English Cocker Spaniel is a small dog of hunting origin, currently most often used as a family companion. Covered with long hair, with beautiful large eyes and dangling ears. Smart, busy, active.
English Cocker Spaniel is a dog with a gentle disposition, emotional and friendly attitude towards the environment, but with a considerable temperament. Aggression against people or kinsmen is a serious drawback.
The representative of this breed strongly attaches to the owner and tolerates loneliness badly. He’ll spend a few hours a day alone if we teach him, but he shouldn’t be isolated from his family or kept in a pen. Cockers quite easily adapt to new conditions, so a well-bred dog will not cause us problems during holiday trips.
The dog of this breed is patient, cheerful and tireless in play. It gets along better with older children, younger children need to be taught to handle it properly. As a vigilant, inquisitive and perceptive animal, he will prove himself a guardian, but one should not expect defensive reactions from him. He usually gets along well with dogs and likes to live in a herd. I also accept other pets.
Although he is active, busy and energetic, he can live in the city, but only if he is given enough walks and some occupation. Bush-hunting is one of his favorite activities, he also shows a passion for swimming and diving. Many dogs have a fairly strong hunting instinct, which should be borne in mind when releasing them loose.
English Cocker Spaniel is a versatile dog. Initially, it was used to scare birds in the field. With time, they began to require him to retrieve downed birds from the land and water, and even track down wounded big animals. Dogs of this breed are subject to work tests, which means that a diploma from hunting competitions organized by the Polish Hunting Association is required to obtain the title of international beauty champion (CIB).
English Cocker Spaniels are suitable for some dog sports – they are great at agility, you can also practice flyball, obedience or dancing with a dog.
English cocker spaniel. Training and education
English Cocker Spaniel is easy to learn. He strives to please the owner, but can also be stubborn and independent, so we should not expect him to be absolutely obedient in every situation. He is a dog willing to cooperate if he enjoys learning and challenges him. Cockers are quite craving, so their favorite delicacy will be an additional motivation for them.
The dog of this breed should be treated firmly, but never harshly. Some cockers are prone to dominance, so from a puppy, you need to be consistently raised and do not allow them everything. Left alone, they can destroy things and upset their neighbors, and excessive indulgence will stop them from obeying. Toddlers must have contact with their friends, various people and new situations. Dog-kindergarten classes will also be useful.
Who is this race for?
English Cocker Spaniel is suitable for energetic and consistent people. Pets with strong, dominant characters should go to people with experience in raising dogs, because novice owners can cause trouble.
Representatives of this breed are best suited to active families, but they can also adapt to a calmer lifestyle.
English cocker spaniel. Advantages and disadvantages
requires systematic care
tends to dominate
sometimes stubborn and independent
likes to bark
devoted to the owner
gentle and friendly
suitable for older children
alert and perceptive
can play dog sports
tolerant of kinsmen and other domestic animals
suitable for living in a block of flats
English cocker spaniel. Health
English Cocker Spaniel is a resistant and durable dog. It tolerates both high and low temperatures well. Older animals, however, are worth protecting from the heat and limit walks in full sun in summer.
Cockers are prone to eye conditions such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) or eyelid curl (entropy). Because they like to sniff in grass and thickets, conjunctivitis is easy for them.
Long, hanging ears are prone to infection – you need to systematically remove hair from the inside of the auricle and clean the external ear canal. Sometimes food and contact allergies happen, and in old age heart, kidney and cancer problems. Hip dysplasia occasionally occurs.
Cockers tend to have an excellent appetite, and therefore tendency to gain weight, which is why you need to control the amount of food served. You can use ready-made feeds from reputable companies for medium-sized dogs. The diet of an adult dog should not be too high protein, as this can lead to skin problems. Dogs working during intense training sessions can get high energy feeds.
If we cook the pet ourselves, we must supplement the meals with calcium and vitamin preparations. During intensive molting, you can use specifics containing unsaturated fatty acids, biotin, zinc or selenium. The daily dose is best divided into two meals.
English Cocker Spaniel loses small amounts of hair throughout the year, although it intensively molts in spring and early autumn. The hair is soft and easy to clean.
The dog of this breed should be combed at least once a week with a powder brush and a metal comb with rotating teeth. Particular attention is paid to the groin, armpits and ears, because it is there that smuggles are most often formed. When this happens, gently separate them with your fingers and comb them (you can use a combing fluid).
A furminator and a coat king trimmer are best used to remove undercoat and dead coat hair. After a walk outside the city, we remove sticks, turnips and seeds from the hair.
