Showsight Presents the Sussex Spaniel

“THEY HUNT AT A MODERATE PACE, A QUICK-STEPPED TROT AND USE THEIR NOSE TO FIND THE FAINTEST OF SCENTS, rather than their little, short legs.”

just move along like a turtle or a snail. Th ey stay close to their master, within gun range, flush their bird and anxiously await their retrieve and this is why they are called the gentleman’s hunting dog. Th e older English gentlemen did not want to walk for miles in search of a dog on point. Th ey wanted something that they could hunt with that would stay close and within shooting range. Please remember the next time you judge a Sussex; “slow” is relative to the speed of their counter- parts in the sporting group and exhibitors should not be asked to “walk” around the ring. Th ey have a good, moderate speed and it is demonstrated well with a good reach and drive which fits them for a long day in the field. In our previous Sus- sex Spaniel hunting style description, it states: “ Th e Sussex was developed to work as a methodical, determined, thorough hunter, with a moderate pace, excellent endurance and an overall toughness.” Th ey hunt at a moderate pace, a quick- stepped trot and use their nose to find the

faintest of scents, rather than their little, short legs. Th e Sussex Spaniel was bred in Eng- land and was used in fields with heavy thicket and brush. Th ey do not go over or around, they go through this cover, which is why they must have a good front and rear assembly. Th ey need a good rear to help them push through this thick cover and a good front to pull them through, in search of their prey. Th ey are only mod- erately coated, which anyone who takes a moment to think about would under- stand; a long, thick, luxurious coat in a field full of burrs and briars? Th eir coat is soft and thick enough to protect them from injury and not “overdone” so as to impose those burrs into their fur for an agonizing time on the grooming table to remove them. Th e Sussex Standard states: “A scissors bite is preferred. Any deviation from a scissors bite is a minor fault”. We have no DQ’s in the Sussex Breed Standard, but there are faults that are mentioned that we

must take into account when judging the Sussex in the ring. Too many times there have been some very nice Sussex Spaniels put to the back of the line, due to a “bite issue”, yet they are truly a magnificent representation of the breed. Th is is com- mon from judges who come from breeds where bite is a major fault. When judg- ing the Sussex, we as breeders would ask that you judge the “whole” dog, using the major and minor faults in our Standard to bring out the best of the best on that day. We try to emphasize in our Judges Educa- tion Seminars: “Form and Function” and I can attest to the fact that a Sussex with a reverse scissors bite is more than able to retrieve and bring to hand any bird, including a large pheasant. If it’s a maloc- clusion, wry/parrot mouth, etc. that is in question, then by all means put it to the back of the line. You are judging the unique Sussex Spaniel by none other than its own Stan- dard. We hope you enjoy judging this unique little brown dog.

“Their coat is soft and thick enough to protect them from injury AND NOT ‘OVERDONE’ SO AS TO IMPOSE THOSE BURRS INTO THEIR FUR FOR AN AGONIZING TIME ON THE GROOMING TABLE TO REMOVE THEM.”

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