English Cocker Spaniel
Other Names: Cocker Spaniel
Dog Group Kennel Club: Sporting (AKC) Gun Dog (KC)
The English Cocker Spaniel is a compactly built, small sized dog. They are however larger in size and have shorter coats compared to their close descendents the american cocker spaniel.
Their medium length coats are silky in texture and flat or slightly wavy with feathering on the legs, chest and ears. Coat colours include many varieties, including black, ASCOB (any solid colour other than black) and parti-colour.
Weight: 28 to 32 lbs
Average Life Span: 10-15 years
English Cockers are, intelligent, joyful, affectionate, friendly, dogs who are clown like and love companionship. They make ideal family pets as they are excellent with children and will get along with other animals. They need to be part of family life and are not suited to be left alone outside. They should also not be left alone in the house for long periods of time. Boredom and loneliness for a English Cocker can lead to behavior problems, like excessive barking.
English cockers are eager to please and intelligent make training fairly easy. They respond best with gentle persistent and consistency from early puppy hood. They are excellent with obedience and agility work. Don’t let those sad dark eyes fool you, english cockers are a happy tail wagging breed, but they will try to manipulate you with their sad expression. As with all breeds early socialisation with people and animals is recommended.
Grooming requirements are quite high. Their medium length coats need brushing and combing 3 times a week to keep them tangle free. They should be professionally trimmed 2 -3 times a year. The feathering around the long ears makes it easy when eating for food to become attached. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly.
Care needs to be taken not to over feed this breed as they put weight on quickly.
Although only small it should not be forgotten that they are gundogs so they do need moderate regular daily walks with time to run off the lead. They love to swim but care should be taken to ensure their safety. English cockers love to chase and retrieve.
English Cocker Spaniel Health Issues
Prone to ear infections. The ears must be cleaned every two weeks to avoid any type of infection. The top one-third of the ear must be shaved to allow air to flow to the ear canal. Especially during the summer, the ears should be checked carefully. Hanging close to the ground as they do, they can become host to ticks or seeds, often the cause of deafness.
Hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint resulting in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the hip socket. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, at some cost to dog and owner. Because dysplastic dogs often produce dysplastic puppies, buyers should ask if both the sire and the dam of the puppy in which they are interested have been rated clear of hip dysplasia. Do not take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate, and ask for a copy to take to your veterinarian.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a hereditary disease of the eye that has been identified in Border collies. PRA is a blanket term for many types of retinal diseases, all of which result in blindness. All Border collies, regardless of age or breeding status, should be examined yearly by a member of the Veterinary Ophthalmologists
Chronic hepatitis is the diagnosis for several diseases associated with liver disease. Causes may include viruses, bacterial infection, and some medications. A predisposition to the development of chronic hepatitis exists in some breeds including the english cocker spaniel. The first signs of liver disease may include loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, depression, lethargy, and/or increased drinking and urination. As the disease progresses, more specific signs to liver failure occur, such as jaundice, coagulation problems, extreme weight loss, and neurologic abnormalities.
English Cocker Spaniel History
The English Cocker is no doubt one of the oldest types of land spaniel. Their origins can be traced back to 14th century Spain, with the word “spaniel”, meaning “dog of Spain”. They were breed and used for hunting and retrieving skills. From Spain the dogs were transported, traded, given away as gifts, or simply traveled with their masters to England.
Prior to the 1600’s all types of spaniels were categorized together; the larger ones being used to spring game and the smaller ones to flush out woodcock. Hence the later development of the names Springer and Cocker were derived. In 1892, the Kennel Club of Great Britain differentiated the two breeds separately. In the 1930’s, the Cocker was the most popular breed of dog in Britain and there he stayed for almost 20 years.
The English Cocker arrived to America and Canada in the 1870’s. During the 1920s and 1930s changes in the breed became more noticeable. The breed had become “Americanized”. The head became smaller, the height of the dog was shrunk by 1 to 2 inches, and the dog became lighter in weight. The coat became longer, silkier and softer. The “Americanized” Cocker Spaniel became used as a family pet, instead of a hunter’s helper. In 1940, the Kennel Club then split the Spaniels into the American Cocker and English Cocker.