Cocker Spaniel (English)

History

The Cocker Spaniel is classed as a land Spaniel, part of a larger group used for flushing out game. Often, smaller spaniels were born in a litter and these were seen as better at flushing out game as they could go deeper into the undergrowth. Once thought as a different breed, they were actually the same, just different sizes. In 1892, the two sizes were officially classed as separate breeds and the 'birth' of the English Cocker Spaniel began. They excel at locating, flushing and retrieving game through dense cover and are still used as gun dogs today. It is one of the most popular breeds in Britain and Europe.

Behaviour

Cockers are friendly, active dogs that like being around people. They are good with children and make wonderful pets. Their tail rarely stops wagging. They will want to be close to you all the time and dislike being left alone for long periods. They are classed as the worst guard dog in the world as they like everyone. The Cocker has a very high energy level and loves long walks, sniffing the undergrowth and chasing a scent. They are easy to train and will want to please you. Cockers do well with obedience training, agility and when used as therapy dogs, due to their soft, loving nature. Cocker Spaniels are greedy dogs who will steal food from your hand if you're not careful. You need to watch their weight, but with plenty of exercise it shouldn't be a problem. Whilst Cockers do need a fair amount of exercise, a long daily walk should suffice. They will then be happy to sleep - preferably on your lap. With it's soft coat, Cockers will need regular grooming and clipping, especially if used as a working dog, to prevent it getting caught up in brambles.

Special attention should be paid to their ears, as they can sometimes have problems with them (not just getting food stuck in them). You can purchase special Spaniel bowls, which allow their ears to hang outside of the bowl. Deafness can be seen in multicoloured dogs and Canine Hip Dysplasia is more common in solid colours.

Temperament

English Cocker Spaniels have a loyal and playful temperament. They love human contact and will quickly become devoted to their family. Great with children, they love to play although regualr exercise and training may be required to prevent them being too excitable.

These dogs should get on fine with other dogs and with early exposure/training they should be fine with cats too.

Health Problems

Health problems that may afect English Cocker Spaniels include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (degeneration of the retina that can lead to blindness) and some ear problems.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 11 - 14 years
  • Weight: 12 - 16 kg
  • Height: Male 16 - 17" Female 15 - 16"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Medium
  • Grooming Requirements: Everyday
  • Town or Country: Either
  • Minimum Home Size: Small House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
  • Breed Type: Gun Dog
  • Size: Medium
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour

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