Breed Organization American Spaniel Club Website: http://www.asc-cockerspaniel.org Native Country United States Of America Other Names Cocker Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel Life Expectancy Approximately 10-11 Years Litter Size Average 3-5 Puppies Breed Group AKC Sporting
Breed Appearance The signature trait of the Cocker is it's dark,
expressive eyes that reflect a happy, loving, and active nature.
Cockers are a dropped eared breed (pendulous ears) and the mature
Cocker is shown in a full feathered, silky coat. After its show
career ends, the fur is often trimmed into a "puppy cut", shortened
on the legs, sides and belly, that is easier to keep whether as a
pet, performance dog, or hunting companion. It is important to keep
the hair clipped from both sides of the ear about one third down the
ear flap. This helps to keep air flowing through the ear canal and
reduce risk of ear infections from bacteria, injury or parasites.
Cockers weigh an average of 18 to 28 pounds. For show dogs, the
ideal height of a Cocker is 15 inches for dogs and 14 inches
for bitches at the withers. An adult male who is over 15.5 inches,
or an adult bitch over 14.5 inches would be disqualified in a
conformation show. Bone and head size should be in proportion to the
overall balance of the dog.
Breed Description Head: Finely chiseled. Rounded skull. Clearly pronounced brow
bones. Pronounced stop. Broad, high muzzle. Black or brown nose,
depending on coat color. Ears: Long, thin, well-feathered. Eyes: Slightly almond-shaped, brown, as dark as possible,
with an irresistible pleading expression. Body: Short, compact. Fairly long, muscular neck without
dewlap. High, broad chest. Well-sprung ribs. Strong back. Broad
croup Tail: Set on and carried level with the topline or slightly
higher. Docked. Wagging in action. Hair: Short and fine on the head. Medium in length on the
body. Ears, chest, abdomen, and legs well-feathered. Hair is silky,
flat, or slightly wavy. Undercoat.
Coat: Solid black. Black with tan tips. A small amount of
white on the chest and/or throat is allowed. Any solid color other
than black. Parti-color: two or more well-broken, well-distributed
colors, one of which must be white. Roans are classified as
parti-colors. Tan markings range from the lightest cream to the
darkest red and should cover no more than 10% of the coat. Tan
markings above each eye, on the sides of the muzzle and cheeks, on
the underside of the ears, on all feet and/or legs, on the chest,
and under the tail. Size: Dog: 36 to 39 cm (14-15.5 in). Bitch: 34 to 36 cm
(13.5-14 in). Weight: 10 to 13 kg (22-28 lb).
History According to historical records, the first spaniel was brought to North America aboard the Mayflower which sailed from Plymouth, England
and landed in New England in 1620. The first Cocker recorded in America was a liver and white dog named Captain, who was registered
with the American Kennel Club in 1878. In 1881, the American Cocker Club was formed; it would later become the American Spaniel Club (ASC)
and is now known as the oldest breed club for dogs in the United States. The task of the club was initially to create a standard to separate the
Cocker in America from other types of land spaniels, a task which would take over 20 years, only being completed in 1905.
The dog considered to be the father of the American Cocker was sired by the dog considered to be the father of the English Cocker. Ch. Obo
was bred to Ch. Chloe II, who was shipped to America while she was pregnant. Once in the United States, she whelped a dog who became Ch. Obo II. He differed
greatly from the modern breed, being only 10 inches (25 cm) tall and with a long body, but was considered to be an excellent dog of that era and became
a popular sire.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the breed had become popular in America and Canada due to their dual use as a family pet
and a working dog. In the early 20th century the breeders on either side of the Atlantic had created different breed standards for the Cocker and the
breed gradually diverged from one another, with the two becoming noticeably different by the 1920s. The American Cockers by now had a smaller muzzle, their coats
were softer and the dogs overall were lighter and smaller. The differences were so apparent that in 1935, breeders founded the English Cocker Club and
restricted breeding between the two types of spaniel. The two types of Cocker in America were shown together as one breed, with the English type as a variety
of the main breed, until 1946 when the American Kennel Club recognised the English Cocker as a separate breed.
Behavior With a good level of socialisation at an early age, an American Cocker can get along with people, children, other dogs and other
pets. This breed seems to have a perpetually wagging tail and prefers to be around people; it is not best suited to the backyard alone. Cockers can
be easily stressed by loud noises and by rough treatment or handling.
Health Cockers are susceptible to a variety of maladies,
particularly infections affecting their ears and, in some cases,
their eyes. As a result, they may require more medical attention
than some other breeds. Common eye problems in Cockers include
progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), glaucoma, and cataracts. The
American Spaniel Club recommends annual eye exams by a veterinary
ophthalmologist for all dogs used for breeding. Autoimmune problems
in Cockers include autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) and ear
inflammations. Less common are luxating patellas and hip dysplasia.
Dogs used for breeding can be checked for both of these conditions,
and dogs free of hip dysplasia can be certified by the Orthopedic
Foundation for Animals (OFA).
Advice He can adapt to apartment life, as long as he is taken on daily
walks. He requires daily brushing and combing, bimonthly bathing,
and monthly grooming. His ears need regular attention.
Their temperament is typically joyful and trusting. The ideal Cocker
temperament is merry, outgoing, and eager to please everyone. They
can be good with children and usually sociable and gentle with other
pets. They tend to be soft dogs who do not do well with rough or
harsh training. The popularity of the Cocker led to
a considerable amount of irresponsible breeding in an attempt to
keep up with the demand. The results have included fearful or
aggressive behavior in some of the dogs, submissive urination, and
resource guarding. Responsible breeders have worked diligently to
eliminate these negative characteristics while trying to educate the
public regarding responsible breeding. Temperament of the American
Cocker should always be the primary concern when breeding
these dogs. As with all puppies, owners are advised to choose their