Description: The English Cocker Spaniel is a medium sized dog originally used for hunting. The dog is 15 to 17 inches at the shoulder, and the bitch 14 to 16 inches and this dog will weigh between 26 and 32 pounds. The English Cocker Spaniel is a relatively small dog with long ears. The tail is sometimes docked. The coat of this dog is medium long except the head, where the fur is short. There is feathering on the ears, legs, underside, and chest. The common coat colors are reddish, black, black and white, orange, or black and tan. There are considered to be two types of this dog, the show dog, and the field dog. The Spaniel will usually live for 12 to 15 years.
History: Originally from Spain, the ancestors of the English Cocker Spaniel were taken to England hundreds of years ago. This dog was used as a companion to men hunting birds and other small game. The word ‘cocker’ refers to the dog’s hunting of woodcocks and it excelled at flushing game from thick cover. The Spaniel was only separated from the American Cocker Spaniel in the 19th century.
Temperament: The English Cocker Spaniel is known for its gentle and pleasing disposition. This dog will bond very closely with its human family and enjoys interacting with them as much as possible. The English Cocker Spaniel is magnificent with children, and it makes an excellent companion dog. This dog is easy to train and likes to please its master. One thing that should be noted here is that rage syndrome can sometimes occur in this breed. It should be pointed out that it is extremely rare and is usually associated with the show dogs, especially the orange ones.
Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia can be found in the English Cocker Spaniel as can Von Willebrand’s Disease, a form of hemophilia. Eye diseases can occur in this breed, and progressive retinal atrophy is probably the most severe. Cataracts and glaucoma will also sometimes be present. The Spaniel is also subject to skin allergies and deafness.
Grooming: The coat of the English Cocker Spaniel needs to be brushed and combed on a regular basis – mats and tangles will form otherwise, making the dog not only unsightly but uncomfortable. A bath now and then will do no harm, and the English Cocker Spaniel can also be given a dry shampoo. The ears will often be a magnet for ticks, and it is necessary to check them whenever the dog has been outside. Be sure to keep the ears free of excess wax and watch for signs of infection.
Living Conditions: Considering how closely attached the English Cocker Spaniel becomes to its family, it would be unkind to keep it in a kennel or chained outside. This dog does best when interacting with its people. The Spaniel is suited for apartment living as long as the owner gives it a good long walk every day. This dog loves to play and can satisfy some of its exercise needs in this way. Hunters and people who enjoy outdoor sports will find a willing companion in the Spaniel.