American Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- The American Cocker Spaniel is a compact and well boned dog with dropped ears. They have dark and expressive eyes, rounded and feathers on the ears, legs, chest and stomach area.The muzzle should be broad, deep and square. The neck is long and muscular and the body short. They are the smallest breed of dog in their group but are still large enough to be useful.
- Other Names:American Cocker
- Country Of Origin:America
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Gundog
- A large variety of colours including solid and 'parti-colours' where two or more colours appear on the dog in clearly defined areas.
- American Cocker Spaniels are generally jolly dogs who are eager to please. They should not be timid. It is reported that due to a few breeders' irresposible breeding there are some dogs whose temperaments do not fit this brief. They are adaptable and suit both town and country dwellers but are demanding of the owners time. They have great personalities and are known to be mischievous.
- Smooth and effortless.
- Care and training:
- American Cockers need a thorough grooming every day. They require trimming, particularly working cockers, as an untrimmed coat is impractical for these dogs. Their ears require careful attention as airflow is restricted and ear infections often occur, in addition the long ears will trail in food bowls. They also need bathing quite often to clean their skin and minimise odour.
The American Cocker is an intelligent dog. Being eager to please and very adaptable they are easy to train for field work, showing or companionship.
- Overall Exercise:
- 60 - 80 minutes per day
The American Cocker enjoys exercise which they need on a regular basis. They love to swim and retrieve, and will happily play any 'fetch' games with the family. They do not really enjoy too much 'rough and tumble' play, so they should be supervised with young children in case the games become too rough.
- Feeding Requirements:
- American Cockers are relatively easy dogs to feed as they are small dogs and not fussy eaters.
They are not normally greedy but do require a good quality food to keep their coats in good condition.
- Personal Protection:Low
- Suitability As Guard Dog:Low
- Level of Aggression:Low
- Compatibility With Other Animals:High
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?Yes
- Average Litter Size:4
- Life Expectancy (yrs):12
- Health issues:
- The Cocker Spaniel is quite hardy, but may experience a variety of inherited disorders such as eye and ear infections, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia. Other health concerns include PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), hypothyroidism, cataracts, von Willebrand's disease,
and slipping stifles.
- The name of the Cocker Spaniel comes from what they were once used for, hunting woodcock. Despite his name, the American Cocker Spaniel is in fact originally a breed of Spanish blood. The Spanish Spaniel is considered to be the oldest of the recognized spaniels. Developed by crossing setters and spaniels, it was during the seventeenth century they were divided into the water and land spaniels. Legend says that the Cocker Spaniel was first brought to America in 1620 aboard the Mayflower, but much speculation is needed on this theory. In 1892 the Cocker Spaniel was recognized as a breed in England. In the late 1870s the breed was brought to the United States and here was developed into quite different lines from the English Cocker. Americans and English Cockers were soon bred for different reasons, the English more for hunting, and the American more for show. Soon, the new version of Cocker Spaniel needed a name, and it was decided on American Cocker Spaniel. In 1946 the American was registered as a separate breed. The breed was still used for hunting, although bred for appearance. The breed would be used to hunt on the weekends and would be used as a playmate and companion during the weekdays. Currently, the American Cocker Spaniel does not exercise its hunting skills nearly as much as before, but is widely used and recognized as a companion all across the world today. Due to its popularity, some lines contain standoffish and untrusting dogs, which are most likely the result of puppy mills. American Cocker Spaniels are among the best breeds for temperament, thus making a shy or suspicious Cocker Spaniel a poor choice.