Dukeries' Clumber Spaniel - Sparkle
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Basis for a problem-free coexistence and a successful training with the dog is the knowledge about the abilities and breed’s characteristics. And regardless of whether a Clumber Spaniel comes from a hunting line or show line.

It is important to know the purpose for which the breed was originally bred,....how it operates and what are the reasons for certain behaviors

The Clumber Spaniel - a flushing dog - was bred especially for hunting pheasants, partridges and ducks.....for working
close to the hunter….”working under the gun”.

Clumber Spaniels work very methodically. They search out birds where they live,…… in the bushes. They will go from bush to bush, use their noses to locate game from a distance. Their style may appear to be nonchalant and haphazard....but their nose is so superior they don’t need to cover the entire field. In fact, at hunt tests, some Clumber-Teams love to follow other breeds as they pass birds because of their speed and strict quartering pattern.

When they actually locate the bird, most Clumbers will stop before they pounce.This is something that retrogrades to the "original breed type" when the shotguns were not as accurate as today and the dogs worked in a line through the brambles.
Shotguns and ammunition from thence were not as powerful as today. The game became more often only injury. Thus, a Clumber approaches every bird as if it is wounded .....and is very intent to catch it. If the bird is moving, he will track it intently.
If the bird stays or stops in densely cover. He will slow down as he approaches it,.....stalking it like a cat.
When he is very close to the bird, he will often stop,.....with their head down staring right at the bird. He wants us to give to understand: "The next move is up to you. Start reaching for the safety." This "English style, hesitation flush" is common in breeds of spaniels which have their hunting roots in England. English National Championships have been won by spaniels
which exhibit this flushing style. This style - The Hunters best friend - is also valued by many American hunters, it gives
them time to get ready for the shot.

Clumbers also don’t like drilling. They are very intelligent dogs with a wicked sense of humor. They will work joyfully for people they love and who treat them as a real partner. …..who work with them in a team.

Clumber are very eager to please – what English hunters call „willing to please“ - and crave field work. Whatever if it is hunting, retieving or tracking and so on.

It’s important to not mistake their determined nature for stubbornness. Clumbers are not a hard-headed breed.....Yes, they will test you and scrutinise commands and revise ever and anon. Clumbers are convinced they know more than you do, particularly with regard to where the "birds" are.

This Gun dogs are not pure recipients of orders….. but they were deliberately bred to work independently.....were and are valued for their cognitive abilities.

You have to learn to respect this and use training techniques to show the dog that maybe you know where “birds” are that the dog doesn’t know about.;0)

Further characteristics of the breed:

Because the breed is so scent-driven, they do have a tendency to turn their ears off when their nose turns on / runs up to peak performance and this can be a struggle for inexperienced owners and trainers. On the way it makes sense to use the whistle (ACME or dual-tone Hornpipe) and also to nurture eye contact.

Nor is it a problem……that some Clumbers can be reluctant to part with their "treasures.". Which has its roots in his enthusiasm and zeal at work.....can be practiced and very well controlled with swaps from the beginning, so at any time, everything can be taken out of the mouth and is also given voluntarily....even if it is "stolen good" which became a prey of the keen passion for collecting – especially of young Clumbers.

In no case, coercion and punishment - positive reinforcement and that’s the only way they should be trained…..and not to be underestimated, the common fun in what you are doing!

If you keep the training interesting for them then they will give you everything they have. They are making quite difficult retrieves, overcoming stone walls and hurdles with ease.....tasks started they want to bring to an end and you can see just how happy they are .....the enthusiasm with which they keep on point!

They love a varied training,…. want to be claimed….. mentally and also physically.

We had already experienced, for example, when we trained with the dummy, velvet is automatically changed to the next step of an exercise,....because it was being too "boring" to her and she apparently had the opinion: "It fits!.... So on to the next exercise!;0).... with a look that seemed to say: Allow me,.....I'll do that.... I know what to do."

If one understands them .....Clumbers are an absolute joy, whether in the field, at the sport or in everyday life for family,” They make you laugh......simply brighten your day,.....every day!

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The way of working and training of Clumber Spaniels