TFrazao is a registered Veterinary Practitioner for ten years and a Comp. Science Master recent grad. She believes in the fusion of things.
Who doesn't love the animation movie "Lady and the Tramp." Did you know that Lady is an American Cocker Spaniel?
In this article, I will summarize facts to consider before adopting an American Cocker Spaniel, considering the breed's characteristics and needs.
Fact nº1 — Overview
First appearing in the 1800s, the American Cocker Spaniel has been primarily developed in England. This breed is a typical English hunting dog and a companion. They can be recognized by their compact stature, cute appearance, and white coat.
Fact nº2 — Anatomy
American Cocker Spaniels are a small, sturdy and well-proportioned breed of dog weighing between 15–30 pounds and stands 15–16 inches tall at the withers.
Fact nº3 — Coat
The coat of the American Cocker Spaniel is of medium length with a silky texture. Their coat color is solid liver or buff. Their skin gradually becomes thicker towards the rear part within the fur, with an undercoat that is thinner and flatter. The heads of this breed appear to be docked.
Fact nº4 — Activity
These athletic dogs require lots of exercises as they are amenable to play fetch, frisbee, and other similar activities. They should be given as much playtime as possible. They do not take well to staying in kennels and will only do so until they become adult dogs.
Fact nº5— Temperament
The American Cocker Spaniel is an intelligent breed capable of adapting to any situation. They are responsive, easily trained, lively, and loyal. Though they make brilliant guard dogs, this breed is not for everyone. While they are highly obedient, they can be very hyperactive and not the best choice for a quiet pet. Their hunting instinct, if not controlled, can lead them into hazardous situations. They are best suited to those families with older children, as this breed is not tolerant of rough and loud children. These dogs make lovely watchdogs but will be cautious of strangers.
Fact nº6 — Care
These dogs require regular combing and brushing. Bathing should be done when necessary, and dry shampooing can be an option between wet baths. American Cocker Spaniels are known to be prone to various skin diseases, particularly infections affecting their ears, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and cataracts. Veterinary annual exams are advised to check pets' overall health, so the vets can perform physical exams to catch possible diseases early on.
Fact nº7 — Training
American Cocker Spaniels are known to be sensitive, so consistent but gentle training methods should be applied. No harsh punishment or cruel ways should be used, as these breeds tend to become stubborn. If training is done correctly, it can be an enjoyable experience for both the owner and the dog. Proper alpha-leader training can reduce any difficulties associated with activity and make it easier for a dog to please the owner. Effective communication is essential and should be both firm and consistent to avoid confusing the dog. As with other dogs' breeds, repetition is a regular part of the American Cocker Spaniel training process. It is also essential to reward the dog for good behavior. A positive training environment should exist along with a few limitations, as providing punishment isn't an ideal method.
Fact nº8 — Character
The American Cocker Spaniel is a charming and responsive breed, making a delightful family pet or hunting companion. These athletic dogs are a little attitude lifted with long backs compared to their masters. The American Cocker Spaniel is analogous to a big dog, with plenty of spirits. This intelligent dog will be eager to obey and will be relatively easy to get along with people. They make a trustworthy canine companion that is full of self-confidence.
An informed pet owner is crucial to provide the best for his pet in terms of health and husbandry.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2020 DVM MSc Tania Frazao
DVM MSc Tania Frazao (author) from Lisbon on December 08, 2020:
I agree. They are a very charming breed. And they know it. My colleague has one female and she is such a princess :)
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 08, 2020:
One of our family pets, when I was a youngster, was a cocker spaniel. He was a charmer!