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American Cocker Spaniel

 

As the name suggests, American Cocker Spaniels (affectionately referred to as “Cockers”) were born and bred in the USA. They were even the country's most popular dog breed from 1936-1952 and again from 1983-1990. In fact, former Presidents Truman and Nixon and the reigning empress of American media (Oprah) have all shared their lives with this cherished breed.

These are happy, playful, and enduring dogs, well-disposed toward and more than capable of keeping up with active families with children. Equally good in warm and cool climates American Cocker Spaniels make for decent jogging partners and affectionate companions.

Originally bred as birders (especially low-flying woodcocks, which is how they got their name), this medium-sized and moderate-energy breed can grow to between 24-28 pounds and live 12-15 years. American Cocker Spaniels' favorite pastimes are friendliness.

The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club, sort of — in 1946, the AKC split the recognized breed into Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel; everywhere else in the world, they're American Cocker Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels. It's classified as a member of the Sporting breed group.

 

AKC RecognizedN
Breed's original pastimeCompanion
OriginUSA
Breed groupSporting
Average lifespan12-15 years
SizeMedium
Bark factorI love to talk!
AKC Ranking14
FamilyGundog, spaniel
Date of origin1800s
Original function Bird flushing and retrieving
Today's functionSpaniel field trials
Average size of maleHeight: 14.5-15.5 Weight: 24-28
Average size of femaleHeight: 13.5-14.5 Weight: 24-28

 

Other nameCocker spaniel
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Very affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Very Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Very Friendly
Friendliness toward strangersVery Friendly
Ease of training Hard to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs High maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS AN AMERICAN COCKER SPANIEL'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

These are bright, very playful, energetic, and very affectionate dogs. You'll make your American Cocker Spaniel's day every time you walk in the door.

WHAT IS AMERICAN COCKER SPANIEL BEHAVIOR LIKE?

The American Cocker Spaniel is not much of a lapdog, despite its small stature, but this dog is best friends with everyone it meets. They're often great with other dogs, pets, and small animals, and delighted to meet strangers. This breed makes for an ideal family dog: they're wonderful with children and enjoy fetching, swimming, and general horsing (dogging?) around. Though infinitely well-intentioned watchdogs, they're not very capable of protecting you or your home.

These jaunty dogs need daily walks, short runs, or rowdy games to marshal their energy. Many also enjoy trips to the dog park. When they get enough exercise, American Cocker Spaniels make for relatively calm housemates — though they can be prone to barking.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN AN AMERICAN COCKER SPANIEL?

American Cocker Spaniel's are fairly easy to train, but obedience exercises will also help keep their minds engaged. They're pre-disposed to being submissive, and prone to submissive urination. Their exuberance can sometimes overwhelm their manners, but they're fast learners and want nothing more than to please you (and maybe to earn a food treat).

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO AMERICAN COCKER SPANIELS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

American Cocker Spaniels' long coats can be flat or wavy and are silky when properly groomed.

These moderate seasonal shedders need consistent brushing (2-3x a week) and monthly grooming to keep their shining locks glossy and unmatted. Be sure to keep stray hairs out of their eyes and to keep their eyes clean.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO AMERICAN COCKER SPANIELS HAVE?

Though generally healthy, this breed can develop eye ailments or hip dysplasia. Check their ears regularly and be conscientious of their diets — American Cocker Spaniels tend toward pudginess.

 

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