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Cocker Spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel evolved in the United States from Spaniels imported from Great Britain . The smallest gundog with the biggest heart, the cocker spaniel is an affectionate free spirit dog with a good temperament. The cocker spaniel is an attractive and intelligent dog that commonly makes a terrific house pet.


Cocker Spaniels are gentle and affectionate, yet full of life and exuberance. They are intelligent and very loyal dogs. However, cocker spaniels do require an energetic owner, as they are very playful and active. This lively breed makes a great household pet, and should not be left outdoors for a long period of time. Cocker Spaniels are typically happy and trusting, and their ideal temperament is merry, outgoing and very willing to please. They tend to be "softer" dogs that do not do well with rough or harsh training.

Cocker Spaniels are beautiful dogs that can get along well with older children and animals providing they do not pester. A very cheerful dog, the cocker spaniel loves to play and sometimes enjoys barking. This very gentle breed can become somewhat of a tyrant if not given the proper attention or socialization. Luckily, responsible breeders have worked diligently to eliminate negative characteristics of the cocker spaniel breed, such as fearfulness and aggression by nature, while trying to educate the public regarding responsible breeding.

The Cocker Spaniel has a sturdy, compact body and a cleanly chiseled and refined head, with the overall dog in complete balance and of ideal size. He stands well up at the shoulder on straight forelegs with a topline sloping slightly toward strong, moderately bent, muscular quarters. The cocker spaniel is a dog capable of considerable speed, combined with great endurance. Above all, he must be free and merry, sound, well balanced throughout and in action show a keen inclination to work. A dog well balanced in all parts is more desirable than a dog with strongly contrasting good points and faults.

12-15 years..

The name cocker comes from the fact that the breed originally hunted woodcock. In the United States the breed is registered under the name "Cocker Spaniel", as is the English Cocker Spaniel in the UK , which can cause confusion between these two breeds. By the 1930s the American variety of cocker spaniels had become so different from its English ancestors that it was given separate breed status. Originally a gun dog, the Cocker Spaniel now fulfills the position of family pet or show dog most often and unlike the English Cocker Spaniel, is rarely seen hunting. Some American Cocker Spaniel lines are still bred for fieldwork, and a small movement works to preserve the hunting abilities of the breed. He can be a faithful and responsible children's companion. Cocker Spaniels have been a highly popular American breed since the 1940s, occupying the top position in number of American Kennel Club registrations from 1940-1952. The breed declined a bit in popularity and then resurged to #1 in registrations from 1984-1990. In the last fifteen years, the cocker spaniel's popularity has declined. The cocker spaniel was 15th in AKC registrations for 2004, down from 14th in 2003.

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