The Clumber Spaniel is described as dignified, charming, loving, entertaining, inquisitive, affectionate, intelligent, gentle, mischievous, stubborn, determined, self-willed, appealing, and naughty. The Clumber is a loyal dog, good with children and amiable with other animals. His happy personality and perceptive intelligence make him a much-loved member of the family. The hallmark of the breed is his sweet and gentle temperament.
The Clumber thrives on attention. Most Clumbers love to fetch so they are not difficult to exercise or keep amused. They also like to carry things in their mouths, often picking something off the floor when greeting, all the while dancing a little jig. While Clumbers like nothing better than a walk with their master, they are not the breed of choice for people who wish to run or jog long distances with their pet.
The Clumber Spaniel responds to positive reinforcement and praise. Consistency and patience is the key to all obedience training. Harsh training methods are usually ineffective on the sensitive Clumber. An untrained dog, no matter what size, is a liability in today’s society. For their own safety, all dogs require some form of obedience training. Most Clumbers are readily trained. The ideal time to begin training is when you bring your new puppy home. Puppies should be taught to walk on a loose lead, come when called and stay. Always use praise and encouragement when training your puppy. By starting training early you avoid the development of bad habits.
Some important consideration should be given to shedding and slobbering in the Clumber. You should be aware, when considering a Clumber, that males develop luxurious coats on the belly and in front of the rear legs (not to mention the skirt around the rear and the ruff of the chest). Females are often less coated in the chest, but they have abundant skirting and belly hair. They will grow a profuse coat (especially in cold temperatures) and that coat will shed moderately all year round. Also, the correct Clumber had a big head with a broad topskull, well-developed flews, and plenty of lip. That often means many Clumbers slobber and drool – not as much as a Mastiff or St Bernard, but certainly more than many other breeds with tighter lips.
Some Clumbers run to meet everyone who comes into the house, but occasionally you may find them initially reticent with strangers – never shy or aggressive, but reserved and dignified. Since they are “silent hunters” they tend to be poor watchdogs, because they generally do not bark at everything. Their friendly, all-accepting personality makes them poor candidates for guarding.