The Sussex Spaniel has its origins in Southern England. It is a cross between the Clumber Spaniel and the Bloodhound. Sussex Spaniels are an old breed, first developed in 1795. In appearance, it resembled the Clumber Spaniel more but has a distinct golden-liver coat with lemon or orange markings. The AKC recognized the Sussex Spaniel in 1884.
Sussex are intelligent, and fairly easy-to-train dogs. They also get along with children and other pets and are always eager to be around humans. Their highly social nature makes them very popular today.
Unfortunately, they are very rare and on the brink of extinction. In fact, Sussex Spaniels are considered rarer than pandas since only 34 Sussexes were registered in 2018. In the UK where the breed originated, there are less than a hundred Sussex Spaniels registered by the UKC.
Being rare has its set of disadvantages. Mainly they are expensive and there are not too many breeders in the United States.
Are you planning to adopt or buy this rare dog breed? Then this guide is for you.
Here, we will give you a rough estimate of all the costs you might incur when raising a Sussex Spaniel. We will start with the puppy’s price and follow this up with the cost of training, food costs, medical, and other miscellaneous costs.
Here is a brief summary:
How Much Does a Sussex Spaniel Puppy Cost?
Finding a breeder of the Sussex Spaniel can be an uphill task. There are not many located in the United States. One of the best places to find a list of registered and ethical Sussex breeders is through the official website of the Sussex Spaniel Club of America.
Most breeders charge between $2000 and $3000 for the Sussex puppy. Be very wary of prices below this – they could be backyard breeders and the puppies may not be purebred Sussex.
Factors that affect the Sussex Spaniel’s price
The main factor that affects your potential pet’s price is the breeder. If your breeder has champion dogs, then the puppies will be priced higher. Also, good breeders will only breed the best dogs that are free from health issues.
They also deworm and vaccinate their young pups in the first few weeks. This is why good breeders won’t give you your puppy until it is at least 8 weeks old. This will also make your pet more social as the dam and littermates teach many valuable skills to the pup.
The price of your Sussex will also depend on the cost the breeder may have incurred. Sometimes, breeders use techniques like artificial insemination. In other cases, they may have to import their breeding dogs. All these factors can significantly raise your pet’s price.
If your breeder isn’t located nearby, you will have to factor in shipping costs. The average cost to ship a puppy over a shorter distance is about $120. For longer distances, this price can go up to $270 to $500.
The following table shows you the median price and price bracket for a Sussex Spaniel:
|The minimum price of a Sussex Spaniel puppy||$2000|
|The maximum price of a Sussex Spaniel puppy||$3000|
|Price bracket||Between $2000 and $3000|
|Median or average price||$1500|
Sussex Spaniel Basic Supplies and Costs
Before your Sussex comes home, you’d want to have some supplies on hand. These include:
Your pup will need some bowls to eat and drink from. You can buy bowls that come with a stand – they let your pup eat more comfortably. These cost up to $30. Always select bowls made of stainless steel, ceramic, or heavy-duty or food-grade plastic.
A bed and crate
Make sure the bed is chew-resistant, comfortable, and washable. You may also want to get a crate for the housetraining period. If so, don’t forget the crate pads. Total cost – around $50 to $75.
Lots of them! Make sure they are colorful and choose the different types. Also by some teething toys. Avoid toys that have a danger of coming apart when chewed. Look for sturdy Kong toys which you can fill with tasty treats like peanut butter. These will keep your Sussex spaniel busy for hours. The total cost – around $40-$60.
Collar and leash
Buy an adjustable collar so it can fit around your growing Sussex Spaniel’s neck comfortably. A leather leash is also a good idea. Don’t spend more than $40 on a leash, collar, and ID tags.
The luxurious coat of your Sussex Spaniel needs plenty of brushing. Invest in a sturdy yet comfortable brush, doggie shampoo, nail clippers, toothbrush-toothpaste, and an ear cleaner. Also, you will need some wipes to clean your dog’s eyes. Expect to spend about $30 to $50 on these.
