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History of the breed
Spaniel type of dogs have been around for around 500 years and were only separated into land and water spaniels. It wasn't until 1800s that more specific breeding began and the new classification between "springer" and "cocker" that formed the modern day type of spaniel we know today.
Working and show Cocker Spaniel (CS)
Currently CS are normally grouped into being a "working" or a "show" cocker, now both breeds are domestic but you will see slight variations between the pair. Working tend to have shorter less curly hair and slightly bigger build whereas show cockers tend to have the more fluffy curly hair and slightly thinner bodies. A key thing to note with working and show cockers is that working cockers tend to have their tails docked and show cockers don't, this practice used to be very common in all working but now its been phased out and is only done with working cockers which are actually used as working dogs. I've had 2 working cockers one as a child which had its tail docked and one now which didn't have it done and I have to say I love his tail so I'm glad it wasn't docked!
Spaniels of all types are of similar build. They are classed as medium dogs and tend to weigh between 12-15kg with working cockers normally being in the heavier part of the bracket. Spaniels come in a variety of colours, the most common being black, lemon roan, sable (red/brown), dark brown and a combination of two such as sable and black depending on their parents colour and other gene types. They are also known for their long floppy ears which hang down he side of their head. They are often described as perfect family dogs because of their good temperament around people, children and even other dogs or cats. They are very social dogs and don't like being left alone too long.
My experience with Cockers
So as mentioned above I've had 2 cockers in my life, both working males and the brown/red sable colour you often see. My first one was as a child called Woody, I was 2 when my parents got him so as I puppy I don't remember him much but as I grew up and my parents gave me my 2 younger sisters Woody became a great addition to the house as well as us, my mum also had a cat called Crunchie who lived with us before Woody so he got used to kids of different ages as well as cats. Woody was a great dog, he was what I call a one man dog because he loved my dad, he would follow my dad around the house and would only go for walks with him, very rarely if my dad was ill or at work and the dog was desperate would he go with my mum. As we all got older so did Woody, even in his latter years he was still a very active dog, going on long walks and playing round with us. He very rarely got ill, he had several of those grass dart type of things in his paw which got infected and an abscess on his gum from fighting but apart from that he was fine, I remember one morning coming down and he didn't seem himself, even my dad said he wasn't. He was struggling to walk around, getting tired even walking round the house, he went to the vets and had to be put to sleep aged 12. My dad said he had the dog form of leukaemia which is ironic in a way as my mother had passed away from the same illness 4 years previous. It was a really sad day and woody was a lovely dog.
When at home after Woody had died we never got another family dog, we had our old cat Sasha who we got after Crunchie died, Woody was about 5 when we got Sasha so again they were fine together. My dad often said Woody was his best friend and he was gutted when he had him put down and vowed never to have another dog again. I left home 6 years ago and 6 months later my dad and sisters moved into his partners house and she had a little terrier that didn't like Sasha so I had Sasha live with me. I decided to get a dog about 2 years ago, I am a very animal person, I don't have children (as of yet) and I wanted something to add to my numbers. I knew from my previous experience how good cockers were so in February last year I took the plunge and got one. His name is Charlie and is similar to Woody with the sable colour, although Charlie is not pure sable he has a white chest. The first few weeks and indeed months were tough there is not denying that! But he was a puppy all full of energy but equally loving and willing to learn. We attended a puppy training class which was great at teaching us the basics and even for a puppy most of the time he was very well behaved, the only time he got naughty was when we had visitors and he would jump up and if they sat down he would sit all over them, this however has been phased out and doesn't happen anymore. I also got a dog handler in earlier this year because he was being very cheeky at stealing socks and then getting possessive over them the dog handler used a collar which sprays a shot of air underneath their chin, it doesn't hurt but it was enough to make him listen so that was sorted out. Charlie is now nearly 2, he is a lovely dog. Below I will give further details on how I look after Charlie, every dog is different so this is only based on my experience.
Spaniels are very energetic dogs. As gun dogs the breed is used to being out "working" for many hours so they do need a decent amount of exercise. Charlie gets at least an hours walk each day. I take him out first thing, if its during the week normally its a 10 minute walk but if I'm up early as I don't sleep I will take him for a decent 30 minute walk. My flat mate takes him out again for a 30 minute walk or park trip late morning before she goes to work then I arrive home 5pm and he's back out again, depending on the time of year it might be the park or if its winter its a good road walk, he will go out again at around 8pm for another 10 minute walk. At weekends often we will go to up to the park in the morning depending on my plans for the day I try to get Charlie involved where I can because he does love going new places. At the park Charlie does have his own little group of "friends" and us owners all walk round chatting away so having him has introduced me to new people and when we go up to the park it is quite a social occasion for owners and dogs.
