In the U.S. Cocker Spaniel refers to the American Cocker Spaniel and in the UK it refers to the English Cocker Spaniel… They are separate breeds but very similar. This page will offer facts on the American.
The American variety is a bit smaller than the English.
It is a Cocker Spaniel fact that it is one of the most loved and popular breeds.
This breed was recognized by the AKC in 1878 and has been classified in the Hunting group.
They were originally bred to hunt, but now are lovable companion dogs, making excellent family pets.
These are indoor dogs but of course they need some outdoor exercise.
The average litter size is 5 and the normal range is 3-8.
Life span is 12 to 15 years.
The most common cause of death is cancer.
Color and Appearance Facts
There are 3 coat types: Silky, flat and wavy.
Hairs on the head are short, those on the body are medium length.
There is a feathering affect to the coat on the ears, chest, stomach and legs.
The standard for the height of females is from 13.5 to 14.5 (34-37 cm)from floor to shoulder.
The standard for the height of males is 14.5 to 15.5 inches (37 – 39 cm) from floor to shoulder.
The average size of a Cocker Spaniel is from 13.5 to 15.5 inches from floor to shoulder.
Average adult weight is between 24 and 30 pounds, with females usually being a tad smaller than males.
The eyes have a slight almond shape.
The tail is docked in counties that allow this procedure to be done.
The color of the Cocker Spaniel is broken up into the following groups:
Black – This group includes all that are solid black and those who are black with tan points on the body. If a dog has points, the body will be a dark black. A bit of white may be seen on the chest or neck. Tan will be on the paws, tail and usually on the eyebrows.
Solid Other Than Black – This group contains all Cocker Spaniels that are a solid color sans black. This will include many hues including a very pale cream to a deep, russet red. There may be points that range from a tan to a dark brown color. White may be on the chest or neck.
Parti – This group includes Cocker Spaniels that have 2 or more colors on the base coat. In most cases, there is clear definition where the colors change and they do not fade into each other.
Very rare colors can be produced sometimes in certain bloodlines. One example is the all white dog. This is usually achieved by a careful and selective breeding process of only pairing very light colored dogs.
Behavior and Temperament Cocker Spaniel Facts
They are known to do very well with children of all ages.
Many can get along well with cats, however they should be watched carefully before being left alone together to make sure.
They are kind, gentle and caring.
They get along well with other dogs, however they like the company of people the most…For this reason, an owner must be able to spend a good amount of time with their Cocker Spaniel.
While they can get along well with other dogs, this is often due to socializing the dog from a young age to become accustomed to others.
They are known for being relatively easy to train due to their high attention level span and eagerness to please. Training can begin as young as 8 weeks; however one must remember that they have no idea what is expected of them and with your patience and understanding they can learn within a couple of months.
They are very intelligent and many owner report that their Cocker Spaniel will know which cabinet treats are hidden in and will lick and paw at the cabinet for a long time when they wish for a snack.
They make good watchdogs in the sense that they will bark at strangers; however that is as far as it will go, as they are not aggressive.
They are moderate shedders….For this reason an owner should brush 3 time per week.
Baths should be given every 3 weeks or so, unless the dog gets very dirty while playing outside.
Puppies can have baths beginning at 8 weeks, however it is recommended to do this in a clean kitchen sink and have the water already there before placing the pup in. Also, test the temperature with the inside of your wrist to ensure that it is warm and not hot nor cold. Immediately after shampooing and rinsing is done (and any conditioner is added), the puppy should be removed and wrapped in a soft, warm towel and patted dry.
They tend to have excessive tearing and to prevent tear stains, an owner should wipe the face down each day with a warm, damp, soft wash cloth. A dry cloth should then be used to pat away any moisture from the eye area to prevent red yeast issues.
The coat is often clipped to a medium length to keep it looking neat and healthy.
Cocker Spaniel Facts Regarding Health
The conditions that this breed is most prone to are cataracts, glaucoma and luxating patellar (a slipped knee cap).
Daily exercise should be a 30 -45 minute brisk walk.
Because of their long ears, they ear prone to ear issues and infections. The fold of the ear does not allow air circulation and this can cause a moisture filled environment for bacteria to grow. For this reason, the inside of ears should always be wiped out dry after a bath or any time that the dog gets wet. If infection occurs treatment usually involves flushing the ear canal with a specialized cleaner that contains an anti-bacterial solution. Anti-inflammatory medication is also often prescribed.
They tend to gain weight quickly… This is not a concern with puppies; it is normal, needed and expected for them to grow rapidly. However, after the age of 1, an owner should keep an eye on overeating issues and to make sure to provide daily exercise to burn off calories. An overweight adult can be given fresh veggies for snacks such as raw carrots.
In the News
A Cocker Spaniel named Oscar was credited with saving his family from a house fire. He scratched at their bedroom door and barked to wake them as flames engulfed the front of the house. This alert Cocker Spaniel was a 6-year-old dog that was adopted from a shelter.
A 12 year old Cocker Spaniel named Oz alerted his sleeping owner to a fire that broke out in a neighboring abandoned home. Due to his efforts, both owner and dog escaped their home before the flames reached it, causing smoke and water damage.
In South Carolina, a Cocker Spaniel named Ace, that was given only weeks to live due to a cancerous mouth tumor, saved his owner's life when alerting the man that the house was on fire. It was one final act of bravery for this heroic dog.