Cocker Spaniel

Quick facts

Cocker Spaniel AKC Group: Sporting
Height: 14.5-15.5 inches male; 13.5-14.5 inches female
Weight: 24-28 lbs
Colors: Comes in a wide range of colors which include black, white, red, tan, buff, blue, orange, liver, chocolate. Patterns include solid, tricolor, roan, sable and merle.
AKC recognized in: 1878

The Cocker Spaniel is arguably the most common and easily recognized breed among all the Spaniels.

Its attractive fur coat, friendly demeanor, cheerful enthusiasm and charming sociability are its main selling points. This is why most people mistake the Cocker Spaniel as a pure breed of companion dogs, not knowing that the Cocker is actually an accomplished hunting dog as far back as the 19th century.

Underneath the pretty fur of a Cocker lies the body of a time-tested gundog. The physical frame of the Cocker Spaniel is medium-boned and medium-set, the muzzle is deep and broad with a scissor-bite set of teeth and the ears are set long and low. These qualities give the Cocker Spaniel a respectable physique when it comes to hunting.

Another particular quirk about the Cocker Spaniel is the sheer variety of colors and patterns available according to breed. Although only a select few are recognized by the American Kennel Club, the intrepid breeder will find him or herself busy trying to sort out which breed works well with another breed.

The Cocker Spaniel, sometimes called the American Cocker Spaniel, was derived from the English Cocker Spaniel, but which other breeds were used is still a mystery. American hunters preferred a slightly smaller dog than the English Cocker for use in hunting quail and other small game birds. The American Cocker Spaniel is the smallest member of the Sporting Group.

Temperament

Cocker Spaniel Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance three paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level three paws
Exercise Requirements three paws
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals five paws
Friendliness: Other Pets five paws
Grooming Requirements four paws
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability one paw
Watchdog Ability four paws

This is where the merits of a Cocker Spaniel truly shine.

Sweet, loving, gentle and affectionate - everything you would want in a household companion. This also makes them child-friendly pets, especially when they age along with the children.

Even training is made a lot easier thanks to their obedient and receptive attitudes. Novice trainers need only be slightly firm about their commands, and they can depend on their Cocker Spaniels to learn quickly.

However, the trainer must remember to establish pack-order - with the humans at the top. A Cocker Spaniel can become shy, aggressive and territorial if it contests the order of the pack. It can even develop a habit of excessive barking, submissive urinating, hyperactivity and a whole range of other negative psychological behaviors.

Health and Exercise

The Cocker Spaniel has a life span of between 12 and 15 years.

One of the best things you can do to stave off a Cocker Spaniel's psychological problems is to give him lots of attention - and you can do that by taking them on long walks everyday.

Cocker Spaniels are an energetic breed, and will only be able to tolerate an apartment if they are well exercised with daily walks. Barring that, the next best thing you can do is provide a modest yard for your dog to frolic and relax around in.

Genes, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter for Cocker Spaniels.

The Cocker Spaniel is vulnerable to a lot of genetic problems, from minor problems like hip dysplasia to the fatal Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia. This makes it important for you to check the lineage of your Cocker Spaniel, especially if you plan to keep one as a family pet.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Cocker Spaniel in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Cocker Spaniel? Or maybe you have more questions that either DogNation.net or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.


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