It is quite common for dogs to eat everything and anything until they are sick and some dogs are like that, not Charlie! I started him on dry food which he didn't seem to bothered by, he loved the cats wet food though so that had to get hidden! I've given a variety of wet and dry food over the past 18 months and he will go from loving one food to not being that bothered by it so I do have to change his food every so often. Currently he had butchers loaf tins which I add to dry mixer, I want him to still have some dry and its meant to reduce plaque and tartar build up. The dog handler advised on feeding him at set times if he hasn't eaten within 30 minutes then remove the food however Charlie and indeed myself seem to have fallen into our own routine, he eats a little in the morning but only if he's hungry then at night he could eat up to 2 tins of loaf with mixture. Charlie isn't so bothered by food, he will eat when he's hungry and only then, unless of course its a bit of chicken then he's all over me like a rash! He is also given the odd dog treat, its important to reward dogs when they comply so he is given "sweets" when he's a good boy, some people don't like to reward with treats so its up to the owner on how to reward.
Cockers have mid to long length fur and should really be groomed often. Charlie as a working cocker doesn't have overly curly hair but I brush him probably 3/4 times a week and this keep any mats or knots at bay. Brushing him is something he's had to get used to as he never liked it much but now he's very good and will let me brush him. He is given "the full works" at a local groomer, he used to get washed, blow dried, fur cut, nails cut and ears cleaned and this cost me £33 but she does a great job. Charlie really doesn't like the hairdryer so she now only cuts his fur/nails and ear clean for £28 but he is still sprayed with something because he smells lovely when he returns! He gets his grooming session every 8 weeks, at a push it can be 10 weeks but I wouldn't recommend going further as the fur on the legs does get very long however this will depend on the length you want/like.
Charlie's used to be a bit of a nightmare around adults and children, he didn't want to hurt them but he just assumed everybody was round to see him and so would jump up and generally be a pain, this has been curbed and now he is fine with both adults and children of all ages. Cats, he is still learning, I had to have my old cat Sasha put down so they never had much chance to bond but my sister has 2 cats and he is learning to be around them more, again he doesn't want to hurt them hes just curious about them but he no longer chases after them so he is getting better.
He doesn't like big lorries/vans/buses etc that drive past the noise seems to scare him, yet fireworks don't bother him. He was calm and content over bonfire week, when I did go out I left the radio on for him and he appeared to be fine and not distressed. I think because he is a gun dog his breed is used to the noise more.
Cockers do make great pets. The are social and loving dogs but they do need time and attention. I am lucky to have assistance off friends and family if needs be which is great. I wouldn't recommend this to somebody who cannot for whatever reason give them a decent run about/walk I often find that on days where I've been ill and he hasn't been out he is very hyper so it is important they get a good exercise every day. Charlie is now very good round children of all ages so as a family pet they are ideal.
I purchased my dog coco who was born on 11/26/2007 from companion cockers. Ever since I have purchased her she has had nothing but health problems because my vet said the people we purchased her from over breed there dogs. After doing everything we could for coco and spending thousands and thousands of dollars in medical bills we have to put her down. Companion cockers should be ashamed of what they do to dogs. I had sent emails and never heard anything back from them. My poor dog coco has had to go through so much because they over breed there dogs.No animal or family should have to go through this. She has severe seizures,cherry eyes,severe allergies , liver problems, urethral problems, this list goes on and on... Please stop over breeding your dogs.
Shelley-I bought her at 9 weeks old she snapped.at my older dog within moments of arrival.apparently Shelley bossed her mum around. O'Toole Shelley to puppy socialization classes they were extremely worried about Shelley's temperament I was getting very attached to eyelet and ignored advice to take her back to breeder. Shelley obeyed me 101%but did grumble at other family members she guarded my shopping my purse and my slippers and she would have bitten had anyone else touched them although I had no problems removing them from her Shelley was 100% with children as long as they weren't in garden or home she was same with other dogs. Shelley was that obediant she once got out the door when in season I said sit which to the disappointed.male dog she obeyed I wouldn't trust a solid near young children under ten but dogs shouldn't be left with young children respect must be on all sides Shelley was our to sleep agex and half with out her and I'm now looking for another solidcolour spanniel.an example; Shelley was once laid on a family members lap enjoyingtummy stroked without warning she leapt towards persons face I heard Shelley growlSpanniels are lovable pets but can be dominant. Their.cute looks make people give in to them luckily I knew what I was dealing and handled every situation. Shelley was good loyal per to me but I often wonder what wolimiuld have happened to that puppy had she gone to owners with limited knowledge. I will always miss Shelley
I love love LOVE Cocker Spaniels, and I think they are the most adorable looking dog ever. However, what a lot of people do not realise is they can have a few underlying medical problems, or aggression.
