Cocker Spaniel pros and cons
Owning a Cocker Spaniel has pros and cons associated with this dog breed. Cocker Spaniels have a sweet and friendly temperament that makes this dog a delightful family pet, which is an advantage.
Cons associated with Cocker Spaniel breed include a massive amount of shedding that this breed is known for. Potential owners need to be aware of the high grooming needs of Cocker Spaniels. Grooming a Cocker Spaniel in a professional dog grooming salon can be expensive, which is another disadvantage to owning this breed.
American Cocker Spaniels make good pets for active families with older kids and for energetic adults of all ages who like to groom a dog every day and have the time for long daily walks with a family pet. Cocker Spaniels have a lot of energy and aren't ideal for living in an apartment. This active breed does best in a country home that has a nice yard for the dog to explore and run around during the day. Cocker Spaniels can be sensitive to rough handling and need a calm and patient owner who can bring the best out of this breed.
Cocker Spaniel shedding
Do Cocker Spaniels shed? Yes, Cocker Spaniels do shed and require daily coat care. The maintenance of a Cocker Spaniel is a laborious task as this breed has a thick and long coat that needs frequent brushing and professional grooming to look tidy and attractive. Introduce Cocker Spaniel to grooming from a young age so that the puppy is accustomed to it. Brush Cocker Spaniel's coat every two to three days at the very least, otherwise numerous tangles may develop especially around the dog's ears, legs and chest. Be prepared to dedicate a lot of time to grooming your dog if you choose to get a Cocker Spaniel. Potential Cocker Spaniel owners who do not enjoy grooming a dog should not consider this high maintenance breed. Grooming a Cocker Spaniel at home is another option that saves the dog's owners a lot of money. An initial investment in appropriate grooming tools such as grooming table as well as a high quality clippers and brushes that can help owners to achieve great results without spending a lot of money and time on dog grooming salons.
Cocker Spaniel grooming demonstrated by a professional dog groomer. See video below.
How to groom a Cocker Spaniel - video
Best brushes for Cocker Spaniel grooming include a pin brush and a bristle brush. Gently brush the dog every day or so to keep his coat in best condition. Coat king rake can also be helpful.
Deshedding tools such as Hertzko Self-Cleaning Dog Brush can help to remove most of the dead hair from the dog's coat in a gentle and effective way.
Cocker Spaniel size and breed information
American Cocker Spaniel weight
American Cocker Spaniel male weight: 23 to 24 lb (11 to 12.5 kg)
American Cocker Spaniel female weight: 22 to 23 lb (10 to 11 kg)
American Cocker Spaniel size
American Cocker Spaniel male height: 37 to 39 cm (14.5 to 15.5 in)
American Cocker Spaniel female height: 34 to 37 cm (13.5 to 14.5 in)
American Cocker Spaniel double coat: long on chest, ears and legs.
American Cocker Spaniel colors: from black and red to tri-color, brown, tan, silver, white and buff
American Cocker Spaniel life expectancy
American Cocker Spaniel lifespan: 12 to 15 years
How many puppies do American Cocker Spaniels live?
American Cocker Spaniel litter size: 4 - 11 puppies
How much does an American Cocker Spaniel cost?
American Cocker Spaniel prices start at $400 and up, depending on many factors
English Cocker Spaniel weight
English Cocker Spaniel male weight: 24 to 25 lb (13 to 14 kg)
English Cocker Spaniel female weight: 23 to 24 lb (11 to 12.5 kg)
English Cocker Spanel size
English Cocker Spaniel male height: 39 to 41 cm (15 to 16 in)
English Cocker Spaniel female height: 38 to 39 cm (14 to 15 in)
English Cocker Spaniel double coat: long on chest, ears and legs.
English Cocker Spaniel colors: varies
How long do English Cocker Spanels live?
English Cocker Spaniel lifespan: 12 to 15 years
How many puppies do English Cocker Spaniels have on average?
English Cocker Spaniel litter size: 4 to 11 puppies
How much does a Cocker Spaniel cost?
Cocker Spaniel prices start at $500 and up, depending on many factors
Cocker Spaniel temperament
There are two types of Cocker Spaniels - the American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel. Both kinds are well known for outgoing and sociable temperament. This breed makes an ideal companion and family dog. Are Cocker Spaniels good with children? Both, the American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker are great with kids as long as kids understand the rules of handling a dog. Due to the breed's friendliness this dog should not be employed as a guard dog. Cocker Spaniels can live in an apartment but a country home is ideal for this active breed. Owners of Cocker Spaniels should be ready to provide their dog with a lot of attention and mental stimulation. Cocker Spaniels are playful and prefer to be included in all family activities from a brisk walk to working in the "field". Cocker Spaniels should not be left alone for long periods of time, which can be a disadvantage for busy owners. Do not get this breed if you are not planning to spend a lot of time with your dog.
A Cocker Spaniel needs to be socialized at an early age like most dog breeds. When properly socialized from a young age, your Cocker Spaniel welcomes the presence of other pets. Remember that this is a hunting breed and keep an eye on your Cocker Spaniel when introducing pets other than dogs to your adult dog. Socializing your dog at an early age is important.
Cocker Spaniel grooming
Cocker Spaniel ear care
The hanging ears of a Cocker Spaniel are completely covered by hair which complicates access of fresh air to the ear canals and creates favorable conditions for the development of ear infection. That's why it's an absolute must to carefully clean your dog's ears on a weekly basis. After swimming or bathing be sure to wipe the dog's ears with a clean, soft towel that will absorb the extra moisture to minimize the risk of developing ear infection. Ear wipes are very useful for floppy eared dogs such as the Cocker Spaniel.
