Sussex Spaniel

Sussex Spaniel

19 October 2023

Considering bringing home a new family member? The gorgeous Sussex Spaniel can be a great choice!

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Let’s talk about… Sussex Spaniels: what are they?

  • Sussex Spaniels are a charming and affectionate breed originating from England.
  • They are one of the oldest and rarest spaniel breeds.
  • They are known for their excellent scenting abilities and were originally bred for flushing and retrieving game in the field.
  • Sussex Spaniels have a distinctive appearance with their long, low-set bodies, deep chests, and expressive eyes.
  • Males typically stand between 36 and 41 cm tall, while females range from 35 to 40 cm. They weigh between 20 and 25 kg.
  • The average life expectancy of Sussex Spaniels is around 11 to 13 years.
Sussex Spaniel  Exercise needs 4/5; Grooming ease 4/5; Trainability 3/5

What is the temperament of Sussex Spaniels like?

  • Sussex Spaniels have a delightful and gentle temperament.
  • They are known for their calm and easygoing nature, making them wonderful companions and family pets.
  • They are typically good with children and can get along well with other animals if properly socialised.
  • Sussex Spaniels are loyal and devoted to their families, forming strong bonds with their loved ones.
  • They have a tendency to be independent thinkers, so patient and consistent training is necessary.
  • They may be reserved with strangers, but they are generally not aggressive.
  • Early socialisation and positive reinforcement training methods are important for their overall development and well-being.
Barclay, the Sussex Spaniel
Barclay, the Sussex Spaniel

How much exercise do Sussex Spaniels need?

  • Sussex Spaniels are moderate in their exercise needs.
  • They require approximately 1.5 hours of exercise per day to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
  • This can include activities such as daily walks, play sessions, and interactive games.
  • While they enjoy being outdoors and exploring, they are not as high-energy as some other spaniel breeds.
  • It's important to provide them with regular exercise to prevent obesity and promote overall health. However, it's also crucial not to overexert them, especially during hot weather, as they can be sensitive to heat.
Finnegan, the Sussex Spaniel
Finnegan, the Sussex Spaniel

Do Sussex Spaniels need a lot of grooming?

  • Sussex Spaniels have a dense and weather-resistant double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition.
  • They have a soft and slightly wavy outer coat and a thick undercoat. They are moderate shedders throughout the year.
  • Regular brushing at least once or twice a week is recommended to remove loose hair, prevent matting, and maintain the coat's health.
  • Bathing should be done when necessary, using a gentle dog shampoo or as prescribed by your vet.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Humphrey, the Sussex Spaniel
Humphrey, the Sussex Spaniel

Are Sussex Spaniels easy to train?

  • Sussex Spaniels are intelligent dogs but can be somewhat independent and stubborn at times.
  • They have a moderate level of trainability and may require patient and consistent training methods.
  • Positive reinforcement techniques, such as rewards, praise, and treats, work well with Sussex Spaniels.
  • It's important to make training sessions fun, engaging, and varied to keep them interested and motivated.
  • Early socialisation and puppy training classes are essential to help them develop good manners and proper behaviour.
  • Sussex Spaniels thrive in a calm and positive training environment with clear guidelines and boundaries.
Patsy, the Sussex Spaniel
Patsy, the Sussex Spaniel

What do Sussex Spaniels eat?

  • A balanced and nutritious diet is important for the health and well-being of Sussex Spaniels.
  • Feeding them high-quality commercial dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level is recommended. The amount of food will depend on factors such as metabolism, age, and exercise level.
  • Most do well being fed twice daily.
  • Puppies have specific dietary needs for growth and development and should be fed a puppy-specific diet until they reach around 12 months of age.
  • Puppies should be fed 3-4 times per day until 6 months old when it should be reduced to twice daily.
  • Your vet can provide guidance on the appropriate feeding regimen and portion sizes for your Sussex Spaniel.

Are Sussex Spaniels healthy?

Sussex Spaniels are generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs, they can be prone to certain health conditions. It's important to obtain a Sussex Spaniel from a reputable breeder who conducts health tests on their breeding dogs to minimise the risk of inherited diseases. Some of the health concerns that can affect Sussex Spaniels include:

Bones and Joints

  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) - in this condition the discs of the spine are abnormal and can slip out of place and put pressure on the spinal cord, which can lead to pain and/or paralysis


  • Outer Ear infections - the ear canal, and sometimes the ears flaps have an overgrowth of bacteria, yeast etc. which can cause signs including irritation,  inflammation, smell and thickening of the ear canal tissue


  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) - a congenital heart defect where there is irregular movement of blood between two of the heart’s major arteries
  • Pulmonic Stenosis - narrowing of the pulmonary valve in the heart, which can lead to heart failure

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Sussex Spaniel is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Sussex Spaniels

BorrowMyDoggy has 40 Sussex Spaniel members

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health, contact your local vet.

Spaniel Breed Guides

American Cocker Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Clumber Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel

Field Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniel

Springer Spaniel

Sussex Spaniel

Welsh Springer Spaniel

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