American Cocker Spaniel is a cheerful, nice dog with a very impressive long coat, elegant head with a slightly short muzzle and long ears. Currently, it mainly has a decorative function. It requires careful care.
The American Cocker Spaniel has a gentle disposition and a great temperament. Although he is cheerful, lively and curious, he is not overly absorbing. Attached to the owner, he likes to accompany him, but also gets used to a few hours of solitude during the day. This is a balanced dog, not suffering from aggression or nervousness. He doesn’t tend to destroy objects if he has his own toys and activities. He can adapt to new conditions, so e.g. a holiday trip should not be a problem.
Quadrupeds of this breed are considered good companions for older children – they are very tolerant, they like petting and playing together. They are friendly and cordial dogs towards people, so although alert, they will not prove themselves as guardians – they exuberantly welcome both the guest and the burglar. They feel good in a group of dogs, and their relationships with other animals are also good. They are not conflicting or they do not start brawls on walks, but when hooked by an aggressive quadruped they can defend themselves.
For American cocker spaniels, a house with a garden is not necessary – they feel good even in a small apartment, as long as they have sufficient traffic. Although they are full of vigor, they do not require strenuous training – they just need a few walks a day, during which they will be able to fetch or play with other dogs.
They will enjoy the trip outside the city, but remember their hunting instinct – they may be interested in an interesting trail. Some quadrupeds of this breed have a tendency to collect garbage, so you need to watch them.
American Cocker Spaniel is a dog resistant, agile, durable, endowed with a great sense of smell, who likes to roam in the field. He enjoys swimming and diving. Suitable for dog sports – agility, flyball or dance with a dog. He can also attend basic obedience (PT) courses. The breed is not subject to work trials, therefore hunting dog competitions are not required to obtain the title of interchampion.
Training and education
Dogs of this breed are intelligent, intelligent, willing to cooperate and fairly easy to position. However, they do not follow instructions blindly and show ingenuity during learning, so the owner should be patient and consistent. Because they are spontaneous, they quickly get bored if the lessons are monotonous and last too long. It’s best to practice with them several times a day for ten minutes and reward them with your favorite treats.
American Cocker Spaniel willingly obeys, but sometimes he likes to express his own opinion, which is why he should be raised consistently. Puppies should have contact with other dogs and new situations, e.g. during classes in dog kindergarten.
Who is this race for?
The dog of this breed is suitable for everyone. Even a novice owner can handle it. However, he must find time to systematically care for his coat.
Advantages and disadvantages
requires systematic care
likes to collect waste
gentle and attached to the family
a good friend for older children
intelligent, eager to learn
can play dog sports
tolerant to dogs and other pets
there is no tendency to dominate
suitable for housing
The American Cocker Spaniel is prone to eye diseases – PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), cataracts and eyelid folds (entropy). Occasionally, food and contact allergies, as well as hip dysplasia, can occur. Sometimes tartar occurs, so you should get your dog used to brushing your teeth. You can also use special liquids or give dog cakes and chews.
Spaniel likes to sniff in the grass, which is why he easily irritates eyes and conjunctivitis. You should also check your ears once a week and cut hair if necessary.
Dogs of this breed are not harmed by either low or high temperatures. However, it is worth not walking in full sun in the summer with older individuals. Due to the long hair, you can wear a rain suit.
The American Cocker Spaniel has a slightly shortened muzzle, so it can breathe quite loudly (especially in old age) and snore. However, this should not worry the owner, because it usually does not indicate health problems.
Spaniel has an excellent appetite and tendency to gain weight, so you need to control the amount of food administered. Puppies should get food for medium breeds, high protein and well-balanced. Because there are problems with the joints, it is worth adding to the dogs growing preparations containing glucosamine and chondroitin.
An adult American cocker spaniel will need a diet with a lower protein content – their excess leads to skin problems. During the hair replacement period, you can use specifics containing unsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. If we decide on traditional nutrition (meat, rice, vegetables, white cheese), we must remember to supplement the meals with calcium and vitamin preparations.
American cocker spaniel molts most intensively in the spring, but actually loses small amounts of hair all year round. His hair is soft, which is why it doesn’t get stuck in carpets and can be easily cleaned.
To maintain the effect, typical for the dog appearance, systematic care is necessary, to which you need to get used to from the puppy. Hair – previously sprayed with a special liquid to facilitate combing – is thoroughly combed at least once a week using a powder brush and a metal comb with rotating teeth.
Particular attention should be paid to the armpits and groin, because in these places are most often made up of tangles, so it is worth teaching the dog to lie down on his back while combing. After a long walk, e.g. in a meadow, you must remember to remove dirt from sticks – sticks, ears and seeds. Every day, you can spray a dog with a mixture of mink oil and water – thanks to this, the hair will be more flexible and less prone to tangling.
