If you are looking to get a spaniel cocker for your life, then you are in the right place. Whether you are the first time, do owner, or want an addition to your already existing pack, you can get a spaniel Cocker.
They are easy to train, have a good temperament, and are very cute to look at. However, just like any breed dog, you have to keep certain things in mind. You have to ensure that the dog is not only right for you, but you are also the right parent for the dog.
It’s a two-way relationship after all. Here are the basics of all you need to know before you get yourself committed to a spaniel cocker.
Cocker Spaniel Basics
Where are Cocker Spaniels from?
The Cocker Spaniel got its name for its adeptness in flushing out woodcocks (a game bird). The smallest of the sporting spaniels, their use as game hunters emerged in the 1880s in England and Wales, though Spaniels have been around for over a thousand years in Spain.
In the 1930s, American breeders decided they wanted to begin breeding some Cocker Spaniels for working ability, and others for show. The smaller show breed became known as the American Cocker Spaniel, and the larger became known as the English Cocker Spaniel.
How Many Types of Cocker Spaniels Are There?
Two types of spaniel cocker are bred for domestication. The English Cocker Spaniel is the original breed and the American Cocker Spaniel.
There are some subtle differences between the two varieties. The American Cocker Spaniel has a longer coat, eyes are fuller, and look straight ahead. This feature gives them a very charming sort of doe-eyed look.
The English Cocker Spaniel has a shorter coat than its American counterpart. They are much taller and have a characteristic loner muzzle.
Which Breeds Mix with Cocker Spaniels?
Apart from the two pure breeds of the cocker spaniel, certain hybrids look adorable and fulfill your desire to have two breeds’ characteristics in one dog. Some of the commonly available hybrids of cocker spaniel are-
- Cockinese (Cocker Spaniel + Pekingese)
- Docker (Dachshund + Cocker Spaniel)
- Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel + Poodle)
- Corkie (Cocker Spaniel + Yorkshire Terrier)
- Cock-A-Mo (Cocker Spaniel + American Eskimo)
Cocker Spaniel Lifespan
As much as we all wish that our beloved dos lived for decades and enjoy a lifetime with us, that opportunity nature has denied. In dog years, the Cocker spaniels can live up to 12- 15 years. This is the average lifespan of any dog.
Cocker Spaniel Size (Height & Weight)
On average, the Cocker spaniels are medium-sized dogs. Most of them weigh about 24- 32 lbs and stand at 16 inches of height. The average male cocker spaniel can reach up to 14.5 to 15.5 inches and weigh approximately 25- 30 pounds. The average female cocker spaniel can weigh anywhere between 20- 25 pounds and are about 13.5 to 14.5 inches tall.
Cocker Spaniel Appearance
What Colors Do Cocker Spaniels Come In?
The cocker spaniel is the smallest breed of the sporting group of dog breeds (golden retriever, Labrador retriever, vizsla, etc.).Small and mighty, they come in over 30 colors from brown, black, red to tricolor variations. This breed is well balanced from head to toe.
They have a body built for endurance- muscular and sturdy. They have long ears, large and expressive dark eyes. They usually have a medium-length coat that has a slight wave and a silky texture. If you are looking for an adorable four-legged companion, then a cocker spaniel can be your best choice.
How Much Do Cocker Spaniels Shed?
They have a medium-length coat that needs to be brushed frequently. They typically have moderate- to –high shedding but nothing too dramatic like breeds with longer coats.
Do You Need to Groom a Cocker Spaniel?
As much as the coat of the cocker spaniel is beautiful, it needs maintenance. The coat demands attention by near-daily, frequent brushing as it will get matt quickly. The fur is very silky, which is why it needs regular brushing out and grooming as their hair can get tangled easily.
Professionals suggest to brush out the coat with a wire brush first. Then a thorough and gentle combing is required to keep the fur as shiny and soft as ever. To keep the coat as silky as possible, give your cocker spaniel a regular bath with a mild do- safe shampoo.
Get them a nice warm blow dry for that extra lift and bounce to their fur. Although spaniels are very healthy breeds in general, you should still visit a veterinarian regularly to know the proper method of cleaning their ears, cutting their nails, etc. this will ensure that you avoid any severe skin infections or health issues.
Cocker Spaniel Temperament, Personality & Training
How Much Do Cocker Spaniels Bark?
Spaniels are not needy, but they are natural companion dos and seek intimacy. They express their separation anxiety by barking or chewing on something when left alone for too long.
However, just like with any other dog, they can be given proper exercise, training, and attention to be discouraged from barking. A cocker spaniel is very affectionate and always ready to play.
They can be highly motivated with treats and love to learn new tricks. They can be quite mischievous, so you have to give them attention if they cause any trouble.
Are Cocker Spaniels Good with Kids?
They are known to be great family pets for ages now. They are very friendly with kids and older adults as well. But you must realize that they have life and feelings as well.
They can get overwhelmed or sensitive by the haphazard handling of children and their energy. So you have to take proper precautions for the socialization of both the dog and the child.
Just with any other breed, it will be better if appropriate supervision is given during your child and dog’s interaction to be on the safe side.
Are Cocker Spaniels Good Family Dogs?
Spaniels are the ultimate family dogs. They are known for their strong attachment to their humans. They have a charming and cheerful side that loves to show off.
It loves o on walks, plays with its toys, swimming, retrieving, and indulges in everything fun. Once you get a cocker spaniel, you won’t ever regret your decision as they will be an inseparable part of all your family events.
Are Cocker Spaniels Good with Cats?
Forget the myth that cats and dogs are not compatible with each other. It is just not right in real life when they are put together in a supportive and healthy environment. These spaniel breeds have a friendly temperament, which makes them very amiable with their feline mates.
