Project Description

American Cocker Spaniel

  • Dog Breed Group: Gundog

  • Recommended for: Singles, families

  • Maintenance Level: Medium

  • Life Span: 12 – 15 years

  • Height: 35 -38cm

  • Weight10 -13 kg

  • Temperament: Alert, Sweet Natured, Joyful, Playful, and active

  • Colors: Black, Black & Tan, Brown, Buff, Red, Silver

General Health
Exercise Needs

American Cocker Spaniel Breed Overview

Beautiful locks and cute, round eyes, with a silky, wavy, sometime flat coat illustrates the one of the most popular dog breeds in American Kennel Club’s registration statistics. It is the smallest of its Spaniel breed and in the sporting group.

Even though it is a sporting breed who requires daily activities to ensure its wellbeing, it is well suited in living in an apartment. However, do take note that the Cocker is not pleased to be left alone for the day and would result in digging and barking to keep itself occupied. This characteristic of the Cocker Spaniel makes a good family dog which enjoys and thrives in family activities.

For professional grooming, it should be done once every six to eight weeks. The Cocker Spaniel should be introduced to it when it is still young, so it will grow accustomed to its handling and cleaning process. The handsome coat of the Cocker requires constant care to be free of tangle. To take care of an American Cocker Spaniel is financially and time-wise demanding.

An adult American Cocker Spaniel would be 35 -38cm tall and weigh 10 -13kg.
Their life expectancy is approximately 12 – 15 years.

  • Suitability for Children – Medium
  • Tendency to Bark – Low
  • Energy – High
  • Suitability as a Guard Dog – Low
  • Grooming Requirements –  Every Day
  • Trimming Required – None
  • Amount of hair shed – Heavy
  • Food Cost –  $10 – $15
  • Average Monthly Pet insurance Premium – $97
petcare quote

Origin of American Cocker Spaniel

The word spanielmeans “Spanish dog” and it is believed that the American Cocker Spaniel is originated from Spain. In the nineteenth century, Spaniels were divided into two groups: toy dog or hunting dog. Hunting dogs were further classified into land and water spaniels and Cocker Spaniel fall in the category of land hunter dog as it excels in the field hunting.

In 1892, the Cocker Spaniel was recognized as a breed in English and in the late 1870s, American fanciers start to import English Cockers to the United States. Due to it’s loving and cheerful nature, Cocker Spaniels quickly gained popularity both with breeders and the public. In time, breeders began favouring smaller type of Cocker Spaniel which has a slightly conformation than the original English Cocker as these smaller dogs were performing exceptionally at the show ring.

The distinction is made clear at 1938 for the breeders and public alike when the English Cocker breeder form a club that oppose the breeding of the English Cocker with American Cocker. Furthermore, in the early 1940s, an American Cocker Spaniel named CH Own Brucie won the Best American Bred in a Show at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show for two consecutive year which led to an overwhelming rise in the popularity of Cocker Spaniel in America. Hence, further convince the American breeders to concentrate on breeding more American Cocker Spaniels for the show ring, aiding the distinction between American and English Cocker Spaniels.

American Cocker Spaniel Temperament

The American Cocker Spaniel is a very popular with the public as it makes as well-behave family dog. It’s sweet temperament is known to shower it’s affection on its family lavishly as it loves to participate in family activities.

Even though it is playful and active, it is known to be a sensitive dog mentally and physically. He has a soft personality and when afraid or in pain it will respond negatively through growling or snapping especially during an unpleasant treatment. Therefore, early socialization and careful training is necessary to teach the Cocker appropriate canine manners and bring out the best in it’s personality.

Furthermore, starting early socialization for Cocker Spaniel would be encouraged for family with small children so that the dog would know how to behave when it is raised with kids that are kind and respectful towards the dog. It could also get along with other animals easily when given proper training.

Common Conditions and Diseases of American Cocker Spaniels

  • Eye Problems: Disease such as progressive retinal atrophy which strips the retinal cells of the Cocker of it’s function, cataracts, a cloudy film that forms over the eye; glaucoma, a condition which pressure builds up inside of the eyeball; and eye abnormalities which has the symptoms of red eyes or constant rubbing of the Cocker Spaniel’s face.
  • Autoimmunie hemolytic anemia (AIHA): A condition in which the dog’s immune system attacks its own blood cells. Symptoms includes pale gums, fatigue and sometimes jaundice. A swollen abdomen is also indicative, since it signals an enlarged liver.
  • Hypothyroidism: A disorder of the thyroid gland which causes epilepsy, hair loss, obesity, lethargy, dark patches and other skin conditions. It can be treated with medication and diet.
  • Primary Seborrhea: A skin problem caused by overproduction of skin cells, including the sebaceous (oil) cells. The skin becomes greasy and scaly and has foul odor. Treatment includes medication and medicated baths.
  • Allergies: Food allergies, contact allergies and inhalant allergies should be cautious when owning a Cocker Spaniel including the exposure towards chemicals (dog shampoo) and airborne allergens (pollen, dust). Treatment should be done based on the cause and may include dietary restrictions, medications and environmental changes.
  • Idiopathic epilepay: A hereditary disease which caused seizures. An important note is to understand that other disease such as infection, metabolic disorders could also be the cause of it. Therefore, immediately bring you dog to the vet if your dog experienced seizures.
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia: an abnormal formation of the hip socket that can cause pain and lameness.
  • Patellar Luxation: The dislocation of the knee cap at the hind leg which cause pain and will cripple the dog.

Interesting Facts

  • Even though Cocker Spaniel is active, do not overfeed them as they have a hearty appetite.

  • When a Cocker Spaniel is excited it may exhibits submissive urination (peeing when excited).

  • Cocker Spaniel is a hunter at heart and can excel in many canine sports.

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