You've come to the right place if you're looking for reliable Cocker Spaniel information and facts! Discover all you need to know about this adorable breed, including the history of the Cocker Spaniel, their loving temperament, characteristics and health concerns!
As the name suggests, Cocker Spaniels originally came from Spain. Cockers have been with us for many years as willing gun dogs, faithful companions, or loving family pets.
These sturdy little gun dogs were named Cocker Spaniels because of the woodcock they were initially bred to catch.
Cockers have a good nose, and this good sense of smell allows them to pick up a scent quickly and flush birds from hedgerows and fields so that the hunters (following behind the dogs) can shoot the birds as they emerge.
The Spaniels were trained to retrieve the birds using a soft mouth.
When the hunters hit their targets, the Cockers would trot off merrily to retrieve the game and bring them back in their gentle mouths without destroying the bird's flesh.
If you'd like to learn more about the history of Cockers, you can follow the link.
Cocker Spaniels are very gentle and loving dogs, and once you've owned one, I guarantee you won't want to own any other breed of dog, ever!
They're affectionate and playful, and although Cockers can be reserved with strangers, they are very friendly and loyal once they get to know you.
They love to bark to let you know someone is coming up the garden path or someone is at the door, but if you're looking for a burglar alarm, forget it; a Cocker Spaniel is more likely to lick an intruder into submission!
Like our human personalities, their temperament can be assertive, passive, or submissive.
Cocker Spaniels can sometimes be timid (submissive), so ensuring your puppy gets lots of socialisation as early as possible is essential. This is true of all breeds, not just Cocker Spaniels.
Socialisation should begin as early as possible and continue well past his first year to help your puppy become a happy, confident dog without behavioural problems!
Cockers can be a little stubborn too, but they're curious, intelligent, and so willing to please - all of which make them very easy to train.
They're exceptional hounds, equally happy as working gun dogs or affectionate companions.
Cockers are especially good with children of all ages, making them good family pets.
I may be biased, but the Cocker Spaniel temperament is a winner!
As you can see from this photo, English Cocker Spaniels are very handsome dogs. They have luxuriously glossy, silky coats, typically long, floppy ears, and beautiful soulful eyes!
Aren't they just adorable?
Their tails, docked or otherwise, are always wagging!
You've heard the saying, 'the tail wagging the dog'? Well, I'm just saying! In fact, Cockers often wag their tails so enthusiastically that their bottoms wiggle from side to side too!
And when they look up at you with those beautiful soulful eyes, who could resist them?
Cocker Spaniel's characteristics are so very appealing.
Still, one word of caution, they can sometimes be a little greedy and will eat almost anything on offer. Mine certainly does.
Only last week, he (accidentally?) munched his way through an entire box of doggie bones! (It was my fault as I left them within his reach!)
Bear in mind, Cockers are prone to weight gain as they age, so their diet must be managed carefully.
Most dog breeds have health problems specific to their species, and the Cocker is no exception.
Whilst most of the hereditary health problems are gradually being bred out by responsible breeders, some problems still do exist; for example:
The above are simply a few health problems that the Cocker Spaniel could develop at some point in his lifetime. Please don't expect your pet to succumb to all of them.
If you own or are planning to own this wonderful breed, it will be helpful to understand what problems may arise, and you can learn more about the Cocker's health concerns here.
Cocker Spaniel coats are renowned for being luxuriously silky.
Their fur can be relatively straight or slightly wavy, and they have feathers on the back of their legs, the front of their chest, and their underbelly.
The Cocker Spaniel's coat can be seen in many beautiful colours and markings.
Chocolate Cockers and Roans are my favourites, especially the blue roan. Other roan colours include orange, liver, lemon, blue and tan, and liver and tan roan.
Having said that, I also love golden Cocker Spaniels; Max is the love of my life!
Follow this link if you'd like to learn more about 'roan' markings, a brief explanation of the Cocker Spaniel's coat colours and some of the terms used to describe them.
Some breeders say that the golden Cocker Spaniel (and some say all solid colours) is prone to Rage Syndrome.
However, today many breeders are careful to check the history of the sire and dam for signs of Cocker rage in their pedigree history before breeding.
Where a good breeder has evidence to suggest that any of their dogs has shown signs of rage syndrome, they're unlikely to be used for breeding purposes.
Thankfully, rage syndrome in Cocker Spaniels is extremely rare.
When an owner witnesses aggression in their dog, it often tends to be behavioural issues rather than Cocker rage.
Although Cockers are not renowned for shedding their coat, unfortunately, some do.
Thankfully, mine doesn't shed too much, it's manageable, but Max does need to be brushed at least once a week to keep shedding to a minimum.
I find brushing my dog very relaxing; he enjoys it too! I brush his coat usually after a long walk, once or twice weekly.
