Coat is often overlooked, well, good coat is overlooked, and sometimes actually penalized in the showring. In the field, good coat is becoming overlooked, at least in the UK, where they have discovered the clipper and the lawnmower clip – the all over clip off. If the coat on the Clumber was good, and as it should be (so good!), then there would be no need to employ someone to shave off the dog. But, what an easy solution so many seem to find it. May be the decision to clip off a whole coat would not be an issue if it was limited to that individual dog and by being maintained in that fashion it could easily undertake work it would not normally be able to cope with for it’s unsatisfactory coat, but then all that justification is null and void as soon as the owner decided to breed from that particular dog. The same applies to pet owners who choose the no-I-won’t-have-to-undertake regular maintenance if I have the dog clipped off, but the chances of a pet owner undertaking breeding are (generally) much slimmer. The only reasons I see field or pet owners choosing to clip of a Clumber are if the Clumber’s coat is inferior or not ideal, if it is inclined to matt, and or grows too much length, or the owner’s are not in a position to offer basic once fortnightly grooming to their canine companion.

Showing is more my interest, and because I have a good number of Clumbers living at home (15 at the moment of writing), that I alone care for, I am aware of and seek a good coat – otherwise I would have to spend more than half a day a week grooming; grooming time bites into training, exercise and companionship time, so grooming time needs to be within reason and limits.

So what is a good Clumber coat? It is a self cleaning coat, as the breed is white, and essentially a feathering tangle-free coat, and the shorter body coat is a richly two layered coat that moults cleanly and freely without matting. The hair on the feet and ears should, if given regular free exercise, maintain it’s own correct length by wear. It is as simple as that.

this is part of a draft for the book with the working title The Clumber Spaniel: Visually Assessing Conformation and Understanding Type  by Jan Irving, the article is copyright and may not be reused without written permission but you may link back to or share this page

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