Originally recognised by the Kennel Club as a 'real' breed in 1946, Cocker Spaniels, are lively, dogs and need constant exercise! There are two types of English Cocker's Spaniels, the field, the working (which is why Cocker's are known to have docked tails), and the show type, usually long coats which touch the ground. They are known to be quite stubborn, but at the same time, are intelligent dogs. They are extremely loyal, and do often form a big attachment with their owners, making it difficult for them to be left alone. Their life span is around 11 - 12 years old, which is similar to other pure bred pedigree animals.
Spaniels have the quite obvious, long floppy ears, and when pulled in front, they are usually a little longer than their nose. Although these ears make them look cute and cuddly, they can manifest some of the health issues most common with the breed.
As their ears are long and floppy, there is not enough ventilation within the area to flush out any bacteria which may be harbouring around their ears, thus leading to an ear infection, which can be very painful for the dog.
It is always important to thoroughly dry you Cocker Spaniels ears after a bath, after a walk in the rain, after swimming etc., and to also brush the ears through too, so to get rid of any grass seeds/debris which could cause infection.
CHECK THE EARS REGULARLY, this takes just a few minutes, you just need to look out for the colour of the skin (a healthy pinky colour), do they smell?, is it free from discharge? If the answers are no, then your dog does not have an infection, a small amount of wax is possible and not alarming, however a large amount could indicate.
As mentioned earlier, it is quite common to see Cocker Spaniels with docked tails.
But please be aware that tail docking is now seen as banned in the UK, and will the dog will only be able to have a docked tail if the dog is only going to be used as a working dog, and the vets would need solid proof of this. If you are buying a puppy, and they have their tail docked, I would advise to ask for the paperwork from the vets to show it was done professionally, if not you could run the risk of getting a puppy with an illegally docked tail, which could lead to infection/future health problems.
This has been seen in a variety of breeds (Bull Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Lhasa Apso and Yorkshire Terriers), but is recognised in the Spaniels, and is sometimes referred to as Cocker Rage Syndrome. It most commonly seen in male, red cocker spaniels, but can be seen across the breed.
Rage syndrome is often believed that it is a mild form of epilepsy within the dog, which causes the dog to aggressively lash out, and this is due to the likelihood that the dog has low serotonin levels.
Now, please be aware, this is a very rare problem within Cocker Spaniels, so don't go completely off the breed, just bare it in mind if you are thinking about a Spaniel.
Other health problems:
- Night Blindness
- Kidney Failure
- Hip Dysplasia
- Retinal Atrophy
Although these problems can be seen in any breed of dog, they are still there for Cocker Spaniels and you still need to pay attention and actually think, what if my dog does end up with these? Can I cope? Can I afford it?
Yes they are uncommon, but uncommon doesn't mean impossible, and could very well happen!
I rescued a black and tan male Cocker Spaniel from a dogs home near where I live. He was 13months old when we got him, and had already been in 6homes!!!!! We noticed he was VERY hyper, which we expected, as we have owned the breed before, but Mojo definitely had his mojo, and a lot more! He's a very vocal little boy, and is OBSESSED with tearing up grass!
A few weeks after we adopted him, he had formed a major attachment to me, and thus we started witnessing attacks against my boyfriend, which was very hard to watch, but we dealt with it. Our way of handling this was the 'normal' way, and we sought professional help!
As mentioned earlier, there is the Cocker Rage Syndrome, which we believed Mojo had as the attacks he expressed were completely unprovoked, and we just couldn't see why he was acting out! After vets tests, it ruled out the rage syndrome, and instead put it down to just pure behavioural problems which could have escalated from family to family that he has been to in his short, but already eventful life!
We noticed Mojo was very 'food' orientated, and we managed to teach him a lot of tricks! He definitely lives up the the intelligent trait they are known to have! Mojo now knows, sit, lie down, cross paws, sit up, stand, pray, speak and crawl, and we have only had him for 10 months!
Mojo suffers from severe separation anxiety when I leave, I could only be gone for about half an hour and he would have gone to the toilet a few times, and will worry so much he is sick. It is hard to know that he hurts so much when we leave, but he is so happy when we return, and jumps straight up for a cuddle.
