Merry is the word not only used to describe Christmas, but English Cocker Spaniel lovers often use this word while giving a description of this dog. Super mature at home and buoyant in the fields, this dog is versatile in its behaviour which is adored by its lovers. Above all, its absolutely bewildering looks can leave anyone spellbound. An important instruction is that one should not confuse the following two breeds-English Cocker Spaniel and English Springer Spaniel. They both look similar in physical appearance. However, the key difference amongst them is the shape of the ears. The English Cocker Spaniel tends to have longer ears compared to the Springer Spaniels.
Introduction: Let’s See What Is So Special About The English Cocker Spaniel
The English Cocker Spaniel male dog can attain a height around 15.5-16 inches at the shoulder with the females being a little smaller. Both males and females weigh 13-14.5 kilogram. The English Cocker Spaniel has a life span of around 12-14 years.
Let’s delve into the details about its coat. Its coat is medium in length and colourful in appearance. Touching this absolutely soft coat, one can get the feel similar to running fingers through virgin silk threads. The melting eyes on the contoured head can take a breath away. The closely lying long lush ears leave no chance to add to the fascinating looks. If one turns to understand the breed, “balanced” would be the perfect word to describe the temperament of the merry dog. The same can be said about the construction as well as the movement of EC. Beneath this splendid physical appearance is a hunter who is used for hunting down birds. Coming to the companionship, the English Cocker Spaniel will return all the love with interest if one invests enough time to make them dogs exercise that they require.
History: Where Did They Come From?
It has been over 500 years that these dogs have also been a part of the art and literature. But the interesting fact is that the type which is found today began getting changed to what it is in the mid of 19th century. In England, these dogs were initially divided into two categories-the Land Spaniels and the Water Spaniels. Then, the other type of cockers was recorded during the 1850s and 1860s; these were the Devonshire Cockers and Welsh Springer Spaniels.
In addition to the above-mentioned, Cockers was the name used for the small dogs from Sussex Spaniels litters. In 1885, the Spaniel Club came into existence, and it was then that the sport of conformation showing began among spaniels. Initially, while showing, both the Cockers and the new Springer were counted under the smaller class until the breed standards were set by the Spaniel Club. It took them a total of eight years to separate the two types. Since then, both have bred in the different traits according to the desire.
Colour And Hues
The breed standards set certain restrictions to every breed for eradicating the chance of false recognition. Same is the case with English Cocker Spaniels. Talking about the colour, these dogs can have solid, “parti-type,” or roan type markings on their body. Solid dogs have almost no or very little white. When it comes to parti-coloured, they have patches of colour. The parti-coloured dogs have “ticking” which refer to the freckles of colour on nose or legs. On the other hand, Roan is the most coloured or patched version. These are white dogs but parts of their bodies speckled with coloured solid patches. Initially, they are born as white puppies but they gain freckles or solid patches as they grow up.
An English Cocker Spaniel can be seen in black, red/golden with brown or black pigmentation or liver/brown. At the same time, a parti-coloured Cocker can be seen in blue roan, orange roan, or liver roan with black or brown pigmentation, black and white, liver and white with brown pigmentation, orange and white with black or brown pigmentation, lemon and white with black or brown pigmentation, black and white ticked, liver and white ticked, orange and white ticked with black or brown pigmentation, lemon and white ticked with black or brown pigmentation. It is almost impossible to witness a plain white spaniel as they are rarely born. It is believed that plain white spaniels are more vulnerable to deafness and that is why this breed is kind of discouraged.
If one talks about the temperament of the English Cocker Spaniels, they are benevolent, merciful, and kind. They are alert enough to guard the house. All these facts make it a great family pet. The only bothering fact is that this dog cannot be kept in solitary. The Cocker Spaniel possesses the ability to form strong bonds with the family. This extremely loyal and friendly animal is known for its intelligence and adaptability. Above all this, it has a very blissful nature. Since they are blessed with a good level of socialization, they can easily get along with individuals, children, and other pets as well. It adores being in a crowd rather than a lonely backyard. One needs to keep them away from loud noise and control their rough behaviour. Such things can lead to a super annoyed Cocker. Treat them with all the care and love in the world, and an obedient and loving companion will be the reward.
