The Cocker Spaniel is a true sporting breed of dog that is often divided into two categories with very small differences. The American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel each feature long, wavy-haired ears with a coat that comes in a variety of solid and multi-color combinations including white with black, red or brown markings, black, liver, red, golden and tan. They are among the most popular companion breeds around the world for active families.
Origins Of The Cocker Spaniel
The English Cocker Spaniel is believed to have descended from the original spaniels of Spain as early as the 1300s, whereas the American Cocker Spaniel was created after the English Cocker Spaniel was brought to the United States in the 1800s and cross-bred with smaller local dogs. They were both designed for specialist bird hunting purposes – the English Cocker Spaniel was chosen for hunting woodcock, while the need for creating the smaller American Cocker Spaniel was based on hunting small game such as quail.
Average Size Of The Cocker Spaniel
American Cocker Spaniels are classed as a small-sized breed of dog. The suggested standard size for the American Cocker Spaniel male is 15 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 24-28 pounds, whereas the suggested size for female American Cocker Spaniels is 14 inches high from paw to shoulder with a weight of 24-28 pounds.
English Cocker Spaniels are classed as a medium-sized breed of dog. The recommended standard size for the English Cocker Spaniel male is 16-17 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 28-34 pounds, while the suggested size for female English Cocker Spaniels is 15-16 inches high from paw to shoulder with a weight of 26-32 pounds.
Temperament Of The Cocker Spaniel
Both types of Cocker Spaniel are renowned for their cheerful, affectionate and loyal spirit. They are typically friendly with people they don’t know, which often means they are unsuitable as a guard dog.
The English Cocker Spaniel and American Cocker Spaniel are both accepted to be highly intelligent – placing equal 18th and 20th respectively compared to other dogs based on their ability to learn obedience instructions.
They are also well-known to be great with kids – which makes them highly suitable as a family pet. The Cocker Spaniel is very pleasant with other dogs and gets along very well with cats when raised with them.
Living Requirements Of The Cocker Spaniel
The Cocker Spaniel is kept happiest with a small yard to give them space to roam around in, but they are quite suitable for life in an apartment just as long as they are given adequate exercise.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Cocker Spaniel
Like the majority of small to medium-sized dog breeds, the Cocker Spaniel is normally longer-lived possessing a life expectancy of 10-15 years. The major health concern for Cocker Spaniels is universally known to be Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) which can result in severe blood loss and death if not treated immediately. They can also be vulnerable to conditions including eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts or Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), ear infections and skin allergies.
Exercise Needs Of The Cocker Spaniel
The Cocker Spaniel loves pastimes like chasing after a ball or frisbee and just simply being included in any activity with their family. They have a medium to high level of energy and require exercise every day in the shape of moderate to long walks (with English Cocker Spaniels requiring slightly more exercise than American Cocker Spaniels) to avoid destructive behavior that can result from boredom if they’re left alone all day.