The Kennel Club Breed Standard for the Sussex Spaniel.
Last Updated – October 2009
Strongly built. Active, energetic dog, whose characteristic movement is a decided roll, and unlike that of any other Spaniel.
Natural working ability, gives tongue at work in thick cover.
Kindly disposition, aggression highly undesirable.
Head and Skull
Skull wide, showing moderate curve from ear to ear, neither flat nor apple headed, with centre indentation and a pronounced stop. Brows frowning; occiput decided, but not pointed. Nostrils well developed and liver in colour. Well balanced head.
Hazel colour, fairly large, not full, but soft expression and showing little, if any, haw.
Thick, fairly large and lobular, set moderately low, just above eye level. Lying close to skull.
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Long, strong, and slightly arched, not carrying head much above level of back. Slight throatiness, but well marked frill.
Shoulders sloping and free; arms well boned and muscular. Knees large and strong, pasterns short and well boned. Legs rather short and strong.
Chest deep and well developed; not too round and wide. Back and loin well developed and muscular in both width and depth. The back ribs must be deep. Whole body strong and level with no sign of waistiness from withers to hips.
Thighs strongly boned and muscular; hocks large and strong, legs short and strong with good bone. Hindlegs not appearing shorter than forelegs or over angulated.
Round, well padded, well feathered between toes.
Previously customarily docked to 13-18 cms (5-7ins). 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.
True fore and aft with distinctive roll.
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.
Rich golden liver and hair shading to golden at tip; gold predominating. Dark liver or puce undesirable.
Ideal height at withers: 38-41 cms (15-16 ins). Weight: approximately 23 kgs (50 lbs).
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 on the dog's ability to perform its traditional work.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.