
- They were first shown in England in 1859.
- The Clumber Spaniel was one of the first ten original AKC breeds, first recorded in 1878.
- The Clumber is believed to be one of the earliest spaniels developed for special uses and is especially useful for his adaptability for hunting in heavy cover. He is primarily an upland bird hunter, rather slow (in comparison to say, a Springer), but thorough, with a distinctive “rolling gait”.
- Some Clumbers rush to meet everyone who comes into the house, but many are aloof with strangers; not shy, but reserved and dignified. They are good watchdogs when true danger is present, but generally do not bark at everything.
- Once you are a Clumber owner, you will likely stay a Clumber owner. Few breeds return the same amount of loyalty a Clumber gives his people. His “jingle bell” personality and perceptive intelligence make him a much-loved member of the family
- The Clumber is usually excellent with children. They love their families and are always ready for some fun and games.
- Clumbers thrive on attention. This is not a dog to be kept outside, away from people. Most Clumbers love to fetch, so they are not difficult to exercise or keep amused. They also like to carry things in their mouths, and will pick up something off the floor to greet you with. They will often form a U with their body, wagging their entire back end in a sort of Clumber happy dance.
- Although regular walks and exercise are good for your Clumber Spaniels, this is not a breed that needs large amounts of exercise. Clumbers are happy to sit on the couch, or go for a walk- they are ready to do what you want to do! Of course, obedience training makes any dog a better, well-mannered companion. No breed is automatically a “good dog:, especially as a puppy.
- There is not an overwhelming amount of grooming to do on a Clumber. Daily eye cleaning keeps the eyes cleaned and free from staining. Weekly- a thorough brushing and ear cleaning should be done to keep your Clumber free from mats and ear infections. Nails should be trimmed at least every two weeks (more often if you want), and monthly trimming of the bottom of the feet should be done. Trimming of the top of the feet, the back of the hocks and tail feathering adds to your Clumber’s neat appearance. Trimming under the ears also helps with ear infections. These things are not hard to do for even first time dog owners.
- Clumbers can be stubborn. They are intelligent, and can have their own agenda. Some basic obedience training makes a happy dog and happy family. Positive reinforcement and repetition is how a Clumber learns, not by brute force. Keep this in mind when choosing an obedience class.
- They can have a lot more energy than is depicted in some books and programs. This is sporting breed, so they can be busy, especially as puppies and young dogs.
- As mentioned before, Clumbers are generally good with children. However, they are a large breed, and can knock over a small child without meaning to. They can also be possessive about their toys-something a small child does not always understand. Adult supervision is a must with any dog and small children.
- Clumbers can have health problems, such as hip dysplasia, disc/back issues, allergies, and eye and ear problems. Girls can be prone to urinary track infections. See our health section for more information.
- Clumbers love long walks, or a day in the field, but if you are looking for a serious running partner, this is not the breed for you. They are built to move at a trot, not a run.
- Clumbers are a fairly rare breed. You may have to wait a bit for the right dog to come into your life, and they are not inexpensive. Reputable breeders want you to have a happy, healthy Clumber that is a part of your family for a long time. There is more information on choosing a good breeder on our site.
- Clumbers shed a lot! If you are a neat freak, this is not the breed for you. They shed year round, and to watch them shake is to see a white cloud of hair fall off the dog and onto your floor, furniture, clothes, etc. Frequent brushing helps, but there is still a lot of hair that will end up everywhere.
- Those big, heavy lips and cute face enable a Clumber to drool. Some dogs drool a lot, and some hardly at all. This drool can end up on the walls, floor, television and computer screens, as well as on you.
- Clumbers generally love food, as a result, one of their hobbies is trying to obtain more of it! Without training, food on your tables, counters, and even held in your hand is fair game to them.
- Clumbers love to chew. Without training, this can mean some serious damage to your home and possessions. Even toys that other dogs can chew, like rawhides and rubber toys, are off limits for Clumbers. They can ingest a large piece of these items and have to have surgery for an intestinal blockage. Providing supervision and training is a must for the safety of your Clumber and home.
- Housebreaking and submissive urination- some Clumbers are easy to housebreak, and some are not, Females especially will frequently urinate when greeted by someone or unsure about a situation until they are more mature (usually about a year old).