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A Comprehensive Guide to English Cocker Spaniel

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Overview

The English Cocker Spaniel is an active and good-natured dog breed. The English Cocker Spaniel is an energetic sports dog despite its soft and gentle appearance. They are great family dogs mainly because they are easy to train and are always excited to learn. English Cocker Spaniels are small, silky-coated bird dogs that are highly acclaimed for their lovely personality and attractive looks. The American Kennel Club recognized the English Cocker Spaniel as a distinct breed of Cocker Spaniel in 1936.

History of English Cocker Spaniel

Spaniels have been featured in literature and art for over 500 years. The spaniel breeds of England were created long back in time from dogs of Spanish stock (the word “spaniel” deriving from “Spanish”). This was back in time when reliable hunting rifles were not invented. During this time, bird hunters used dogs in tandem with bows, nets, and sometimes falcons. In England, Spaniels were divided into land spaniels and water spaniels. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that Spaniels were separated into different breeds, as they are now.

Size of English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel is a well-balanced and muscular dog. They have a distinct expression that demonstrates intellect and awareness. As per the breed standard, males measure between 15.5 and 16 inches (39 and 41 cm) at the withers, while females measure between 15 and 15.5 inches (39 and 41 cm). In addition, males weigh around 28 to 34 pounds, while females weigh 26 to 32 pounds.

Their eyes are medium in size, full and slightly oval, and are set wide apart. They have a soft expression, and a skull that is arched and slightly flattened. Additionally, the muzzle is well cushioned and equal in length to the skull. The body of the English Cocker Spaniel is compact, giving the impression of strength without heaviness.

english cocker spaniel laying on a bench

The Temperament of English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel is a lively, joyful sporting dog with a compact build and high withers. They radiate energy and life. Their stride is solid and smooth, allowing them to effortlessly cover terrain while penetrating deep cover to chase prey.

English Cocker Spaniels are excellent family pets because they are compassionate, determined, kind, bright, athletic, attentive, and resilient. They generally get along well with adults, children, other dogs, and other pets if they are socialized early. The breed dislikes being alone and will form a close attachment with a single family member- generally the one who feeds them.

They are exceptionally devoted and loving, and they are known for their optimism, intelligence, and adaptability. The English Cocker Spaniel is a cheerful canine. They are ranked 18th in Stanley Coren’s “The Intelligence of Dogs,” which indicates exceptional working/obedience intelligence. The term “merry cocker” was given to English Cocker Spaniel because of their pleasant nature and constantly wagging tail. However, they can also be domineering while being devoted to their owner.

Loud noises, as well as brutal treatment or handling, can easily upset English Cocker Spaniels. However, if trained with a kind hand and plenty of treats, the English Cocker Spaniel will become an obedient and loving companion with a pleasant and cheery personality. Additionally, the English Cocker Spaniel is playful, but also has a protective and adaptable nature. They are not so rigid when it comes to obeying a command and are also easy to train and get along with.

The Intelligence of English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniels are highly obedient and quick to train. Despite the close confusion among English Cocker Spaniel with Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniels are inquisitive canines who enjoy exploring new things. English Cocker Spaniels are exceptional retrievers with sensitive jaws that hunt in challenging terrain. While English Cocker Spaniels are bright, they may be obstinate sometimes, especially if they don’t see why they should do what you order.

Training your dog to come when called and heed your directions is a good concept for any dog, but it’s more important for hunting dogs. They excel not only in obedience and working intelligence but also in adaptable and intuitive intelligence. They are among the most popular and intelligent dogs due to these characteristics.

english cocker spaniel sitting in front of orange flowers

Does the English Cocker Spaniel Shed?

English Cocker Spaniels shed, although the quantity depends on the dog’s coat, how often they are combed and cleaned, and occasionally their overall health. English Cocker Spaniels have a single coat instead of the multiple coats of certain other dog breeds. Even though they shed, the English Cocker Spaniel’s coat has additional characteristics to consider. Their coat is incredibly thick and voluminous, thus needing regular grooming. Because the breed is so furry, English Cocker Spaniel needs constant grooming and coat upkeep.

Cocker Spaniels, both English and American, have a single coat, not a double coat. The American Cocker has a longer coat with more feathers than the English Cocker Spaniels. The Cocker Spaniel, like all dogs with hair, requires frequent brushing. A full-coated Cocker Spaniel will need at least a half-hour of brushing three times each week. Additionally, English Cocker Spaniels must be brushed regularly to remove dead hair. If you want to maintain your English Cocker Spaniel in a fuller coat, you’ll need to keep your dog’s hair clear of dirt.

