"American Cocker Spaniel ranks 20th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs."
Other names for this breed:Cocker, Merry Cocker
Country of origin:United States
Weight:24 to 30 pounds (11 to 14 kg)
Height:3.5 to 15.5 inches (34 to 39 cm)
Coat:Medium length, thick
Color:White, black, brown, tan, grey, red, fawn
Life span:10-11 years
The American Cocker Spaniel is one of the most versatile looking breeds. They are the smallest breed of dog recognized by the AKC as a sporting dog. They stand between 13 and 15 inches high at the shoulder. The ideal weight for these dogs is between 25-30 lbs. They have upturned noses, long ears that touch the chest.
It has a domed shape head with a square lip. Typically the nose is either black or brown depending on the color of the fur. The ears are long and silky and give the American Cocker Spaniel its unique appearance.
They have large round eyes and coats can vary from black to buff. Their coat is thick and wavy with a thick undercoat (ideal for swimming to get the game of the day).
The American Cocker Spaniel is often referred to as the “Merry” Cocker because they are simply delightful to be around. They are easy to train, eager to please and simply seem happy all the time. They are well known for their intelligence and can easily be trained to get along with just about anyone or any thing.
They are a favored family pet because of their well known tolerance for when kids are pulling them. They are hardy so being handled by children is not a problem. They are not an aggressive breed nor are they timid.
They prefer the company of people over other animals. Although once bred for hunting they are mostly bred now for show hence their long silky coats. Since they are mainly bred for show reasons now they are very easily handled and conducive to training.
Care and Living Arrangements
The American Cocker Spaniel can be of high energy levels at times. They are better living in a house with a yard as opposed to an apartment only because they do like to get their running in. They enjoy a good game of fetch so they do need a family or a human companion that likes to play.
Their long coat and ears require special grooming needs. They need to be brushed regularly and bathed often.
The American Cocker Spaniel is an offshoot of the British Spaniel. The original sire of the American Cocker Spaniel reportedly came over on the Mayflower. A male Spaniel named Captain started the American line. With minimal differences in size and head shape the American Cocker Spaniel can be almost unrecognizable from his British cousin.
The original line of Spaniels were brought from Spain to England in the 11th century. The main difference between the two lines is height, head shape, weight and coat color.
The American Cocker Spaniel is a hardy breed but does have the potential for some health concerns. Heart conditions, frequent ear infections and hip dysplasia are a few of the issues that you may come across in the breed. The health problems of the American Cocker Spaniel are largely blamed on poor breeding practices by backyard breeders.