There are many breeds which come under Spaniels, like the American and English Cocker Spaniel, the Springer Spaniel, the Field Spaniel, Clumber Spaniel, and many more. The American Cocker Spaniel originally came from England, where it was known as the English Cocker Spaniel. The champion dog Obo was bred with the champion Chloe II, who was taken to America while she was pregnant. She gave birth to one pup, Obo II, whose features were very different from the modern breed. He was only 10 inches tall and had a long body.
Somewhere around 1880, the English Spaniel was brought to America from England. Over time, the breed started taking on characteristics of its own. Because of this, the dogs where officially named as the 'Cocker Spaniel' and in Europe, as the 'American Cocker Spaniel'. After the Second World War, this breed became one of the most popular dogs in the United States, and eventually in Europe.
Due to the fact that the two breeds were so much alike, English Cockers and American Cockers where bred together and placed in the same competitions simultaneously. This started to cause problems, so the two breeds where separated and given their own breed standards. For registration, they had to have an all-English or all-American line.
This breed is considered as the smallest sport dog by the American Kennel Club. Their life expectancy is 15 years, if kept well and properly taken care of. Their average height is between 13.5 to 15.5 inches. The English breed is slightly larger, being 14.5 to 15.5 inches tall. They are normally-proportioned and have a medium to long silky-textured fur on their body and ears, and it hangs down from their legs and belly, which is known as feathering.
As per conformation show standards, a height which exceeds 15.5 inches for males and 14.5 inches for females results is a disqualification. They weigh around 24 to 30 pounds, with the females weighing slightly lesser than the males. Their heads are well-rounded and their lips are square-shaped. Their ears are dropped, long, and have silky fur on them. They have an upturned nose which can be black or brown depending on their fur color, and their eyes are large, round, and dark.
They are divided into three categories depending on their fur color, which are black or black and tan, any solid color other than black (ASCOB), and parti-color. The first category has an all-black coat, or black with tan patches. The ASCOB includes any other solid colors from light-cream to dark-red. The third category includes dogs that are white with patches of other colors such as black or brown.
Also known as the 'Merry Spaniel', this breed has a delightful temperament, and is courageous, intelligent, and energetic. In the book The Intelligence of Dogs which is written by Stanley Coren, this breed ranks 20th. This means that they have good obedience intelligence or trainability.
There are two types of Cocker Spaniels The Show-type and the Field-type. These dogs are practically the same except for some very small differences. The field type Spaniel has a shorter coat and better hunting instincts than the Show spaniel. However, these are just about the only differences.
The word 'cocker' comes from the fact that they were originally bred to hunt woodcock. The word 'spaniel' is probably derived from the type's origin in Spain. As with any breed that started out hunting before being taken into the more modern century, this dog is very energetic. It is definitely recommended that you have, at the very least, a small yard for you dog; if you live in an apartment, make sure he/she gets regular walks. This not only keeps the energy level down, but also keeps his/her weight in check. You should keep an eye on how much your dog eats, because they do have a tendency to put on a little more than they should.
Cocker Spaniels are wonderful little dogs that make for great companions. This is one of the reasons that they are one of the top breeds in the AKC.