The Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular breeds in the United States.Its roots go back to the “Spanyell” mentioned in England as early as 1386.Around 1870 British breeders began developing the Cocker strain in its modern variation.
The Cocker Spaniel is descended from the oldest type of land spaniel originating in Spain. Prior to the 17th century, all members of the group were designated merely as spaniels. The larger dogs were springing game (Springer Spaniel) and the smaller ones hunting woodcock (Woodcock Spaniel).The Woodcock Spaniel was recognized as the English Cocker Spaniel. The American Cocker Spaniel is a descendant of the larger version, still known as the English Cocker Spaniel.
American breeders have shaped the breed into a more compact, heavier-coated version of the English predecessor. The Cocker Spaniel is very versatile in that it is able to be a house dog while still performing its hunting duties. The Cocker is known for its ability to plunge into heavy cover to flush woodcock. It is active by nature.
Size:: Shoulder height 14-15 1/2 inches (males) and 14-14 1/2 inches (females)
Color:Black, red, liver or lemon, or any of these combined with white.
Eyes:Round and full, with a slight almond shape. Color of the iris is dark brown to black in the blacks, black and tans, buffs and creams as well as in the darker shades of the parti-color and roan. In the reds, the iris should be dark hazel; in the liver, parti-color and roan of the lighter shades, the iris should not be lighter than hazel. The darker the better.
Body Structure: Body should appear short, compact and firmly knit together,giving the impression of strength. The dog should have powerful quarters and strong, well-boned legs. The tail should be set on a line with the topline of the back, and when the dog is at work, its action should be incessant.
Hair Coat:On head, short and fine. On body, flat or slightly wavy (never curly), silky in texture, of medium length, with enough undercoating to give protection. The ears, chest, abdomen and posterior sides of the legs should be well feathered, but not to excess.
Possible Health Problems:Ears need constant care to avoid problems;inherited eye disease, skin problems, bleeding and kidney problems may occur in some cases.
The Cocker Spaniel has an excellent temperament with the proper breeding. They are a cheerful, energetic and willing to please breed. An excellent gun dog,they are also quite at home in the house and with children and other dogs.
The Cocker Spaniel has some problems with temperament because of its enormouspopularity and over-breeding. This can be overcome by conscientious breeders.The breed needs daily grooming and exercise.