Dog Breeds

Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed | Information, Temperament and Images

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by Paul Conwall

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Cocker Spaniel is among the most adored companion dogs today. It is also called American Cocker Spaniel. With proper exercise, this breed can adapt to any living environment.

Cocker Spaniel dog is initially bred for retrieving and bird flushing. Aside from being a hunting dog, the breed can also be a lovely pet in your house. This sporting dog can live for about 12 to 15 years. 

What does Cocker Spaniel look like?

Cocker Spaniel is the smallest member of the American Kennel Club Sporting Group and one of the favorite companions of US pet owners. The breed can have long to medium coat length.   

The dog is available in different colors, including yellow, blue, black, brown, chocolate, cream, liver, white, red, and gold. Cocker Spaniel has a shorter muzzle compared to its English cousins. 

It has big, pleading brown almond-shaped eyes. Their patterns can be tricolor, sable, bicolor, ticked, black and tan, merle, flecked, and speckled. The dog is moderately sized; the female dog can grow up to 14 inches tall, and the male can produce about 15 inches tall.

They have soft, thick, wavy coats and lush, long ears. If you want to maintain the beautiful appearance of your pet, you should be responsible for its good grooming. 

Cocker Spaniel Temperament

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Cocker Spaniel can be the best option if you wish to have a merry pet. Even though this breed has a hunting instinct, it can be a happy companion in your home. They love to please their human family, intelligent and trusting. 

The dog is friendly so that it can make friends with almost everyone. The Cocker Spaniel can be a very cuddly and affectionate pet. They have a sweet temperament to get along well with other pets like cats.

The breed is active, alert, playful, and loves to join in family activities. They can enjoy exercise like walking and hunting in the field with their energetic nature. 

Cocker Spaniel is also popular as a sensitive breed, physically and mentally. One unique feature of this dog is it has a soft personality. It doesn’t respond well to harsh treatment.

Meanwhile, you should provide your pet with early training and socialization to teach them appropriate manners. Additionally, the dog is good with young children, but supervision is advised. With its friendly and affectionate nature, you can make this dog your best friend. 

Are Cocker Spaniels good family dogs?

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Cocker Spaniel are good family dogs. Their affectionate and friendly personality can be a lovely family member. The breed is also good with children but with supervision. They are easy to train as companions and athletes. It is a gentle dog and loves to splash around water.

It comfortably fits into any home size. The dog can be a fun and energetic pet for the whole family. Cocker Spaniel is a friendly dog that quickly forms strong bonds with its owner. They enjoy being around people as well as other pets. A breed is also an ideal option for first-time pet owners. 

How big do Cocker Spaniel get?

A male Cocker Spaniel can grow about 15 inches tall, while a female dog can grow about 14 inches tall. The breed has a medium size of about 26 to 60 Ibs. 

How much does Cocker Spaniel weigh?

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The Cocker Spaniel can weigh around 20 to 30 pounds. Ensure to provide your pet with proper nutrition and exercise to avoid being overweight, leading to health problems.   

Does Cocker Spaniel shed?

Cocker Spaniel is a moderate shedding dog. It can be shed throughout the year, but they tend to have heavy shedding between spring and winter and autumn and summer.

With this, you should be responsible for its maintenance and good grooming. Make sure to brush your pet regularly to remove its loose hair. So, you can keep the beautiful coat of your best friend. 

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How often should you bathe a Cocker Spaniel?

Take note that good grooming is essential for the overall health of the Cocker Spaniel. It is highly suggested that you bathe your Cocker Spaniel weekly or bi-weekly to maintain their good shape.

Since dogs explore different environments, they may acquire dirt and germs, so you may use quality flea shampoo to keep them clean. It is also beneficial to avoid skin problems with your pet. 

Does Cocker Spaniel bark a lot?

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The Cocker Spaniel may bark a lot since barking is its natural response. It can be their reaction or warning to specific situations. For example, the breed may bark if someone knocks on the front door, ringing the doorbell, telephone ringing, and other noises. 

Even though this breed has a lovely and friendly temperament, it is considered among the most notorious barkers in the canine world. Sometimes, barking is a way of communicating for them.   

Are Cocker Spaniel hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, the Cocker Spaniel is not hypoallergenic. They have double coats that can shed lots of hair. It can be an issue for allergies, especially pet dander. In this case, you should take responsibility for the grooming and maintenance of your pet. 

Are Cocker Spaniels easy to train?

A Cocker Spaniel is an intelligent breed willing to learn, so it is easy to train. You should give your pet early socialization and proper training to enhance their good behavior.

The dog can perform well in positive reinforcement and obedience training. They are eager to please, so you can give them treats and rewards to encourage them to improve their training performance. 

Cocker Spaniel behavior problems

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If your Cocker Spaniel is bored, it may show destructive and unwanted behavior such as scratching, whining, and chewing to release its pent-up energy. So, you should give them various activities for their mental stimulation. 

How much do Cocker Spaniel cost

The Cocker Spaniel can cost between $500 to $1,500 with an average of $800. Moreover, you should remember several future expenses after acquiring your pet. In your dog’s lifetime, the average price is $17 160. 

