American Cocker Spaniel

FCI GROUP: Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs

FAMILY: Gundog, Spaniel

Allowed as pet in Singapore HDB Flat: No

Origin: United States, 1800s The Cocker Spaniel dates back as far as the 14th century. The breed originated from the English Cocker Spaniels, which were brought to the United States. The Spaniels were bred down in size and given the name American Cocker Spaniels, officially simplified to "Cocker Spaniel" by the AKC. The American Cocker Spaniel is more popular than the original English Cocker Spaniel, which are slightly different in appearance, with longer muzzles and larger bodies.

Original Purpose: Hunting woodcocks and quail; flushing game.

Behaviour and Temperament: American Cocker Spaniels are curious, upbeat, merry, affectionate, loyal, trustworthy.

Breed Characteristics: A few individuals can be protective. Some can be very unpredictable and snappish or shy, but that is not the normal temperament for Cocker Spaniel; early socialisation is required to stem out a tendency for shyness. Quiet in the house. Some can be barkers.

Physical Features: 35.5 to 38 cm; 9.5 to 13.5 kg. The Cocker Spaniel is the smallest member of the sporting group. Colours are jet black (includes black-and-tan), buff, chocolate, cream, red, parti-colour, tricolour.

Coat Type and Grooming: Silky outercoat, enough undercoat for protection. Very high maintenance; two or three times weekly brushing, even for household pets; grooming for show dogs is immense. Professional grooming is necessary every few weeks; untrimmed dogs will develop unmanageable coats. Regular bathing required; eyes, ears, and feet need particular attention. American Cocker Spaniels are average shedders. Estimated grooming charges in Singapore: Full, S$70 - S$80, Basic, S$60 - S$65.

Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years.

Health Concerns: Umbilical hernia, cancer, orthopaedic problems (hip dysplasia, patellar luxation), obesity, sebaceous gland tumours, allergies, ear problems, eye problems (cataracts, PRA, distichiasis, glaucoma), heart problems (pulmonary stenosis, mitral valve insufficiency, cardiomyopathy), and also Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA).

Exercise: Moderate to very high; American Cocker Spaniels need daily long walks to expend the energy. Avoid thick and brushy bushes that can tangle the coat.

Housing: Can adapt to any living situation.

Sociability: Many choose one person for special attention. Still, excellent with all kinds of people, including children as long as he is properly socialised. Friendly to strangers. Usually good with other pets.

Trainability: High; many enjoy learning tricks. Some Cocker Spaniels can be difficult to housebreak.

Activities: Retrieving, agility, obedience, flyball.

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