Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The American Cocker Spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel was developed by very selective breeding of the English Cocker Spaniel, although the two now look distinctly different. Through selective breeding in the United States the Cocker Spaniel has become smaller and showier than the original hunting breed. The American Cocker Spaniel is more of a companion dog.

The Cocker Spaniel is a smaller sized spaniel that has wonderful temperament and boundless energy. They are great dogs for families as well as single people and really love being with humans, although they can tolerate moderate lengths of time alone if they are properly exercised and attended to when the family is home. The Cocker Spaniel has a beautiful, silky medium long coat that is relatively easy to care for and maintain, even if the dog is outside.

The Cocker Spaniel is not a timid dog and can be protective and vocal when strangers come into their yard or home. They’re good at sounding intruder alert.

My Lil' Jax w/Sport cut
They easy going and willing to accept other animals into their space. The Cocker Spaniel is typically very good with cats and other pets if introduced to them early. Many Cocker Spaniels that are raised with cats are very affectionate with the cat, allowing the cat to sleep in the same bed or even curled up beside them. My Cocker, Jax, was most definitely the Queen of the house and my right hand when it came to correcting fussing animals or breaking up arguments with kids. She was instrumental in training and keeping an eye on my Dane pup. Gidget may have outweigh her by a 150 lbs but, let me tell you something; she was one submissive pup around Jax even after she reached adulthood.

Jinxie & Jax
Jax w/kittens
Jax was there during my cat, Jinxie’s, labor and delivery. Jinxie was watchful but accepting of Jax’s presence—that wasn't the case with any other animal that came around. Jinxie was a very protective mother. She puffed up and backed down my Dane when Gidget came too close to the babies. Jax had a close relationship with the three male kittens, cleaning them and watching over them. In turn, the kittens often came to her for protection or affection, and where ever she would curl up to sleep you’d find one of the cats either beside her or not far from her.

During the last weeks of Jax’s life, one of the three was in constant attendance. There were times she would have two beside her on my office couch and the other sleeping above her on the back of the couch. I think they brought her comfort.

Jax & Sweet Shy as a kitten

The boys miss her.

Man, I know I do. 
The Cocker Spaniel is a happy, friendly and enthusiastic dog that is great with families and children.

More info owning a Cocker: American Spaniel Club

Cocker Spaniel Facts:
Life Span: 12-15 years
Litter Size: 2-7 puppies with an average of 5 per litter
Group: Gun Dog, AKC Sporting
Color: Black and tan, black, any solid color other than black (ASCOB), parti-colored (white and any other solid color), tan points with the tan less than 10% of the total body.
Hair Length: Long, Medium
Size: Medium
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Male Height: 14-16 inches (36-38 cm)
Male Weight: 15-30 pounds (7-14 kg)
Female Height: 14-16 inches (36-38 cm)
Female Weight: 15-30 pounds (7-14 kg) 
Jax & Gidget playing
Living Area: The Cocker Spaniel is a very adaptable dog that can do well in a smaller space such as an apartment but can also do well in the country. A fenced yard is important for this breed, as they do tend to roam.