In addition to combing spaniels, it also requires plucking the hair on the back and cutting with a hair clipper on the head, ears – half their length on both sides (we also cut the hair from the inside of the turbinate with scissors), on the neck – up to the height of the sternum and on the tail and under it (if we want to leave the so-called flag, hair underneath with scissors). You also need to cut the fur between the pads, form round feet and trim the claws.
If necessary, we bathe the spaniel in a shampoo for long-haired dogs (you can also use coloring shampoos selected for the coat). We apply conditioner on the hair, which is thoroughly rinsed after a few minutes. Squeeze the long hair on the ears, limbs, breasts and sides of the torso into a towel – only the one growing on the back can be wiped.
Then we dry the four-legged hair dryer at medium temperature. Special non-rinse conditioners are also available, which are applied to dry hair – regenerate damaged hair and prevent it from breaking. If you do not feel strong enough to do all the treatments yourself, you can visit the dog beauty salon.
Properly cared for everyday American cocker spaniel does not require laborious preparation for the exhibition. Hair in these places should be trimmed a week before the show so that it can grow back a bit. We bathe the dog the day before, dry thoroughly and, if necessary, carry out a light correction of the coat. We present it on a ring matching the color of the coat. If you do not plan a show career, we can cut your pet.
Our pet should walk on an ordinary leash from the beginning. Automatic leashes are not recommended – at least in puppy age – because they do not teach the dog to walk by his feet, but rather develop the habit of pulling. The best will be collars made of tape or leather, but you should not choose those lined with colorful felt, because under the influence of moisture they dye and dye the fur permanently. Harness should not be used on growing dogs.
We serve food in narrow and tall bowls. After each meal, check for any food residue in your hair. You can also put on a special sleeve to protect it against dirt. The best for water will be built-in bowls with a small hole in the middle. In the absence of household members, a puppy can be left in a large kennel cage or playpen – with a lair and a bowl of water. It is also worth getting used to traveling in a plastic transporter cage.
Spaniels belong to a narrowly specialized group of hunting dogs called the Flushing Dogs. For centuries, small quadrupeds with wavy hair have accompanied hunters hunting for birds. Their task was to find and display the game so that man could approach it and cover it – and the dog – with a net. After the invention of firearms, their role changed somewhat – they were not only to expose and spout birds, but also to retrieve them.
Apparently, already in the 4th century BC, quadrupeds resembled spaniels in appearance. There is a sculpture from the reign of Philip II – father Alexander the Great – depicting such a dog. Probably they were also known in ancient Carthage, as researchers argue, deriving their name from the word “span”, which was supposed to mean a rabbit. Also, the Athenian historian Xenofont wrote about dogs with wavy coat that froze when the birds weathered.
Most cynologists believe that spaniels come from Spain, as their name would suggest. In the VII and VIII centuries, there were quadrupeds with longer hair and drooping ears, which were brought to this area during the Crusades. Many of them later went to France and England, perhaps giving rise to many local races. Mention of falcon hunting dogs can be found in “Lex Bajuvariorum” from the beginning of the 8th century and in Welsh family laws of 948.
At the end of the 16th century, spaniels in Great Britain were divided into water spaniels and on land. Among the land spaniels there were larger ones – used for hunting with falcons, called springer or starter spaniels, and smaller ones – sitting spaniels, which crowed when caught in the network of birds (with time they began to be called cocking, woodcock and eventually cocker spaniels).
All English and American cocker spaniels have a common ancestor – a black dog born in 1879 named Obo from James Farrow’s kennel. The first black and tan cockers were shown in the United States in 1874 at an exhibition in Chicago. In 1879, the first representative of the breed was entered into the American Kennel Club – it was a white-brown Captain.
In 1881, the Cocker Spaniel Club was established in the United States, which at the beginning was the English Spaniel pattern. The first American Cocker Spaniel standard was developed in 1943, and the final version was created in 1951. A year later the breed was entered in the FCI register.
American Cocker Spaniel – group VIII FCI, section 2, model number 167
Country of origin: United States
Size: dog height at withers 38 cm, bitches 35.6 cm (tolerance 1.3 cm up and down)
Coat: silky, smooth, slightly wavy acceptable; short and delicate hair on the head, medium-length undercoat with undercoat; ears, chest, abdomen, limbs and tail covered with long hair forming feathers
Color: black and black and tan; one-colored from light cream to dark red, brown and tan and tan; multi-colored – two or more well-separated colors, one of which must be white, there may be arson
Maturity: 2 years
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Weather resistance: resistant
Compared to the English Cocker Spaniel, his American cousin is a slightly smaller dog, with a shorter muzzle and slightly drooping lips. Has a slightly arched skull, with a more pronounced stop (fronto-nasal crisis) and larger eyes. What draws the most attention is the exceptionally rich coat of Americans.