Even though we have had all of these aggression problems with Mojo, I would NEVER look back, and I would do it all over again if I had the chance. He is such a loving little dog 99.9% of the time, and is the most loyal dog I have ever met. The affection which he shows towards me and my boyfriend is unreal, and that is what pushes us to keep on trying with him, and never giving up! It is hard to deal with the way Mojo has treated us, but the love and affection he gives us is irreplaceable, and is possibly the best dog I have ever owned.
Mojo used to have the show cocker coat, which was long, soft and very beautiful. Unfortunately, it wasn't ideal for Mojo, as he was constantly swimming, running in puddles etc, and his fur became matted, and he wasn't very helpful when we were trying to groom him as he saw it as a game more than anything else! So we took him to be professionally clipped, and he now has very short hair!
Mojo has bought me and my boyfriend such joy, and with the problems that he has, we have decided to put off having our own family until he has passed. We would never forgive ourselves if he was to lash out at a little baby if we had one, and we couldn't bear the thought of having him put to sleep, or re-homed.
After reading all of the above information, even the problems I have had with my dog (which we thought when we adopted him, wouldn't happen to us!) answer these questions:
Could you give a Cocker Spaniel a loving home?
Could you provide the care he/she needs?
Could you manage if you were to have an aggressive cocker, and could you accept the fact that in a family the dog is more likely to have a strengthened bond to one person, which could or could not be you?
Can you manage the constant exercise they need?
If you feel like this has helped you, then I'm happy I could help.
If you've decided that the Cocker Spaniel is still the breed for you, I am happy for you, and I hope that the dog is everything you want and more!
If unfortunately you have decided the Cocker is not for you, then somewhere out there is your perfect dog.
When I was little, we got our first dog, he was a black and white cocker spaniel, I have now grown up with him and I can honestly say that he was the perfect dog for us! Cocker Spaniels vary in cost, I think we got Harry for around £500, which I don't think is too bad for a friend for 12 years! I think Cocker spaniels live for between 11 and 15 years. Harry is now 12.
Cocker Spaniels are brilliant with children. Me and my brother and sister always had friends coming round to play, and Harry was excellent with all young children, he would never bite anyone as he was such a gentle dog, and most cocker spaniels that I have ever met have been loving and gentle.
However Cocker Spaniels do need a lot of exercise, so if you can't walk them a lot then I wouldn't really recommend this dog. We walked Harry about every day when he was younger, but now he is getting older, so we tend to walk him every other day. Even though he is old he still loves his walks, and although he is a bit slow, he can still go on a 45 minute walk.
When Harry was 10 we decided to get another dog, and Harry was fine with our new dog. Most Cocker Spaniels get on fine with other dogs without any problems, I have never known a Cocker Spaniel to be mean to other dogs.
When Harry was a bit younger, he was full of life. He would go racing round our garden, go fetch sticks, and he just loved being played with. Cocker Spaniels love the attention of human beings, and they just love being loved! However now Harry is getting on, he just likes to sleep and eat, which is fair enough he is 84 in human years!
What I like about Cocker Spaniels is their size. I find they are the perfect size, they are not too small, yet there are not too big. Also when we first got Harry he wasn't too hard to train, he can do all the simple tricks such as, sit, down and stay. And he can do a few others like paw, twirl, and jump!
However a problem with Cocker Spaniels is they need a lot of maintenance. They regularly need clipping, as they get quite a big thick coat, and in the summer this is too hot for them. Also they need a bath every so often as they can get quite smelly. And since Harry has got older his nose has got a lot more crusty and his eyes get gunky every so often! But once you have cleaned them, he looks a lot better!
I love Cocker Spaniels so much, they are brilliant with young children, they are fun to play with, and if you give them love, they give you so much love back! I always remember whenever I get upset and cry, Harry would come up to me, and nudge me, like he was comforting me, he always cheered me up.
When it's Harry's time to leave the world, it will be very sad, it would be like losing a best friend. Cheesy I know, but so true. He has been the perfect dog for our family, and I would strongly recommend his as a family dog to own!
Thanks for reading my review!
