Everything you need to know to buy or adopt a Sussex Spaniel puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Sussex Spaniel!

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Raise and train your dog the RIGHT way and he will live a long, healthy, well-behaved life – and both of you will be happy!

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Sussex Spaniel dog breed

Buying or Adopting a Sussex Spaniel

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is a Sussex Spaniel the right breed for you?

Sussex Spaniels: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Sussex Spaniel Health Problems


Are YOU right for a Sussex Spaniel?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (not an electronic/underground fence)
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Sussex Spaniel stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (hunt tests, tracking); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Musical Toys and Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • Brushing – moderate
  • Trimming/clipping – every few months
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Sussex Spaniels are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with moderate/heavy shedding
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Sussex Spaniel to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior or aggression
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Sussex Spaniel, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Sussex Spaniel?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Sussex Spaniel be?


Where can you buy or adopt a Sussex Spaniel?

Sussex Spaniels are very rare in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Sussex Spaniels rank 172nd. It's hard to find this breed.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
You might find a Sussex Spaniel available from a Dog Rescue group affiliated with the breed's national club. But not many Sussex Spaniels are turned over to Rescue groups, because not many people own them in the first place. Also Sussex Spaniels are not that difficult to live with, so fewer owners tend to give up on them.

Sussex Spaniels may be turned over to Rescue because they need more exercise than the owner expected. There might be dominance issues, or destructiveness due to boredom. Other Sussex Spaniels are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
I've never heard of a Sussex Spaniel being adopted from a shelter. Sussex Spaniel Rescue groups keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country. On the off chance that a Sussex Spaniel turns up at a shelter, the rescue group typically moves in quickly to take the dog.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Sussex Spaniel from a show breeder, who breeds Sussex Spaniels to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You might also be able to buy a Sussex Spaniel from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Sussex Spaniel puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal elbows
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or a report from a veterinary cardiologist – dated within the past year – certifying that the dog has had an Advanced Cardiac Exam and has a normal heart

Also, at least ONE PARENT of a Sussex Spaniel puppy should have:

  • a DNA test proving they are Normal/Clear of a metabolic disorder called PDP1 (aka exercise-induced collapse).

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Sussex Spaniel ends up with cataracts and crippled joints.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
I have never seen a Sussex Spaniel in a pet shop. Which is good, because I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Sussex Spaniel Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Sussex Spaniel puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Sussex Spaniel puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.