The American breed is developed from the English Cocker Spaniel. As you can expect, it differs from the parent breed in appearance, temperament, and level of care required. With proper training, it makes a wonderful family pet. Bringing home a playful Cocker Spaniel puppy is indeed very exciting for all dog lovers. If you are new to dog keeping though, then it may be a bit difficult for you to take up new responsibilities.
Cocker Spaniel Facts and Information
The desirable traits of the American Cocker Spaniel are long ears, smooth fur, high energy levels, and good temperament. With this dog breed, you don't have to worry much about adaptability and behavioral problems. As for looks, it is beautiful with long, straight, and silky coat. You will find this breed in shades of light cream, white, solid black, red, tan, merle, or multicolored combination.
After reaching the adult stage, the standing height of a Cocker Spaniel―at the withers―is approximately 15 inches or more. It weighs about 30 pounds, seldom more than that. Eyes are usually brown, and in rare cases, blue. Medium-long hair is one of the characteristic traits of Cocker Spaniels, which has to be combed 2 - 3 times a week to maintain that silky texture. In majority of cases, the tail is docked or shortened.
A Cocker Spaniel can be trained easily as long as you start early, preferably during the puppy stage. Getting it trained under a professional is not a necessity. You need to be familiar with dog obedience training and socializing tips to make it a well-mannered pet in the future. This dog breed learns commands very quickly, and is ready to please you with its good nature.
Remarkable for its great endurance level, the Cocker Spaniel loves to play outdoors. It remains cheerful and active most of the time. For your pet to stay happy, you need to show affection and spend some time playing with it every day. If you live in an apartment, daily exercising is a must to keep it active. Otherwise, it is bound to become sluggish, moody, and stubborn.
Along with daily brushing, wiping its eyes with a damp cloth is suggested to get rid of tear stains. As it plays outdoors, its long hair may get tangled and dirty. Thus, regular grooming is a prerequisite to avoid skin diseases and related problems. Also, the ears should be inspected and cleaned on a regular basis, as they are susceptible to bacterial infection.
A Cocker Spaniel's temperament makes it an excellent playmate for children. It adapts well to other household pets too. It is sweet, sensitive, loyal, and sociable. However, you need to train it for socialization at a young age. It is quite shy as a puppy, and without training it is more likely to become timid later on.
The breed has long, floppy ears, which are vulnerable to inner ear infections. The main reason is blockage of air circulation to the inner parts, which makes them moist and warm. As a consequence, ear infection is a common health condition for this dog breed. It is also susceptible to spinal problems, skin diseases, and eye disorders, like cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and glaucoma.
The Cocker Spaniel has a long lifespan. It will remain a loyal and lively companion for as long as 15 years, provided you care for it properly. On an average, it can live for about 12 years.
The only matter of concern some Cocker Spaniel owners raise, is that of shedding. It is not unusual to find hair on carpet, couch, and other places in the house. No matter how many times you groom your pet, it will continue to shed. However, there are many good reasons for having it as a pet. In fact, we will be surprised if you are not delighted to have this faithful and intelligent breed as a household dog.