We aim to make our site an useful resource to those who own, or who are interested
in owning, Sussex Spaniels.
The Sussex spaniel is a unique breed and one of the earliest recognised breeds of
Dogs were originally bred for many different
purposes, hence so many different breeds. Most
country gentlemen bred their own line of gundogs,
many were named after the person who developed
the breed, where they were bred or after their
function. Mr Augusts Elliot Fuller (1777-1857) of
Rosehill, Sussex, is believed to be the founder of
the breed and kept them for over 50 years, until
The Sussex Spaniel is named after the place of its origin. It was bred as a spaniel
capable of working in heavy clay soil and dense undergrowth. They were developed
to give voice (tongue) to let the owner know where the dog is located.
During World War II the breeding of dogs was discouraged. After the War, there were
only 5 known Sussex Spaniels remaining and these belonged to Mrs Joy Freer, who devoted
her life to the breed. These 5 dogs form the basis of today’s Sussex Spaniels.
The Sussex Spaniel Association was formed in 1924 for the protection of the Sussex
Spaniel. In the 1950’s the breed was suffering from breeding problems, as a result
an out cross was undertaken. Joy Freer died in 1984 just before the celebration
of the Sussex Spaniel Diamond Jubilee.
Today the breed is still small, with 56 puppies being registered in 2008. In 2004
the Kennel Club identified the breed as a Vulnerable Breed. The breed is a dual purpose
breed that can be worked and/or shown.
Grayson. P., 1989. The Sussex Spaniel. The Boydell Press. UK