The Cocker Spaniel brings in the best of hunting and companionship. This is an excellent bird dog with ample playfulness. He is basically gentle in the family circle. He possesses a gorgeous look and loves to be the source of abundant joys.
No other dog in Sporting Group is as small as the Cocker Spaniel. This dog breed had enjoyed top popularity in America during the middle of the twentieth century. This is relatively a small pet who can get along as an apartment dog. The Cocker Spaniel is the half brother of the English Cocker Spaniel.
Cocker Spaniel personality:
Friendly dog meant the Cocker Spaniel before the Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers invaded American homes with their lovely disposition and cheerful existence. This is a witty and trustworthy home partner. He loves to be around you and gleefully obeys your orders. This makes him a wonderful companion for the children.
However, you cannot write off his hunting skills. He is good at scenting and tracking his targets. The Cocker Spaniel can flush a bird for you as well. And you should note that a Cocker can bark the melody out of you in an odd situation.
He has a sound temperament and a soft personality which is usually responsible for his tremendous popularity. But sensitivity lies at the core of its heart and he does not do well in the face of a harsh treatment. He does not get too close to an unknown person.
Submissive urination is often an outcome of meeting a stranger. But pay him some attention and experience the wonders of his closeness.
Measure Cocker Spaniel smartness:
The Cocker Spaniel shows off average intelligence. He is witty in a family environment and his hunting ground. He is a great trainee who catches at your instructions fairly easily. His sensitivity is an issue to handle at his very early age.
It plays against the idea of a sporty Cocker. He might get into a barking and snappy mode if things go wrong in his estimation.
We are talking about a multi-talented gundog who is versed in companionship, tracking, show ring jobs, field work and competitions.
What & how to feed:
Highly active Cocker Spaniel adults can have 1.5-2.5 cups of daily food. You can set it in two meals respectively in the morning and in the evening.
But food provision is a dynamic issue and there will always be a difference in amount from dog to dog. It relies on age, sex, activities, health and so many other aspects. You can determine the amount of food the dog requires as you continue your life with him. The Cocker does not differentiate between homemade or commercial products as long as they fulfill his energy necessities.
However, you can feed him medium sized dog foods. You must not free feed the dog. It makes some bad habits and will soon lead your dog to obesity. Protein and fat ingredients should be the pillars of Cocker food.
At least, 18-20 percent of proteins in each meal will provide him with ample energy. Beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy items and lamb are excellent sources of proteins. Barley, cereals, vegetables and oats will give him some plant proteins.
On the other hand, flaxseed oil. Safflower oil, olive oil and fish oil are going to supply the dog with necessary fat. Fat repels an injury by protecting the internal organs by creating a protective layer. Bone and joint strength also derives from it. Tapioca, sweet potatoes, brown rice, fruits, beetroot, pumpkin and vegetables serve him with carbohydrates and fibers.
A commercial item should be free of preservatives, dyes and flavors for the betterment of his health. Clean water is a vital requirement of the dog. Extravagant use of treats is responsible for overweight. You have to be careful in this regard.
Escape a few health issues:
The Cockers are not known for too many diseases. They are a healthy dog breed. But you can always adopt some precaution before buying a puppy. A number of health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) will clear out the dog off a list of major physical conditions.
However, your dog may not suffer from any of these listed diseases in his lifetime. But a little idea on your part can save both of you from a lot of troubles. Eye disorders are major concerns for the Cockers.
Cataracts, glaucoma and retinal dysplasia are some of them. Progressive retinal atrophy is a rod cell defect that ends up in complete blindness. But this disease does not cause him any pain.
Night blindness is more often a primary result of this problem. Then there is hip dysplasia affecting such a lively dog and reducing him into a physically challenged condition. It is a dislodged hip socket issue. X-ray tests can reveal this problem at its puppy age.
A severe case will call for surgery. Drooped ears and long hair around the ears call for special attention to them. Especially, you have to check inside of the ear canals after a bath apart from regular weekly inspections.
Patellar luxation causes slipped up kneecap. It will also need an operation for full recovery. Hypothyroidism is related to thyroid gland and it has symptoms such as obesity, inertia, epilepsy, etc. Congenital deafness can be seen in some dogs of this breed.
Insightful care program:
Cocker owners often have to pay a visit to the professional groomers. Their coat can be long if kept untrimmed. It looks shiny and asks for a bit of care.
Not to forget, his coat does mat. A few missed sessions will bring in mats and tangles. How frequently you should brush him is a relative question. If you employ him in hunting, there will arise a frequent necessity in this regard.
Normally, a weekly brush is enough to keep him clean. He sheds moderately and it increases substantially in Spring and Fall, two shedding seasons. A slicker brush or metal comb can take care of tangles. One bath every month will be welcome because of his robustly active life.
Especially, his ears are always covered and cannot get enough airflow due to long hair and you must inspect inside of it for smell or discharges.
Ear cleaning solutions are going to help you in this task. This dog will be greatly benefited from a yearly vet visit. The Cocker Spaniel needs a few physical actions as well and you have to make arrangements for an enclosed yard. Set him on the leash while going out.
Proper exercise method:
This is not a robustly active dog. But he needs a fair share of activities as he is a sporting dog breed. A game of fetch with your kids will leave him exhausted and satisfied. It will help remove mental boredom. You can take the dog out for a daily stroll for about 30 to 40 minutes. This will be enough for him.
You can also use him as a hunting partner for pointing on game, flushing the birds and retrieving the items. Put the dog on a scent trail and he will forget everything else. He is likely to favor the scents on his nose more than your commands.
So, the leash along with strong hand signal training is an important tool to control him in the outdoors. He is a wonderful swimmer and retrieving from water is a specialty of this dog breed.
Cocker Spaniel training cues:
The Cocker Spaniel has a sweet temperament and he likes to see you pleased. So, you are not going to face a lot of trouble keeping their high intelligence in mind. You can start the training program with socialization, basic obedience and crate training. This people oriented dog does well in a social call.
Take him to the park to meet his peers. You can also invite your friends to make the dog comfortable in the presence of the strangers. These actions will gradually take down the submissive urination tendency. A habit of barking requires a sound bark control techniques. The crate will teach him how to pass time on his own.
Moreover, it is going to help you set a time and place for his potty breaks which is essential for house training. Nice implementation of the basic commands such as ‘come’, ‘go’, ‘stay’, ‘leave’, etc are vital for a good relationship with the dog. Treats can greatly motivate the dog to a better goal.
Cocker Spaniel origin:
Spaniels were actually divided into two sub-groups such as land spaniels and water spaniels. They used to help in the hunting missions with their retrieving skills. The Cocker Spaniel was an expert on Woodcock flushing. The Spaniels as a whole have originated from Spain.
Hence, the name has stuck with these dogs. The modern fascination for purebred dogs has been responsible for the creation of the Cocker Spaniel. The Kennel Club (UK) accepted this dog a distinct breed in 1892.
Interestingly, we can trace a Cocker Spaniel in the AKC studbook published in 1885.
However, the AKC formally recognized this dog breed in 1946. The English Cocker Spaniel is all the same to the Cocker Spaniel except for the coat, height and head formation. This dog used to enjoy top class popularity till 1990’s. Now. they are ranked on 30th position in the AKC breed popularity list.