BREED DESCRIPTION & INFORMATION
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Note: The breed may also be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.
** The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.
Male: Ideal height is 15 inches (38 cm) at the withers; Female: Ideal height is 14 inches (35.5 cm) at the withers. Height may vary ½ inch (1 cm) above or below the ideal.
Brief History of the American Cocker Spaniel Breed:
The American version of the Cocker Spaniel was developed through breeding of English Cocker Spaniels that were brought to the United States from England. The Cocker Spaniel has been recognized by England's Kennel Club since 1892 and has been shown in the US since the early 1880s. In the US, the breed evolved as a different type, size and colouring and thus was separated and named the American Cocker Spaniel. Today, the Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular American Kennel Club breeds and the most popular spaniel breed in the world. The United Kennel Club recognized the American version as a breed separate from the English Cocker Spaniel in 1947. In 1949, the American Kennel Club recognized a new distinct breed: Cocker Spaniel, known as the American Cocker Spaniel while the original cocker was named the English Cocker Spaniel.
Additional Information on the History of the Breed:
The American version of the Cocker Spaniel is smaller, has a shorter muzzle and more prominent eyes than the English Cocker Spaniel. The Cocker Spaniel is the smallest of the Sporting Group with a sturdy, compact body, long elegant ears and a silky and feathery coat. He has a cheerful and sweet personality which makes him a wonderful companion. He is playful, intelligent, trusting and loyal, and generally gets along well with other animals. He is a gentle and trusting dog, but early socialization is important with this breed as with all dogs.
The Cocker Spaniel is adaptable in that he is suited to being a household companion as well as living the life of a gundog. Today, the Cocker Spaniel is still a popular breed used as a hunting dog, to find, flush and retrieve upland game birds. In addition, he is also very popular in the show ring as well as competing in obedience and agility trials.
The Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular breeds of dogs. Unfortunately, with this popularity comes the issue of irresponsible breeders attempting to cash in. Characteristics such as being timid, yappy, nervous, and high-strung are not natural to the breed and may be a result of poor breeding. If you are considering the purchase of a Cocker Spaniel puppy, be especially selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)
American Cocker Spaniels, as with other breeds, are susceptible to some health problems, some of a genetic nature, others viral. The Health Concerns for the American Cocker Spaniel document includes information on some of the known health concerns found in the breed.
If you are considering the adoption of a Cocker Spaniel puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)
Recommended Health Screening:
For the Cocker Spaniel, the CHIC* database includes health screenings for:
- Eye Examination by a board Ophthalmologist
- Hip Dysplasia
Additional Health Resources:
- Health Concerns for the American Cocker Spaniel
- The American Spaniel Club Foundation Inc.
- Canine Inherited Disorders Database Cocker Spaniel, American
- Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) Cocker Spaniel Breed Requirements Providing a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
- Health and Nutrition Growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website which includes information on several health and nutrition related issues.
- AKC Canine Health Foundation Working towards developing scientific advances in canine health.
- Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF)
- Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
- Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)
- University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHip)
- HealthGene HealthGene Corporation is the leading provider of veterinary DNA diagnostic services in Canada.
- Labgenvet Laboratory of Veterinary Genetics is a Canadian diagnostic laboratory that offers a comprehensive service of DNA tests for veterinary genetic diseases.
- CKC Breed Standard
- AKC Breed Standard
- UKC Breed Standard
- The Kennel Club (U.K.) Breed Standard
- FCI Breed Standard 167
- Grooming This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.
- Tips for Training your Flushing Spaniel
- Training For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.
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