The following table shows the cost of basic dog supplies:
|Collar-leash set, harness||$20-$50|
|Baby gates to limit your pet’s entry in parts of your house||$40|
|Treat dispenser toys||$10|
|Plush bed||From $40|
|Mats for containing food messes||$10|
|Grooming tools –wipes, brush, comb, dental supplies, shampoo, nail clippers, etc.||$30-$50|
|Potty pads for indoor training||$10|
Training Your Sussex Spaniel – Approximate Cost
There are different options when it comes to training your Sussex. You can choose from the following choices:
Puppy obedience classes are ideal for pups aged between 2 and 5 months old. Some of the classes also cover the basics of house training. The price of puppy group training is between $20 and $50 in most cities. Some pet stores charge as low as $10 per class. There are also some group classes that charge for the entire session lasting over a period of one month. This can cost up to $120.
In private dog training, an experienced dog trainer will come and teach your dog in your home. It is a good idea for you to stay for the session so the trainer also ‘trains’ you to train your pet. Depending on your city and the trainer’s expertise, a single session can cost between $30 and $120.
Yes! There are boarding schools for dogs as well. Your Sussex will board with the trainer where it will learn obedience, house training rules, etc. These can cost anywhere between $500 and $1250 for one week of training.
Thanks to the pandemic, many dog trainers have started offering their services through online sessions. These can cost around $20. You can also get free training tips on channels like YouTube and train your Sussex on your own.
Here is a quick tabular summary of the above:
|Group training (cost per class)||$20.00 to $50 per class|
|Private training (cost per session)||$30.00 to $120|
|Board-and-train||$500 to $1250.00 per week|
Sussex Spaniel Food Costs
Some dog owners free-feed their dogs but this can lead to over-eating. Therefore, it is best to consult your vet regarding how much your dog should eat.
The type and quantity of food depend on several factors like your pet’s age, overall health, activity levels, etc.
Here are some guidelines to follow when it comes to feeding your Sussex Spaniel:
- In the beginning, it is best to feed the same food that the breeder was feeding your Sussex puppy. This is important to prevent digestive upsets.
- As your pet grows, change its food as recommended by your vet/breeder.
- Feed your Sussex puppy 4 meals per day. You can divide 1 to 1 ½ cups of dry dog food into 4 meals.
- As your pet grows into an adult weighing between 40-50 lb., you can feed 2 to 2 ⅔ rd cups of food per day. Divide this into two or three meals. If you feed canned or wet food, then give 2.5 cups of it per day.
- Pregnant bitches and senior dogs will need different quantities of meals as directed by your vet.
The following table shows the monthly quantity to feed along with the monthly cost you will incur on your Sussex Spaniel’s food:
|Type of food||Approx. monthly quantity||Approx. monthly price|
|Kibble/dry food||15 lb||$30 to $50|
|Wet/canned food||50 lb..||$50-$75|
|Raw freeze-dried food||2000 nuggets||$100 to $120|
|Raw food||30 lb.||$60|
Best Dog Food Comparison for Sussex Spaniels
Sussex Spaniels are prone to weight gain and obesity so it is best to feed them small but nutritious meals. Your vet or breeder can guide you in selecting the right food for your pet.
In general, look for high-protein foods that are free from grains, fillers, and artificial ingredients. Even grain-free foods are packed with starchy ingredients like peas, lentils, and legumes. So, do learn to read food labels. Sussex spaniels are known to have food sensitivities, so avoid foods with ingredients that could trigger these allergies.
For puppies, look for foods containing essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA. These are very important for brain development. Also, your growing pet needs calcium and phosphorus too for healthy bones. Adults, on the other hand, need fiber, probiotics, and protein-rich foods.
There are many high-quality foods available in the market. They may be slightly on the expensive side but by feeding premium food, you will definitely lower your vet bills. Look for foods with real chicken, turkey, fish, or lamb as the first ingredient. If your pet is sensitive to any of these proteins, then novel protein sources like emu, bison, rabbit, duck, venison, etc. could be better options.