Train But Do Not Strain
This is absolutely true that these dogs come with an intelligent mind, but at times one falls short of tricks to train them. They might not respond to stick or harsh words. So, one should make sure that one always stays calm and gentle while training this lovely pet. This dog might lose its optimistic nature if not treated properly and gaining back its companionship might never be an option again. Like mentioned above, early socialization and affection can turn this dog into a great pet. If this dog is left alone for a longer period, then one should not get shocked if the dog turns into a monster out of the boredom.
Just Feed, Don’t Serve The Greed
Talking about its food, the Cocker Spaniel should be given just 1 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food per day and that too, divided into two meals. The amount of feed required by the dog depends on the size, age, metabolism, activity, and built of the dog. Dogs should also be treated like humans when it comes to feeding. Not all take the same amount of feed. Make sure that the quality of food is kept in mind while buying the food as it can make a difference to the dog’s diet. After all, the better the food, the more will it add to the nutrition of the dog.
This is also a matter of fact that the English Cocker Spaniels love to eat. If the master lacks in keeping an eye on the diet, then the dog might put on pounds. Keeping an eye on the dog’s feed will keep the dog in good shape. Just feeding the dog twice a day will make it look good and healthy dog rather than keeping the bowl filled the entire day.
If there is even a single doubt that the dog is overweight, a hands-on test or an eye test can be done to clear the confusion. Let’s see what this test is all about? Look down at the dog. Being able to see his waist, place the hands on his back with thumbs along the spine and fingers spread downward. If the ribs can be felt but not seen without pressing hard, then the situation is under control. But if the ribs cannot be felt then, lesser food should be fed and more exercise is required.
5 Unique Characteristics of English Cocker Spaniels
1. Need Company, Abstain Being Lonely
These dogs are no less than the social animal-human being. Like humans, the English Cocker Spaniels also find it difficult to survive alone. They adore staying among people and other pets as they have a tendency to make companions easily. On the other hand, if they are made to stay alone, it might lead to ill-behaviour. In such situations, the master might find it tough to train the dog. These dogs can really earn the tag of the “special family member” if it spends time with you.
2. Don’t Be Rude, You Harsh Dude!
Another unique characteristic is that this alluring lush-eared dog is too sweet to be loved. If it is treated harshly, then one might have to pay back afterwards. Training an English Cocker Spaniel can be a cakewalk, if and only if trained with love. Scolding and stick do not work for this breed. If done so, they can give you a tough time training themselves. It has an extremely gentle personality with optimistic behaviour.
3. Faithful & Playful
Dogs are faithful; this is not a new thing. But one cannot even leave this unmentioned when talking about dogs. It is no less than a crime. Their faithfulness makes them the best-trusted guard for the house and the family. As said above, they make the best companion which might be because of their playful nature too. They easily get along with kids and other pets too. Now, this might leave you in a shock-if introduced to cats at an early age, they can also get along with them too. They are extremely energetic and blissful around kids. Being around kids brings out the best version of these dogs.
4. Exercise Lovers!
These dogs love to exercise and going out. It will enjoy as much exercise as you can give it. A daily walk is recommended for an English Cocker Spaniel. But remember that the heel must be behind the human or else the dog might think themselves to be the leader. In their minds, the pack leader goes first which might lead them to imagine themselves as alpha over a human, if made to walk in the front. Heeling it beside your own self is also fine as per the behaviour.
5. Food Lovers
These dogs are highly prone to obesity because of their love for food. If not kept on a check, they might gain pounds easily munching all day. In this case, follow the feeding recommendation and the problem will be sorted. Choosing feed for a dog is not an easy task. There are several points to be kept in mind while doing so. The first one being, the age, and activity of the dog which determines the amount of diet a dog might need. If feeding with the best quality food, the quantity required will be automatically less. Coming on the quality of the food, make sure that the food served to the dog contains ample animal protein with appropriate fat content to provide energy to the dog. At last, you can always visit the vet for further recommendations regarding the health of the dog.
In the journey of scrolling down through this article, there were enough points to provide information regarding the merry breed: the English Cocker Spaniel. This breed is as lovely as you can imagine it to be or treat it to be. Treat them like a kid and they can win hearts with the amount of affection and faith they will offer in return. Do not give a second thought if buying this one. It is like adding another member to the family.