Difference Between A Working And A Non-Working Cocker Spaniel?

by Janie
(United Kingdom)

Max Is A Show Cocker Spaniel

Max Is A Show Cocker Spaniel

We are thinking about buying a cocker spaniel puppy and have been browsing the web for sellers.

We noticed that some advertise the puppies as 'working cockers'.

Do you know what the difference is between a working and a non-working cocker spaniel?

Difference Between Working And Non-Working Cockers by: Anonymous

Over the years, Cocker Spaniels have been bred into two different types of cockers - the 'working' cocker (sometimes called the field spaniel) and the 'show' cocker.

Their temperaments are very similar, they're both very biddable dogs, and make great family pets.

The 'working' cocker spaniel is a natural, eager and fast hunter, and is almost tireless - because of this, he may need much more exercise than the 'show' cocker.

Both types of dog will need good, consistent training, and additional relevant training if you intent to 'show' or put your 'working' cocker to work. Whilst both types are intelligent dogs, the working cocker may need additional mental stimulation to keep him 'occupied' - they are not sedentary dogs.

There are distinct visible differences between the two breeds. The 'working' cocker has a wider and flatter head, and much less coat.

The 'show' cocker is more commonly kept as a family pet, however, they still have the ability to work as that's what Cocker Spaniels were originally bred for. 'Show' cockers can also be trained to be used as PAT dogs, Hearing Dogs for the deaf, drug dogs, etc.

My advice would be to ask yourselves how much time you have available to exercise your dog. We walk ours for an hour each day, sometimes longer, and don’t forget the time needed to put on wellies, coats, collars, leads, etc. and hosing down on return – that usually adds an extra 30 minutes. If you have plenty of time on your hands, and are fairly active, then you may be okay with a working cocker. We prefer the ‘show’ cocker, but then we’re biased!

Whichever you decide to choose - have fun!


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Please Be Careful
by: Anonymous

Please be careful when buying cocker puppies, in particular 'working' cockers, as in recent years cocker spaniel rescues have witnessed a large increase in needy cockers.

Furthermore, when buying a puppy most reputable breeders will not cross the two lines, due to the differences in why the two lines exist: most working cockers are companionable working dogs and show cockers are the more relaxed family pet.

That said I have a working cocker as a pet - I adore him and would highly recommend them to anyone who has a LOT of time to spend with their pet - they dislike being alone but most importantly they need stimulation.

It is not fair to have a working variety of dog and leave it alone 9-5, 5 days a week. I absolutely concur that they will choose to be out and about over lying on the couch every time.

I take my boy hiking for days at a time and he can be seemingly out for the count only to bounce up at the slightest hint of activity. They need only a little time to fully recharge those batteries!

So, once again, I repeat, please be careful! :)

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What Will Puppies Look Like?
by: Breeder

It's hard to tell really - they could turn out as individual separate breeds, for example, out of six puppies, three may look exactly like working cockers and the other three could look like show cockers.

Alternatively, they could have traits and characteristics of both breeds.

You won't really see much difference when they're first born. You'll have to wait until they've developed a little (say 8 weeks) because that's about the time when you'll see what they're going to look like when they're adult dogs.

In a nutshell, you'll just have to wait and see.

Hope this helps.

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Working/Show Cocker
by: Anonymous

I have just been to see a litter of puppies where the mother is a working cocker and father a show cocker. What will puppies be like?

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