Sussex Spaniel Hunting Dog Breed

The Sussex Spaniel is a type of spaniel that originates as it’s name suggests from the Southern English county of Sussex. Just like other breeds of spaniels, the Sussex Spaniel was originally bred to be a hunting dog. As such it was bred to have the qualities one could expect to find in any kind of hunting dog. In more recent decades it has become more common for the breed to be kept as family pets, which their friendly nature makes them ideal as.

When Been Smaller Makes It Great For it’s Hunting Role

Sussex Spaniel Hunting DogThe Sussex Spaniel as a distinct breed can be traced back to the year 1795. It was bred in Hastings in West Sussex to be a slightly smaller spaniel than the other types of spaniel which were available at that point in time. When it has been used as a hunting dog it’s very smallness has meant that it could get into confined spaces that other spaniels were too big to get into at all. For instance they could crawl underneath hedges to retrieve hunted game and animals for their owners. As the amount of hunting carried out in Britain declined so the total number of Sussex Spaniels declined as well. Hunters tending to prefer bigger and more powerful breeds of hunting dogs.

Small can therefore prove to be a really handy feature for a hunting or gun dog to have, at least when small game is what is been hunted. If larger game is been hunted then the hunters would simply chose a bigger dog to bring their hunted game back to them.

Going Across The Atlantic To Gain Popularity

Despite been an English breed of hunting dog the Sussex Spaniel is more popular in the United States than in any other country including Britain. Perhaps it is the color of these dogs, or their good nature that makes them appeal to American dog lovers and owners. Wherever they live though Sussex Spaniels make good family pets as they are calm, and are not easily upset. So Sussex Spaniels are good for families with young children as they are patient and good dogs by nature. They are gentle and friendly dogs so it is not that surprising that people chose them to be their pets.

From Near Extinction To New Found Popularity

With the relative decline of hunting as a pastime the breed had not been very popular, and almost died out as a species in the 1940’s. In fact it was on record that during the Second World War there was less than ten adults in Britain and probably none in the rest of the world. Without the commendable efforts of the English dog breeder Joy Freer there is absolutely no doubt that the Sussex Spaniel would have become extinct. That is a fate which has happened to countless breeds of dogs originally bred as working dogs then discarded for that task, and if nobody wants to keep them as pets. The Sussex Spaniel still has the attributes to be a really useful hunting dog yet may not fully develop if kept entirely as a pet.

What Makes The Sussex Spaniel Different From Other Spaniels?

The main difference actually between the Sussex Spaniel and other breeds of spaniels is that it can bark. Perhaps the ability to bark does not seem that remarkable to most people yet most spaniels can not do it at all. The ability to bark is exactly the quality that Mr Fuller of Hastings was searching for way back in 1795. What he wanted was the Sussex Spaniel to bark during hunts. He needed a slightly smaller spaniel which was able to walk across rough terrain to reach the game that had been shot then bark to let the hunters know where it was.

Then it’s smaller size makes it notably different from other kinds of spaniels even if it does share many of their looks and attributes.

A Great Family Pet

Providing that you find something for it to do then a Sussex Spaniel will make a great family pet as they are friendly, bright, and loyal pets. They do not need excessive levels of exercise like larger dog breeds can do just as they are taken on regular walks.

They are a playful breed of dogs, which suits been owned by families with children.