Of course, each cat and dog have their temperament or preferences, and they won’t necessarily be cuddling anytime soon. But you can be reasonably confident that when your cat and cocker spaniel are given enough time to socialize at a young age, they will get alone just well.
Are Cocker Spaniels Easy to Train?
Cocker spaniels are relatively easy to Toilet Train even from a young age. They are brilliant and love to please their human. But refrain from using harsh tone with them as they are sensitive to tone.
While training them, use various challenges and diverse activities so that they can learn better. Don’t forget to reward them with treats for their success as they will do better the next time. They are an active breed but don’t need regular strenuous exercises.
To expel excess energy, they can be taken on long, brisk walks, play fetch, play with other dogs, etc. they can also be taken to ability and obedience classes to channel their energy in more productive works.
Who is the best human for a cocker spaniel?
The cocker spaniel enjoys exuberant emotions and indulging in various dog sports. They are affectionate and good-natured dogs, so they would thrive when you shower them with affection and good attention.
They are very adaptable and can even live well in apartments. Just ensure that every day they get their appropriate playtime and exercise. No matter what your lifestyle might be, a cocker spaniel can be your perfect companion.
Cocker Spaniel Health
Do Cocker Spaniels Have a Lot of Health Problems?
Although Spaniels have a reasonably long lifespan, they are not infallible. They are predisposed to several health conditions like skin and eye issues, as well as autoimmune diseases. They have drooping ears, which make them prone to ear issues as well.
What Diseases are Cocker Spaniels Prone To?
Hip and/or Elbow Dysplasia: Two of the most common skeletal diseases seen in canines are elbow and hip dysplasia. In terms of symptoms, they are very similar. The elbow or the hip joint either misshapen or grows abnormally.
The abnormal shape can create an issue in the movement as the sockets and joints won’t meet adequately. Instead of sliding smoothly, they will instead grind and rub with each other to cause difficulty in movement. In the case of hip dysplasia, the main trouble is joint instability.
In elbow dysplasia, cartilage or pieces of bone break loose and irritate the joint tissues. If not treated in time, then the rubbing from dysplasia can cause lameness, excessive pain, and secondary osteoarthritis.
If diagnosed before the advent of arthritis, then surgery can be done to fix the joint. If you adopt a cocker spaniel, then ensure that you get him checked with a vet first. Once you know whether it is prone to dysplasia or not, you can manage the exercises and activities accordingly.
Characterized by the heart muscles’ inability to contract correctly, Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a heart condition that ultimately leads to a decrease in blood pumping to the heart.
When your dog has this ailment, both of its heart chambers will become enlarged for working harder to get the blood through. The restricted blood flow due to extra stress on the heart often leads to congestive heart failure (CHF).
Some of the common symptoms are- a swollen abdomen, coughing, shortness of breath, lethargy, rapid breathing, anorexia, and temporary loss of consciousness.
Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA):
This occurs when the dog’s immune system destroys the red blood cells. Your dog might have an enlarged liver, which can be indicated by a swollen abdomen. Some of the common symptoms are jaundice, pale gums, lethargy, and can even faint. Most cocker spaniels do well with treatment.
Chronic Inflammatory Hepatic Disease:
Ongoing inflammation of the liver is termed as Hepatitis. In this disease, there will be an accumulation of inflammatory cells in the liver. This will cause fibrosis or excessive formation of fibrous tissue or scarring.
Although the liver is capable of repairing itself, it can get exhausted at some point. This will lead to scarring and eventually into permanent scarring or cirrhosis. Unless the progression can be stopped, this can ultimately lead to complete liver failure.
The common symptoms are- excessive thirst and urination, vomiting, weight loss, loss of appetite, and fluid build-up in the abdomen.
The cocker spaniels are prone to glaucoma, lens tumors, lens luxation, cataracts, and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy).
This breed is highly susceptible to ear infections due to their pendulous ears and hypothyroidism than any other breed. Other issues that affect the Cocker Spaniel are- patellar luxation, epilepsy, skin disorders, allergies, kidney problems and albinism (lack of pigmentation and melanin)
Purchasing vs. Adopting a Cocker Spaniel
How Much Does a Cocker Spaniel Cost?
Suppose you have been planning on getting a cocker spaniel for long that you must have known by now what it costs to get it from a breeder. It’s costly. On the other hand, adopting is more humanitarian and won’t put a hole in your pocket.
The expenses of caring for a dog before adoption will be about $300. But buying from a breeder will cost you anywhere between $700- $2000 depending on their breeding. Unless you have lots of cash to spare on getting a new member for your household, then adoption should be the route to go.
If you still want to buy a puppy, then do your research on the breeder if they are doing it ethically or not. The animals must be bred in safe and hygienic conditions. The puppy must go through health checkups before you bring it home. Do not trust a breeder who has no compassion for animal welfare and just doing it for business.
Where Can I Adopt a Cocker Spaniel?
The easiest and fastest way to adopt a Cocker Spaniel is to contact your local rescue or dog shelters. Prefer a rescue that specializes in Cocker Spaniels. You can search online for rescue centers near you and visit them personally to check on your preferences and knowledge about their conditions.
Getting a dog is a lifelong commitment. They might be a phase in your life, but you will be their entire life for them. Don’t be impulsive, and follow some trend to get a dog unless you want to care for it. Adopting or rescuing an animal will be a life-changing experience not only for you but for that animal as well.
You may also like to read: The history of the Cocker Spaniel, What you need to know before purchasing a Cocker Spaniel puppy or adult, I Really Like My Field Spaniel, When an English Springer Spaniel meets a Disable Kid