|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
Cocker Spaniel: Here’s everything you need to know about this tireless, playful dog.
The Cocker Spaniel, also known as American Cocker Spaniel, is an American dog breed which, according to the FCI classification, belongs to Group 6 (Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs), section 2 (Flushing Dogs).
The Cocker Spaniel was once used as a fearsome hunting dog that dug and retrieved, both on land and in water. Today, it is used as a loving, cheerful, and friendly companion dog, especially with children.
Agility, speed, and an incredible sense of smell are the distinctive characteristics of the Cocker Spaniel, one of the dog breeds belonging to the American hunting dog group. It originated from the English Cocker Spaniel, with which it has many physical and personality features in common. However, they differ in size. In fact, the American Cocker is the smallest retriever and pointer ever selected.
Cocker Spaniel: Origins
It is believed that the first Cocker Spaniel arrived in the United States in 1882, and it started to spread the following year. In the United States it was a specimen without a breed standard or type, but it had impressive characteristics that generated increasing interest among breeders.
In 1935 the English Cocker Spaniel Club was created, and for the first time a breed standard was drawn up for this English dog. In the following year, it was the American Kennel Club that separated the British dogs from the American breed in their pedigrees, a work that was later perfected by the careful work of the famous dog expert Geraldine Rockfeller Dodge.
The success of the Cocker Spaniel was impressive in Canada and the United States. But on the other side of the world, in Europe, this dog breed struggled to establish itself with little success. Cockers were seen almost exclusively as hunting dogs, and not as companion dogs. This was a truth that was already established by the English Cocker Spaniel.
Cocker Spaniel: Physical Characteristics
It is a small-medium size dog and, as we said before, it is the smallest of the group of hunting and pointing dogs. The Cocker Spaniel is distinguished by a compact and robust body, with a well-proportioned rounded head and a broad muzzle. The muzzle is black and the nostrils are wide open. The eyes are almond-shaped, deep, and dark.
Its ears hang gracefully and are held close to the base of the skull. Forelegs are parallel, straight, strongly boned, and muscular. The hind legs are strongly boned and muscled with moderate angulation at the stifle and powerful, clearly defined thighs.
Its coat is characterized by being short on the head and longer on the rest of the body. The colors allowed by the official standard are uniform black or tan. An adult Cocker Spaniel weighs between 22 and 26 lb (10-12 kg).
Its size should not exceed 15.5 inches (39.4 cm) in height at the withers in males and 14.4 inches (36.8 cm) in females. It is obedient, calm, affectionate and always ready to play. Today its role is no longer the same as it used to be: It is appreciated and admired as a very sweet companion dog.
Cocker Spaniel: Temperament
This breed is one of the most lively, intelligent, affectionate, and playful dogs you will ever meet. The Cocker Spaniel adapts very well to any kind of situation and place; it never gets nervous, and it is practically impossible for it to be aggressive.
It willingly obeys the owner’s orders without grumbling. The Cocker Spaniel respects other dogs and has a cheerful and friendly attitude. For all these reasons, it is a perfect companion dog for the whole family, particularly for children with whom it loves playing.
At home, the Cocker Spaniel tends to respect the space of others, without intruding. It always seeks the attention of its owner and other family members. It always shows affection and docility in every activity.
Despite being one of the most suitable dogs for domestic life, its instinct is that of a hunting dog. Therefore, it loves playing and running in fresh air where it can play for hours without getting tired.
Its innate sociability makes it sociable even with strangers, to whom it shows no fear or concern. The American Cocker Spaniel is a fast learner. Thanks to its intelligence, the trainer’s work is very easy. This dog breed’s training should begin at an early age in order to mitigate the slight stubbornness that the Cocker Spaniel has in common with all other Spaniels.
Cocker Spaniel: Health and Average Life Span
As mentioned above, the Cocker Spaniel can live in an apartment, but it will need daily walks to burn off energy.
Regarding the dog’s nutrition, it should be weighted or balanced according to the dog’s age and level of daily physical activity. In general, the Cocker Spaniel needs 2 cups (250-300 gr) of food per day, which contains all the essential nutrients for the animal to be in excellent health
Being a rather rustic dog, it does not need special care, except for regular brushing and frequent trimming of certain parts of its body. The Cocker Spaniel has an average life expectancy of 10/12 years, and there is no information on diseases affecting this breed.
You must remember that it needs regular checking of its ears like all long-eared dogs. The ears can get easily dirty so they should be brushed every day. The eyes are also sensitive, due to frequent tearing. For this reason, they should be cleaned and checked daily to avoid infections or painful irritations.
Cocker Spaniel: Price, Breeders, and Puppies for Sale
An Cocker Spaniel puppy cannot cost less than 900 dollars, about 700 English pounds. Please go to certified breeding establishments as they can provide you with all the necessary documentation together with the puppy’s pedigree.
There are specialized and registered breeders in Canada and the United States. You can also find specimens in Europe, Australia and South Africa, but it will be more difficult.
You can always ask for the pedigree, which is essential: it allows you to check the purity of the dog’s breed. An animal with a pedigree has certain characteristics of its breed that differentiate it from the rest.
Now that we have clarified all the most important aspects, you can go in search of your new 4-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.
You may be interested in reading another article related to other dog breeds such as:
- Berger Picard
- Colombian Fino Hound
- Skye Terrier
- Ibizan Hound
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Spanish Water Dog
- English Springer Spaniel
- Welsh Corgi