Sussex Spaniel

FCI standard Nº 127

Origin
Great Britain
Group
Group 8 Retrievers, Flushing dogs, Water dogs.
Section
Section 2 Flushing dogs
Working
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Friday 31 December 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Wednesday 13 October 2010
Last update
Wednesday 12 January 2011
En français, cette race se dit
Sussex Spaniel
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Sussex Spaniel
En español, esta raza se dice
Sussex Spaniel
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Sussex Spaniel

Usage

Flushing dog.

General appearance

Strongly built. Active, energetic dog, whose characteristic movement is a decided roll, and unlike that of any other Spaniel.

Behaviour / temperament

Natural working ability, gives tongue at work in thick cover. Kindly disposition.

Head

Cranial region

Head
Well balanced.
Skull
Wide, showing moderate curve from ear to ear, neither flat nor apple headed, with centre indentation. Brows frowning; occiput decided, but not pointed.  
Stop
Pronounced.

Facial region

Nose
Nostrils well developed and liver in colour.
Jaws and teeth
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Eyes
Hazel colour, fairly large, not full, but soft expression and showing little, if any, haw.
Ears
Thick, fairly large and lobular, set moderately low, just above eye level. Lying close to skull.

Neck

Long, strong and slightly arched, not carrying head much above level of back. Slight throatiness, but well marked frill.

Body

Body
Whole body strong and level with no sign of waistiness from withers to hips.
Back
Well developed and muscular in both width and depth.
Loin
Well developed and muscular in both width and depth.
Chest
Deep and well developed; not too round and wide. The back ribs must be deep.

Tail

Previously customarily docked to 13-18 cms.
Docked: Set low and never carried above level of back. Tail thickly Covered with hair but not feathered.
Undocked: Set low, of medium length, and not carried above the level of the back. It should taper gradually to a point and be moderately feathered. Lively tail action is typical of the breed.

Limbs

Forequarters

Shoulders
Sloping and free.
Forearm
Legs rather short and strong. Well boned and muscular.
Carpal
Large and strong.
Pastern
Short and well boned.
Forefeet
Round, well padded, well feathered between toes.

Hindquarters

Generality
Legs short and strong with good bone. Hindlegs not appearing shorter than forelegs or over angulated.
Upper thigh
Strongly boned and muscular.
Hock
Hocks large and strong.
Hind feet
Round, well padded, well feathered between toes.

Gait and movement

True fore and aft with distinctive roll.

Coat

Hair
Abundant and flat with no tendency to curl and with ample undercoat for weather resistance. Ears covered with soft, wavy hair, but not too profuse. Forequarters and hindquarters moderately well feathered.
Colour
Rich golden liver and hair shading to golden at tip; gold is predominating. Dark liver or puce undesirable.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Ideal height at the withers: 38 - 41 cms.
Weight
Approximately 23 kgs.

Faults

• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

Bibliography

http://www.fci.be/

 

Detailed history

Among the members of the Spaniel family, Sussex Spaniel is currently one of the three rarest, although it is the first to be considered a breed.

Certainly, throughout the nineteenth century, and even before, the Spaniels presented many varieties, modeled by different soils or distinguished according to size or color criteria. However, there was no scruple in crossing them, so it is quite difficult to individualize them. The Spaniels were first and foremost working dogs, and the qualities of hunter long kept the priority over the purity of the morphological model. The selection of the various types did not take place until the end of the century.

Sussex-Spaniel, however, has been characterized and fixed long before dogfighting is organized. It was in 1795 that a Mr. Fuller of Rosehill Park near the town of Hastings in Sussex County undertook to select this dog. According to what is generally admitted, he used various Spaniels (more or less well characterized, as we have seen): Norfolk Spaniel (a dog that has never been granted a breed status) is regularly mentioned. Field Spaniel; we are less categorical about Springer Spaniel.

Through these crossings, Mr. Fuller wanted to produce a particular canine type. This dog had to be able to evolve in the busiest undergrowth, powerfully built, tenacious and moderately fast in his quest; moreover, in order for the hunter to locate and follow him perfectly, he had to give voice. This last quality, one of the main originalities of Sussex Spaniel, was much appreciated. Here is, for example, what Stonehenge, one of the great canine writers of the nineteenth century said: "He is endowed with a full voice, which resonates like a bell, of which he varies the tones according to the game he has behind him. Thanks to this voice, an experienced hunter will be able to tell if he can expect to draw from the feather or hair, and he will distinguish the hot trace of an old track. "

This characteristic certainly explains that its creator wanted this dog to be of a golden hue, perfect camouflage in the woods in autumn. Until his death in 1847, Fuller worked tirelessly to perfect Sussex Spaniel.

