In January 2021, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge became the center of newspaper headlines not for political reasons but for their enchantment with the Cocker Spaniel puppies gifted to them.
Yes, the royal family is famous for their love of dogs and the Cambridges, it seems, are partial to Cocker Spaniels.
A little research shows that this dog breed is popular with royalty and celebrities alike. The Cocker Spaniel (pronounced as KAH-kur-SPAN-yuhl) is a popular pet choice among celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Watts, Charlize Theron, and George Clooney.
This lively, gentle, and sweet-natured dog can easily adapt to any living conditions and surroundings as long as its daily exercise is not compromised. As the name “cocker” suggests, they were bred in England for hunters to flush out woodcocks for them.
Given their handsome appearance and amicable personality, it is unsurprising that these dogs are among the most popular dogs in England and USA. They are just the perfect size for families who would like a mid-sized dog that is great with kids. The fact that they are highly affectionate and relatively easy to train makes them the perfect pet.
About The Cocker Spaniel
The Cocker Spaniel was among the few dog breeds that accompanied pilgrims on the Mayflower responsible for transporting passengers to the new world from England back in 1620.
Before Labrador and Golden retrievers set the new high bar of “kid-friendly” canine companions, Cocker Spaniel was the most popular and beloved breed.
If you want to know more about this charming dog breed that managed to steal the heart of some of your favorite celebrities, then keep on reading. We are going to share everything from Cocker Spaniel Temperament Problems to Cocker Spaniel shedding habits and everything you would want to know about Cocker Spaniel puppies.
Origin and History
The Cocker Spaniel is a charming dog breed thought to have originated in Spain. It is noteworthy that the word spaniel is derived from Spain, which gives this idea clout. These dogs were first bred to be bird hunters before rifles were invented. These hunting dogs were used in tandem with nets to hunt and catch birds.
For more than a few centuries, British and European spaniels were grouped informally as water spaniels and land spaniels. However, spaniels were officially classified in the 19th century when field trials, dog shows, written breed standards, and the concept of the purebred dog gained popularity in England.
One of the breeds that were classified was the Cocker (named so because they were used for hunting wood-cockers). These were larger than English toy spaniels but smaller than English Springer Spaniels. Today we know them as Cocker Spaniels.
After the Cocker Spaniel traveled to the new world, the breed diverged into two varieties named American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel. Both are mostly the same, except that the English version is slightly taller than its American counterpart.
The Cocker Spaniel breed is quite popular in North America, Europe, and England alike. However, Cocker Spaniels like Brucie, who won Westminster’s best dog in 1940 and 1941 consecutively, and Lady from “Lady and the Tramp” have made it mainstream.
The Cocker Spaniel became America’s favorite during the 1950s, so much so that Cocker spaniel was named the most popular dog of the decade by the AKC.
There are only a few dog breeds as handsome and charming as the Cocker Spaniel.
This medium-sized canine is categorized as a sporting dog that has a well-rounded head, a pronounced stop, a broad muzzle, and even square jaws. The Cocker Spaniel has dark eyeballs with almond-shaped eye rims accompanied by nicely feathered and low-set long ears.
Moreover, it has straight legs with a tail that is often docked. Their coat is wavy yet quite silky. They usually have short hair on the head and medium-long hair on the rest of their body. There is also feathering on the abdomen, chest, ears, and legs.
Cocker Spaniel puppies look very much like their full-grown versions, only more adorable! Right from birth, they have a well-proportioned face, a beautiful coat of slightly wiry hair, and eyes that demand love.
Cocker Spaniel size
The Cocker Spaniel is categorized as a medium-sized dog, but it is slightly on the small side of the spectrum. They usually grow up to 14-15 inches tall and weigh around 20 to 30 pounds on average. However, some Cockers may weigh more than that.
Cocker Spaniel puppies weigh 8 to 10 ounces at birth, but they gain weight quickly and weigh 4 times as much in just a few short months.
Cocker Spaniel Temperament
The Cocker Spaniel is a sweet-tempered, friendly, and affectionate dog breed. You will find your Cocker Spaniel playing with the kids, participating with immense excitement in dog games, and cuddling with you while you lounge on the bed or sofa.
The Cocker is a big softie who responds well to love and attention. Stay away from harsh training or negative reinforcement, as this breed may take it to heart. Cockers may suffer from physical and psychological issues if they face harsh treatment or if they live in unloving homes.
Their easy-going personality and sweet disposition make them great dogs to train. You will love to train these beauties as they listen attentively, execute your commands with intelligence, and are always ready to play.
We advise you to train your Cocker Spaniel puppies as soon as they are 6 – 8 weeks old. All in all, Cockers are friendly, eager to train, and fun to have.
Cocker Spaniel Types
There are two Cocker Spaniel breeds:
- The English Cocker Spaniel
Born and bred in Britain, this variety is slightly taller than its Yankee counterpart.
- The American Cocker Spaniel
Born and bred in the United States of America, they are slightly smaller in size than the English Cocker Spaniel but no less affectionate.
English Cocker Spaniel Vs. American Cocker Spaniel
There is hardly any difference between the two breeds, but if we are being picky, then we can say that the American Cocker Spaniel has a short muzzle, narrowed eyes, and small ears, whereas the English Cocker Spaniels are known to have a longer muzzle, wider eyes, and longer ears.
