The merry and frolicsome Cocker Spaniel, with his big, dreamy eyes and impish personality, is one of the worldâs best-loved breeds.Read More
Cocker Spaniel Overall Status
- 14 to 15 inches
- Gentle, Smart, Happy
- 20 to 30 pounds
- Life Expectancy
- 12 to 15 years
- Coat Color
- Black, Black and Tan, Brown, White
- Barking Level
- Likes To Be Vocal
Cocker Spaniel Quick Factors
- Dog Friendly
- Exercise Need
- Grooming Needs
- Strangers Friendly
- Family Affectionate
Cocker Spaniel Daily Care
The beautiful, silky Cocker coat that you see on dogs in the show ring doesn't just happen. It takes a lot of work to keep it shiny and tangle-free. For good reason, most people keep their pets in a short cut all over, known as a puppy cut. Even that requires a fair bit of maintenance. Dogs with puppy cuts should be bathed, brushed and trimmed about every two weeks.
If you want the flowing long coat, more care and time must be taken, and typically the bathing, brushing, and trimming happens once a week. Most people choose to take their Cocker to a professional groomer, but you can learn to do it yourself. The cost of the equipment is equivalent to only a few grooming sessions, you won't have to schedule appointments and you will find that you increase your bond with your Cocker. However, grooming isn't for everyone, so if you don't want to do it, find a groomer you like because it's an absolute requirement for a Cocker.
Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear down the toenails naturally.
Because these dogs are bred to accompany hunters, they do have a lot of staminabut are only moderately energetic. They usually aren't bouncing off the walls if they don't have regular exercise, but you still need to let them burn off some energy.
With this said, Cocker Spaniel puppies should not be given too much exercise because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs because this puts too much pressure on their still growing joints and limbs.
Walks - long, steady walks are great.
Running- with conditioning, Cocker Spaniels are good running dogs for short times (20 - 30 minutes a couple of days a week). Start slowly and consider keeping her coat shorter.
Hiking- long, low-key hikes are great, just watch that his coat doesn't get tangled in branches and bramble.
Agility- Cocker Spaniels have enough energy for this sport and many do compete. If you think it's right for your dog, you can train for fun or for competition.
Dog Parks- because Cocker Spaniels are generally friendly with other dogsif you feel yours if well socialized, let her romp with friends for a bit.
Small but active, Cocker Spaniels typically have a relatively fast metabolism and should be fed with that in mind. But it's also important to keep in mind that these animals are small. Spaniels might try to feast on birds when left to its own devices, but you'll find that meat mixed in with general dog food and vegetables can make for a very nutritious Spaniel meal.
If you get a Cocker Spaniel puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times. Like many large breeds, Saint Bernard can experience bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach distends and twists. The causes of bloat aren't fully understood, but experts agree that multiple, small meals per day and preventing vigorous exercise around mealtimes may help reduce the chances of it happening.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don't walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
The English Cocker Spaniel has an average life expectancy of 11 to 12 years. Breed health problems can include a number ofcardiovascular conditions,skin disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, immune-mediated hematological/immunologicaldisorders and infectious conditions.
Regarding training the Cocker Spaniel, the good news is that in general, this is a people-pleasing breed. They want to be "good" in order to please their people, and they are generally sensitive and responsive to correction and a disapproving tone in their owner's voice.
Harsh means of correction are not usually warranted, nor are they productive in the Cocker. The breed enjoys the challenge of performance activities, and it is a good idea to try out the available activities and events to see what interests your individual Cocker and follow through with training. Earlysocializationandpuppy training classesare recommended. Cockers are rather easily motivated withfood rewardsand with play and praise.
Puppies should be properly socialized to develop the amiable, outgoing personality that is characteristic of the breed. They're successful in performance and companion events such as earthdog, barn hunt, obedience, and agility.
Cocker Spaniel History
The spaniel is a breed type of great antiquity, believed to have originated in Spain (the words "Spain" and "spaniel" being closely related). Spaniels have been bird hunters' helpers since before the development of the rifle, when hunting dogs were used in tandem with nets.
For centuries, European and British spaniels were informally grouped as simply land spaniels and water spaniels. By the 19th century, however, when written breed standards, dog shows and field trials, and the very notion of purebred dogs began to gain traction in England, the various spaniels were classified as specific breeds. Among them was the Cocker, so called because they specialized in woodcock. These dogs, smaller than English Springer Spaniels but larger than English Toy Spaniels, were the ancestors of the modern Cocker Spaniel.
Until 1990, the Cocker was the most popular breed registered by the American Kennel Club. Today he ranks 25th, but he will always have a place among people who appreciate his moderate size, sweet nature and intelligence.