Adopting An English Cocker Spaniel

This ‘merry’ Cocker, as it is sometimes called makes an excellent family pet.  Being considered as an excellent gun-dog, he is a great dog for Dad to take out shooting with.  And because he is also a good playmate for children, he is the ideal dog for them to romp with in the garden.  He is intelligent, manageable, affectionate, gentle natured, and has a merry temperament.

Size: His ideal weight should be about 28-32lb.  Full grown height for the male should be 151/2-16in and 15-151/2in for the female.

Origin and history: The Cocker Spaniel is very popular in Britain, and in the United States where he is known as the English Cocker.  He is also sometimes referred to as the ‘merry’ Cocker because of his happy and lively temperament and constantly wagging tail.  Other titles that he has been referred to were the Cocking Spaniel or simply “Cocker” because of his one-time prowess at flushing out woodcock.  The Cocker Spaniel was originated in Spain where the name ‘Spaniel’ and his ancestry can be traced all the way back to the 14th century.  He is believed to have been used in various countries in falconry.  Today, however, he is in his element while rabbit hunting, flushing out game for his master.  The larger Field Spaniel is of a similar origin to the Cocker.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for this breed would be 1-11/2 cans of a branded meaty product (13.3oz size) with biscuit added in equal part by volume; or 3 cupfuls of dry food.  Rations will need to be stepped up if the dog is taking vigorous exercise.  This is a breed that will plead endearingly for small meals, which should be denied to avoid it from becoming overweight or smelly.  With correct diet and exercise, he proves to be one of the healthiest and most long-lived of dogs.

Exercise: He is a very active dog that needs plenty of exercise.  He adores the country and is likely to return from a walk with tail wagging and covered with mud so he is not perhaps the ideal choice for town living

Grooming: This breed requires daily brushing and combing.  Extra care is needed to make sure that his coat does not become matted and his ears do not become tangled.  Also, make sure that his ears do not flop into the feeding bowl.  You might want to tape them back while he is eating or you may use a special ‘spaniel’ bowl.