Origin and Purpose There are a few theories about the origin of the Clumber Spaniel. One theory traces the breed to around 1750, when a French nobleman, the Duc de Noailles, developed the breed in his private kennels. Realizing that he would not survive the French revolution, he gave all his Clumbers to his English friend, the second Duke of Newcastle at Clumber Park in Sherwood Forest. Other authors theorize that the Duc de Noailles had originally imported his Clumbers from England. Another author proposes that Clumbers may have originated in Spain. Some of the ancestors of the Clumber may be the Basset Hound and an early European spaniel, the now extinct Alpine Spaniel. Excellent at trailing, flushing, and retrieving game, the Clumber has a white coat which enables him to be seen by the hunter as he works within gun range. He is a silent worker with an excellent nose.
General Appearance A long, low, heavy-looking dog. His heavy brow, deep chest, straight forelegs, powerful hindquarters, massive bone, and substantial feet all give him the power and endurance to move through dense underbrush in pursuit of game. His stature is dignified, his expression thoughtful, but at the same time he shows great enthusiasm for his work and play. More emphasis should be given to his overall appearance, balance, and movement than to any individual parts.
Temperament Steady, affectionate, and loyal dog. He should never be timid, although he may at times be reserved with strangers. Aggressive or hostile behaviour is not acceptable and should never be condoned.
Size Ideal weight - dogs 31 - 38.6 kg (70 - 85 pounds); bitches 25 - 31 kg (55 - 70 pounds). Dogs are about 18 - 20 inches at the withers and bitches are about 17 - 19 inches at the withers. Length to height is approximately 11 to 9 measured from the withers to the base of the tail and from the ground to the withers.
Coat and Colour Coat silky and straight, not too long, extremely dense; legs and chest well- feathered. The Clumber Spaniel is primarily a white dog with lemon or orange markings. Markings around one eye, both eyes, or a white face are of equal value. Freckles on the muzzle, forelegs, and ears are common. The fewer markings on the body the better, although a spot near the root of the tail is common. The feet and tail feathering may be trimmed to show the natural outline: trimming of whiskers is optional; excessive trimming especially of the body coat should be avoided. Any chopped, barbered or artificial effect is objectionable.
Head Head large and massive in all its dimensions; round above the eyes, flat on top, with a furrow running between the eyes and up through the centre of the skull. There is a marked stop and large occipital protuberance. Jaw: long, broad, and deep with well-developed flews. Muzzle: broad and deep to facilitate retrieving many species of game. Nostrils: large, open, and coloured in shades of brown, beige, rose, or cherry.
Eyes: large, dark hazel in colour, soft in expression, deep-set in either a diamond-shaped rim or a rim with a “V” on the bottom and a curve on top. Some haw may show, but excessive haw is to be discouraged. Ears: broad at the top, with thick ear leather; triangular in shape, turned over on the front edge; close to the head; set on low, attached to the skull at about eye level. Mouth: a scissors or even bite.
Neck Neck long, thick, and powerful, with a large ruff. Some slackness of throat on presence of dewlap not to be faulted.
Forequarters Shoulders immensely strong and muscular, giving a heavy appearance to the front. Forelegs short, straight, and very heavy in bone, elbows close to the body. Feet are large, round, compact, with thick pads, well matched to the bone of the forequarters.
Body Long, low, and well ribbed up. The chest is wide and deep, the back is long, broad, and level, with very slight arch over the loin.
Hindquarters Hind legs only slightly less heavily boned than the forelegs. They are moderately angulated, and the hock to heel is short and perpendicular to the ground. Quarters well-developed and muscular. Rear feet are slightly smaller than the front feet with substantial pads.
Tail Set on just below the line of the back, well feathered, carried parallel to the back or slightly elevated. A docked and an undocked tail are of equal value.
Gait/Movement Because of his wide body and short legs, he tends to roll slightly. The proper Clumber roll occurs when the correctly-proportioned dog reaches forward with the rear legs toward the centre line of gravity and rotates the hip downward while the back remains level and straight. This gait is comfortable and can be maintained at a steady trot for a day of work in the field without exhaustion.
Fault Excessive shyness, viciousness.
Disqualification Any colour other than white with lemon or white with orange.