The cost of a Cocker Spaniel can be affected by various factors, including the following:

  • Bloodline and reputation of the breeder
  • Mixed or purebred
  • Registration paper/ pedigree
  • Medical expenses and health screenings 
  • Socialization and training
  • Breed popularity in the location of the buyer
  • Marking and coat color
  • Age

Where to buy/adopt Cocker Spaniel Dog

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Do you want to buy or adopt a Cocker Spaniel? Then, you should get them from a reputable breeder. You can avail a Cocker Spaniel from the following:

Adopt-a-Pet.com

This site can help you search for a Cocker Spaniel near you.

Camp Cocker Rescue

If you’re interested in adopting a Cocker Spaniel, this site can help you. 

Petfinder.com

Petfinder.com can provide you with a list of Cocker Spaniels that you can choose from for your pet needs. 

Generally, there are many breeders and rescue organizations where you can avail a Cocker Spaniel. Meanwhile, before you get your dog, make sure that you’re ready to take care of the dog. With this, you can provide them with the best life they deserve. 

What breeds can be mixed with a Cocker Spaniel? 

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The following are breeds mixed with Cocker Spaniels.

  • Cockapoo (Poodle + Cocker Spaniel)
  • Cockinese (Pekingese + Cocker Spaniel)
  • Cock-A-Mo (American Eskimo + Cocker Spaniel)
  • Corkie ( Yorkshire Terrier + Cocker Spaniel)
  • Docker (Dachshund + Cocker Spaniel)

What are the types of Cocker Spaniel? 

There are two types of Cocker Spaniel, the English Cocker Spaniel, and the American Cocker Spaniel. The original breed is the English Cocker Spaniel. 

It has a longer muzzle, taller and shorter coat than the American Cocker Spaniel. On the other hand, the American Cocker Spaniel has fuller eyes that give them a doe-eyed and charming look. 

How can you make your Cocker Spaniel happy? 

If you want to make your Cocker Spaniel happy, you should give them more love, care, and time. The breed can be sensitive to heavy handling and loud noises.

However, with proper socialization and training at an early age, they can easily adjust to unexpected events. Since they are energetic dogs, you should offer them mental stimulation and more playtime. It will help them to stay out of mischief. 

Your Cocker Spaniel can be happy if you provide them with more interactive games, including fetch. You can take them for a walk to explore smells. Keep in mind to keep your pet safe while enjoying several activities. 

What are the potential health concerns for a Cocker Spaniel? 

Cocker Spaniel is a healthy breed, but they are also prone to various health problems like other dogs. These include the following.

  • Eye problems 
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Your Cocker Spaniel may suffer from eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy. It was a degenerative illness of the retinal cells that could lead to blindness. Another eye problem is glaucoma, wherein pressure forms inside the eyeball. 

The dog is also prone to cataracts, wherein a cloudy film can build up over the eye. The breed can suffer from eye abnormalities. So, if you observe that there is redness in your pet’s eyes, or if he rubs his face more often, take your pet to the veterinarian for a checkup.

  • Hypothyroidism 

It is a thyroid gland disorder that can lead to hair loss, epilepsy, lethargy, obesity, dark skin patches, and other skin problems. It can be treated with diet and medication. 

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  • AIHA or Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia 

It is a condition wherein the dog’s immune system attacks its blood cells. The symptoms include fatigue, pale gums, and jaundice. The swollen abdomen can also be a symptom because it indicates an enlarged liver. 

  • Allergies 

It is a common illness in dogs, including the Cocker Spaniel. These allergies may include the following:

  • Inhalant allergies

It can be caused by airborne allergens like mildew, dust, and pollen.

  • Food allergies 

These allergies can be treated by removing specific foods from your pet’s diet.

  • Contact allergies 

This type of allergy can occur due to a reaction to a topical substance like dog shampoos, flea powders, bedding, and other chemicals. 

The treatment of these allergies can depend on the causes. It can be medications, dietary restrictions, and environmental changes. 

  • Primary seborrhea 

It is a skin condition that can occur due to skin cells’ overproduction, like the sebaceous (oil) cells. The pet’s skin can become scaly and greasy and foul smell. The treatment for this illness includes medicated baths and medication. 

  • Canine hip dysplasia

This health condition is an abnormal hip socket formation, leading to lameness and pain. The dogs with this condition should not be bred. If you get your Cocker Spaniel, you should ask the breeder if the parents are tested for hip dysplasia and don’t have problems. 

  • Idiopathic epilepsy 

This condition is usually inherited and can lead to mild or severe seizures. However, you should keep in mind that attacks may occur other than idiopathic epilepsy. It can also be caused by infectious diseases affecting the brain, metabolic disorders, poison exposure, severe head injuries, tumors, and more. If your dog has seizures, take your pet to the vet immediately.

  • Patellar luxation 

It is the luxation or dislocation of the kneecap (patella). The knee joint of the dog slides in and out of place, which can result in pain. It can be crippling. 

  • Chronic Inflammatory Hepatic Disease

The hepatitis illness is ongoing liver inflammation. The formation of inflammatory cells in the liver leads to excessive fibrous tissue or scarring. The symptoms of this disease include vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive thirst and urination, weight loss, and fluid buildup in the abdomen. 

