Although the history of the Clumber Spaniel before the 19th century is shrouded in mystery, it is believed that they have origins in both the United Kingdom and France. One theory suggests that these spaniels actually originated in France during the early 1600s but were given to the Duke of Newcastle in England from his French counterpart, Duc de Noailles, to be saved from the destruction of the French Revolution. There, the Duke of Newcastle developed a breed that was both sturdy and proficient in retrieving, named for his large estate, Clumber Park. It is thought that the now-extinct Alpine Spaniel, Basset Hound, and Saint Bernard were incorporated into the lineage due to their similarities to the modern-day Clumber. These burly spaniels were prized hunting companions for the British upper-class and were also seen as popular subjects for portrait painters. The old-time portraits of the Clumber Spaniel show that the physical characteristics of the breed have not changed much since they were perfected hundreds of years ago.
One of the largest flushing spaniels, the Clumber Spaniel is a powerful gundog that has a distinctively low and heavy-bodied appearance that is unique to the breed. Their broad chest and strong hindquarters give them the ability to move through dense underbrush with power and endurance while in pursuit of game. Clumber Spaniels have a dense, straight, and flat coat that is primarily white with lemon or orange markings. The breed's large dark amber eyes give them a soft and gentle expression that is finished off by their thick triangular-shaped ears and broad muzzle with a large brown nose. The tail of the Clumber Spaniel is well-feathered and may be seen docked or left natural.
Widely known as being gentle-natured, affectionate, and loyal, Clumber Spaniels can be reserved around strangers, but should never be aggressive or shy. Although wary of others, they are friendly dogs who only bark when they need to, making them unconcerned watchdogs. The breed is known to have a long puppyhood, acting young at heart well into their senior years but the Clumber is hard-working and highly intelligent with a desire to please even though they can have a mind of their own. These brawny spaniels are not as fast as other gundogs, but do not let this fool you - they are great retrievers especially when trained. The loving and playful personality of the Clumber Spaniel makes them a great choice for families with children and other pets but they should always be on a leash or confined in a fenced yard when outside due to their high prey drive. They can be a pretty active breed despite their large appearance but are not for those who love to run long distances, however, they do enjoy daily walks or hunting trips to stay in shape and may need a little motivation to exercise. For those that can handle their shedding and drool, the well-mannered Clumber Spaniel is a charming companion that displays equal determination for both work and family.