Shaggy, a ten year old golden spaniel girl, adobted me when she were about 2 years old. Highly intelligent, pleasing and loving. Perhaps the three strongest charistics, but definately not the only. Words cannot describe a soul that showed more integrity than most humans I ever met. I always knew the love between us were strong, but I sometimes wondered how she saw me. Today I am heartbroken and still extremely sad. My love past away 2 weeks ago after becoming very ill of biliary and a week in intensive care. She could not fight the illness anymore and we decided it better if she would wait for me in dreamland. She previously tried to speak to me with a human voice, as the parrot do, but could only manage to do that shortly after she went to dreamland. Wide awake I heard "du" and again "du". I could not make anything from it, untill the next morning when I heard it clearly "duddy" pronounced as we sometimes pronounced her name, Shuggy-doo instead of Shaggy. I am so proud. My heart is filled with her love, but should somehow a small space become available, I will definately reserve it for a golden spaniel.
I've had my Golden Cocker Spaniel for 10 years now since she was a puppy and I honestly believe this is the best dog for young children. Spaniels are small, playful dogs that enjoys the company of others. We've never had any problems with our dog (Georgia), even with small children in the house (ages 2 and 6), she's let them play with her and give her food with no objection what so ever.
I would highly recommend a Cocker spaniel to any family that has children and wants a small dog to potter around the house. The only criticism I have with her is she can be noisy. She never barks but has a very distinctive whinge. At first I believed this was only my dog but I have heard the same noise applies to other cocker spaniels.
Overall she is a loveable pet that not only is man's best friend but a best friend for all the family, young and old, and would advise anyone wanting a pet to love to buy one.
So here's where I get to brag/boast about my gorgeous five year old golden Cocker Spaniel! His name is Benji and he is extremely active. He will walk forever and a day, romping over fields, sticking his nose in bushes, diving in ponds, rivers and seas - he really is an adventurer! He's even been in the Peak District caves.
The thing I love most about Benji is how he has changed my life. For years I wanted a dog, I kept asking my parents but the answer was always "no". Then, at the grand old age of 23 (yes I was still living at home at 23) I wore them down and they said "yes". So what breed did I want? I had no idea, the only thing I knew was it was to be a boy called Benji because as a kid I loved watching the Benji films on TV.
So I started my research, using books and the Internet I narrowed my search down to the loveable Spaniel group. Hmmm, Springers are extremely energetic - they're out. Which left either a Cocker Spaniel or a Cavalier King Charles. CKCs are very yappy I read, well that's it then, a Cocker it is! We were told about some puppies through a contact and went to pick one. I was so excited, he was just 10 weeks old and such a cutie.
Five years on and I've lost eight stone through lots of walks and play, (plus watching what I eat and aerobics) I met and moved in with my boyfriend and we've just got engaged. It was a long way from the shy, overweight blob that I used to be, now I'm much more confident and fit.
So basically Benji is my best friend, personal trainer and an excellent listener. I'm not saying he's perfect, he pulls on the lead, barks at strangers and howls when he's left on his own. Plus I have to trim his coat every couple of months which he hates... But when he's lying on his back wanting his tummy tickled or bringing me his favourite teddy to play with I just have to forgive him all his naughty ways and give him a big hug and say "thank you" for changing my life.
I enjoyed your review and it is very refreshing to hear the good, the bad and the ugly of these lovely dogs. Having been a greyhound owner and fan for many years, myself and my 17 year old son recently added to our 2 greyhound, 2 cat and 2 chicken family. We came by an 18month tan cocker called Lucy (laterly named Womble) who was abandoned in a local kennel. Knowing nothing of her background or personality we took her in and she has made us laugh from the day she arrived. From her total adoration for our very large male greyhound with whom she plays endlessly, to the way she lays on the sofa flat on her back with all her paws in the air, snoring very loudly, she has been a delight. She has a full and constantly waging tail. Her only faults so far it would seem are that we do have the occasional wee and she is prone to small bouts of being rather cross though these disappear as quickly as they come. Being in a grown up family however this poses no problem to us whatsoever. She is adored by all who meet her. I would not recommend her for a family with small children but for us she is just perfect!
