The American Cocker Spaniel was actually created from the English Cocker but in typical American style abundance of coat and glamour. The main differences in addition to the extreme coat is the shape of the head with a defined stop as opposed to the sloping fore face.
The American Cocker Spaniel is the smallest of all breeds of sporting dog. It has a refined chiselled head with an intelligent and alert expression. It has a broad and deep muzzle with square jaws tipped by either a black-, brown-, or liver-coloured nose depending on the coat colour. The dark brown eyes are round and full, complimented by well-defined eyebrows with pronounced stop. It has long, lobular ears that are well-covered with long silky fur which adds to the breed’s glamour. The head is supported by a long, muscular neck which allows the breed to quickly and easily sniff the ground for game. It has a sloping topline towards the muscular quarters. The forelegs are straight and muscular with strong bones while the hind legs are equally muscled with moderate angulations at the stifle. The coat is silky, flat, or slightly wavy - short and fine on the head, medium-length on the body but well-feathered on the ears, chest, abdomen, and legs. Coat colours range from solid black to all shades of cream and red, including brown and parti-colours with small amount of white on the chest and/or throat.
An adult American Cocker Spaniel measures between 34 cm and 39 cm in height at the withers and weighs between 11kg to 14kg on average.
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 American Cocker Spaniel is a direct descendant of the English Cocker Spaniel. Its ancestors were originally used as gundogs to hunt the Eurasian woodcock or waders in the United Kingdom, hence the name cocker. The term spaniel is generally accepted as coming from the word “espagnol” which means “Spaniard” but some experts disagree because there are no evidence that this breed came from Spain. Instead, it is suggested that the word may have come from the Italian spianare or the French espanir which means “to flatten out” or “to get out of a net”.
The Cocker Spaniel was brought to America in 1620 by the Pilgrims from Plymouth where it was bred to specialized in hunting the American woodcock. It was later bred more and more to create a different standard – one which has an abundance of coat and glamour. It was officially recognized as a different breed from the English type by the American Kennel Club in 1878. In 1881, the American Spaniel Club was organized to care for the breed. A year later, Ch. Obo II (owned by James Farrow) was born - the dog considered to be the foundation sire of the modern American Cocker Spaniel. The Cocker Spaniel became the most popular breed in the US during the 1940s and 1950s. It was officially recognized by The Kennel Club of UK in 1970 as a distinct breed from its English cousin.
This breed has a typical gundog temperament – one that loves retrieving. It is also called the “merry Cocker” because of its propensity to wag its tail when it is around people. It is a cheerful, outgoing, gentle, and sweet dog that makes an ideal companion as a family pet and to other dogs in the house provided that it is given a good level of socialisation at an early age.
The American Cocker Spaniel has an average rating when it comes to working or obedience intelligence and trainability. Training should be done in a positive and gentle manner by a consistent handler because this breed is easily stressed by rough and forceful handling. A Cocker Spaniel is difficult to housebreak but it is easy to train to get along with other pets in the house.
The American Cocker Spaniel is an average shedder that needs a lot of brushing, combing and clipping to bring their coat into full bloom. Daily brushing is needed as the coat can quickly collect dirt and small sticks from daily walks. The best way to maintain the coat is to have it trimmed in “pet clip” which leaves only about 5cm of coat length on the legs and belly. This look significantly reduces the tendency of the coat to knot and offers a practical solution for a family pet. It also tends to tear so be ready to wipe under the eyes often. Regular bathing is also required to minimize the distinctive doggy odour in the skin and ears.
A typical lifespan for this breed is between 10 and 11 years although there are some dogs that live up to 14 years when given the proper care and fed the correct diet. A few major health issues include cataracts, glaucoma and patellar luxation. Minor health issues include canine hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), skin allergies, lip fold pyoderma and liver disease. Typical cause of death include cancer, old age, cardiac diseases, immune mediated (haemolytic anaemia) and hepatic-related (chronic liver failure).
Even though the American Cocker Spaniel is a medium-sized breed, it does require daily exercise. A bored, under-exercised dog can develop mischievous attitude such as digging holes and chewing on objects including soft furniture. An ideal exercise is to let the dog run off the leash in a well-fenced environment under the supervision of the owner. It can also be taken on daily long walks or half an hour of slow running beside a bike.
The American Cocker Spaniel is a friendly, sweet-natured and very social breed that is very good with children and adjusts readily to most pets in the household. Early socialisation is the key to having a pet that is well-balanced in all aspects. A well-socialized and properly-trained Cocker Spaniel is friendly and peaceful with strangers and other pets.