154 DOGS AND ALL ABOUT THEM
where it should be short. There should be no topknot like that of the Irish Water Spaniel.
IV. THE CLUMBER SPANIEL is in high favour in the Spaniel world, both with shooting men and exhibitors, and the breed well deserves from both points of view the position which it occupies in the public esteem. No other variety is better equipped mentally and physically for the work it is called upon to do in aid of the gun ; and few, certainly none of the Spaniels, surpass or even equal it in appearance.
As a sporting dog, the Clumber is possessed of the very best of noses, a natural inclination both to hunt his game and retrieve it when killed, great keenness and perseverance wonderful endurance and activity considering his massive build, and as a rule is very easy to train, being highly intelligent and more docile and " biddable." The man who owns a good dog of this breed, whether he uses it as a retriever for driven birds, works it in a team, or uses it as his sole companion when he goes gunning, possesses a treasure. The great success of these Spaniels in the Field Trials promoted by both the societies which foster those most useful institutions is enough to prove this, and more convincing still is the tenacity with which the fortunate possessors of old strains, mostly residents in the immediate neighbourhood of the original home of the breed, have held on to them and continued to breed and use them year after year for many generations.
As a show dog, his massive frame, powerful limbs, pure white coat, with its pale lemon markings and frecklings, and, above all, his solemn and majestic aspect, mark him out as a true aristocrat, with all the beauty of refinement which comes from a long line of cultured ancestors.
All research so far has failed to carry their history back any further than the last quarter of the eighteenth century. About that time the Duc de Noailles presented some Spaniels, probably his whole kennel, which he brought from France, to the second Duke of Newcastle,