American Cocker Spaniel
Table of contents
Features of the breed
History of Origin
The history of the American Cocker Spaniel dates back to the 14th century. It was at that time that the breed was often mentioned in the pages of then literature. From Spain to England, sailors brought new dogs, which were somewhat different from each other. They had in common features as well as excellent working qualities. The breed’s name is directly related to the hunting specialization of the dog, that is, hunting woodcock birds. Cocker Spaniels were also often called “Spanish dogs” (spaniel, from Spain).
The distribution of the breed in America began in the middle of the 19th century. Presumably, breeding and selection work on the creation of the breed began in 1880. And in 1881, the First Club of American Cocker Spaniel Breed Lovers was founded in the USA. The breed quickly enough won the hearts of many hunters in its homeland.
In 1946, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club. The American Cocker Spaniel received the official standard and recognition by the International Canine Federation only in 1970. Nowadays, the breed is used as a friendly hunting dog and as a companion dog.
Appearance: height, weight, fur, color
The appearance of the American Cocker Spaniel is certainly not confused with any other dog. It is a compact dog with a harmonious build and noble appearance. It is considered the smallest representative of the hunting dog. The American Cocker Spaniel height does not exceed 39.4 cm, and the normal weight ranges from 7-14 kg. It has a rounded skull and pronounced raised brow arches.
The muzzle is square, wide. The eyes are almond-shaped, large, with a very attentive and affectionate gaze. Usually dark in color. Ears planted on the eye line, very long, hanging. A pronounced long and muscular neck. The chest is deep and broad. The back is straight. The limbs are compact, with strong bones and developed muscles. The tail is small and set at the level of the back, straight, can be trimmed.
The coat is dense, silky to the touch, with a thick undercoat. It can be straight and, in some places, wavy. For example, along the torso of medium length and on the ears, chest, belly, and limbs the longest. Acceptable colors: Black or cream, monochrome. Also, brown with tan to rich red with light markings.
Although the American Cocker Spaniel does not look very imposing, it is rightly considered an indispensable helper at home and on the hunt. Now it is more of a house dog than a hunting dog. He is determined, brave, and responsive. Ready at the first call of the owner to come to the rescue. Against strangers, calm and not aggressive at all. He warns unobtrusive barking about the coming of uninvited guests. Not suitable as a guard dog – too kind disposition of American Cocker Spaniel won’t let him scare away intruders. Very attached to family members.
Capable of feeling all the emotions and moods of the owner. A distinctive feature of the American Cocker Spaniel is considered to be his vulnerable nature. If he harbors a grudge, it is for a long time. And it can be solved only by increased attention to the pet, active play, or a walk.
Extremely difficult to bear loneliness and may think that he was abandoned forever. Therefore, for people with a busy work schedule is not suitable. Also, the American Cocker Spaniel is a true friend of children. He loves children so much that he is willing to spend all day with them. So you will not find a better “nanny” for your child.
When looking at an American Cocker Spaniel, it’s not hard to guess what needs the most care. The pet’s long and wavy hair needs regular brushing every two days (daily during the molting period). Bathe every few weeks, be sure to use a special shampoo. It will take care of the hair and prevent it from tangling. An important condition for the coat’s care is to blow-dry it with a hairdryer after every bath. If you do not thoroughly dry the pet’s coat, excess moisture will be retained there, contributing to the development of fungus.
It is recommended to have your pet haircut every 3 to 4 months. American Cocker Spaniel ears also need proper attention. Inspect and clean them three times a week. Claws usually clip on their own on walks; if that is not enough, trim them monthly.
Remember that any well-behaved dog is the result of hard work and persistent training. The American Cocker Spaniel is usually quick to remember the required commands and is happy to obey them. In training the dog, it is vital not to overdo it and not to indulge in aggression. In this case, the dog will close in on itself and become uncontrollable.
The only thing the American Cocker Spaniel is unlucky with is health. The breed is susceptible to diseases, including hereditary ones:
- allergic reactions;
- ear infections (in a neglected condition can lead to a hearing loss);
- hemolytic anemia;
- hip dysplasia;
- ophthalmic diseases (glaucoma, retinal atrophy, dry eye);
- benign and malignant tumors.
The main criterion for selecting a diet for the American Cocker Spaniel should be the minimal fat content. Representatives of the breed tend to beg and have a good appetite. It can lead to weight gain.