Cocker Spaniel nail care
Start getting your dog used to having his nails trimmed from an early age. Trimming his nails every six weeks or so is important because overgrown nails can cause discomfort and may affect the dog's posture and gait. Be careful not to cut off too much of the dog's nail as each nail contains a vein inside that will start bleeding. If you accidenally cut your dog's nail too much and the dog's nail is bleeding, use styptic powder to help stop bleeding.
Cocker Spaniel dental care
Brush the dog's teeth regularly, using a toothpaste for dogs that you can get at any pet store. Never use a human toothpaste because it may cause severe irritation and is not safe for your dog to swallow.
Bathing a Cocker Spaniel
Bathe your Cocker Spaniel once every 6 to 8 weeks or as necessary.
Cocker Spaniel diet
Feeding your Cocker Spaniel a healthy dog food will not only keep your dog healthy inside, but the dog's coat appears shiny and his eyes appear bright and clear. The overall dog's energy level reflects a well balanced diet that provides your Cocker with all the nutrients he needs to stay in best shape. If your dog is not happy with his food, find the dog food that makes a positive difference. Switching from one dog food to another should be a gradual process as the dog's digestive system needs to make an adjustment in order to keep working properly. In order to gradually switch to new dog food, start adding a small amount of the new dog food to his current dog food and continue adding a little bit more of the new dog food to his current diet every day so that after about 10 days the dog is fully switched to new diet. Be sure to reduce the amount of the original dog food as you are adding the new dog food so that the amount of food overall stays the same.
Training a Cocker Spaniel
Training is a rewarding activity for your Cocker Spaniel as this breed truly enjoys interacting with humans. Keep in mind that Cocker Spaniels do not respond well to harsh treatment. Harsh training techniques can make your American Cocker Spaniel timid and will cause the dog to withdraw as this breed is known for its sensitivity. Your Cocker Spaniel needs careful training which includes kindness to get the best out of the intelligent dog. In addition to basic commands, "Quiet!" is a good command for your Cocker Spaniel to learn as this breed tends to bark a lot.
Cocker Spaniel is a hunting breed and their focus may be only on prey that they chase. When outdoors, keep your Cocker Spaniel either on a lead or in a fenced area. These dogs are good swimmers.
Potty training a Cocker Spaniel should begin the moment you bring the dog home. Designate an area outdoors or indoors if you are planning to have the dog trained to use a toilet indoors where the dog can relieve himself when the nature calls. As soon as you notice your dog sniffing the floor or walking in circles, immediately take the dog to the potty area and let him relieve himself there. Praise the dog after he finished with his business and give him a small treat as a reward. You may also choose a command word for potty training, such as "Go Potty!" and say the command as the dog is doing his business. Stay consistent and never punish your dog for an accident. Should an accident happen, casually clean up and ignore it. Punishing the dog for accidents only slows down the housebreaking process and is counterproductive. Continue to monitor your dog for readiness to use the bathroom and immediately take him to the designated toilet when he is ready. Any dog can be potty trained and Cocker Spaniels are very capable of mastering this skill. With your patience and consistency success in housebreaking training is a matter of time.
Dog crate for Cocker Spaniel breed
Dog crates are used as sleeping and resting area for dogs. Keeping the dog in a crate during car rides is the safest way to transport your pet. Crates can also help with housetraining your pet. Dogs do not like to use their sleeping area as a toilet. It may take some time for your dog to get crate trained. Do not rush with getting your Cocker Spaniel comfortable using a crate. Leave the crate door open and put some treats inside to encourage your dog explore the new environment. Do not close the door and let your pet freely come in and out of the crate. Only after your dog is comfortable with spending some time in the crate with the doors open, you can start training the dog to stay in the crate with the doors closed. At first, only close the crate door for a few seconds. Have some treats inside the crate to keep the dog busy. Let the dog out in a few seconds but do not immediately reward the dog as he may associate the reward with coming out from the crate. Also do not let the dog out of the crate if he starts whining. Wait for a break between whining and open the door as soon as the dog is quiet. Never use crate as punishment for your dog - this will create negative association with the crate and the dog will not be willing to spend time there if he is put in the crate as a punishment. Always let the dog outside to take care of his needs before you put the dog in the crate. Never leave the dog in the create for more than a couple of hours. If you have a young puppy, crate can be used to keep the puppy out of trouble for a short period of time when you are unable to supervise him. When you are selecting a crate for your dog, the size of the crate should be enough for the dog to freely turn around, to stand full height and to stretch out while he is sleeping. If a crate is too big, the dog may be tempted to use the unused area as his toilet. Use a crate divider to allocate just enough space for your dog if your crate is too big.
Cocker Spaniel health issues
Overbreeding can introduce genetic diseases that are hard on the pups and on the owners. Juvenile cataracts and other eye problems are commonly found in Cocker Spaniels. If you notice anything unusual about the dog's eyes, such as redness or the dog tends to rub the eye area frequently, take him to the veterinarian. Other health issues include allergies, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, skin issues, Autoimmune hemolytic anemia and Idiopathic epilepsy. Due to various genetic diseases associated with the breed, it is important to select a responsible breeder who checks for genetic conditions before breeding and can provide the health history of the Cocker Spaniel puppy's parents and preferably grandparents as well.
American Cocker Spaniel origin
Even though breeding of the English Cocker Spaniels in the United States started in the 17th century, the American Cocker Spaniels were first shown in Manchester (NH, USA) in September of 1883. Excellent hunting skills as well as attractive appearance made these dogs very popular not only in the United States but also all over the world. These smallest members of the spaniel family were originally used in hunting.