American Cocker Spaniel

AKC Group: Sporting

The American Cocker Spaniel is the result of very selective breeding with English Cocker Spaniels. As a result, the two breeds look very different. American Cocker Spaniels are smaller and showier. The American Cocker Spaniel doesn’t do well as a gun dog, they’re more suited to hunting birds. The American Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular breeds in the U.S.

Size: 13.5 to 15.5 inches tall; 15 to 30 pounds

Color: Solid black, tan points are allowed and they may have white on their chest or throat. Any other solid color from light cream to dark red. Cocker Spaniels are usually brown with tan points and white is allowed on the chest or neck. Parti-colored Cockers have two or more solid, well broken coat colors.

Life span: 12 to 15 years

Health problems: Progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, cataracts, autoimmune disorders, skin conditions and epilepsy.

The Cocker Spaniel is a small, pretty, elegant-looking, dignified pooch. They have a silky coat with a medium-length outer coat and a short undercoat. They have long, silky, droopy ears that frame their face. They have small sturdy bodies. An utterly charming dog, a Cocker Spaniel gets along with one and all — kids, other pets and strangers. Sociable and cheerful, they adore playtime. Highly intelligent, a Cocker Spaniel is extremely easy to train. A willing personality, enthusiastic and eager to please, when you throw in his intelligence, your Cocker Spaniel will provide you with hours upon hours of entertainment. Highly affectionate, if you’re looking for devotion, you’ll find it in a Cocker Spaniel. On the negative side, that devotion can veer toward clinginess. Barking may be a problem and, as a small breed initial house-breaking can be difficult.

A Cocker Spaniel should be brushed every few days to keep his coat silky smooth. Every few months, you should invest in a professional clipping. His droopy ears will require frequent checks and/or cleanings.

Ensure the best of your Cocker Spaniel’s personality is on display in his later years by socializing early and to discourage chasing smaller local wildlife. To overcome the house-breaking element (as a puppy), you can use the crate method. Note: Cocker Spaniels are very sensitive to your tone, so if you decide on a different method of house-breaking, resist yelling at him. Punishing him for an accident will get you nowhere fast. With the basic commands, practice, practice, practice — but not for too long in a session and stick to one at a time until he masters it. Cocker Spaniels get overwhelmed with too much too fast. Start with come and sit and move on to stay and lie down. Then the more advanced (roll over, play dead, etc.) Barking should always be discouraged (remember your tone!) Lead and collar training is a good idea too; a Cocker Spaniel is easy to train to heel. A Cocker Spaniel will stand out in a puppy obedience class.

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