English Cocker Spaniel or simply Cocker Spaniel dogs are medium sized sporting dogs with cheerful disposition and constantly wagging tail. These sweet and good natured dogs make for excellent gun dogs as well as wonderful family pets.
The breed is believed to have descended from Spanish hunting dogs. Hence, they are good at hunting, tracking, and flushing and retrieving game with a gentle mouth.
Earlier, they were specifically used for hunting woodcock birds and hence gradually gained popularity as “Cockers”. They are different and often larger than their American counterparts, American Cocker Spaniels.
English Cocker Spaniel breed dogs are well balanced and compact in build. The head is distinctly arched and has a slightly flattened skull, especially when viewed from the side.
The medium sized eyes are oval in shape and tend to bear a soft but equally dignified expression. They are generally dark brown or hazel in color. Depending on the color of the hair coat, the nose can be black or brown in color. The long, hanging ears covered with long hair are generally set low on the head.
Color: Popular English Cocker Spaniel colors are black, brown, tan, buff and red. They are also available in various other solid and parti colors.
Height: The average height of these sturdy dogs is 15 to 17 inches. Female English Cocker Spaniels are generally a bit shorter, that is, 14 to 16 inches in height.
Weight: English Cocker Spaniel breed standard requires the dog’s weight to be around 28 to 34 pounds. Ideally, the bitches should be about 26 to 32 pounds in weight.
Common health problems in English Cocker Spaniels are Hip Dysplasia, Kidney diseases, Ear Infections and other related health issues. Ear Infections, in particular should be avoided as far as possible in order to avoid further complications and even deafness.
They are also prone to various eye problems such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cataract etc. These dogs tend to gain weight easily. Therefore, their attempts to coax you to give them extra treats should not be awarded blindly.
Life Expectancy: These lovely and adorable dogs usually live up to 12-15 years.
Litter Size: The average English Cocker Spaniel litter size ranges between 3 to 8 puppies.
English Cocker Spaniel grooming calls for daily brushing and combing of the long hair coat to avoid matting. The silky hair coat is either flat or a bit wavy.
Needless to mention, the curly or wavy coat requires more care. The hair coat can be clipped for easy maintenance. Keep trimming the hair around the dogs paw pads from time to time.
While grooming your English Cocker Spaniel, pay special attention to keep the dog’s long ears clean and keep checking for signs of ear infections at least on a weekly basis. Plus, bathe your beloved dog when necessary. Brush his teeth and trim his nails on a regular basis. English Cocker Spaniel dog breedis an average shedder.
English Cocker Spaniel breed dogs are lively, intelligent, affectionate, sensitive, loyal, friendly, outgoing, playful and obedient in temperament. In fact, they are also known as Merry Cocker Wokers due to their merry and high spirited temperament.
Though, they can be aggressive too. Certain studies have found that solid colored English Cocker Spaniel dogs (especially golden colored) are more aggressive than the parti colored ones. Although, the incidents of dogs developing this Rage Syndrome are quite rare.
These smart dogs are quick learners and hence make the task of training quite easy. However, housebreaking can be a bit of a challenge. They are usually playful around children and compatible with other pets in the house. The alert English Cocker Spaniel dogs possess excellent watchdog capabilities.
These delightful and adaptable dogs are suitable for apartment situation, provided their physical exercise needs are taken care of. They are fairly active indoors and just require space in a small or preferably average sized yard for play. In addition, follow the daily ritual of two to three daily brisk walks to keep the dog healthy.
These highly devoted people oriented dogs should not be chained alone outside for longer durations. First time dog owners can safely lay their hands on English Cocker Spaniel dog breed due to the breed’s easy trainability and even temperament.