Clumber Spaniel

  • Overview

    The Clumber Spaniel did not get his name from his lumbering gait. In fact, these gentle giants have a royal pedigree. They were developed to hunt on large estates in France and England, and they are named after Clumber Park, the estate of a wealthy English duke where they were hidden away to survive the French Revolution, when nobles and their possessions were targeted for destruction.

    The Clumber Spaniel is the largest of the spaniels and he carries himself like a king. These dogs work well with first-time owners who are looking to spend a lot of quality time grooming, exercising and praising their pet. Clumber Spaniels love to be showered with affection and they will work to please their owners, so they make rewarding companions.

  • Personality

    The Clumber Spaniel is an easygoing guy, but his slow-moving tendencies make him a conscientious hunter. They have keen senses of smell, and even today, while exploring their backyards, they love to stop and sniff. Slow and steady Clumbers are dignified in their work but enthusiastic while playing with their owners. They thrive on attention and love to be praised. Harsh criticism or perceived neglect will hurt your sensitive companion's feelings. Adolescent Clumber Spaniels have developed a reputation for getting into mischief. They can open doors and even refrigerators and they are adept at jumping up onto counters to discover whatever treats they can find. Establish a clear pattern of rewarding for positive behavior and punishing for negative behaviors.

    Clumber Spaniels are quiet and subdued indoors. They enjoy lounging and might have to be convinced into moving outdoors for some exercise. Don't neglect their activity just because these guys can get a little lazy. Exercise is good for these big guys to help them stay in shape. Although they should be stocky and have a massive appearance, they really should not weigh much more than 85 pounds. Otherwise, because they are long and low to the ground, they might become uncomfortable moving around. Clumbers do enjoy walking, swimming and fetching, and they especially love chewing, so give them plenty of acceptable things to chew.

  • Coat Care

    Clumber Spaniels should be mostly white. They are born entirely white and gradually develop light lemon or tan freckling along the face, ears and muzzle and occasionally on the legs. Their long coat is soft and slightly wavy. The thick, fluffy coat is feathered along the ears, legs and underbelly. Most dogs, especially male, have a longer frill below their necks that resembles an apron or a beard.

Brushing

Clumber Spaniels can be prone to flea allergies. Groom them periodically with a flea comb to detect eggs before they become uncomfortable. They are somewhat heavy shedders, so they will need to be brushed with a large pin brush to remove loose hair and prevent any tangles.

Bathing

These dogs don't have much of proclivity to stay neat, and they will roll around in just about anything they find. Therefore, plan on bathing your Clumber Spaniel after long outdoor romps to keep your dog and your house looking their best.

Hair Clipping

Trimming around your Clumber Spaniel's feet, under their tail and on the front of their legs will help them stay comfortable and move easily.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Silky coated breeds often have hanging pendant ears covered in feathered hair, which means their ears need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.