|Group:||Gundogs (Group 3)|
|Club:||American Cocker Spaniel Club Of Victoria Inc|
Background The Spaniel family is a large one, of considerable antiquity. There are two varieties of Cocker Spaniels - the English and American. The American Cocker is not a crossbred dog. It evolved in the USA where breeders developed the breed from the English Cocker to become the glamorous American type we see today It had become a breed in its own right, and was recognised as such by the American Kennel Club in 1936. A pair of American Cocker Spaniels is thought to have been brought to Australia during World War II, although it has only been in the last fifty years that they have been bred here.
Average Lifespan When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. American Cocker Spaniels live from between 10 to 14 years of age.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament The American Cocker Spaniel has a typical gundog temperament, with a keenly developed sense of retrieving. While they are still used extensively in the USA as gundogs, here in Australia they are primarily kept as companions. American Cockers are outgoing, friendly, and very sociable. They make keen companions and are very good with children. As with all dogs, young children and pets should always be supervised when together. Because of their easy-going disposition, they are readily won over by strangers, and should not be regarded as guard dogs. Generally, temperaments are very stable, and the breed is quite adaptable - small enough to be a lap dog, yet large enough for long walks and energetic play. These dogs have an exceptionally merry disposition and will reward you many times over with their great sense of fun, and unquestioning loyalty.
Compatibility with other pets This breed adjusts readily to most pets.
Care Requirements American Cocker Spaniels require time and great care to bring their coat into full bloom. This can be achieved by frequent brushing and bathing, or regular trips to the grooming parlour. This applies not only when they are puppies, but also for the lifetime of the dog. While the American Cocker looks very elegant when in full coat, many pet owners keep their dogs in "pet clip" - leaving the coat only about 5cm (approximately 2 inches) in length on the legs and stomach. This significantly reduces the tendency of the coat to knot, and makes bathing, drying, and grooming much easier. It is a good idea to keep your American Cocker as dry as possible during winter, as getting wet and muddy only helps to mat the coat.
Please Take Note Although a small breed, the American Cocker still needs daily exercise. Digging holes in the garden can be a sign of boredom. Ideally, this breed needs to be allowed off the leash to run free, providing it is safe to do so. Such free exercise periods should be well supervised, with the dog kept within calling distance at all times. Although the American Cocker Spaniel is a very active dog, an average-sized suburban backyard, coupled with regular walks and plenty of attention, will provide it with sufficient exercise.
Ideal Owner/s Families who are prepared to meet this breed’s ongoing grooming requirements, and want a companion to go "out and about" with them.
In Conclusion, Now you know a little about the American Cocker Spaniel and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way, you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.