*Information from dogbreedinfo.com*
Origin: Despite their small size, the Cocker Spaniel is still an active Sporting breed that needs daily exercise. Regular brushing and a trim every few months helps keep the coat free of mats. Cockers are intelligent, gentle dogs that thrive as part of a family. The Cocker Spaniel dates back as far as the 14th century. The breed originated from the English Cocker Spaniels, which were brought to the United States. The Spaniels were bred down in size and given the name American Cocker Spaniels, officially called simply the "Cocker Spaniel" by the AKC. The American Cocker Spaniel is more popular than the original English Cocker Spaniel, who are slightly different in appearance, with longer muzzles and larger bodies. The Cocker Spaniel is a hunting-gun dog able to work in difficult terrain in both wet and dry land. Excellent at flushing and retrieving game with a gentle mouth. They listen to commands well. The name "Cocker" comes from the woodcock, a game bird the dogs were known for flushing. Some of the American Cocker Spaniels talents are hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdog, agility and competitive obedience.
About: Bold and keen to work, the American Cocker Spaniel is equally suited to life as a gundog or as a household pet. Cheerful, gentle and sweet. This breed is of average intelligence, and is respectful of its master's authority. Amusing, trustworthy and charming with an ever-wagging tail. They are active, playful and devoted, but should be socialized well when they are young to avoid a tendency for shyness. Cockers who understand their place is under humans, are good with children. They love everyone and need firm, loving leadership and daily exercise to be happy. They can be difficult to housebreak. They are mostly easy to train and get along well with other animals.
Exercise: American Cockers have plenty of stamina and need regular exercise. They should be taken on daily long walks. When walking, avoid brushy thickets that can tangle the coat. Be sure to have the dog heeling beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog's mind, the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the humans, not the dog.
Grooming: Wipe under the eyes often as they tend to tear. Some owners prefer to leave the coat long, brushing daily and shampooing frequently with quarterly scissoring and clipping.
Health: Some major concern in American Cocker Spaniels are cataracts, glaucoma and patellar luxation. Some minor concerns are hip dysplasia, ectropion, entropion, PRA, allergies, seborrhea, lip fold pyoderma, otitis externa, liver disease, urolithiasis, prolapse of nictitans gland, CHF, phosphofructokinase deficiency, and cardiomyopathy. Occasionally seen are gastric torsion and elbow dysplasia. Also IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia)
Stats: Height: Dogs 15 ½ inches (38cm.) Bitches 14 ½ inches (36.8cm.)Weight: 15-30 pounds (7-14 kg.)
Photo courtesy of Suzanne Hanna, proud Mommy of Sterling, the Cocker Spaniel. Does he have the cutest face ever or what? I just want to squeeze him forever!