The Cocker Spaniel is a true English dog belonging to the gun dog group. It is an active, friendly and intelligent breed and one of several types of spaniel closely related to the Field Spaniel and the Springer Spaniel. It is an enthusiastic breed especially when working in the field and a relentless wagging tail will show how much this breed enjoys flushing and retrieving game. It has a compactly built proportion with a softly contoured head without sharp angles. The slightly oval, medium-sized eyes are set wide apart and dark brown in colour which adds to the overall soft yet alert and intelligent expression of the breed. The lobular ears are feathered, set low the head and should reach the tip of the nose when pulled forward. It has an arched and slightly flattened head when seen from the side with a definite but moderate stop, a well-cushioned muzzle that is cleanly chiselled under the eyes and strong jaws with scissors bite teeth capable of carrying game. The nostrils are wide – typical of scent hounds, black or brown depending on coat colour. It has a muscular, arching neck that goes well with the shoulder and backline that slopes very slightly toward a gently rounded croup. The tail is carried horizontally but may be carried higher when the dog is excited. The front legs are straight with uniform size bones from elbow to heel. The hindquarters have broad and muscular thighs with round and catlike feet with thick pads. It has fine, short hair on the head and medium length, flat or slightly wavy, silky hair on the body and ears, with featherings on the legs. Coat colours are black, liver, shades or red, and parti-colours. A typical adult male has a height of 41 cm to 43 cm while a female stands between 38 cm to 41 cm at withers. Weight varies between 13 kg to 16 kg for males and 12 kg to 14.5 kg for females.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Cocker Spaniel is one of the oldest spaniel-type dogs that exists today. Before the 17th century, all spaniels are regarded as one breed regardless of size, body type (long or short), speed, and coat type (long- or short-coated). Slowly, size differences made an impact on how hunters would handle game where larger spaniels were used more to spring game (Springer), smaller spaniels were used to hunt woodcocks (Cocker) and other birds. During the 1850s, additional spaniels appeared – the Welsh Springer, Devonshire Cocker and the Sussex Cocker. In 1874 when the new breed registry was published, all spaniels under 11 kilogrammes were classified under the Cocker type. When The Spaniel Club was created in 1885, breed standards were created for each type thereby separating the Cockers from Springers. In 1892, The Kennel Club (UK) recognised them as distinct breeds.
The Cocker Spaniel is a sturdy, lively, athletic and affectionate breed with a lot of stamina and energy. As a sporting dog, it is typically curious and likes to investigate things. It is an average barker but it will typically calm down once commanded by its owner. It has an outgoing attitude and typically not reserve with strangers, although some may display aloofness if not socialised early. It does not do well on its own and prefers to have a strong bond to members of the family because it is extremely loyal. It has a distinct trait of constantly wagging its tail, hence it is called the “merry cocker”. Although it is generally an affectionate breed, there are rare cases of Cocker Spaniels having aggressive behaviour towards their owners and/or strangers. Researchers call this the “Rage syndrome” and is closely related to the breed’s colour.
This breed ranks high in working/obedience intelligence and is moderately easy to train as a field dog but difficult to housetrain as a puppy. A good level of early socialisation with other animals is important so that it will get along with strangers, small children and other animals when it matures. Training should be firm and gentle with positive reinforcements. Harsh training will make the Cocker Spaniel fearful and aloof.
Grooming requirements vary depending on the coat type but regular combing and brushing are important. A dog with an excess amount of cottony hair is prone to matting and should be groomed more often. A dog that has silky and flat hair may not need frequent grooming. The ears are prone to infection so make sure to inspect and clean them for excess wax when necessary
Common health issues associated with the breed are skin allergies, cataracts, deafness and benign tumours. Rare health issues include canine hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, canine dilated cardiomyopathy and hurt murmurs. Cocker Spaniels in the UK have an average lifespan of 11 to 12 years. The most common causes of death are cancer, old age, cardiac diseases and a combination of other factors.
The Cocker Spaniel is an adaptable breed and can live in an apartment provided that it is given daily exercise to keep it healthy. As a working gun dog, this breed possesses a great deal of stamina and energy and as such, it requires an equal amount of physical activity. Long brisk walks for about an hour is ideal, as well as games of fetch, agility games or flyball.
Being lovable, gentle and playful, the Cocker Spaniel is excellent with children. It is also very good with other dogs including cats but not with birds and other small animals such as rabbits, hamsters, and similar pets.