Is the American Cocker Spaniel the right breed of dog for you?The American Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular breed's of dog in U.S today- and it's not difficult to understand why. In common with all members of the Spaniel family, they are people dogs; friendly, happy, they love life, and they love to play.
Spaniels have a long history, mentioned as far back as the 14th century. They were bred to hunt and retrieve game; and the English Spaniel's particular skill at flushing out the Woodcock gave rise to the addition of the word Cocker to their name.
The American Cocker Spaniel was developed along different lines from its forerunner the English Cocker Spaniel. It has evolved in to a somewhat smaller dog, with a longer coat, different head shape, and a shorter back. But the Cocker temperament is firmly entrenched, as is its ability as a gundog and field trialer.
The Cocker was recognised as a breed in 1878 by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Sporting Group. They measure from 14 to 15 inches at the shoulder and weigh in at an average 30lbs.
The ears are pendulous, and their dark eyes reflect their innate intelligence. They have a silky coat, and like Joseph, it comes in many colours; ranging from roans and tri-colours to solids, and solids' with tan points.
The word merry defines the Spaniel family, and these dogs are no exception. They are a first timer owner's dog and an everyman dog. They love to run and play, so a prospective owner needs to understand that plenty of on and off the lead exercise is required to keep your Cocker physically and mentally fulfilled.
The Cocker needs regular grooming, otherwise his coat will become seriously matted, and you're also going to need to learn how to trim him- although a professional groomer is only a phone call away. These are unfussy eaters and feeding presents no problem, other than keeping an eye on their waistline.
Once a breed becomes popular, it seems that health problems increase and the Cocker is no exception. Ear infections are common in drop-eared breeds, but not a serious health problem. Some individuals suffer from eye problems including cataracts, PRA, and glaucoma. Cases of kidney disease, and hip dysplasia have also been reported.
Anyone who intends to buy a Cocker puppy should only contact responsible, breed club approved breeders. Most of these people, love these dogs, and consequently are diligent in their approach to breeding- in comparison to the profit chasing greed of a lot of the other so-called breeders.
Training a Cocker is relatively easy- they really want to please you, especially if there's a reward in it. They enjoy the company of other dogs, and socialising them at puppy classes is a useful, and rewarding training strategy.
If you decide that you want a loyal, family-orientated dog, that's highly intelligent, sweet natured, and above all merry, then perhaps the American Cocker Spaniel is the right breed of dog for you.