Clumber Spaniel

Temperament: Mellow, Amusing, Gentlemanly

  • Height: 18-20 inches (male), 17-19 inches (female)
  • Weight: 70-85 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Group: Sporting Group 

A dignified and mellow hunting companion of kings, the Clumber Spaniel is the largest of the AKC flushing spaniels. For those who can handle some shedding and drooling, the amiable Clumber is an amusing best friend and a gentlemanly housemate.


The Clumber Spaniel is a long, low, substantial dog. His heavy brow, deep chest, straight forelegs, powerful hindquarters, massive bone and good feet all give him the power and endurance to move through dense underbrush in pursuit of game. His white coat enables him to be seen by the hunter as he works within gun range. His stature is dignified, his expression pensive, but at the same time he shows great enthusiasm for work and play.

About the Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniels are powerful bird dogs of heavy bone, built long and low, with a massive head. They stand 17 to 20 inches; a small female might be 55 pounds, and a large male could go 85 pounds. Built to push through thick cover in the field, Clumber movement is nonetheless free and easy. The dense coat is primarily white, with sparse lemon or orange markings.

Clumbers are sweet and easygoing at home, but these outdoorsy fellows can be relentless on scent. Smart and eager-to-please Clumbers respond well to training. Though a bit wary around strangers, Clumbers are friendly dogs who bark only when they have something to say, and so make indifferent watchdogs. They love swimming and fetching, and are sturdy childhood playmates.

NUTRITION It is very important that a Clumber not become overweight, as excess weight puts strain on joints and bones supporting the breed’s sturdy, heavy build. A high-quality dog food appropriate to his age (puppy, adult, or senior) should have all the nutrients the breed needs. If your vet thinks your dog is becoming overweight, you may need to feed a low-calorie dog food. Clumbers are very food oriented. If you use treats while training, do so in moderation. Never feed cooked bones or fatty table foods.

GROOMING As with all breeds with heavy, lowset ears, routine cleaning of the ears is a must to avoid ear infections. The heavy folds on the head require regular once-overs with a damp cloth. Wrinkles that are not kept dry can easily set up a yeast infection that has a bad odor and is unpleasant for the dog. Nails should be kept short with monthly trims. Bathing once a month is usually sufficient for a dog who isn’t working regularly in the field. Clumbers don’t require a lot of trimming; their coat is very easy care, requiring little more than a thorough grooming with a brush and a medium comb once or twice a week.

EXERCISE Despite their lumbering appearance, the Clumber can be a very active dog. They will benefit from long walks, taking occasional breaks to sniff around. Clumbers love to retrieve, so they can get ample exercise right in their own backyard, chasing after a tennis ball and enjoying time spent with their owner.

TRAINING The Clumber is steady and reliable, thorough and tenacious. These traits can sometimes make them a challenge to train, because they tend to stop and think things through before deciding to do them. Keep training sessions interesting to keep their attention on learning instead of searching for something more fun to do. Most will require a reason to do as they are told. They do not take well to a heavy-handed trainer, however.

HEALTH Clumbers are generally a healthy breed, although certain conditions are sometimes seen, including hypothyroidism (with side effects of skin and ear issues) and entropion or ectropion (eyelids that turn either in or out). Like many other large breeds, growing too rapidly can cause eosinophilic panosteitis in Clumber puppies—something they usually outgrow. Hip dysplasia also occurs in the breed. Because the Clumber body is quite long, they are also somewhat predisposed to intervertebral disc disease (cervical and thoracic). Immune mediated hemolytic anemia has been encountered in some Clumbers; all should avoid being treated with sulfa drugs.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Elbow Evaluation
  3. Ophthalmologic Exam
  4. PDP1 Test

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