It has sometimes been argued that this dog could be from the Clumber, another old type of heavy Spaniel, or even that he could be the ancestor. It is true that both are alike, but there is no evidence of their close relationship (in either direction). Nor is there any evidence that Sussex has any common dog blood, although its ability to voice when following the emanation may suggest it.

Sussex was then extremely sought after. The best subjects were bought very dear, especially those who distinguished themselves in the first field-trials for Spaniels, during which the breed excelled brilliantly. Sussex was not long in appearing in exhibitions: its first performance took place at the Crystal Palace in London in 1862.

Unfortunately, towards the end of the nineteenth century, an epizootic of rage decimated the Rosehill kennel, remaining the most important breed breeding. To save this one, it would seem that one then resorted to the Black Field Spaniel. In any case, Sussex came out very weak and could never regain its former popularity. It is true that in the meantime other Spaniels had appeared. And not least, since it is the Cocker and Springer.

At the end of the First World War, Sussex Spaniel was thus in a difficult situation. Patiently, his amateurs restored his strength, and in 1939 he seemed to have reconquered some of his past glory. Alas, the war of 1939 - 1945 annihilates all these efforts. In 1947 the Kennel Club could not register more than ten subjects on its registers, and for the next two decades the annual number of registrations did not exceed twenty.

A problem arose then: the strong consanguinity of all the representatives of the race. In addition, it was impossible to resort to foreign breeding, as was the case for the Mastiff, for example. In 1970, the United States, the second largest breeding country in Sussex, had only four specimens. The enthusiasts, determined in spite of everything to prevent the extinction of the race, came up against all kinds of obstacles and complications: low prolificity, problems of infertility or mating. It is for Sussex that, one of the first times in Great Britain, artificial insemination was resorted to.

In 1964, a (accidental) mating between a male and a female of the same litter produced three puppies of exceptional quality, which gave a new impetus; or at least a certain respite from the race, since these dogs "combined the blood of all the lineages existing in the race".

Today, without ever having doubted the qualities of Sussex or the interest it offers for certain types of hunting, and although there are still amateurs determined to save him from disappearance , the question of its survival is still more or less long term. It should be noted with satisfaction that the number recorded each year at the Kennel Club currently oscillates between fifty and a hundred. In France, if the breed is quite rare, three breeders devote themselves to his cause, regularly showing their subjects in dog shows and occasionally proposing puppies.

Sussex is hardly bigger than a Cocker, since it measures about 40 centimeters at the withers. But it is much longer body, much more massive and strongly muscular. Thus, if he is essentially weighted character, this dog is also very energetic hunting and resistant to fatigue. Thanks to its small size, it has no equal to fight its way through the thickest brambles. Because of its power, it can also be extracted without difficulty. It is above all the auxiliary of the one who hunt in the undergrowth and in the territories covered with a thick vegetation.

He keeps all the benefits of the Spaniels, including a quest "in range rifle", active and meticulous, with an additional advantage: it is the only Spaniel to give voice when he knows the game. Thus, the disadvantage of its unicolor and mimetic dress is no longer one (it is well known that most users of Spaniels traditionally prefer subjects to dress in part white).

Sussex is also a first-rate retriever: with its very hunter-like nature, its training skills, it combines great sturdiness, which allows it to bring all game in all conditions. Her dress, which is certainly not a handicap for the hunt, is also an asset: besides being specific to her and having her recognized immediately among all the Spaniels, she gives her a lot of character. As he also has an excellent character, he is a companion of choice. Sussex has this irresistible look Spaniels, very expressive, tender, a bit melancholy, especially as his head is massive. He exudes kindness, seriousness, fidelity.

Whoever wants to adopt it does not have to be a hunter. Although his temperament is calm, his master will take care to provide him with enough exercise or, better, country walks, which will be beneficial for his character as well as for his line. Would it not be deplorable if a Spaniel so talented; solid hunter, handsome and brave companion; to leave the stage?

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