The American Cocker Spaniel is mostly a beloved companion dog breed. Their agreeable, happy disposition also makes them a treat to have in the family. American Cocker Spaniels are energetic, loving and caring. The medium-sized dogs have gained popularity both here in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the world over the years. They are recognised as the smallest of all sporting spaniel breeds having been initially bred as gun-dogs. American Cocker Spaniels are an excellent choice for families with children because of their sweet disposition. American Cocker Spaniels highlights a much rounder skull, bigger, fuller eyes and longer coat compared to their English Cocker Spaniel cousins. Usually, American Cocker Spaniels had their tails curtailed, but this tradition has now been barred except if the procedure is because of medical reasons.
American Cocker Spaniels are also happy and pleased dogs, and they love to snuggle on the couch with their favourite person, same as they run and play in the garden with the kids. Whether in an apartment in the city or large home with a garden, the American Cocker Spaniel is a highly trainable and adaptable addition to the family.
- Exercise Needed Daily: 2 hour 10/10
- Training: Easy 2/10
- Grooming: Everyday 10/10
- Shedding: High 2/10
- Hypoallergenic: Low 2/10
- Watchdog Ability: Medium 6/10
- Barking Level: Medium 6/10
- Environment: City 2/10
- Type of home: Apartment 2/10
- Good with Children: Yes 10/10
- Good with Other Animals: Yes 10/10
- POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS: No 2/10
The American Cocker Spaniel is a direct offspring of the English Cocker Spaniel. Its descendants were initially used as gun-dogs to hunt the Eurasian woodcock or waders in the United Kingdom. It is where the name cocker came from. The term spaniel is commonly known as coming from the word "Espagnol" which means "Spaniard". However, some experts argue that there is no evidence that this dog breed came from Spain. In 1620, the American Cocker Spaniel was transported to America by the Pilgrims from Plymouth. This is where the breed was produced and dedicated to hunting the American woodcock. It was later bred to create a different standard – one with an abundance of coat and glamour. In 1878, it was officially documented as a separate breed from the English type by the American Kennel Club.
In 1881, the American Spaniel Club was prearranged to care for the breed. After a year, Ch. Obo II, owned by James Farrow, was born. This is the dog considered to be the foundation of the modern American Cocker Spaniel. It became the most favoured dog breed in the US during the 1940s and 1950s. In 1970, it was formally recognised by The Kennel Club of United Kingdom as a distinct dog breed from its English cousin.
The American Cocker Spaniel is first distinguished by its head's shape, with the skull being far more domed, its eyes more protruding, and its muzzle much shorter than the English Cocker. With these changes, it became more reminiscent of a toy breed. It highlights the fact that this is no longer a real hunting dog. Its fringed ears are striking, while the long, dense feathers of the legs are most often trimmed into a square skirt when being shown. It has a light, compact body, and a merry tail set high on the croup.
When it comes to their beautiful coat, the American Cocker Spaniel's hair on its head is fine, short, and medium length. An American Cocker Spaniel's ears, abdomen, legs, and chests are well feathered. Their lovely coat lies flat to the body and is silky and wavy. These beautiful spaniels come in a variety of colours as well.
American Cocker Spaniels are often called Merry Cockers because they are well-known for their cheerful disposition. Therefore, a popular choice as family pets. They are energetic and intelligent by nature. They are very gentle and fairly sensitive, which are two good reasons they are branded to be so good around children. This dog breed is an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. This is because they are so docile and people-oriented and loving. They are particularly good with children and older people.
Furthermore, American Cocker Spaniels are incredibly adaptable dogs. Provide enough daily physical exercise; they can be happy whether living in an apartment in the city as living in a house in the country.
American Cocker Spaniel ranks highly in tests of intelligence. Most dogs, including American Cocker Spaniel, should be easy to train in a patient, kind manner that considers their sensitivity to criticism. Socialisation is essential for American Cocker Spaniel puppies to help them progress to a more confident, tolerant view of the world, and family and friends should be encouraged to offer treats to the puppies every time they meet.
Grooming can occupy quite a lot of an American Cocker Spaniel owner's time. Daily brushing is required to avoid matting. The ears should be cleaned frequently – at least once a week to prevent infections. Most American Cockers Spaniel needs to have their hair clipped and washed at least every two months to support its management by a professional groomer.
American Cockers are recognised as healthy dogs, though they are susceptible to suffering from certain genetic health conditions like many other pure breeds. To recognise these conditions early, a veterinarian may recommend hip, knee, thyroid, or eye exams during checkups. At the same time, DNA tests may diagnose a phosphofructokinase deficiency that may lead to anaemia in the dog.
There are some American Cocker Spaniels who gain weight after they have been spayed or neutered. That's why it is essential to watch your dog's weight in case they are starting to gain weight. If they do, start adjusting their daily calorie intake and the amount of exercise they are given. This also applies to older dogs who are more prone to obesity as well. This is because it puts a lot of extra strain on your dog's internal organs, including their heart.
American Cocker Spaniels may be an outstanding choice for families with small children or toddlers because of its kind and loving nature. However, because of its size, bear in mind that American Cocker Spaniels can get injured too. It is highly recommended that a grown-up should always supervise any interaction between an American Cocker Spaniel and a young child. American Cocker Spaniels are very intelligent and are careful with toddlers and smaller kids. When mingling with other small to medium dogs, American Cocker Spaniels are generally good around them because of their very gentle and friendly nature and how they also love the company of other animals, if they are correctly socialised at an early stage.
The same with cats and other smaller pets, they could live well together. However, remember that bigger and dangerous types of dogs can be threatening to the well-being of your American Cocker Spaniel. Always have an adult to handle any interaction with these kinds of dogs.