It’s soft and cuddly. It’s absolutely adorable. It comes in so many colors. It is always there. These are just some of the common qualities between a cocker spaniel and a cloud, primarily the appearance. Its mainly because of their curled up thick coat. These cute little darlings are become extremely common everywhere. They are incredibly friendly and lovable. Their size makes them a viable choice in with the reducing home sizes in the growing cities. They are beautiful in their own right, and so poised, no wonder they are a regular feature at dog shows and the like.
Originally bred as hunting dogs, their name was derived from their use as a preferred choice for hunting the Eurasian Woodcock. It was first bred in the United Kingdom, where they were known as the English Cocker Spaniel. Eventually they were brought in to the USA and there a new breed originated, called the American Cocker Spaniel, where they were trained to hunt the American Woodcock. Both the breeds have similar coat colors and health issues with a few exceptions. Their existence can be dated to as far back as the 14th century. From here they were exported to various other countries in time and their popularity began its ascent. Spaniels may be considered related to hounds and originating from Spain, lending it the name. They were often bred as gun dogs. With their strong sense of smell they could not only find prey and instigate them into flight, only to be shot down by the gunmen, but the cocker spaniels sight smell were so sound, that they could also find and retrieve the bird with a soft mouth.
Cocker spaniels were first classified as such, if the Spaniels weighed less than 25kgs. This was until the year 1901, after which the weight range changed and accommodated larger or heavier dogs too. According to the current standards, a typical male grows to a height of 37-41 centimeters, whereas a female could grow as tall as 34 to 39 centimeters, based on their breed. The English Cocker Spaniel tends to be taller than its American counterpart. The English variety has a narrower head and chest, whereas the American has a shorter back and muzzle and a domed head. An English cocker spaniel weighs from 13 to 15 kilograms and the American breed weighs between 11-14kgs. There have been several instances when a cocker spaniel was awarded the best in show at some of the most prestigious dog shows of the world.
Cocker spaniels come in a variety of colors to satisfy and indulge all preferences. Black, liver, white, red and golden are some of the most common solids. But at the same time, cocker spaniels are available as a blend of these colors as well, such as roans, tans and sometimes even tricolors. All- white cocker spaniels are extremely rare, and are often specially bred, but sometimes a darker parent could also give birth to an all-white cocker spaniel. Cocker spaniels are ranked amongst the most popular breeds, both in the US and the UK, and it only seems to be increasing. Cocker spaniels are also categorized as those with show strains and working strains. Show strains as the name suggests, are bred almost exclusively for the purpose to conform to standards as part of dog shows. The working strain on the other hand is meant only for their working ability. They tend to be larger with flatter heads, shorter ears, and less feathering compared to their show strain counterparts.
Cocker spaniels with their long floppy ears are prone to several defects of the ear canal along with the regular ailments common amongst dogs. The fold of the ear prevents air from entering the ear, making the atmosphere warm and susceptible to growth of unwanted organisms. Ear inflammation, swelling, can cause the ear to get shut. This can be caused due to parasites, microorganisms, foreign bodies, tumors, ear mites, ticks or even fleas that live and fester in a dog’s ear canal. Yeast infections are extremely common, hence adequate care needs to be taken, if you notice inflammation or pus-discharge. A foul odor, unusual shaking or scratching of the head by the dog is also a sure sign of something being wrong. Other common ailments include hip displasia, cancer, and even eye disorders. PRA or progressive retinal atrophy has been documented in many dogs, and affect’s a dog’s eyesight. In severe cases, it could even cause blindness, which could also be caused by glaucoma. Cataracts are also fairly common.
Cocker spaniels with their joyful, friendly demeanor, love the company of humans. They are playful and energetic and are loved by kids especially because of that soft, shiny, huggable coat. Their size and adaptability makes them a favorite choice as pets in most households, as that signifies that they are low maintenance. This does not reduce the rewards that one reaps as a sign of their love, loyalty and gratitude towards you. They can be amazing companions for individuals, and are amazing family dogs. They love to play outdoors and are amazing partners to health fans. one really doesn’t need any other reason to fall irrevocably in love with this breed.