Sussex Spaniel Resource

Sussex Spaniel

The Sussex is a spaniel with an attitude. It’s solid, strong and bullheaded, with a somber and serious expression, but underneath lies a cheerful dog with a great sense of humor, at least as it regards other dogs and people. The Sussex doesn’t like to be laughed at, but it smiles and wrinkles its nose when asked if it wants to do something fun, like go for a car ride. The Sussex has been a field dog since the 18th century and takes its name from Sussex, England, where it originated, probably at Rosehill Park, near Hastings. A pack dog heritage makes this breed a good watchdog, if somewhat noisy. It barks with a bell-like voice at doorbells, talks to its people with a “woo woo woo” sound, and has been known to howl along with sirens, stopping abruptly after about three minutes. The Sussex differs from other spaniels in that it has a longer tail, its coat is more natural, it has a liver-colored nose and eye rims, and its body is longer. Its rich golden liver color is unique, and unlike most spaniels, it carries its head low. The Sussex is a medium-size dog, standing 13 to 15 inches and weighing 35 to 45 pounds. The body coat is flat or slightly waved, and the ears are covered with soft, wavy hair. The legs are well-feathered but clean below the hocks. A good brushing every week keeps it in condition. The ears should be examined weekly as well to make sure they’re clean and dry. This breed is slow to mature, with the awkward stage lasting from 6 to 18 months of age, and full maturity on hold until the dog is 3 or 4 years old. The Sussex is a calm, sedate dog that can be happy in an apartment or in the country. This breed loves people, especially children, and will follow its owners everywhere. It’s not difficult to train and even as a puppy observes new situations calmly and quietly. But when the Sussex is on familiar ground, it can be a wild and crazy dog.

Related Articles

Sussex Spaniel Takes the Spotlight

This sturdy gun dog gets the attention he deserves at the 2009 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. In 2009 history…

All About Gun Dog Breeds

Active and affectionate, the dogs in the gun dog group make wonderful companion pets.   These are the quintessential family companions….

The Rise of the Sussex Spaniel

The great little gun dog gets its moment in the spotlight. Last year, history was made during Westminster when a…

Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Medium Dog Breed
Golden liver.

Long and abundant. Flat to slightly wavy coat with feathers on legs, tail and feet.


Brush weekly.

Life Expectancy:
13 to 15 years
AKC Group:
Sporting Group
UKC Group:
Gun Dog
13 to 15 inches at the shoulder
35 to 45 pounds
Use Today
Bird dog