Here are some great food choices for Sussex Spaniels along with the approximate costs:
|Name of food||Features||Cost per lb.|
|Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Skin and Stomach||Support healthy gut microbiome, packed with vitamin E and omega fatty acids, vet-recommended food, made in the USA||$2.17/lb|
|Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Dog Food with Real Meat, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin||Easy to digest, contains real chicken, free from corn, wheat, and other by-products||$1.64/lb.|
|Rachel ray Nutrish Natural Dog Food Variety Tubs||Natural food, variety for picky dogs||$4.09/lb.|
|ZIWI Air-dried All-Natural High-protein, Grain-free Dog Food||Low-carb, grain-free, all-natural, high-protein, contains superfoods, great for sensitive dogs||$20/lb.|
Medical Costs for Sussex Spaniels
All puppies need vaccinations to prevent canine diseases like parvovirus, distemper, and canine hepatitis, etc. Your vet can do although some pet stores do it for a lot less. Some owners even learn to administer vaccines which ends up being cheaper still.
Most vet practices charge between $30 and $100 for basic or core vaccines like Distemper, Parvo, hepatitis, and canine influenza. Your puppy will also need booster shots for these diseases at periodic intervals. Some vets also recommend non-core vaccines like Leptospirosis and Lyme disease. This will depend on your area.
Here is a table showing the age, vaccine, and their costs:
Core vaccine costs
|Core vaccine||Age of puppy||Cost|
|Distemper||At least 3 doses are to be given between 6 and 16 weeks of age. (2 doses to be given 3-4 weeks apart)||$15 to $25|
|Parvovirus||Same as above|
|Adenovirus, type 1 (CAV-1, canine hepatitis)||The intranasal vaccine may be boostered at one year. Your pet will also need a booster at 1 year after completing the initial series, then again, every 3 years.||$15-$50|
|Adenovirus, type 2 (CAV-2, kennel cough)||Between 6 weeks to 16 weeks, at least 3 doses.||$15-$50|
|Rabies 1 and 3 years||Can be given as early as 3 months of age. States have laws about this core vaccine||$35 to $50|
Non-core vaccine costs
|Non-core vaccine||Age of puppy||Cost|
|Parainfluenza||Administered at 6-8 weeks of age, then every 3-4 weeks until 12-14 weeks old. Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation, a booster may be needed after a year and re-vaccination every 3 years.||$15-$35|
|Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)||2 doses of injection or one dose of intranasal vaccine given based on manufacturer recommendation||$15-$50|
|Lyme disease||Given at 9 weeks and repeated after 2-4 weeks||$20-$40|
|Leptospirosis||2 doses at least 2-4 weeks apart. The first dose is around 8 weeks.||$15-$35|
Other Medical Costs
Fleas, ticks, and mites will drive you and your dog crazy so it is important to have your puppy on some kind of prevention program. Most cost up to $50 for 3-4 months of protection. You must also deworm your pet every 4 months or as directed by your vet. Deworming medicines can cost between $8 and $30 depending on the type.
In addition to vaccinating your pet, it is a good practice to schedule regular routine checkups at least twice each year. A single trip to the vet – for a wellness checkup – can cost up to $50.
Sussex spaniels are prone to ear infections which can be costly to treat. Most need $100 worth of medicines. Other medical and emergency costs such as blood tests, X-rays, etc. can cost between $200 and $400. Fractures are also expensive to treat – about $500.
If you have your pet’s teeth cleaned professionally, expect to pay about $400 for the procedure.
These costs naturally vary from practice to practice.
Breed Predisposition to Diseases in Sussex Spaniels
Symptoms of mitochondrial myopathy in dogs include muscle weakness, seizures, diabetes, and poor growth. There is no cure for the disease but medicines can help slow it down and could improve the quality of life. The disease can cause sudden death.
Pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase 1 deficiency (PDP1)
Almost 20% of Clumber and Sussex Spaniels are carriers of this gene. Thankfully, there is genetic testing available for it and good breeders refrain from breeding affected dogs. PDP1 deficiency can lead to cardiac, pulmonary, and neurological issues. Symptoms include severe intolerance to exercise.
Ocular defects like entropion, ectropion, and diamond eye are some common issues in Sussex Spaniels. Many of them are inherited so genetic testing can help prevent them from being passed on to the puppies.
Pet Insurance – Should You Buy One for Your Sussex Spaniel?
