The Sussex Spaniel is a mid-sized English dog with short legs that’s low to the ground. The breed has a long, majestic, flowing coat and a bright, even-tempered personality. You may be interested in adopting this fluffy fella, but not until you know how much the breed sheds.
Is the Sussex Spaniel a heavy shedder?
Sussex Spaniels are moderate shedders due to their double coats. Your dog will shed during seasonal spikes twice per year. Regular brushing several times per week, if not every day, will control the amount of lustrous brown fur lost.
This guide to Sussex Spaniel shedding and grooming will provide detailed information, so you know what you’re in for if you adopt one of these sweet dogs. I’ll even discuss whether the Sussex Spaniel is hypoallergenic, so make sure you keep reading!
Sussex Spaniel Shedding
The Sussex Spaniel is categorized as a moderate shedder.
As a mid-sized dog, it certainly sheds more than the Kerry Blue Terrier or the American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff).
I would put the Sussex Spaniel’s rate of shedding more on par with a breed like the German Pinscher.
Let’s talk about why the Sussex Spaniel is a consistent shedder.
The breed is double-coated. Double-coated dogs have an insulating layer closer to their bodies. Then their outer layer of fur repels dirt.
While double-coated dogs have the benefit of perhaps staying cleaner from day to day, they tend to shed frequently when the weather goes from very warm to cold and vice-versa.
That means you should expect your Sussex Spaniel to begin blowing its coat when the last of autumn ends as well as when spring is about to give way to summer.
These two periods of shedding can last for weeks at a time.
Why does seasonal shedding occur? It’s simple. Your Sussex Spaniel wants to stay warm in the winter, so it regrows a denser, fluffier coat for the colder months. Then, when the summer arrives, the dog sheds again to ditch that coat, so it’s not hot all the time.
The coat is a little wavy but isn’t wiry or curly. Fringe, aka feathering, adorns the hocks, which are the part of the leg that start from the buttocks to the heel. The tail is feathered too.
Longer fur is usually advantageous in lessening shedding due to the dog hair growth process.
All dogs grow fur in a four-stage process: anagen to catagen, then telogen, and finally, exogen. A dog with shorter fur blows through these stages quickly. Since exogen is when the hair finally releases, they lose more fur than a longer-haired dog.
Grooming Your Sussex Spaniel
Once you’re done cleaning up the Sussex Spaniel’s stray hairs, I hope you still have some energy. You’d then have to move on to grooming this breed, which is a whole other ball of wax.
Let’s begin by talking about brushing, which is arguably the most important care facet. Use a bristle brush on your Sussex Spaniel. I recommend brushing them every day when they’re shedding seasonally.
Once this English dog is done blowing its coat, you can reduce the rate of brushing to two or three times per week. Feel free to brush up to four times per week if you feel it’s controlling your dog’s fur.
After all, brushing your pup is one of the best ways to combat shedding. You’re pulling out loose, dead fur when you comb your Sussex Spaniel.
Additionally, you’re spreading skin oils across the dog’s body that reduce itchiness. Less itch means less scratching and thus less shedding!
As you brush your Sussex Spaniel, make sure you’re checking for knots and mats, both of which this dog is sadly prone to. The fur between the dog’s ears as well as between their toes is bad for tangling especially.
I’d suggest using your slicker brush to remove mats. If that’s not working, rather than keep pulling on the dog’s fur (and potentially their skin as well), apply some dog-safe baby oil. Then try working out the tangle again.
Some dog owners will want to maintain their Sussex Spaniel according to its breed standards. If so, then allow the fur across the body to grow long. It’s okay if the fur is flat in areas, but it will not curl.
The ears should feature extra wavy fur, and the neck should have a frill that’s distinguishable from the rest of the coat. The legs, as I mentioned before, feature feathering, but the feet are not overly hairy.
The tail should have feathering as well, and this should be longer.
You shouldn’t have to trim the Sussex Spaniel outside of shaping its feet. You don’t want the feathering between the toes to get so long that your dog trips over their hair. That said, breed standards dictate that your Sussex Spaniel’s feathering on the feet covers their nails.
You should bathe your Sussex Spaniel when they’re visibly dirty or when they begin reeking. Use a dog-safe shampoo and dry the dog fully before proceeding with grooming.