  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy

It is a heart condition wherein the heart muscles cannot contract properly. It can result in to decrease in blood pumping to the heart.

The primary symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy include rapid breathing, anorexia, lethargy, temporary loss of consciousness, coughing, shortness of breath, and swollen abdomen. 

Is a Cocker Spaniel a good therapy dog? 

Since a Cocker Spaniel is a loving and gentle dog, it can be a good therapy dog. It is a versatile dog that you can train easily for agility courses. The breed is also good at following commands and paying attention. 

So, if you feel alone and bored, spending time with your Cocker Spaniel is the best choice. You can relax and feel entertained with your little best friend. However, you should offer them early socialization and training to reduce behavior problems. 

How to properly take care of your Cocker Spaniel?

If you plan to own a Cocker Spaniel, you should know how to take care of them to the fullest. The following is a guide on properly taking care of your Cocker Spaniel.

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1. Proper nutrition 

Remember that a proper diet is essential for the overall health of your Cocker Spaniel. Therefore, you should only provide them with healthy meals.

More importantly, you should give them the right amount of food to prevent your pet from being overweight. Thus, obesity can lead to health issues. You can consult a professional vet for a healthy diet for your dog.

Many dog foods are available on the market, so you should choose the right food for your pet. Some dogs are sensitive to some ingredients, so you should monitor your feeding chart. 

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2. Training and socialization 

As we mentioned earlier, providing your pet with early training and socialization can help enhance your dog’s temperament and manners. A puppy or adult Cocker Spaniel is easy to train. It is an intelligent dog, so it can quickly adapt to concepts. Aside from giving them proper training, it can also help them exercise physically and mentally. 

The breed is a natural people-pleaser, so you offer them positive attention and reinforcement. It is also effective to give them treats and rewards for their hard work during their training. Start on simple commands like sit, roll over and stay commands. Then, you can also provide them with dog sports such as tracking, agility, and nose work. 

3. Grooming 

The Cocker Spaniel has a long coat, so you should be responsible for your pet’s maintenance and grooming to keep its beautiful and healthy appearance. You should brush their coat and bathe them regularly.

The breed can be bathed weekly or bi-weekly to remove its loose hair. With that, you can also avoid allergies caused by pet dander. You can groom your pet, but you can seek help from a professional grooming service if you have a busy schedule. 

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4. Exercise 

The breed has a moderate energy level. So, they can be energetic most of the time. Make sure to offer your Cocker Spaniel proper exercise for mental and physical stimulation. You can give them a walk and other physical activities that they will enjoy. The breed loves dog sports like agility. With regular exercise, they can avoid being bored. 

5. Medical needs

Although the breed is generally healthy, they are prone to various illnesses. With that, you should be responsible for their medical needs.

If you observe that your dog is not feeling well, you can take them immediately to a professional veterinarian. Ask the vet for medications to keep them well. It is also essential to give your dog a regular checkup to monitor their health. 

6. Give them love, care, and time. 

Aside from medical and nutritional needs, you should also provide your Cocker Spaniel with enough care, love, and attention. If they feel bored and lonely, it can lead to separation anxiety that can also cause behavioral problems.

So, you should offer your little best friend more playtime and family activities to keep him happy and healthy. The breed is a great family and companion dog, so they love to be always with their human family. However, you should also have patience with your dog, especially when training them. 

7. Ideal environment 

A Cocker Spaniel can be good in an apartment. They don’t need a yard for roaming, but it’s necessary to give them time for exercise and play. They can bark a lot, but this breed is good with kids, seniors, and other pets. 

You should provide them with an ideal home to make them make the best of their lives. Give them a clean and healthy home where they can enjoy the best living they deserve. 

By considering all these caring tips, you can enhance the lifespan and happiness of your Cocker Spaniel. With that, you can spend more time with your pet while keeping them healthy and happy with you.

Remember that taking care of a Cocker Spaniel needs dedication and patience. So, treat your pet as your little child who needs tender loving care. 

What are some fun facts about Cocker Spaniel? 

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Do you want to learn more about this breed? The following are some fun facts about the dog.

  • Cocker spaniel is the smallest member of the sporting dog category.
  • They are among the first nine breeds that the AKC recognized.
  • A black Cocker Spaniel named Brucie helped popularize the showy breed by winning the Westminster’s Best in Show way back from 1940 to 1941. 
  • Breeding a poodle with a Cocker Spaniel can produce a loving and intelligent Cockapoo.
  • Oprah Winfrey, a media mogul, owns two Cocker Spaniels named Solomon and Sophie.
  • The breed’s popularity in the US was increased when the dog was featured in Disney’s Lady and the Tramp way back in 1955. 

Conclusion 

To sum it up, a Cocker Spaniel is a good choice if you want to have a smart, lovely, and gentle pet. It is ideal for both new and experienced pet owners.

Your Cocker Spaniels can live the best lives they deserve by giving them their specific needs. They also deserve an enjoyable life like humans. Are you ready to adopt a new adorable member of your family? Get your Cocker Spaniel now! 

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