I have been an owner of a Tri coloured cocker spaniel for two years now, and have found that they make friendly and loyal family pets. As a new pup, being introduced to a new home it took a couple of months to get used to a routine, but as a new dog owner I would say much was the same for myself as well. Spaniels are people lovers, they love the company of familiar people around them, so a potential owner should be aware that these types of dogs, as with most will need a lot of your time and attention, being left alone for long periods of time isn't really ideal, so if no one is going to be at home with your dog for example if you work full time, seriously consider whether a spaniel (at this moment in time) is the best for you. It took a while for my young spaniel to realize that cushions, and sides of the beds were not it's own personal chew toys, but as it has got older it has matured a bit, and just goes for the letters now but, it's his own way of telling me as the owner to pay him some attention. Rawhide and a variety of chew toys keeps him occupied and away from things that he is not supposed to chew. Beware of giving them the cheap chew toys though, because no sooner as I gave my spaniel these types of toys were they in bits, in seconds. I found that Spaniels don't take well to car travelling even the shortest of trips, my spaniel has always been sick when travelling like this, so we hardly ever travel this way, and tend to favour lengthy, walks instead. My spaniel is a long haired spaniel, so with this type of dog, in total from bathing to brushing and drying him, it takes up to two hours. Brushing his coat daily is a must to prevent knotting and matting. With his long ears as well, care has to be taken to clean at least every other day because this breed of dog is prone to ear infections. Spaniels absolutely love their food, and sometimes with a treat here and there it is easy to over feed your spaniels, but caution has to be excerted as spaniels are also prone to heart problems, so it's best for your spaniel that you are careful about what he has to eat. From time to time, has his dizzy moments, where he will race up and down the living room at high speeds for about twenty seconds, and this I cannot explain! As a family pet, with a lot of affection to give, as long as they get as much time and attention back I would recommend spaniels as great pets.
I have had Oscar, my cocker spaniel, since he was a puppy. I struggled to choose him from his brothers and sisters as they were all so gorgeous but he seemed to be the most mischevious one and kept approaching us every time we went to visit ( he was too small to take home when we first chose him so we visited a few times before we could take him).
I got oscar last september so he has just turned one and he is still as mischeivous as he was before but he is a really good dog. Cocker spaniels are loving, cute and clever. However, make sure that they know who the boss is straight away as they can become cheeky.
At first, Oscar used to bite everything but he gradually stopped and instead tends to snooze a lot more now. We trained him from a puppy and he is house trained and can also do a number of tricks.
Cocker spaniels need maintaing...there fur can bcome knotted so you have to make sure that you regularly wash them and occasionally bath them. They need cutting every few months... more so in the summer as they become very hot. Oscar eats basically anything but dog food is his normal diet. Oscar has had no health problems...touch wood.
If you are thinking about getting a cocker spaniel, i would really recommend it as they make a great loving and caring family pet.
There are two types of Spaniel, the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel.
Although I do not have a cocker spaniel, I am planning on getting one as soon as I have a house. My friends got a black cocker spaniel at Christmas called Charlie and I love him to pieces!
Charlie was quiet for the first couple of days after being introduced to his new home as he was a little nervous. It wasnt long however before he was becoming mischevious and lovable and showing his adorable personality.
Cocker spaniels are relatively easy to train and within two days of being with my friends he was barking to be let outside when he needed to go to the toilet. Accidents inside the house did occur but always on the paper in the kitchen, bless!
Cocker spaniels are well known for their intelligent, happy dispositions and make very lovable pets. However, it should be noted that some cocker spaniels have suffered with Rage Syndrome which is when a dog attacks suddenly and savagely, without any warning. I was surprised when I heard this, becasue Cocker Spaniels are so cute and placid seeming but I assume that it doesnt affect many and it certainly hasnt affected Charlie from what I can see.
Until a cocker spaniel puppy has had its jabs it can play in the garden. Once the nescessary vaccinations have been administered, they can go for short walks and once they are around 6 months old they can go for longer walks. Most adult Cocker Spaniels will be very happy having a brisk walk for about 30 minutes morning and evening.
I once heard that, although this should not be a regular occurance, if you are unable to take a dog on a lengthy walk, they should at least be taken out for a shorter walk as to a dog going for a walk is like reading the newspaper, ie catching up on what is going on in the world.
Because cocker spaniels' ears hang downwards, it helps to protect the inner ear from water entering inside. Their ears should be checked daily to ensure that there is no grass etc inside which could cause problems.
Having a dog is meant to reduce stress by 22% and I can well believe this. They are friendly, lovable companions who seem to know when you need company. As my other half works abroad a lot, I am looking forward to the day that I come home to be greeted by my bouncy cocker spaniel (we are going to get a black one and call him Sweep).
And while we are out of the house, we are lucky to have lots of friends who can take Sweep for walks during the day and due to the nature of my job I will be able to visit regularly throughout the day and for 6 months of the year my boyfriend will be at home
Well - I have talked at length about Moses ( my Collie cross), Bingo, my Cairn Terrier and mentioned Mollie, my Yorkie.
But now, at the risk of boring the pants off non-dog lovers, I would like to tell you a bit about my Black and white Cocker Spaniels; Nelson and Monty, both of which were as different as chalk is from cheese, especially in the health department.
