The Cocker Spaniel is a breed widely known all over the world, and in England these dogs have been known since the early Middle Ages. Lovely animals, which now play the role of companions, in those distant times were mainly used when hunting woodcocks and other birds.
However, some monarchs loved their spaniels so much that they considered them primarily as companions, not parting with them either in bed or at council meetings – this made King Charles II famous. He even issued a special law that allowed him to appear with a spaniel in any government office. Despite the fact that other dogs were strictly prohibited from entering such places.
By and large, the English Spaniel is not much different from its fellow American Cocker Spaniel. In fact, many are interested in what the difference is, and the only definite answer to this can be given – size. In fact, the same breed has developed in England and America since the early 20th century, however, American breeders raised smaller dogs, while the British were noticeably larger.
At the same time, both in the litter of the first and in the litter of the second, it was possible to find puppies of different sizes, and this was considered normal. Even Shakespeare mentions cocker spaniels of various sizes.
However, in 1930, international organizations decided to divide these dogs into two independent breeds. Moreover, the division of spaniels into many different types did not appear until the late 19th century. Although, up to this point, they were mainly divided into land and water. The English Cocker Spaniel, by the way, is a terrestrial one.
In addition to size, American Cocker Spaniels acquired other characteristics by about the 30s of the last century. In particular, these were dogs with a shorter muzzle, a more rounded skull, and a denser coat of wool, as a result of which, in 1935, breeders in both England and the United States decided to separate them.
True, the American Kennel Club supported this decision only in 1946 – immediately after the end of the Second World War. Accordingly, some were given the name of the English Cocker Spaniel, while others began to be called the American Cocker Spaniel. Moreover, each of the varieties is very popular in their country today, being included in the list of the most demanded breeds.
The English Cocker Spaniel is a small, strong and agile dog. The build is strong, proportional, the limbs are medium, the muzzle is square, the ears are set low and covered with long and wavy hair. The head is round, with a pronounced transition from the forehead to the eyes, the chest is voluminous, the tail is short, the coat is long.
The color can be: dark red, light red, black with white, black.
The English Cocker Spaniel breed of dogs is friendly, kind and sympathetic pets. They have an open character, and love people very much, moreover, not only those with whom they live, but also strangers. We can say that these dogs seem to be always happy by default, and rarely succumb to sadness, and in combination with love for people, they immediately try to make friends with everyone and convey to others a piece of their mood.
Several things can make them unhappy, and firstly, this is the absence of the owners for a long time. In other words, it is extremely difficult for an animal to endure long separation from its owner, family, and therefore it is better not to leave it alone for a long time. If you are going on a long vacation with the whole family, it is better to take the dog with you, it is better than leaving it with friends. Rudeness, injustice, beatings are the next factor.
The English Cocker Spaniel has practically no internal aggression, and in general it has a balanced and harmonious character. You can be sure that your pet will never start a quarrel with another dog in the park and will not cause ridiculous conflicts. The English Cocker Spaniel needs long walks, physical activity and games, but if he does not receive these things, not only his character but also his appearance deteriorates.
The dog will begin to gain excess weight and turn into a slightly moody and possibly even destructive (when no one is at home) animal, which can rather serve as a decoration for the sofa. Today, these dogs are practically not used for hunting, and play only the role of companions, good friends for the whole family.
Therefore, you should not hope that when starting a cocker spaniel in a private house, he will be able to be a watchman and warn about the approach of danger in the form of a person – on the contrary, most likely he will not recognize the intruder, and will run up to him wagging his tail, waiting for sweets. That is, a dog can bark at extraneous noises, etc., but you must understand that people in its mind are not a threat, and it does not have the genetic roots of a territory guard, like, for example, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog.
Despite all the love for its owners, for the affectionate and kind character, sometimes stubbornness can appear in the breed. This is due to the fact that sometimes the dog does not see the reason to follow the command, and wants to act in its own way. There is no panacea here other than obedience training.
The English Cocker Spaniel is an intelligent animal that perfectly understands humans, recognizes well the mood changes of its owners, and can be used not only as a companion for an ordinary person, but also as a companion for a person with disabilities. Children are perceived well, they like to spend time with them, if the child is too small (up to 5 years old), it is better not to leave him alone with the dog. Just to be on the safe side, it’s not entirely clear how a dog can react if a child wants to crawl into his mouth or stick a finger in his ear.
The English Cocker Spaniel breed generally lends itself well to training, and even needs it, as this will make the dog’s life more varied, develop its inner qualities and form a more correct character. In addition, the spaniel’s intelligence also needs food. Since these pets have a very gentle, friendly and affectionate character, it is better not to use harsh training methods with them.
On the contrary, be also a gentle, kind, flexible and harmonious host who has a good sense of humor, is always patient, and if he shows strict treatment, he never goes overboard and is always fair.
Be sure to train your dog in basic commands and make sure he comes as you request. Since the spaniel is an intelligent dog, you can teach it more complex commands, and even hire specialists for these purposes, creating a guide dog and an assistant for a person with disabilities.
The English Cocker Spaniel has a long coat that needs to be combed out at least 2 times a week, or better 3. Some owners take their pets to the groomer (dog hairdresser), or cut them themselves, while others limit themselves to regular combing and brushing the coat.
The animal is bathed once a week, the eyes are cleaned daily, the ears are cleaned about 2-3 times a week, and they are also examined after walking for plants or insects stuck in the wool. The nails are trimmed 3 times a month.
The English Cocker Spaniel, like most dog breeds, is not without certain health problems, including:
- eye problems – spaniels are prone to a variety of eye problems, including progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, glaucoma, and eye abnormalities;
- dysplasia of the hip joint;
- renal failure – it occurs at a young age (from 9 to 24 months) and is considered hereditary;
- Congenital sensorineural deafness is a condition that is currently only found in colorful English Cocker Spaniels. This condition is present at birth in affected puppies with hearing degeneration progressing to deafness by 4 weeks of age;
- dilated cardiomyopathy.