Cocker Spaniel Colors
Most Cocker Spaniels are solid-colored. However, you will also see Cockers in parti-color (two colors). Some of the standard colors are:
- White with red or buff,
- White along with black and tan points,
- White with tan points.
Cocker Spaniel Life Span
The kind little fellows usually live long enough to enjoy 12 to 15 years of life.
Are Cocker Spaniel Hypoallergenic?
No, as they have a coat of medium-length fur, they are prone to shed. Their shedding spreads the dander that causes allergies.
What Can I Expect When Caring for A Cocker Spaniel?
Owning a dog is not just fun and games; it comes with great responsibility. Your little canine companion will be dependent on you for food, shelter, and, more than anything, care and affection.
As there are certain things, you have to be careful about while caring for a Cocker Spaniel, like training them well from the start and making sure they do not get the small dog syndrome, or things can get tricky.
Here are some of the things that you should consider raising happy Cocker Spaniels:
Cocker Spaniels are healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are vulnerable to certain diseases; these are:
- Eye problems like Cataracts, Glaucoma, Progressive Renal Atrophy, and dry eye
- Ear problems like vestibular disease, hematoma, otitis, etc.
- Growths and tumors such as abscesses, cysts, mast cell tumors, lipomas, etc.
- Hemolytic anemia: a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can make them result in blood definitely or anemia.
- Idiopathic epilepsy, which is characterized by seizures
- Patellar Luxation; characterized by inflammation, dislocation, or injury in the knee joint
- Allergies: food, contact, or inhalant allergies may cause respiratory problems
- Hypothyroidism: The thyroid gland malfunctions, resulting in obesity, hormonal imbalance, etc.
- Primary Seborrhea: in which the skin produces more oil than required and makes the skin greasy and foul-smelling
To ensure that dog remains healthy for as long as possible, you must first ensure that you obtain them from a certified breeder.
Some breeders follow unorthodox breeding practices resulting in the birth of Cocker Spaniel puppies who are more vulnerable to disease and injury from birth. It’s best to ask for the medical record of both parents of the litter before you get a Cocker Spaniel puppy.
Secondly, when you get your puppy, have it vaccinated at the recommended times. Unvaccinated pups are more vulnerable to disease.
Finally, make sure that you give healthy and nutritious food to your dog and exercise it so that it remains healthy.
It is essential to groom your Cocker Spaniel puppies regularly. If you miss grooming sessions frequently, you will end up with tons of tangles.
Since the Cocker Spaniels have a lush coat of medium to long length hair, grooming can be pretty intense and expensive. We suggest you take your Cocker to professional groomers every 6 – 8 weeks for a bath and trim.
However, you don’t get off that easy! You must also comb your dog’s hair every day to avoid tangles and matting. You will need a metal comb with find ends and medium spacing to brush them daily.
Be careful while combing the fur on their ears, as too much pressure can cause damage. Moreover, make sure to clean the ears and clean beneath their nails.
The fact that Cocker Spaniels were meant to be hunting gods shows that they are quick, energetic, and have lots of stamina. They need a regular and good amount of exercise daily. So, as long as you keep taking them on long walks daily, they would be happy.
Be careful when you take them for walks, as things can tangle easily in their silky coats. Make sure the dog is behind or alongside you. Do not let them lead as in their mind, the leader leads the way, and that should be the human, not your Cocker Spaniel.
Some dog owners wait till their puppies are older to start their exercise. However, Cocker Spaniel puppies are quite active; you can start light exercises after they are 6 – 8 weeks old.
Your Cocker Spaniel will do well if he keeps getting 1.5-2.5 cups of good quality dry dog food daily. They have a good and hearty appetite, and they often overeat.
They do tend to pressure their human to give them more treats and tidbits, using their big brown eyes as a weapon. Do not be trapped! Stand your ground as an overweight Cocker Spaniel is an unhealthy one.
Cocker Spaniels like to please people, especially the family they live with. They prefer to be liked by people, and to do so; they try to be well-behaved dogs.
Their people-pleasing nature makes them excellent for training; they are quite responsive and sensitive to corrections and can sense when their owner is not pleased.
They like challenges and all the things that require physical activity. It is a good initial step to start with any available activities to see which ones your canine friend likes more and start their training from there. They are easy to motivate with play and praise as well as with food.
Cocker Spaniel – The Perfect Pet for Your Family
In the last 2 years, many of us have welcomed canine friends to our homes, so much so that the Kennel Club reported an approximate rise of 8% in dog ownership during 2020.
However, having as many as 221 options of pedigree dog breeds and countless unregistered dog breeds makes the task a little complicated. You try to think it through before deciding because let’s face it, we have seen families choose the breed that is not suitable for their household and things getting messy for the family and the pet.
You might want a large and energetic dog if you live a reasonably active lifestyle, whereas Shih Tzu would be a perfect choice for someone who lives a rather laid-back life. However, one dog that seems to be on the top of many people’s wish-list is the Cocker Spaniel.
This medium-sized dog is adored by many in the U.S and U.K. These people-pleasing canines are friendly and popular among families because of the way they get along with people in the house.
We hope this article will help you get along with your Cocker well. Leave a comment if there is anything you would like to know more about Cocker Spaniel breeds.