|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
The English Cocker Spaniel was initially developed to be used for hunting birds like the woodcock. Nowadays, the English Cocker Spaniel has become an awesome pet dog.
The year 1873 was pivotal for the English Cocker Spaniel, since shortly after the Kennel Club was founded, this breed was recognized separately, distinct to the Land and Springer Spaniels.
English Cocker Spaniel: Origins
This dog breed was born in Great Britain in the 15th century. They were called “cocking spaniel” because of their ability to not let the hawk grab the woodcock, the Cocker was trained specifically for this.
Today, English Cocker Spaniel dogs intended for woodcock hunting and show dogs are clearly different: in fact, the latter ones are more robust and heavier, while the first, are obviously more active, and slimmer.
English Cocker Spaniel: General Appearance and Characteristics
The English Cocker Spaniel is one of the most common Cockers: descriptions of this type of specimens appear as far back as the year 1300! Even the renowned novelist and essayist Virginia Woolf describes a dog beautifully in her book Flush, A Biography, published in 1933. In this novel, the British writer examines the life of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning through the eyes of Flush, a red-haired Cocker.
Here how Virginia Woolf describes the dog named “Flush”:
“He was of that particular shade of dark brown which in sunshine flashes ‘all over into gold.’ His eyes were ‘startled eyes of hazel bland.’ His ears were ‘tasselled’; his ‘slender feet’ were ‘canopied in fringes’ and his tail was broad.”
With the necessary concessions and poetic license required by this work of art, there is nothing about Flush that would not get the unconditional approval of the Spaniel Club, nor is there any reason to doubt that Flush was a purebred, red-haired Cocker Spaniel, with all the traits of its kind.
The descriptions of this acclaimed novelist are the same we find today: we are talking about an animal that belongs to the category of medium-sized dogs, with the typical drooping ears that make up its characteristic appearance. The Cocker has a highly developed chest (typical of hunting dogs) and a compact upper body.
Cockers exhibit the following colors:
- Liver color (chocolate). White is not allowed except for small markings on the chest.
- Black and white,
- Orange and white,
- Liver color (chocolate) and white,
- Lemon and white. All with or without mottling.
- Black, white and tan,
- Liver color (chocolate), white and tan,
Roans (white hairs mixed evenly with the base coat color):
- Roan blue,
- Roan orange,
- Roan lemon,
- Roan liver,
- Roan blue and tan,
- Liver (chocolate) roan and tan.
All specimens have the common characteristic of having a particularly dense fur, very soft and wavy. The English Cocker Spaniel weighs around 26.4 lb (12 kg) and never exceeds 31 lb (14.5 kg), with a height around 15-16 inches (39-41 cm) for males and slightly less for females. Keep in mind that this breed’s tail gives it even more balance and empathy (if not docked), while compared to the coat, the eyes have less varied (in any case, they are never light).
English Cocker Spaniel: Temperament
The Cocker is full of life and energy: it is cheerful (just look at its tail, always moving, which is an invitation to fall in love with it), sporty, strong and very elegant. It is also very affectionate with its owner and its family. All this energy must be spent with long walks. The English Cocker Spaniel, in fact, needs to move, for this reason it is not ideal for lazy and sedentary owners (in this case, it would be better to indicate a Pug).
Walks could become a great excuse to run for an hour with your fitness companion: get ready to get in shape with your favorite dog! By nature, it is not a dog breed that likes to be alone: it always wants to get attention, so if you are a solitary couch potato, the English Cocker Spaniel is not for you.
Forget it, because the Cocker’s exuberance could make it unbearable, but it’s not its fault: because of the way it is, it needs to move and always be in the center of your attention. That said, if you’ve never owned an English Cocker Spaniel, you should know how child-friendly it is, as long as they do not pull on its tail or yell at it. It is friendly, cheerful and patient. It is one of the most suitable dog breeds for pet therapy.
English Cocker Spaniel: Feeding
It is a very important and delicate subject, because Cockers are very active and always on the go, but they love to eat. For this reason, we must be careful to provide them with a balanced diet watching their calorie intakes: it is not difficult to see overweight specimens on the street.
English Cocker Spaniel’s owners should focus on food since puppyhood: you should spare no expense on quality food, because you will spend much more money later at the vet.
Obesity in dogs is a troublesome disease, causing other imbalances, which we should try to avoid. Therefore, it is best to feed your English Cocker Spaniel with boiled rice, adding an egg yolk per week or a tablespoon of white yogurt or cottage cheese (ricotta).
English Cocker Spaniel: Puppies
It is good that your Cocker knows who you are from the beginning, when it is a puppy, otherwise you could find a stubborn animal: it needs training, but this does not mean that you will not be able to pamper it a little (his sweet and tender eyes will captivate you).
As a puppy, its character is restless and curious, especially in English Cocker Spaniels from 3 to 5 months of age, then it relatively will calm down.
English Cocker Spaniel: Price, Breeders, and Puppies For Sale
The price of an English Cocker Spaniel puppy cannot be less than 700 dollars, about 600 English pounds: trust only certified breeders, who can provide all the necessary documentation along with the pedigree papers of the specimen, which allows you to verify the purity of the breed.
In England, Australia, and the United States there are specialized and registered breeders of this breed recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) and the FCI (Federation Cinologique Internationale), but also in New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Scotland, India, and South Africa.
In recent years, following the worldwide success of Lady and the Tramp, many fake and uncertified English Cocker Spaniel breeders have taken advantage of the breed’s popularity and committed illegal commercial operations. You should only address those who work seriously, so that you can be sure that your puppy has been:
- Bred for good health and temperament;
- Properly selected (its parents were chosen without genetic diseases);
- Properly socialized, so that it is not too fearful or too aggressive;
- Vaccinated and well cared for.
In addition, if you adopt a puppy, a reliable breeder will give you a veterinary certificate, in which it is stated that the animal has been dewormed and is completely healthy.
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:
- Samoyed Dog
- Belgian Shepherd
- Afghan Hound
- Dogo Argentino
- Australian Shepherd
- Border Collie
- English Setter