Cocker Spaniel Breed Basics
A Cocker Spaniel is one of the most beloved dog breeds, known for its cute antics and adorable floppy ears. Advertisements of cocker spaniel puppies for sale can cause any dog lover to immediately consider whether adding a new puppy to the household is feasible. But, what is it like to own a cocker spaniel puppy?
Cocker Spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs, specifically to hunt the Eurasian woodcock in the United Kingdom. Although the breed dates back to 14th century, the Cocker Spaniel known and loved by Americans today is different from the original breed. In the early 1900’s when Cocker Spaniels were first shipped to America, they were bred to be better suited for hunting the American woodcock, which required a more compact size. Today, Cocker Spaniels are popular family companions, as well as fierce show-ring competitors.
Cocker Spaniel puppies will grow to be 14.-5 to 15.5 inches tall for males, and 13.5 – 14.5 inches tall for females. An adult Cocker will weigh 24 – 30 lbs. The coats of Cocker Spaniel puppies can range from red, golden, black, or liver, as well as variations including black and tan, liver and tan, and mixtures of these colors. The long, feathered, shoulder-length ears, however, are the most recognizable trait of the Cocker Spaniel.
Cocker Spaniel puppies grow into great family dogs, which is partly why the Cocker Spaniel was ranked the number one most popular dog breed by the American Kennel Club for 25 years in a row. Currently, the breed is the 30th most popular in the United States. Known for their happy, gentle demeanor, as well as their quick wit, Cocker Spaniel puppies can ease into a new family with relative ease. However, Cocker Spaniels are very playful and energetic dogs, so long walks and vigorous play sessions are required. They are also fantastic athletes, and can excel at sports such as Agility or Rally-O, and are great companions for hunting excursions.
Cocker Spaniels have an average lifespan of 10 – 12 years. Similar to all purebred dogs, Cocker Spaniels are prone to a number of congenital health problems. The most common cause of death is cancer, however other health issues may be present, such as hip dysplasia, otitis externa (ear inflammation), Progressive Retinal Atrophy, canine glaucoma, lens luxation, and juvenile cataracts. Cocker Spaniels require more grooming than most other dogs, due to their long fur. Additionally, extra special attention should be paid to their ears, in order to decrease the chance of ear infection. If purchasing a Cocker Spaniel puppy from a breeder, be sure to ask for Orthopedic Foundation of America and Canine Eye Registry Foundation health certificates for the parent dogs.
In the show-ring, Cocker Spaniels are among the most decorated breed. Since 1907, a Cocker Spaniel has won best in show 4 times, giving it the fourth highest number of wins, only behind the Wire Fox and Scottish Terriers, and the Cocker’s cousin, the English Springer Spaniel. Overall, a Cocker Spaniel puppy can make a great companion, if given plenty of love, grooming, and exercise!
Cocker Spaniel Breed Basics