The Cocker Spaniel is such a good-looking, graceful dog in the show ring that it is hard to contemplate that this breed was developed to be a working dog.
However, before they were bred for their long, flowing coats, these bouncy little dogs were developed to be able to work tirelessly alongside hunters and sportsmen. Today, this spunky little dog has few of its former hunting instincts. Instead, this breed has become popular as a family pet.
It is a small dog and weighs in at twenty four to twenty nine pounds. They stand fifteen to sixteen inches tall. This breed is known for its feathery, long leg hair, its floppy ears, and its soulful dark eyes.
They comes in a wide range of colors, including black, cream, roan, black and white, orange and white, tan tricolor, and black with tan points.
For a few years, the dog was so popular that some breeders allowed dogs with bad temperaments to reproduce. The resulting puppies with bad traits were bred back to other dogs with bad traits.
Suddenly, the breed was filled with dogs who suffered from bewildering episodes of rage or were very highly strung. Luckily, breed enthusiasts stepped in to rescue the breed and have been breeding dogs with sound temperaments.
Now, most of this breed are once again wonderful family pets and are good with children and other animals. To be sure you buy a dog with a good temperament, only buy from a respected breeder and make certain you meet both parents.
Since they are not high energy dogs, they do well in apartments, town houses, or single homes. However, your dog will still need to be exercised daily. If you have a child who likes to throw balls or sticks, your dog will be blissfully happy, since these dogs love to play fetch.
Although they are small enough to be easily controlled when they are full grown, it is still a good idea to train your dog. Cocker Spaniel puppy classes will help him learn to get along well with other dogs and people. These classes are also a good idea for new dog owners, since owners are actually learning alongside their dogs.
The dog has a bit of a reputation for being greedy. When feeding your dog, be sure you use proper portion sizes. You may also want to consider avoiding the use of treats as training rewards. The charming Cocker can suffer from other health problems besides obesity. They include hip dysplasia, bad knees, epilepsy, eye problems, and allergy problems.
The coat of this breed requires a fair amount of grooming, especially if you want your dog to have that beautiful feathery leg hair. If you do not keep your Cocker's coat clipped short, be prepared to brush his coat at least three times a week. Keep a close eye on your dog's ears, since those hairy floppy ears don't always get enough air circulating to keep them healthy.
If you want a small family dog with a playful spirit, then a Cocker Spaniel just may be the right breed for you.