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English Cocker Spaniels Information

Description

A very gentle and friendly looking breed, the Cocker Spaniel, often called the American Cocker Spaniel, is a long haired breed with large, expressive eyes. The Cocker Spaniels has very long ears with lots of feathering and either a docked or natural tail. The Cocker Spaniel has a distinctive head with a broad skull and muzzle and a definite stop or division between the eyes and the muzzle. They are very muscular and compact in appearance with square hips and a deep chest for their size. A medium to small sized dog, they have long hair wavy, silky hair over the entire body but are often clipped and trimmed for easy of grooming. The coat can be any solid color or black and tan, parti-color or other patterns. The breed specifications are rather strict on allowable colors so be sure to check the Kennel Club or ACK regulations for acceptable options if you wish to show.

Temperament

The Cocker Spaniel is an excellent companion dog for families, even those with very small children. They are considered to be very easy to train dogs although they should be properly socialized as puppies to avoid any fearfulness or timidity when they get older. The Cocker loves to run and play and will be an active participant in family activities. They are adaptable to being left alone for short periods of time but prefer to be with people rather than alone. They do well with other dogs and pets, and make excellent second dogs due to their calm nature.

Grooming & Shedding

As with any longhaired breed the Cocker Spaniel requires regular daily grooming to keep the coat in tiptop condition. Clipping simplifies the grooming process and many owners clip through the warmer summer months. The Cocker is an average shedder throughout the year. Special care needs to be taken to keep the eyes and ears free from debris or bacterial infections.

History

The English Cocker Spaniel was brought to the United States in the late 1800's and the smaller variety of the breed was more desirable to the hunting conditions than the larger English Spaniel. The smaller dogs where bred by crossing the English Cocker Spaniel with a toy spaniel, or a very small English Cocker. The name "cocker" actually comes from the woodcock, a type of game bird that the breed was known for hunting. Cocker Spaniels are still used in hunting trial competitions but are more well known for their companionship. 

Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: glaucoma, cataracts, patellar luxation
  • Minor Concerns: hip dysplasia, entropion, ectropion, CHF (congestive heart failure), liver disease, cardiomyopathy, allergies
  • Occasionally seen: elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion
  • Suggested tests: DNA for phosphofructinase defiency, eye, hip, elbow, knee

Characteristics

Height

 14-16 inches (36-38 cm)

Weight

 15-30 pounds (7-14 kg)

Lifespan

 12-15 years

Exercise

Medium to high

Apartment

Yes – with frequent, regular exercise

Families

Yes

Young Children

Yes

Need exercise space

Yes

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