Keep in mind that once you get your Sussex Spaniel neutered, its fur will change its texture. The new texture is akin to cotton candy, and grooming becomes that much harder.
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How to Reduce Sussex Spaniel Shedding
Excessive shedding is likely in breeds like the Sussex Spaniel. So, should you be contemplating adopting this dog, what can you do to control its rate of shedding?
To reiterate my point from the last section, regular grooming is key. Brush your Sussex Spaniel daily to three times per week. When you brush the dog, make sure you’re combing through both fur layers. This will ensure you reach the dog’s skin so you can spread those important oils.
However, aside from brushing, there are other ways you can reduce shedding, and we’ve put together a complete guide to reducing shedding if you want all the details.
For instance, bathing your Sussex Spaniel can be a very effective way to remove the loose fur in conjunction with brushing and even using a dog hair blower. However, as a side note, it’s important to avoid bathing too often as this can dry out your dog’s skin, which can make them prone to itching and scratching and potentially increase their rate of shedding.
Another thing you can do is revisit your dog’s diet. If your Sussex Spaniel eats processed dog food, upgrade what you feed them. Your dog needs a well-balanced diet with omega-3 fatty acids, and you can see our list of recommended dog food to learn more.
Keep your pup hydrated as well. Refill their water bowl as often as your dog needs it. A dehydrated canine is one who will–you guessed it–have dry and itchy skin that increases their rate of shedding.
Lastly, if nothing you’ve tried helps, and you’re concerned about your dog’s shedding, consider taking your dog to a veterinarian to be assessed. In particular, double-check that they’re not having allergies to the ingredients in their dog food, which can happen. The allergies make your dog itchy and thus will increase how much they shed.
Also, ask your vet to check your Sussex Spaniel for fleas, as an infestation can certainly stress your dog and make them shed. And of course, a good vet will check for other possible issues, as there’s a host of other reasons dogs can shed aside from what I’ve mentioned here.
Are Sussex Spaniels Hypoallergenic?
When choosing a dog, many prospective adopters are curious about how hypoallergenic their canine companion is. A hypoallergenic dog reduces one’s rate of allergies if they’re allergic to dander.
No dog is hypoallergenic since they all have skin, and that’s mostly what dander is. That said, certain factors can limit how much dander can travel, and thus some breeds are more hypoallergenic than others.
What qualifies a dog as hypoallergenic? Usually, the size of the dog is a determining factor. Smaller dogs are more hypoallergenic than medium-sized breeds, and mid-sized dogs would count as more hypoallergenic than bigger breeds.
Using those criteria, the Sussex Spaniel is hypoallergenic, right?
Not quite. Besides the dog’s size, its rate of shedding is a factor. The more a dog sheds, the easier it is for dander to latch onto departing fur and travel throughout your house. This is when a dander allergy sufferer will be in agony.
Since Sussex Spaniels shed as much as they do, especially seasonally, they don’t count as a hypoallergenic breed.
Is a Sussex Spaniel Right for You?
Should you live with non-allergy sufferers, then you might strongly consider adding the Sussex Spaniel to your family. Here is some information that will help you make up your mind.
The Sussex Spaniel is an English dog that was first bred in the 1750s. At the time, he was a gun dog.
The breed is described as bright, playful, and even clownish. With its long body and short legs, having a Sussex Spaniel around is sure to be a delightful experience.
Given its short stature, this is a breed that’s suitable for apartment-dwellers and homeowners alike.
Sussex Spaniels are overly active dogs, but daily walks are still a requirement. You can take your pup for a trot around the neighborhood rather than the dog park.
The Sussex Spaniel is a friend of animals, getting along with dogs and even cats if you socialize your dog first. This breed can be a little dominant, so maybe don’t move a Sussex Spaniel into a home with other dominant pet personalities.
Kids are a favorite of the Sussex Spaniel, but again, socialization is key.
What about how often this dog barks? Are you likely to hear him often? You are indeed. The Sussex Spaniel used to bark when hunting, so it will vocalize to show approval. The breed also can bark when left alone unless trained not to.
The Sussex Spaniel is a mid-sized English dog with a long body and short, stumpy legs. Although most people naturally focus on its long, luxurious coat, which is lovely but sheds seasonally twice per year and requires regular grooming to maintain. Nevertheless, with a loveable personality and an adorable look, the Sussex Spaniel is certainly a dog to consider!