That's not too much to ask, is it?
Your dog's coat must be brushed daily if your Cocker Spaniel regularly walks in the fields and enjoys rummaging around in the undergrowth; otherwise, his coat will likely become matted, especially his feathers.
On the other hand, if your dog is walked in the local park or around town, you'll probably get away with brushing him once or twice each week.
Your Cocker's ears, however, will need to be brushed more often, probably around three times or more each week (I do it every day!), to keep them silky and tat-free.
Extra care should be taken to brush under the ears and around the openings, as that's where they tend to mat the most.
I trim the hair around the entrance to my dog's ear canal to allow air to circulate inside the ear.
As bacteria thrive in warm damp places, keeping this fur trimmed short help keep bacteria in check.
Cocker Spaniel ears must be cleaned weekly to ensure bacteria is kept to a minimum and infection is avoided.
You can bathe your Cocker monthly or every three months, depending on what he gets up to, and so long as he doesn't roll in anything nasty.
I usually give Max the sniff test – if he reeks, I bathe him. If he smells of warm 'doggie', I'm happy to leave him for a while longer.
Cocker's eyes must be cleaned regularly to avoid eye problems and help keep them healthy.
I check Max's eyes most days. If there's any gunk in the corners, I remove it with a damp soft tissue to prevent irritation or infection.
Always remember to use a separate tissue for each eye to prevent cross-infection.
There are other routine checks that I recommend you add to your Spaniel's grooming sessions, such as; cleaning his ears, clipping his nails and checking his teeth.
If you'd like a more detailed explanation of how to groom your Cocker Spaniel, follow the link.
Cockers are energetic dogs and love nothing better than a long brisk walk or a run in the fields where they can sample many different smells.
They also like to swim, run after a ball or a Frisbee and socialise with other dogs in the park.
Keep your pet well-exercised, and you will have a calm, contented dog. An hour each day should be enough, but if you're prepared to do more, go for it!
Other Spaniel breeds to learn about include the American Cocker, the Clumber Spaniel, the Irish Water Spaniel, and the Field Cocker.
Some are more pleasing to the eye than others, some are more suited to a particular type of terrain, and a few make better hunting dogs than household pets.
The Clumber is quite a chunky dog and often looks very sorrowful. It is the heaviest of the breeds, but I think they look gorgeous!
We had a Clumber living near us in the UK (his name was Rocks!), and he was such a lovely-looking, good-natured dog. He was such a character too!
Although some of these breeds look very different from what we have come to know and love as the more typical Spaniel, they all have a special place in my heart.
Follow the link for a brief description and photographs of more information about Cocker Spaniel breeds.
I hope the information about Cocker Spaniels outlined on this page has given you a better understanding of this fabulous breed and that you feel more confident now.
They are a delightful breed, and so long as they're trained and socialised well, they will fit into any family home, especially a home with children.
If you still need to find your puppy, I'm sure you'll find the articles below very useful.
There is a lot to understand about buying a puppy, and this article is packed full of helpful tips about what to look out for before you part with your hard-earned cash.
For example, did you know that there are puppy tests you can do to help understand how the pup will turn out? (Information such as this is vital to the uninitiated!)
And did you know that if you've never owned a dog before, you should choose a less dominant puppy?
Plump for a slightly subservient pup, and you'll have a much easier time.
There is a lot to know about choosing your perfect puppy, but don't worry too much about this; your breeder will be able to advise you.
Who knew that picking a puppy could be so involved?
Once you know what to look for in a puppy, your next step will be to look for a good breeder. However, that's more challenging than it sounds.
How will you know that you've found a reliable breeder, not one just in it for the money?
Need help to figure out where to begin?
This article will help you to find responsible Cocker Spaniel breeders, give you tips and ideas on what to look for in a breeder, and give you an idea of what questions to ask your breeder.
Well, it's over to you now; I wish you luck and success in finding your perfect puppy!
If you'd like to see lots of pictures of lovely Cocker Spaniels, follow the links below:
You might like to see a gorgeous orange roan Cocker Spaniel in action, so I've added this video. One of our loyal visitors (Mark from Latvia) kindly sent it to us.
Here it is...more Cocker Spaniel Information and facts. I hope you enjoy it!
Photo Credits for Cocker Spaniel Information:
1. Aurelia Werneck at https://www.freeimages.com/photo/dogs-ii-7-1371639
2. Isselee at http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-two-english-cocker-spaniels-2-years-old-image18673630
3. Juliane Meyer at http://www.dreamstime.com/six-english-cocker-spaniel-puppies-in-a-suitcase-image8171274
4. Audrey Sel at Flickr.com - https://www.flickr.com/photos/forbiddendoughnut/4853777538
5. Photographer: Rob Waterhouse at https://www.freeimages.com/photo/a-new-addition-1387316