Susan King, Chairperson
44 Echo Lane, South Glastonbury, CT 06073-2500
Thank you for your interest in Clumber Spaniels. As an owner of this "rare breed", you will join a select group of "caretakers" who have the real responsibility to devote time and energy to ensure the health and safety of your Clumber. Why do we refer to Clumber Spaniels as a "rare breed?" AKC now recognizes 177 breeds and Clumber Spaniels are 131 with #1 being the most popular. In 2012 there were 51 Clumber Spaniel litters for a total of 192 Clumbers registered with the American Kennel Club. In comparison there were 68,831 Labrador Retrievers (#1) and 25,566 Golden Retrievers (#3) registered with AKC in 2012!
Clumbers are very gentle, quiet dogs that love to be in the company of their owners. They should not be left outside alone day after day. They need and deserve the love, attention, and presence of their owners. Clumbers shed, and shedding happens all year. The largest of the spaniel breeds, their size is often underestimated. They are a medium to large size dog with males weighing 70 to 85 pounds and 18 to 20 inches at the withers, and females weighing 55 to 70 pounds and 17 to 19 inches at the withers.
Three year old male Clumber
Three year old female Clumber / Photo by Ira Nozik
The Clumber Spaniel Club of America (CSCA) National Specialty show would be a perfect place for you to meet Clumber Spaniel breeders, owners, handlers, and most importantly, Clumber Spaniels! It is highly unlikely that there will be litters of puppies at this annual event. There will be Clumbers of all ages at the National Specialty, but dogs cannot compete in AKC sponsored events until they are at least 6 months old. At the other end of the age spectrum, it is not unusual to see 12 year olds entered in the veteran classes. The CSCA National Specialty is held once each year in March, April or May; and the Specialty will be in a different region of the USA each year – Eastern, Midwest, or Western states. You can get detailed information on the next specialty by clicking on: CSCA National Specialty Show.
I hope that you will read all of the information on the CSCA web site. If you do, most of your questions about the breed will be answered. A most valuable thing to do is to see a Clumber, visit a CSCA member to see their Clumbers or attend a dog show. Experience their wonderful happy personality, the feel of their coat (note the shedding), and meet people that are devoted to Clumbers. All this information will help you decide if a Clumber Spaniel is the breed you are looking for to love, provide for, and enjoy over the Clumber’s entire lifetime. Your Clumber should be considered a member of your family, and if not, then the Clumber Spaniel is not the breed for you!
Information available on the CSCA web site – just click on the gold lettering of what you wish to see:
CSCA Illustrated Standard published in 2008 – This booklet was composed by CSCA members and approved by the AKC. It is pictorial guide on the ideal Clumber Spaniel. The CSCA Illustrated Standard is the guideline for dog show judges which helps them decide which dog in the ring that day best represents the Clumber Spaniel Standard. It will help you understand why a breeder selects puppies to be shown and others to be placed as a companion. In either case a Clumber needs to be loved, treated with respect, exercised properly, and given positive training. If you are looking for a companion Clumber, ask the breeder why he or she is placing the puppy as a companion. A hard copy is available through the CLumber Closet.
CSCA Information Booklet published in 2009 containing color photos and articles on:
- Clumber Spaniel History
- Description of the Clumber Spaniel
- Clumber participation in dog shows, hunting, obedience, tracking, agility, and therapy work
- Clumber Spaniel Health
- Basic grooming of a Clumber Spaniel with helpful photos
If you should wish a hard copy of this booklet, please send a check payable to CSCA for $8.00 to:
Susan King, CSCA Breeder Referral, 44 Echo Lane, South Glastonbury, CT 06073-2500
Breeder Referral List and List of CSCA breeders with Clumbers to Place
Updates are made to the Breeder Referral list and to the list of CSCA breeders with Clumbers to place and breeding plans on at least a quarterly basis.
I’m sure the CSCA Breeder Referral List will be most helpful. Finding a Clumber may or may not take a long time. Like all things in life, timing is everything. You may or may not find a Clumber in your local area. It is very common for the Clumbers to be shipped to their new owners. It is well worth your time to drive to the breeder’s home to pick up your puppy. If the distance is just too far the breeders are very familiar with the process of shipping the Clumber by air.
There is one question we cannot answer – only the breeders: “how much is a companion or show Clumber puppy?” There is a great deal of investment on the part of a breeder to have a litter of puppies. Your initial cost of a dog is minimal when you consider the cost of nutritious quality food, grooming care, boarding fees when you are on vacation, and veterinary care over the lifetime of the Clumber. Obtaining a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder will reduce your overall expenses for your Clumber.
Unfortunately over the last decade a number of puppy mill producers have sold Clumbers. Puppy mill producers are NOT concerned about the Clumber Spaniel breed; they are only concerned with producing a product that will make them money! CSCA has rescued several Clumbers and has spent thousands in veterinary expenses and behavior modification to give these Clumbers a second chance. Many breeders may have questionnaires and long conversations with to be sure you will provide a loving home and provide the care the puppy will need for his/her lifetime. They do not want one of their puppies ending up in a “puppy mill” situation.
