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Country of Origin, History of English Cocker Spaniels
English Cocker Spaniels descended from the original spaniels of Spain. The various spaniels (Springers and Cockers) were all one large group of dogs until the 1600s when they began to be bred to be specific for different purposes and different appearances and sizes. There are two types of English Cocker Spaniels - the field (working) cocker and the show cocker.
The name ‘cocker’ comes from the fact that it helped with the hunting of woodcocks. They also aided in the hunting of other birds. They are excellent retrievers with a soft mouth and are able to hunt and retrieve in difficult terrain.
They are also good at tracking. They are good watchdogs. They excel in competitive obedience and agility.
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Is the English Cocker Spaniel the right breed for you and your family?
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A General Appearance of the Dog
The English Cocker Spaniel is a medium-sized yet compactly built dog with long ears. English Cockers have short, thick legs ending in round paws. Their eyes are questioning yet intelligent. Most English Cocker Spaniels have a docked tail. Their chest is deep for their size. Their medium length hair is wavy and nearly the same length over the entire body including the legs, with long fur on the chest.
The English Cocker Spaniel has a larger, more elongated head than the American Cocker Spaniel. It also has a longer muzzle.
A wide variety of coat colors are found on English Cocker Spaniels. They can be solid colors of black, liver (red-brown), red, blue (gray) or shades of fawn (tan). The only acceptable white on a solid colored dog is on his chest. However, many English Cockers are parti-colored which means they are combinations of the colors. They can also be blue merle. Parti-colors are either clearly marked (patches of colors), ticked or roaned. Parti-colored Cockers can have white markings anywhere.
The field type English Cocker Spaniel has a shorter coat than the show type English Cocker Spaniel.
Males: 16-17 inches
Females: 15-16 inches
Males: 28 – 34 lbs
Females: 26 – 32 lbs
Temperament of the Dog
The English Cocker Spaniel is often described as merry because it is so energetic, playful, and loving. Its sweet disposition endears it to people of all ages. It loves children but will not tolerate teasing. They are quite intelligent, but that can lead to independence and 'thinking' about things to do.
The English Cocker is obedient and should be obedience trained early so that it knows what is expected of it. They are somewhat sensitive and get their feelings hurt if disciplined harshly; however, the owner does have to establish his place in the pack. If well socialized, it is fairly outgoing. However, it is reserved with strangers and will bark to warn its master of strangers or strange situations.
Temperament can vary, so meet the parents before getting a puppy. Field lines are often too active to make a good family pet. Females of this breed tend to be more dominant than males.
Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?
This breed loves to be outdoors to run and romp and play. However, they want to live inside with the family. They can tolerate an apartment if given sufficient walks and play times at a dog park.
Are they suited to homes with kids?
The English Cocker Spaniel is an active breed that thrives in a family environment. It is good with children, affectionate to its family, is friendly to strangers once a family member has approved.
How active is the Breed?
The English Cocker enjoys as much exercise as you can give it throughout its life.
English Cocker Spaniels need quite a bit of exercise and do best with a medium-sized fenced yard. Daily brisk walks are greatly enjoyed.
The English Cocker Spaniel’s coat needs at least weekly brushing. Baths need to be given regularly, and the ears need to be checked frequently for burrs and signs of infection, and cleaned on a regular basis.
The hair on the breed’s feet needs to be brushed down over the toes and trimmed around the pads and level with the base of the feet. The English Cocker Spaniel is an average shedder.
Coat types vary - some are fairly silky and do not mat easily while others are much softer and mat very easily.
Watch for ear infections and deafness. Due to its ears being so long and hanging down, it is prone to getting all types of things in its ears. Keep the fur free of burs and ticks and check the inside frequently.
Kidney disease and anal sac tumors are seen in English Cockers.
Life Span: English Cockers live 12-15 years.
National Breed Clubs
British: Cocker Spaniel Club - www.thecockerspanielclub.co.uk, US – The English Cocker Spaniel Club of America, www.ecsca.info
Other Recognition: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, CCR, APRI, ACR
Rescue Link: www.ecsca.info/rescuehome.html
The Cocker Spaniel is actually two breeds of dog, the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel. Both breeds are commonly known as Cocker Spaniel in their respective countries of origin. The only other common name for this breed is 'the cocker;' it does not distinguish between the animal's English or American origins.
Group: Sporting Group.
AKC Popularity Ranking: 52
Also Known As:English Cocker.
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