But First, a little about Spaniels in general.
Essentially, there are ten spaniel breeds, but the four most familiar breeds are; the Springer, King Charles, English Cocker and American Cocker Spaniel. Of the four breeds, the Springer is the most bouncy and energetic, the King Charles Spaniel is the smallest. The English and American Cocker Spaniels, generally being the more placid of the four and the American spaniel a smaller version of the English cocker. All spaniels have long, wide ears which droop down to the shoulder. The actual length of the ear lobe is about four inches, but appears much longer because of the feathering effect of their fur.
The first Cocker spaniels were imported from America in the 1880s and because of their short, sturdy and compact bodies, which are capable of considerable speeds, they were bred mainly as gun-dogs for sporting activities such as fetching pheasants and rabbits shot by hunters. Although today, they are more likely to be trained as 'Sniffer dogs,' working with police or other security networks. The remainder, of course, become our faithful buddies.
The Cocker Spaniel head is dome shaped, those appealing, dark brown coloured eyes are slightly almond shaped. The ears are set on a line level with the lower lid of the eye, and droop towards the shoulders and often are seen almost touching the ground. (usually in show dogs.) The muzzel is broad and deep; the upper lips droop and overlap the lower jaw.
They have strong muscular bodies, standing about fifteen inches high, their body length about twenty inches. The tail, being almost as long again. But for potential working dogs only, the tails, I believe are docked at birth,
The breed come in a variety of colours; for example, brown, black, black and tan, blue roan, black and white and liver and white. The coats can grow very long and thick so will need a great deal of care and attention to prevent matting.
QUALITIES AND TEMPERAMENT
Cockers are highly intelligent, and respond well to training for they seem to have an intuitive knowledge of their master's mood. They are also very manipulative.
They have a sweet temperament, are good with children and extremely loyal to their masters. My two Cockers have shown that to be true, but more on that later.
A throw back from their gun-dog instincts to fetch game, maybe seen in their desire to carry items in their mouths, such as newspapers, rocks, sticks or mouth-sized logs. My two would be forever bringing the outside into my home - I could have built a rockery with all the stones that had passed through my doorways, in their lifetimes, and as for newspapers; part of our morning walk was to fetch the paper. Both would want to carry it home - all well and good, as long as it wasn't raining. If it was - TOUGH! Neither would let go until we arrived home, the paper by then resembling a long, drooping Mexican moustache.
The manipulative trait in their personalities was all too plain to see.
If I dropped an item, it was a race between me and the spaniel to pick it up, the dog usually won. He would take it to the kitchen where I kept their 'treats' and only give the item back to me on the command "Swap?" - more of a question than a command. They would then release the object into my hand and take the treat offered as a swap. Cunningly clever and not at all unusual.
Unfortunately, with all the inbreeding that occurred in the late 1930s, many of the Cocker related problems still occur. The most common in Cockers are:
Some Cockers are prone to ear infections because debris such as seeds, hair and mites are trapped beneath the large drooping lobes. The ear canal drops at right angles, so any infected materials cannot escape easily, and often making treatment long and difficult.
Monty was troubled by this and had his ear canal resected, before the infection was successfully treated.
Some Cockers are prone to ingrowing eyelashes, an extremely painful condition. I don't know the medical term for it, but it is where the eye lashes grow inwards towards the eye ball causing scaring and blindness if not treated.
Monty was also stricken with that problem which thankfully, was quickly and successfully resolved with an operation to pull the lid up and back from the eye.
I have not met a Cocker Spaniel that is not hungry, even after having a dish full of food. Both Monty and Nelson were piggy in that respect and would eat whatever was put in front of them and still want more. When I say 'eat,' I meant 'sucked' straight past their teeth and down their throats, as in the actions of a strong vacuum cleaner.
So Cockers are prone to becoming overweight.
Poor Monty, he was allergic to Gluten and also had a yeast infection, so had to be fed gluten free foods and where possible yeast free foods, and bathed using a special ( expensive) shampoo.
Although not that common, I believe that the tan coloured Cockers, are more prone to developing epilepsy than most. Fortunately neither of my dogs did.
The loyalty of Cocker spaniels to their owners is second to none. This has been demonstrated to me on two occasions by each of my own spaniels, Nelson and Monty.
Nelson, a black and white Cocker spaniel, was born in 1984. He was the 'runt' of a litter of seven, but in fact he turned out the healthiest. He had a tiny white patch in his eye, and so the breeders called him Nelson and sold him to me for £30, because "He was no good" as breeding stock according to the breeder.