I urge you to be certain that you receive a Clumber from a dedicated CSCA breeder. Look for the CSCA logo on the breeder’s web site of CSCA member breeders. Reliable breeders are committed to breeding Clumbers that are capable of fulfilling their calling in a variety of disciplines:
Conformation ring at a
And of course, as a
Breeding takes a long-term commitment on part of the breeder—before, during and after the placement of the puppy. It involves the breeder knowing and understanding the breed in relation to the breed standard and then having a VISION of how the breed can be improved through specific mating. Breeding requires an understanding of genetics in general and the "lines" each parent brings to the mating in fulfillment of the vision in particular. It also means the breeder must continuously reassess breeding stock in an effort to "raise the bar" in terms of health, performance and temperament in succeeding generations.
Here are a few issues to consider when seeking a REPUTABLE Clumber breeder:
Are they experienced and involved in the Clumber Spaniel breed for several years?
Are they concerned about the temperament of the breed and do they do temperament testing?
Will the breeder share with you health evaluations reports on the sire and dam? (See check list below)
Are they a member of the national breed club —- the Clumber Spaniel Club of America?
CSCA stresses and encourages a relationship between breeder and buyer for the life of the dog. It is important to check with the breeder concerning the sire and dam for health documentation.
Check list of health documentation that you should discuss with a breeder:
CERF eye exam certificate: Eye exam ideally done annually. Request a copy of sire and dam.
OFA x-ray evaluation of hips and elbows: Ideally, sire and dam OR at least one of them is OFA fair, good, or excellent on hips and ideally passing on elbows. At this time the OFA web site lists Clumbers at #8 of all the breeds for frequency of hip dysplasia. It is extremely important that Clumbers have the correct surface (not slick surfaces) and are taken for walks to develop their muscles. When exercised properly, fed quality food (follow breeders guidelines), and kept thin (can feel ribs & see a waist) even Clumbers with hip dysplasia can do fine. Occasionally there are severe cases where veterinary intervention is necessary.
PDP1 tested: Genetic test for pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency (PDH). The sire OR dam can be a carrier, but not both. There is a risk that some of the puppies will inherit PDH if both the sire and dam are carriers. Dogs that have PDH should not be bred. The breeder can provide documentation on the sire and dam status. This testing began in the fall of 2005.
"Pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency is a rare condition in Clumbers. It is actually a deficiency in the PDP1 enzyme, which regulates PDH. PDP1 deficiency in Clumbers leads to a profound exercise intolerance (affected dogs may present with the complaint that they can't make it through a daily walk of a few blocks). It is a simple recessive trait, and a DNA test is now available through the University of Missouri. Sample submission guidelines and forms are available at www.caninegeneticdiseases.net and further information about testing can be obtained from Liz Hanson at email@example.com Carrier dogs should not be bred to other carriers, but may safely be bred to clear dogs." Written by Roe Froman, DVM and CSCA member.
Temperament -- This is subjective, and you have to rely on the breeder. Ideally both the sire and dam are friendly, loving and happy Clumbers. Neither should be aggressive.
Vaccinations should be up to date.
Health certificate should be provided for the Clumber puppy by the breeder’s vet when the puppy is placed.
Socialization and obedience classes are a must with Clumbers in order for your dog to be a confident and well-adjusted member of your family. Clumbers need human companionship and need to be included in family activities. Clumbers are usually good with children. Some Clumber are good with other pets in the owner’s home. Clumbers can be reserved around strangers or new situations. To prevent a Clumber from becoming excessively shy, however, it is necessary to socialize them to new people and places. Puppy kindergarten and obedience classes are fun experiences for you and the dog. You may find your Clumber so easy to live with that you think these classes are not necessary -- BUT they are!
Providing good experiences in a dog friendly environment these classes build a Clumber’s confidence. Clumbers were originally bred for hunting, and they were bred to work closely with the hunter. They are also great tracking dogs. Clumber owners find that having a fenced in yard is mandatory for peace of mind. Without the fenced yard a Clumber can pick up on a scent and wander off. Whenever I’m away from home, my Clumbers are in a fenced in area with access though a two-way door into the “dog room”. Part of my property has invisible electric fences. The Clumbers only have use of the electric fenced area when I’m outside with them.
Please keep your Clumber in good condition. This means your Clumber should be thin – not overweight. Walk your Clumber to develop his/her muscles for proper development – do not run with your Clumber. Allow young and adult dogs to move around on a good surface in a safe environment. If your Clumber becomes overweight, this can lead to joint and spinal issues. To keep your Clumber thin, control the amount of food he/she eats --- not a lot of treats. Clumbers like to eat! Just like humans, Clumber need a healthy diet; and the breeder will guide you. When you are at the vet’s office, check your Clumber's weight – does he/she fall within the range of the standard? Can you feel the ribs? These checks will help to maintain a healthy weight.
If you should need additional assistance, please e-mail me your questions and be sure to put "Clumber Spaniel" in the subject line.
Susan King / CSCA Breeder Referral
The CSCA is the official AKC Parent Club for the Clumber Spaniels.