This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
The Sussex Spaniel differs from the Clumber in shape and color, as well as in his "questing," his note being full and bell-like, though sharp. In hight and weight there is not much difference, nor is the general character of the head very distinguishable from that of the Clumber; but in length he is not nearly so remarkable as that dog, though still long and low, the body being very round and full, indicating great power. The coat also is pretty nearly the same in quality, being soft and silky, though thick and free from distinct curls; and this dog is also beautifully feathered The head is not quite so heavy about the muzzle, but very square above the eyes, and with an expression of exceeding gravity and intelligence. The ears are full in length, lobe-shaped, but not very thickly covered with hair. Muzzle broad, with the under jaw receding more than in the Clumber, and the point of the nose of a liver-color. The whole body is also of a decided liver-color, but with rather a golden shade, not so puce as that of the Welsh or Devonshire cockers, or the Irish water spaniel. Legs and feet very strong, and well feathered. Tail generally cropped, and well clothed with wavy hair. The bitches are usually smaller than the dogs.
Fig. 19. - SUSSEX SPANIEL, GEORGE.
All of this breed throw their tongues, and when kept to cocks or pheasants, they readily indicate their scent by a sharper note than usual. The portrait given as a specimen of the breed was bred by the late A. E. Fuller, of Rose Hill, Sussex, England.
Fig. 20. - COCKER SPANIEL, BRUSH.
The Cocker can scarcely be minutely described, inasmuch as there are so many varieties in different parts of Great Britain. He may, however, be said, in general terms, to be a light, active spaniel, of about 14 lbs. weight on the average, sometimes reaching 20 lbs., with very elegant shapes, and a, lively and spirited carriage. In hunting he keeps his tail down, like the rest of his kind, and works it constantly in a most rapid and merry way, from which alone he may be known from the springer, who also works his, but solemnly and deliberately, and apparently without the same pleasurable sensations which are displayed by the cocker. The head is round and the forehead raised; muzzle more pointed to the springer, and the ear less heavy, but of good length, and well clothed with soft wavy hair, which should not be matted in a heavy mass. The eye is of medium size, slightly inclined to water, bat not to weep like the toy dog's; body of medium length, and the shape generally resembling that of a small setter. It has long been the custom to crop the tail nearly half off, so as to prevent the constant wearing of it against the bushes, as the dog works his way through them.
If left on, it is nearly as long in proportion as that of the setter, but more bushy, and not so closely resembling a fan. These dogs are well feathered, and the work for their feet and legs requires them to be strong and well formed. The coat should be thick and wavy, but not absolutely curled, which last shows the cross with the water spaniel, and that gives too much obstinacy with it to conduce to success in covert shooting. The color varies from a plain liver or black to black and tan, white and black, white and liver, white and red, or white and lemon; and different breeds are noted as possessing some one of these in particular, but I am not aware that any one is remarkable as belonging to a superior race.
The title "cocker" includes every kind of field spaniel except the Sussex and Clumber, and it is therefore necessary to allude to the Norfolk Spaniel as well as to the Welsh and Devon Cocker. The Norfolk spaniel is still to be found scattered throughout the country, and is generally of a liver and white color, sometimes black and white, and rarely lemon and white; usually a good deal ticked with color in the white. Higher on the leg than the Clumber or the Sussex, he is generally more active than either, sometimes almost rivalling the setter in lightness of frame; his ears are long, lobular and heavily feathered, and he is a very useful dog when thoroughly broken, but he is apt to be too wild in his behavior and too wide in his range until he has had a longer drill than most sportsmen can afford, and in retrieving he is often hard mouthed. When thoroughly broken, however, he is an excellent aid to the gun; but he is so intermixed with other breeds, that it is impossible to select any particular specimen as the true type.
With regard to the Welsh and Devon cocker of former times, they are now scarcely to be met with in a state of purity and of the regulation size (20 lbs. to 25 lbs.); most of them have been crossed with the springer, or by improved management have been raised in weight to 30 lbs. at the least, which militates against their use in some coverts; and in a vast majority of teams, the modern field spaniel must be regarded as more like the springer than the cocker. The Welsh and Devon cockers are both liver-colored, not of the Sussex golden hue, but of a dead true liver color. Their ears are not too large for work, and on the show bench would by many judges be considered too small; but they are always lobular, without the slightest tendency to a vine shape. Throughout the country there are numberless breeds of cockers of all colors, varying from white, black, or liver to red and white, lemon and white, liver and white, and black and white. Ladybird is nearly all red, but she comes of strains usually all liver or all black.
The illustration is a portrait of Mr. W. Gillette Brush, an excellent representative dog.
The Blenheim and King Charles' Spaniels will be described under the head of toy dogs, to which purpose alone are they really suited, though sometimes used in covert shooting.