Cocker spaniel plucked dead hair on the back and head (the shape is corrected with scissors thinning scissors), and also clippers hair on the ears to half their length (on both sides) and inside the turbinate. We also trim the fur on the neck (up to the height of the breastbone) and under the tail with a clipper. The flag on the tail is leveled with scissors from below. We cut the fur between the pads, giving the paws around, cat-like shape. We systematically trim the claws, if the dog does not rub them by itself, and remove tartar.
If necessary, we bathe Cocker in shampoo for long-haired dogs – cosmetics that enhance the color of the coat can be used. It is also worth applying the appropriate conditioner for a few minutes. After rinsing the dog, squeeze the hair with a towel, and then dry it with a dryer set to medium temperature.
If your pet is properly fed and nurtured every day, it does not require labor-intensive preparation for the exhibition. Depending on the speed of hair regrowth, it should be trimmed in the aforementioned places a few days or a day before the show. We bathe the dog the day before and dry thoroughly, combing the hair in the direction of their growth. We present it on a ring matched to the coat.
We lead the Englishman on an ordinary leash (leather or from tape) and in a well-fitting collar. Pay attention to the material from which it is made, because artificially dyed leather or felt under the influence of moisture can permanently stain the light fur on the neck. Automatic leashes are not recommended for puppies, because they can develop a dog’s tedious pulling habit. It is also better not to use braces during the growth phase.
Spaniels are best-served food in narrow and high bowls so that they do not get their ears dirty. Some owners wear special sleeves on their heads that protect their long ears when eating.
Cockers like to play with balls, rubber and plush mascots or cotton cords. However, do not drag with them objects when replacing teeth, because it leads to deformation of the bite. It is worth getting the pet used to the transport cage.
English cocker spaniel. History
For centuries, small dogs with wavy hair have accompanied falconers. During the hunt, they were to find the birds and put them so that the hunter could approach them and cast a net on them.
Already in ancient Carthage (IV century BC) there were quadrupeds that looked like today’s spaniels. Xenophon – a Greek historian and philosopher, a student of Socrates – described dogs with wavy hair that stood still when the birds weathered. A sculpture from the times of Philip II – father Alexander the Great – has survived to this day, depicting such an animal.
According to some researchers, spaniels may come from Spain. In VII and VIII century AD there were quadrupeds with longer hair and dangling ears that reached the Iberian Peninsula during the Crusades, and from there they went to France and England. The French word ‘espanir’ – used to refer to spaniels – means ‘crouch’ or ‘lie down’ and aptly captures the way these dogs work.
Mention of quadrupeds used for hunting with falcons is found in the work “Lex Bajuvariorum” created at the beginning of the 8th century, as well as in the collection of laws from 948 established by the Welsh Prince Howell Dda.
Towards the end of the 16th century, spaniels gained great popularity in the British Isles. It was decided to divide them into dogs used for hunting in water and for work on land. In addition, larger quadrupeds were separated from land spaniels, which were called springer or starter spaniels and were used for hunting with falcons, and smaller ones – called sitting spaniels (from them probably originate cocker spaniels), which were used for hunting with nets.
After the invention of firearms in the 17th century, the role of dogs changed somewhat – they were required not only to send birds, but also to retrieve downed prey.
At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, many varieties of spaniels emerged, including Sussex spaniel or clumber spaniel. English Cocker Spaniel was created thanks to the selection and a small admixture of the dwarf variety. The name of the breed is derived from the English words woodcock (snipe, woodcock) or cock (rooster) and refers to the type of birds that these animals hunted most often.
The modern history of these dogs began in 1879. As a result of the merger of the dog Frank and the bitch Betty, the black cocker Obo was born, considered the progenitor of the breed. The dog belonged to James Farrow, who later named his kennel after his name. A very famous cocker was Ted Obo, who appears in almost all pedigree English Cocker Spaniels.
The breed club was founded in 1902, and then a pattern was developed, which with minor changes is still valid today. In 1946, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club. In 1993, a sable ointment was officially recognized at the Cocker Spaniel Congress in Notthingham.
English Cocker Spaniel – group VIII FCI, section 2, reference number 5
Country of origin: Great Britain
Size: height at the withers of dogs 39-41 cm, bitches 38-39 cm
Coat: silky, smooth, close-fitting, must not be rough, wavy or twisted; short coat on the head, not very long on the back; abundant orifice on the chest, feather on the forelegs and hindquarters above the ankle
Color: various; for white dogs, a small white spot on the chest is allowed
Maturity: 1.5-2 years
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Weather resistance: high
The owners of the English Cocker Spaniel in black are Princess Kate and Prince William. Their pet’s name is Lupo and apparently gets along well with the children of the princely couple.