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Cocker Spaniel

Feature image

These doe-eyed charmers are sure to turn heads. Affectionate and fun-loving, Cocker Spaniels are much more than a pretty face and can be the perfect companion dog for families or seniors.

If you are seeking a gentle pet that will follow your every move and be your new best pal, perhaps you should choose a Cocker Spaniel.

Where I'm From

Spaniels are thought to have originated in Spain dating back millennia and eventually made their way over to England. From the early 1800s Spaniel-type dogs were known as either companion or hunting dogs. The Cocker Spaniel belonged to the later category and was held in high esteem for their skill at hunting woodcocks, which is also from where they derive their name. They later became popular family pets.

Cocker Spaniels were recognised as a distinct breed in England in 1892. Today, the popular (English) Cocker Spaniel and the slightly smaller American Cocker Spaniel, which though originally from the same stock are now acknowledged as different breeds of dog.

What I Look Like

Cocker Spaniels are

small dogs with a luxurious wavy coat that comes in many colours including gold,

black, liver, red, parti-coloured or tricoloured varieties. With extra long

floppy ears, a rounded head and muscular body, Cocker Spaniels are a very

attractive and adorable looking dog.

How I Act

Cocker Spaniels are beautiful and gentle dogs that make perfect family pets including for homes with young children and they are also suitable companion dogs for seniors. Cocker Spaniels are sensitive creatures and can be needy never wanting to leave their owner’s side so they thrive as an integral member of the household. They should not be left on their own for too long.

Cocker Spaniels need gentle yet firm training that is consistent due to they forgetful natures. Socialisation and training should begin early to ensure a well-adjusted pet.

Though small the Cocker Spaniel comes from a hunting pedigree and requires a decent amount of daily exercise to stay in good shape both physically and mentally. A 30-minute stroll around the block or trip to the dog park should keep this pet healthy and happy. Canine sports and agility training will also serve to engage their minds and prevent any destructive tendencies if bored.

Looking After Me

Cocker Spaniels may be little but love to eat. They need to be fed a high-quality dry dog food meal twice a day as per packaging instructions. Uneaten portions should be removed until the next meal to counter their propensity to overeat.

The Cocker Spaniel’s beauty comes at a high price. Their long, soft coat needs a daily brush to prevent tangles and they require regular professional grooming every 6-8 weeks, including a haircut and bath. If you are short on time or patience this may not be the right breed for you.

To keep care manageable make sure you use tall bowls for food and drink, which will prevent your Cocker Spaniel getting their ears dirty.

Cocker Spaniels are generally healthy dogs. However, they can be prone to a number of health ailments that include eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts, immune system problems, thyroid issues, scaly skin, epilepsy or hip dysplasia.

A rare complaint is rage syndrome, which affects red, golden and black Cockers Spaniels and parent dogs should be checked for this behavioural problem before purchase.

It is advisable to check the temperament and medical history of a puppy’s parents and view veterinarian clearance certificates to ensure you get a healthy dog though not every ailment can be predicted. Be very wary of uncertified backyard breeders that do not breed for good health or temperament.

The Cocker Spaniel lifespan tends to be 12-15 years on average.

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