I bought it for my mother, who lived 120 or so miles away, she had just lost her dog, so I thought Nelson would help her get over the loss a bit more quickly.
A year later, my sister told me that Nelson was too strong for my parents to handle, so I fetched him and kept him for myself. He settled down well, but whenever I took him home to my parents for a visit, he would not go anywhere without them, they could take him for walks, but I couldn't unless they came with us. His loyalty to them had not diminished one iota, even when apart.
Monty, also a black and white Cocker spaniel, was born in 1995, a few months after I lost Nelson. His demonstration of loyalty became evident when he was ailing with kidney failure eleven years later. He was very poorly, but still bright-eyed, I needed to go into town to fetch some special diet for him, but not wanting to leave him on his own, I asked a kind neighbour and friend to us all, to just sit with him until I returned. I changed out of my 'doggy-clothes' into more appropriate clothing. At this point Monty would always know that I was about to leave for a short while. This time, he threw his head back, and for the first time ever, he howled, a long piercing howl. I had to change back into my 'doggy-clothes' before he would stop. It was plain to see that he did not want me to leave him. I lost him the following day, when his eyes no longer shone, the vet was called in to help him into the next world.
I leave you with a poem I wrote about his frequent visits to the vets. It just about sums up the characteristics of a Cocker spaniel - sweet, manipulative, loyal, and appreciative. I think Monty had most of the ailments common to Cocker spaniels, but for the best part of his life he was happy, which made me happy too. I will always remember him and miss both him and Nelson. Each dog takes a piece of me with them when they die.
~~~~A letter To The Vets From A Cocker Spaniel~~~
You know me as Monty and other names too,
Like Treasure and soldier or My-chickaroo.
I am sometimes called Grumpy, Stubborn or Pest,
Which seems to apply when I'm not at my best.
Well - I've been plagued on and off for several years
with problem eyes and very sore ears,
Then to add to my troubles;I'm forced to endure,
long trips in the car, which unsettles me more.
I yowl and growl - but always in vain,
For I know we'll end up at the vets - yet again.
Oh if only my owner would listen to me,
then she might understand my heart-rending plea.
More food's what I need to cure all my ills,
Not injections, ear drops or pink and white pills.
Although - on reflection, I s'pose, must admit,
that since all these visits, I feel fairly fit.
Perhaps its' the smiles and kind, tender care
I receive at the surgery from everyone there.
More like - it's the increase in tit-bits I get,
but my owner says "No - it's all down to the vet."
So- just in case what she says may be true
I'm sending my thanks to each one of you,
with some pigs ears and bones to enjoy with your tea,
Originally bought by my owner for me.
But - I'd be grateful, however, regarding my meals,
if you're mindful how good an extra snack feels
and so understand that you have to keep quiet,
else my owner will put me straight back on a diet.
For if, by chance, she is wrong and I'm right,
a reduction in food could well worsen my plight.
Rosie is the second cocker spaniel in my family - and I absolutely adore her. She is now 7 months old and literally a ball of black and white fur. We bought her from a breeder locally at about 9 weeks and she has been my best friend ever since. Cocker spaniels seem to tune to your emotions - she knows when I'm hurt, sad, happy or angry. They are also great family dogs. Showdogs as opposed to working dogs need less walking, which is good as we live in the town. Rosie is playful and energetic, there is never a dull moment with her. But beware - when a spaniel turns on the puppy eyes she gets what she wants!
Molly, the first of our two spaniels, is nearing 8. She is still a bundle of energy, though has matured since Rosie arrived. Cocker spaniels can deal really well with other spaniels and Molly has been so motherly towards Rosie. They get on really well and Rosie is always badgering Molly to play 'ball'.
Cocker spaniels are by far my favourite breed of dog; they are cute, easy to train, attentive, family-friendly and loving - once you've tried a cocker you'll never try anything else, (well, at least I won't!).
We have a beautiful three years old blue roan called Jess. She is a faithful companion but for some reason occasionally takes a dislike to my husband. This takes the form of overprotection of me and she can be very aggressive towards him. There is no reason for this and it does not happen all the time. We have tried the usual remedies he has now taken over feeding her we walk her together but I am the one with the lead. We would really appreciate some help from other Cocker owners as we have always had a pet dog and sometimes two dogs in our 36 years of marriage so feel we are knowledgeable and kind owners. We are also now retired so Jess is not left alone for long and has plenty of exercise. Where are we going wrong?Help would be appreciated please.