This handsome and useful member of the Spaniel family is of ancient lineage, and his solemn and majestic aspect mark him as a true aristocrat of long descent. The Clumber’s are deserving of their popularity with shooting men, for no dog is a more capable assistant to the gun as they are by inclination the keenest and most persevering of hunters, have the best of noses, and, considering their massive build, have remarkable powers of endurance.
The Clumber Spaniel is easily trained, easily controlled, and unusually intelligent. They take naturally to retrieving, are good water dogs, and as allround workmen have no superiors.
There is a good deal of mystery about the origin of this breed, and history carries them back to the middle of the eighteenth century. About that time the French Duc de Noailles presented a kennel of Spaniels to the second Duke of Newcastle, whose Nottinghamshire country place is known as Clum ber Park. Here the breed is said to have originated; certainly it is here that it received its name. There is no trace of their origin in France, for there at the present day at least the Clumber is accepted as a purely English product. It has been suggested that the Duke, finding that the Spaniels that had been presented to him were too fast, reduced their pace by crossing them on some heavier breed. What the cross or crosses were will never be known, but the Clumber’s general type, his massive frame, powerful limbs, white coat with lemon markings, and his solemn and majestic aspect and demeanor suggest the St. Bernard. There is also a theory that they owe their origin to a cross of Baron Cuvier’s Alpine Spaniel, a dog indirectly related to the St. Bernard.
The Clumber Spaniel has been very successful in the English Spaniel trials, and the most convincing evidence of their worth is the tenacity with which the owners of old strains hang on to them and continue to breed and shoot over them year after year.
In selecting Clumber puppies look for short, massive heads, square muzzles, well marked stop; low-set, massive body of moderate length; big bone; flat, dense coat; down-carried tail and pale orange or lemon markings.
The standard and value of points is as follows:
GENERAL APPEARANCE AND SIZE.-General appearance, a long, low, heavy-looking dog, of a very thoughtful expression, betokening great intelligence. Should have the appearance of great power. Sedate in all movements, but not clumsy. Weight of dogs averaging between 55 and 65 pounds; bitches, from 35 to 50 pounds.
HEAD.-Head large and massive in all its dimensions; round above eyes, flat on the top, with a furrow running from between the eyes up the center. A marked stop and large occipital protuberance. Jaw long, broad, and deep. Lips of upper jaw overhung. Muzzle not square, but at the same time powerful-looking. Nostrils large, open, and flesh-colored, sometimes cherry-colored.
EYES.-Eyes large, soft, deep set, and showing haw. Hazel in color, not too pale, with dignified and intelligent expression.
EARS.-Ears long and broad at the top, turned over on the front edge, vine-shaped, close to the head; set on low and feathered only on the front edge, and there but slightly. Hair short and silky, without the slightest approach to wave or curl.
NECK AND SHOULDERS.-Neck long, thick, and powerful; free from dewlap, with a large ruff. Shoulders immensely strong and muscular, giving a heavy appearance in front.
BODY AND QUARTERS.-Body very long and low, well ribbed up, and long in the coupling. Chest of great depth and volume. Loin powerful and not too much arched. Back long, broad, and straight; free from droop or bow. Length an important characteristic, the nearer the dog is in length to being two and one-half times his height at shoulder the better. Quarters shapely and very muscular, neither drooping nor stilty.
LEGS AND FEET.-Forelegs short, straight, and immensely heavy in bone. Well in at elbow. Hindlegs heavy in bone, but not as heavy as forelegs. No feather below hocks, but thick hair on back of legs just above foot. Feet large, compact, and plentifully filled with hair between toes.
COAT AND FEATHER.-Coat silky and straight, not too long, extremely dense; feather long and abundant.
COLOR AND MARKINGS.-Color, lemon and white, and orange and white. Fewer markings on body the better. Perfection of markings, solid lemon or orange ears, evenly marked head and eyes, muzzle and legs ticked.
STERN.–Stern set on a level and carried low.
VALUE OF POINTS.-General appearance and size, 10; head, 15; eyes, 5; ears, 10; neck and shoulders, 15; body and quarters, 20; legs and feet, 10; coat and feather, 10; color and markings, 5. Total, 100.