Country of Origin: The English Cocker Spaniel breed emerged in England from a more general spaniel-type dog breed. When the breeds were divided, seven different ones emerged. These breeds include the English Springer, Cocker Spaniel, Clumber Spaniel, Sussex, Welsh Springer, Field and Irish Water. The Springer Spaniel and the Cocker Spaniel were lumped into the same division for a time with only size differentiating the two. This was true until 1892 when the Kennel Club of England recognized them as separate breeds. The English Cocker Spaniel is a gun dog that was utilized for flushing out the prey, driving it towards the hunters and their guns. The name “Cocker” comes from the Woodcock, a game bird that the English Cocker Spaniel would frequently flush out. Other talents exhibited by the English Cocker Spaniel are retrieving, agility, tracking, watchdog, and competitive obedience.
Size: The English Cocker Spaniel male will typically reach heights of 15-17 inches tall and an average weight of 28-34 pounds. The female English Cocker Spaniel will typically reach heights of 14-16 inches tall and an average weight of 26-32 pounds.
Coat: The coat of the English Cocker Spaniel exhibits medium-length fine hair on the body, and short hairs on the head. The hairs feather around the legs, chest, abdomen and ears, but the hair should not be curly. The coat of the English Cocker Spaniel can come in a wide variety of colors. These colors include solid black, liver, red or parti coloring of white with black, red or liver ticking. If the coat is solid, white markings are only permitted on the chest. It is not uncommon to find tan markings on parti, black or liver colored dogs.
Character: The English Cocker Spaniel is intelligent, lively, gentle, affectionate, and easygoing. They are very loving and prefer not to be left alone for long periods of time. The English Cocker Spaniel will often bond a great deal with one individual within the family. The English Cocker Spaniel is very smart and independent, making them more difficult to train. This breed is not for everyone, as the more timid owner will be overrun by this dogs willfulness. The English Cocker Spaniel will not respond well to harsh discipline, but a firm and consistent pack leader is absolutely necessary. There are two varieties of the English Cocker Spaniel; the field and the show spaniels. The field variety is bred for working ability and will have a higher level of energy. The show variety are bred specifically for conformation shows. Temperaments vary between the field and show lines and are largely dependent on the level of exercise they receive as well as how the dogs are treated by the owner.
Temperament: The English Cocker Spaniel gets along very well with children, however, as stated previously, this breed tends to bond with an individual rather than an entire family. The English Cocker Spaniel is known to bark, but only does so on an average basis. The English Cocker Spaniel will typically meet new friends easily, but some may be suspicious of strangers if not properly socialized. The English Cocker Spaniel is also known to do well with family pets including cats. Puppies should be well socialized from a young age for best results with other animals.
Care: Regular grooming with a brush and comb is required for the English Cocker Spaniel, as the coat is prone to tangles. Special attention should be paid to the hair on the legs and ears. It may be necessary to take the English Cocker Spaniel to a grooming professional two - four times a year to have excess hair trimmed or plucked. The ears should be cleaned regularly.
Training: The English Cocker Spaniel is naturally willing to learn and quickly understands what is expected of it. A great deal of understanding and consistency during training is necessary as it may try to take over your role.
Activity: Three walks a day are usually enough to keep the English Cocker Spaniel happy, but they also need to have regular opportunities to run freely in the countryside. Most really enjoy swimming.
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