The Sussex Spaniel, also known as the Sussex, is a specialized hunting dog known for its low profile, short legs, golden-liver color and massive head. The Sussex was developed specifically as a field hunting dog that was particularly adept at penetrating thick, heavy undergrowth to reach and flush game birds. The Sussex Spaniel has an especially keen nose for finding upland game. One of its more unusual traits is “giving tongue” – or “baying” - while on the hunt, keeping the hunter informed about the type and location of quarry being flushed. According to one author: “He is a noisy, babbling sort, that will rouse a cock from the densest covert. So natural does this babbling seem… that no matter how young, down go their heads and out comes the music.”
His expression is somber and serious, but in temperament he is friendly and tractable. This is one of the rarest of all English spaniels. The Sussex Spaniel was accepted into the Stud Book of the American Kennel Club in 1884 – one of the original ten breeds to be so recognized - as a member of the Sporting Group. The mature Sussex Spaniel stands from 13 to 15 inches at the withers and weighs between 35 and 45 pounds. He is longer than he is tall and is a characteristic rich golden-liver in color.