It is named after the Sussex region in England, where it was developed. Some say that it descends from the Clumber Spaniel, differing only in size, being a bit smaller and in the way it barks. It has been known as a breed since the 18th century and was used to hunt on large estates.
It is a small to medium-sized dog with short legs. It is long rather than tall, brawny and has a characteristic movement, a pronounced rocking motion, which is not seen in any other Spaniel. It has a strong head, a flat and long skull, with a fold on the forehead. The nose is square-shaped with hanging lips and a dark red nose. The eyes are big, hazel. The ears are big, lobe-shaped, drooping and covered with long curly hair. The tail is docked at 12-18 cm from the base, carried straight and covered with hair. The fur has medium length, smooth or a bit wavy, soft, glossy hair that is shorter on the head and thicker, richer on the ears, chest, legs and tail. The coat's colour is bright golden with reddish shades.
This dog is intelligent, lively, noisy, playful even quarrelsome. It is obedient and devoted to its master, loving and patient with children, sociable with strangers. It has no problems with other dogs or other household animals.
The fur should be brushed and combed regularly and if it is necessary, old hair will be removed by trimming. Excess hair, grown between the footpads and from the ears will be removed.
It is a dog which can adapt to the offered conditions, outdoors or indoors, but only if it can get the daily exercise it requires. It likes long walks, loves to roam, to run, to swim or to play fetch. If it detects an interesting scent it will follow its hunting instinct. It has a medium level of activity. It needs socialization and training.
With a consistent, gentle training the wanted results can be obtained pretty easily because it learns quickly. It must be taught to bark less when announcing guests.
It's an innate hunter but also an affectionate companion.