Pets are our family members and like any family member, we want the best for them. If you take a glance around your house, you will probably discover that every member is covered by health insurance. But have you considered pet insurance for your Sussex Spaniel? If not, it is important that you do.
As you can see above, there are several medical costs that can leave a huge dent in your pocket, should your little fur baby fall sick. Even routine medical checkups can cost up to $100 a year. With pet insurance, you can cover not only accidents and illnesses; but even costs of wellness or preventive treatments. Here are the major benefits of pet insurance:
- With pet insurance, you can give your Sussex the treatment it deserves – often at the vet of your choice.
- You don’t have to dip into your savings – with insurance as low as $30 a month, you can easily afford most treatments/hospitalizations that would have otherwise cost thousands of dollars.
- You get flexible and affordable plans – pet insurance need not be expensive at all. You can select a plan as per your budget.
Here are some of the best insurance companies for pets in the USA along with their pros and cons and monthly costs:
|Name of insurance||Pros||Cons||Approximate cost|
|FIGO||Sometimes they give 100% reimbursements||Premiums tend to increase with pet’s age||Plans start at $1.50 per day|
|Embrace||Covers hereditary conditions||Only for pets 14 and younger. Many pre-existing conditions are not covered||Basic coverage stands at $14 a month.|
|Healthy Paws||Allows you to use any licensed veterinarian||12-month wait period for hip dysplasia; only enrolls pets under 6 years||$39.01 per month|
|Pets Best||Best Accident and Illness plan||Limited annual limit options. End-of-life expenses not covered.||The basic plan at $9 a month and the accident plan is between $35 and $58 a month.|
Additional Costs of Owning a Sussex Spaniel
In addition to food, training, and veterinary care costs, you could incur the following costs as well:
Microchipping and license renewal
Having your Sussex Spaniel microchipped can help save many hassles down the line, in the event it is lost or stolen. The procedure hardly costs $45 and is completely painless. License renewal does not cost too much – around $25 per year.
Spaying or neutering
One of the biggest costs you need to consider in the first year is spay/neuter surgery unless you plan to breed your dog. Most vets recommend spaying after the bitch has had her first heat. Neutering is ideally done between 6 months to 1 year. The average clinic cost for spaying surgery is about $200 and for neutering, it is between $50 and $100.
In addition to regular at-home grooming, you need to have your Sussex Spaniel groomed professionally every few months, to maintain its silky coat. Groomers charge between $30 and $75 for basic grooming that typically includes bathing, ear cleaning, nail trimming etc. This price varies from city to city. You need to have your Sussex Spaniel groomed at least 2-3 times a year.
Sussex Spaniels are prone to obesity. Therefore, they need regular exercise. Schedule time to walk your dog at least 2 times a day for 20-30 minutes. If you are not able to walk your pet, then have a dog walker for this job. This can cost between $10 and $30 for a 30-minute walk.
If you travel frequently, then you can either take your dog with you or hire a pet sitter. You can also board your Sussex at a pet hostel. The cost of airfare for dogs is between $125 and $250 – one way. Dog sitters charge $45 to $75 per night depending on the tasks. Pet hostels average $50 per night.
Key Takeaways – How Much Does a Sussex Spaniel Cost?
Here is a summary of costs incurred when raising a Sussex spaniel:
The initial costs of a Sussex spaniel include its purchase price. Owing to its rarity, this cute dog costs between $2000 and $3000. Initial costs also include basic supplies you need to purchase for your pet, grooming supplies, vaccinations, spaying/neutering, etc. All these add up to between $2000 and $4000.
The monthly cost of Sussex spaniel ownership includes the cost of food and treats, veterinary care, license renewal, grooming, and flea and tick prevention. You must also add some unexpected expenses such as extra toys, or replacing a broken collar, etc. This comes to almost $300 to $500 for this breed.
The annual cost of raising this medium breed dog – after the first year – is about $3000 spent on grooming, flea and tick prevention, deworming, pet insurance, food and treats, and medical care.
The average lifespan of this beautiful dog is between 12 and 15 years. Therefore, over this period, you can expect to spend almost $15,000 to $40,000 on your pet.
We hope this guide helps you plan a budget for your Sussex Spaniel.