Breed Type: Spaniel
Country of Origin: USA
Size: Small  /Medium
Care Requirements: Medium
Exercise Requirements: Medium / High
Lifespan:  Average 13 Years

Originally the American Cocker Spaniel was bred from spaniels in the United Kingdom. However, by the 1930s the breed had become so different that it was awarded separate breed status. These pets are very loyal and a great addition to the family.

Appearance
the American cocker spaniel is an exquisitely beautiful dog, they have a generous and lustrous silky and feathered coat of medium length and dramatic long hanging ears.  Their jaw is delicately chiselled get square, whilst the head is rounded with an abrupt stop. They have a wide, soft muzzle with upper lip hanging down covering the lower jaw, bite is scissor.

nose colour will depend on the fur colour is usually black on black dogs but maybe Brown on other coloured dogs.  They have dark brown, large expressive forward set eyes with slightly hopeful rims. They have a short back and a compact body with the shoulders slightly higher than the Withers. The forelegs are straight, they are born with dew claws front and rear which are generally removed.

Coat colour may be black, buff and other solid colours, black and tan, or parti-colour. The tail is generally docked to 40% of its original length and it is rarely still, always wagging. Show varieties have a longer more dramatic coats whereas the working field varieties are shorter gaited to prevent them catching brambles et cetera when rushing through undergrowth. The field variety additionally has had more attention placed on breeding for hunting instincts than coat. Both are show when field varieties are lovely temperament dogs and make excellent pets off

History
The English cocker spaniel arrived in the US sometime in the late 19th century could not too long after US Breeders of English cocker spaniels decided to develop a small breed that would be more suited to hunting small game such as quail. Whilst the breeds that went into developing the small size of the American Cocker or keeping a look very similar to the English Cocker are not entirely known as its likely they were bred with toy spaniels which would maximise the chance of returning this appearance whilst reducing size. For some time the American Cocker was not recognised as a separate breed to the English cocker spaniel – it was not until 1935 just prior to World War II that they received separate breed status from the AKC.

Already popular this distinct breed status combined with their beautiful natures and appearance saw them skyrocket in popularity. They have been exported around the world and indeed there are many American cocker spaniel breeders in the UK as well is Australia.

Temperament
Bred firstly and foremost as a working dog they are happy and excited workers. Whilst they are still suitable for the purpose to which they were bred (gundog) in Australia they are more often seen as a family pet. They will happily and merrily slot into almost any family. They are soft and appearance and softer nature. They are not the most intelligent of dogs that neither are entirely lacking it and they are willing learners and reasonably easy to train.

They are known to their happiness and likely behaviour they can be prone to shyness to they should be socialised when they are young with other dogs and people. They lack aggression and are usually wonderful with children other than they may have a habit of knocking small children over the deck continually wagging rear or by jumping up to let them on the face thus knocking them over. The latter trait is fairly easy to train the out of because of their desire to make their family happy.

They do not tolerate harsh treatment and they will quickly become resentful and avoid anyone who hands out such treatment. Training will work best if you mix a full parts of love, encouragement and excitement at their successes as opposed to strict military style training
Some individuals are known to be Barkers, barking excessively when they are excited or crying when they are left alone. We recommend if you are considering one seriously and even more seriously consider to be less you’re going to be around permanently to keep your Cocker company.

Sadly because of their popularity and beauty there has been an amount of puppy milling and irresponsible breeding where quantity was given importance over quality in conformation and temperament so it is entirely possible if you were to buy a puppy from an unregistered breeder or through a pet shop that you will end up with a puppy that exhibits excessive aggression traits.  Likewise be careful adopting a and American cocker spaniel for American cocker spaniel cross from the pound to the same reason.

Care and Grooming
Their eyes have a tendency to run leaving unsightly stains on their cheeks so they should be cleaned regularly if you wish to maintain them with a long coat this is of course going to require a lot more brushing, at least weekly shampooing with frequent clipping and trimming. If you’re after a more manageable coat length either search out the field American cocker spaniel or cut their coat to medium length and save yourself some of the brushing and washing.

Their fur is like a hair and needs to be treated that are the same as human hair. They are average shedders though this will of course be more pronounced in spring

Health Issues
As with all long eared dogs are susceptible to year rotations and infections survey need to be cleaned and kept dry at all times.  They are also known to suffer from off eyelid malformation conditions which can result in the eyelashes rubbing up against the eye which can cause all sorts of problems to be vigilant if you see them worrying their eyes.They are also susceptible to certain genetic eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. If you notice any change in your dog’s behavior that may be caused by a change in eyesight you should have your dog checked out by a vet immediately.

Skeletal disorders include patellar luxation with occasional incidence of elbow all hip dysplasia.

American Cocker Spaniels are also slightly more susceptible auto immune problems and skin allergies to be aware of any changes in behaviour such as lethargy, pale gums, vomiting, biting their skin or blood in their urine.  IMHA is a particularly nasty and fast acting disease that is associated with the breed – before buying a puppy you need to discuss with your prospective breeder if there is being any incidence of this condition in their breeding stock.

Assuming you do your homework and buying a healthy specimen is expect your dog to live on average to around 13 years though some will live several years longer.

Suitability as  Pet
It ever there was a dog should never be purchased from anyone other than a registered breeder in the American cocker spaniel is that breed.

These potential health issues aside they are one of the sweetest and loveliest of dogs.