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Get to Know a Cocker Spaniel

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Believed to be the dog breed that came to America with the Mayflower, Cocker Spaniels are popularized even more by Hollywood goddess, Oprah. She’s been very vocal about animal rights and ardent about pet dog adoption with her favorite breed, among others, the Cocker Spaniel. So what’s with a Cocker Spaniel that many people, and Oprah who’s got three, loved so much about? Is it a perfect match with your personality and home? Get to know a cocker spaniel below: paw, fur, personality, and all.

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What Does a Cocker Spaniel Look Like

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There are two breeds of Cocker Spaniel: the American and the English Cocker Spaniel. The two are close cousins that only differ in very few key features. The American Cocker Spaniel has a rounded head with a pronounced stop, and its cousin, the English Cocker Spaniel, has an arched head, slightly flattened when viewed front the side. The muzzle of an American Cocker Spaniel is squared and longer than its cousin’s long with a well-define stop muzzle.

Both Cocker Spaniel breeds have long ears draping on the sides covered with dense coat. They all have long, silky (most are curly) hairs that cover the body from neck to tail. The hairs on the head are usually shorter to allow the dog to see and use their sniffers properly. Cocker Spaniels are among the best colored dog breeds, too. Some have white and buff or red, white and black, white and tan and even golden brown or pure black soft and silky coat like cotton puffs.

Grooming a Cocker Spaniel

Okay, would-be Cocker Spaniel pawrents… don’t be frightened here. Cocker Spaniels could be demanding in terms of grooming, but others have done it, so can you. Since the dog breed is very hairy, it’s demanding in terms of coat maintenance. A Cocker Spaniel needs brushing every other day to remove tangles and prevent matte. And they need hair clipping every couple of months, which could get expensive if you’re not too confident to clip your dog’s hair yourself.

Moreover, the thick ear cover that protects the pet dog from chill makes it susceptible to ear infection also. Clean your pet’s ear at least once a week using cotton balls with vet-prescribed disinfectant to prevent infection. Remember only to clean as far as the cotton balls go; never poke your dog’s ear with cotton buds or other hard objects.

How Will Your Cocker Spaniel Behave

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Cocker Spaniels are gentle dogs suitable around children or other dogs (with some socialization). It’s perfect for families living in apartments; however, it may not be a good choice for single pawrents. Cocker Spaniels are very sweet dogs that like to be around people, so leaving them alone in an apartment could make them very sad. Yes, they’re prone to separation anxiety attacks, and they’re also prone to develop small dog syndrome.

Common Health Problems

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The most common health problem of a Cocker Spaniel is ear infection due to its thick hair that intrudes in the dog’s ears. But constant ear cleaning with a disinfectant should take care of the problem. Other health concerns of a Cocker Spaniel include the following:

– Cataracts
– Glaucoma
– Hip and knee problem
– Progressive retina atrophy
– Liver problems
– Heart problems
– Kidney problems
– Blood problems

The list is pretty long, but it’s not something to be concerned about if you take care of your Cocker Spaniel well. With proper diet, exercise, and a lot of TLC, your Cocker Spaniel should have no problem living from 12 to 15 years.

Cocker Spaniel Trivia

Cocker Spaniels came from England where they were bred to hunt Woodcock, thus the name Cocker Spaniel. When they came to America together with the Mayflower immigrants, the dog breed was developed to be more of a house pet than a hunter. Thus, the distinct American Cocker Spaniel.

When your Cocker Spaniel reached 6 months old, you can enter it in AKC-recognized dog shows. However, not all Cocker Spaniel colors are recognized by AKC. The colors recognized are Black, any solid color other than black (ASCOB), and parti-colors. If you are interested in looking after your own dog, there are plenty of cocker spaniel puppies for sale.

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