Cocker Spaniel Breed Information
The American Cocker Spaniel, usually referred to as just the “cocker spaniel”, is a breed found in the sporting group. This breed is both beautiful and intelligent, typically making an excellent addition to the family.
The only consideration for the American Cocker Spaniel is that while the dog will generally do very well with older children, they can become testy with small kids. In addition, the Cocker Spaniel is prone to behavioral issues such as shyness, often leading to unwanted aggression. To prevent this type of problem, it is imperative that the Cocker be socialized young and properly trained.
However, for the dogs that are socialized and trained, you end up with a loyal, energetic, and loving dog. In fact, most Cocker Spaniel owners will tell you that this particular breed has a unique way of “cheering” people up. As far as living conditions, the Cocker should be maintained indoors. With long, thick hair, staying outdoors in the heat too long can cause serious dehydration and overheating.
Interestingly, the name “cocker” was created because it was bred to hunt woodcock. Keep in mind that there are two types of Cocker Spaniels – the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel. Both varieties of the Cocker Spaniel were great hunting dogs although today, you see them primarily used in show and as family pets.
However, some of the American Cocker Spaniels do still compete in field trials and for hunting. While there was a slight decline in the popularity of this breed in the late 1980s, the American Cocker Spaniel is still holding its current position with the American Kennel Club.
Cocker Spaniel Temperament
As stated, the Cocker Spaniel is an extremely bright dog, sometimes too much for its own good. The breed loves to play, run around the yard, and just enjoy its family. As a medium size dog, the American Cocker Spaniel is also very gentle.
On the other hand, while the breed does not necessarily require an abundance of attention, if avoided too long, you would expect to see him become destructive by digging or chewing, or possibly barking to get your attention.
Cocker Spaniel Size and Color
As far as size for the American Cocker Spaniel, males will generally measure between 14.5 and 15.5 inches tall and the females from 13.5 to 14.5 inches. For weight, both genders are about the same, weighing approximately 24 to 28 pounds.
The nice thing about this breed is the size – not too large or too small. In other words, the Cocker Spaniel can offer the presence of protection while still being small enough for the older kids to enjoy.
Typically, the Cocker Spaniel is a light cream, white, or black color although various colors and color combinations are accepted, as indicated below.
- Black, Black/Tan, Black/White, Black/White/Tan
- Brown, Brown/Tan, Brown/White, Brown/White/Tan
- Buff, Buff/White
- Red, Red/White
- Blue Roan, Blue Roan/Tan
- Red Roan
- Sable, Sable/White
- Markings – Roan, White, Ticked
Cocker Spaniel Feeding and Grooming Requirements
If you purchase your American Cocker Spaniel as a puppy, you want to get him on a high quality commercial dry food. Unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise, your puppy would stay on this food until one year of age at which time he would be switched over to quality adult food.
With a Cocker Spaniel, it is never recommended to add canned or people food to the diet. With a proper diet, your dog will be healthy, happy, and have a gorgeous, silky coat.
The Cocker needs to be groomed so the hair will light flat or somewhat wavy against the body. Most often, the cut for this breed keeps the hair on the back, chest, and face short, while the belly and legs are kept with long feathers.
If you were to visit any reputable groomer and tell him or her that you want a standard Cocker Spaniel cut, he/she would know exactly what you meant. Now, if you plan to show your Cocker, then special grooming would be required.
Cocker Spaniel Exercise Needs
One of the nice things about an American Cocker Spaniel is that it is not a demanding dog. In other words, this breed is happy and content in most situations. Therefore, while you do want to encourage daily play and exercise, the Cocker does not necessarily need a large backyard as some other breeds would.
In fat, many apartment dwellers will choose a Cocker Spaniel for this very reason. If you do not have a yard, a 10-minute walk two to three times a day would suffice. Otherwise, 30 minutes twice a day in the backyard to exercise would work.
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