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American Cocker Spaniel

 Photo of American Cocker Spaniel
Photo: By Jill Terry

American Cocker Spaniel Books

Group: Gundog || Breed Standard

History

It was in the 19th century that the American Cocker Spaniel was developed from the Cocker Spaniel in order to retrieve quail and woodcock. Originally they differed from the English Cocker only in size, but by the 1940s the American Cocker differed so much in type from the original Cocker Spaniel that it became impossible to judge them together, and in 1945 the two breeds were separated and each officially recognised with their own standards. Bred as hunting dogs they still retain some of their hunting instincts, some are still kept as working dogs but most are now found in the show ring or as companions.

Description

Ideal height: dogs: 37-39 cms (14½-15½ ins); bitches: 34-37 cms (13½-14½ ins)

The Cocker Spaniel is the smallest member of the Gundog Group. He has a sturdy, compact body and a cleanly chiseled and refined head, with the overall dog in complete balance and of ideal size. His ears are lobular with a fine leather and long silky hair. He stands well up at the shoulder on straight forelegs with a topline sloping slightly toward strong, moderately bent, muscular quarters. He is a dog capable of considerable speed, combined with great endurance, and his movement is co-ordinated, smooth and effortless, covering the ground well. Above all, he must be free and merry, sound, well balanced throughout and in action show a keen inclination to work. The coat is short and fine on the head, and medium length on the body, with enough under coat to give protection. The ears, chest and abdoment and legs are well feathered, but must not hide the lines of the body or hinder movement.

The coat is silky and either flat or slightly wavy. Colours can be either solid or parti-coloured. Blacks should be jet black; black and tan or brown and tan have specific markings which are restricted to ten per cent or less tan. Parti-colours are two or more definite colours, and the colours should be well defined. Roans are classified as parti-colours. Colours can be solid or parti-colours. Any solid colour is acceptable, ranging from lightest cream to darkest red, black should be a jet black. A small amount of white on the chest and/or throat is allowed. Black or brown and tan are classified as solid colours and have specific markings which are restricted to ten per cent or less of the tan. Parti-colours are two or more clearly defined and distributed colours, but the primary colour should not exceed ninety per cent. Roans are classified as parti-colours. Tri-colours can be any of the above colours combined with tan markings.

Character/Temperament

A well breed Cocker is sweet, loyal, cheerful, playful, trustworthy, easily trained, adaptable - all those things most sought after in a family pet. He is likewise valuable for occasional water retrieving and as rule takes to water readily. He is a great lover of home and family and a wonderful companion for children and adults. He is excellent in obedience, but he should of course, be so trained that he will be under control at all times. He needs a moderate amount of exercise. Cocker Spaniel easily adapts to any living space, just make sure he is sufficiently exercised. An owner of a Cocker should be willing to spend time grooming his coat and handle him every day. And, of course, he needs a good vacuum cleaner in his household.

Breed Health

A well breed Cocker is sweet, loyal, cheerful, playful, trustworthy, easily trained, adaptable - all those things most sought after in a family pet. He is likewise valuable for occasional water retrieving and as rule takes to water readily. He is a great lover of home and family and a wonderful companion for children and adults. He is excellent in obedience, but he should of course, be so trained that he will be under control at all times. He needs a moderate amount of exercise. Cocker Spaniel easily adapts to any living space, just make sure he is sufficiently exercised. An owner of a Cocker should be willing to spend time grooming his coat and handle him every day. And, of course, he needs a good vacuum cleaner in his household.

Breed Care

American Cocker Spaniels have medium to long silky hair that requires grooming every day and does require quite a bit of care in order to prevent matts. Their coat will also require trimming to prevent it from dragging on the ground. Regular bathing is also required. Their ears require careful attention as ear infections can occur, and should be cleaned weekly with a dog ear cleaning solution. In addition their long ears can trail in food bowls, unless specially designed bowls are used.

Exercise

Being bred as a working gundog, they are an active breed and require lots of attention, stimulation and exercise, part of which should be free-running.

Training

The American Cocker Spaniel are very willing to please and easy to train. Of course, cruel, harsh methods of training should never be used, instead they will respond much better by reward and praise. See our books on training


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Last link added: 11 Mar, 2008