Health of English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel is a healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years. They are, however, susceptible to a variety of health problems such as patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, hypothyroidism, canine hip dysplasia, cataracts, and renal illness. In addition, you might want to get your English Cocker Spaniel physically examined by the vet every 3-4 months. Cardiomyopathy can be observed in the breed on rare occasions. For calorie requirements, an adult female English Cocker Spaniel, weighing around 14.5 kg, requires about 929 kcal/day. At the same time, an adult male dog weighing around 15.5kg requires about 977 kcal/day.

english cocker spaniel standing in a flower field

Psychological Health Conditions in English Cocker Spaniel

Stress

There can be various causes of stress in English Cocker Spaniels. Some of these symptoms include tucked ears and tails, raised hackles, excessive yawning, panting, and whale eyes. Growling is also a symptom of stress, and your English Cocker Spaniel may growl if they are agitated. You can also be the cause of your English Cocker Spaniel’s stress by giving confusing commands, staring directly at a dog, and giving unnecessary punishment.

You can use various techniques to help your English Cocker Spaniel cope with stress. For example, refrain from over-counseling your dog or making them follow your commands. Let them relax. Routine instructions also engage the dog’s attention and provide a sense of consistency.

The best method to calm your dog is to find out what’s causing the stress. You can then distract them by engaging them in games or something else and diverting their attention. Sometimes it might help your dog if you block off an area where your dog can eat in peace, so no one can disturb them.

Anxiety

Anxiety can be unpleasant for your dog. Although all dogs feel anxiety occasionally, if excessive amounts of anxiety are not addressed, a dog might develop an anxiety disorder.

Separation anxiety is quite prevalent in English Cocker Spaniel dogs. In addition, dogs and puppies frequently experience anxiety due to being left alone for lengthy periods.

English Cocker Spaniel dogs dislike being left alone and often feel stressed when their owner leaves the house. Even the sight of you preparing to leave might cause your dog to get anxious. You might notice anxious behaviors like pacing, whimpering, trembling, and excessive barking by your English Cocker Spaniel dogs.

Chewing or digging, especially near doors or windows, are destructive behaviors that English Cocker Spaniel dogs exhibit when anxious. Household accidents, such as urinating or defecating, paired with salivation, drooling, or panting in excess, are also anxiety symptoms in dogs.

Calming Dog Products

Everything from pyrotechnics to thunderstorms could very well harm a dog’s mental and emotional state. However, calming dog products in conjunction with proper care, constructive reinforcement training, and counterconditioning might help calm your English Cocker Spaniel.

If your dog refuses to consume soothing treats or has an unfavorable response to them, an oil-based supplement can help. Calming dog collars can also be used to relieve your dog’s anxiousness. These drug-free collars mimic the pheromones emitted by a nursing mother dog. A slow feeder assists dogs with general anxiety to calm down and appreciate a reward.

english cocker spaniel laying in the autumn leaves

Physical Health Conditions in the English Cocker Spaniel

Hip dysplasia in English Cocker Spaniel

Hip dysplasia is a condition when the hip socket is poorly formed or the ligaments are weak enough the thigh bone (femur) ball can migrate partially out of the hip socket. It makes the hip joint relax, which causes pain and dysfunction.

Although canine hip dysplasia is an inherited condition, environmental factors such as excessive exercise can influence its evolution. Over time, the joint degenerates, causing arthritis, pain, and possibly lameness.

Excess weight, vigorous or prolonged exercise before maturity, a quick growth rate, and high-calorie or supplemented diets can all contribute to hip dysplasia in English Cocker Spaniels. As a result, veterinary therapy includes dietary supplements, physical therapy, and weight reduction. Consult your primary care veterinarian about developing a weight-loss strategy. Increased weight causes joint discomfort, which can be avoided by maintaining a healthy weight.

You can give veterinary-approved glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplements to English Cocker Spaniel with hip dysplasia. However, it is best to consult your vet before trying a new product.

Joint Health Options We Love

  1. VetIQ Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs, Chicken Flavored Soft Chews, 180 Count
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    09/25/2022 12:15 am GMT
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    09/25/2022 08:38 am GMT

Hypothyroidism in English Cocker Spaniel

Hypothyroidism is a frequent endocrine disorder in English Cocker Spaniel dogs that causes a reduction in thyroid hormone production.

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Inflammation of the thyroid glands or degeneration (deterioration) is common in English Cocker Spaniel dogs with hypothyroidism. Thyroid tumors in dogs, on the other hand, are relatively uncommon. Hypothyroidism is most common in middle-aged dogs, with medium-to-large breed dogs being more likely to be affected.

Laziness and lethargy, heat-seeking behavior, weight gain, infections of the skin and ears, dry and brittle fur, thinning coat, inability to grow fur on shaved parts, and increased pigmentation of the skin are common symptoms of hypothyroidism in English Cocker Spaniel dogs. The best food choices to help your English Cocker Spaniel’s hypothyroidism are fish, chicken, and meat, which all support lean muscle mass. For example, salmon oil and chicken fat are animal-based fats that will provide your dog with much-needed energy. Essential fatty acids can also help with any hair or skin problems your dog may have due to hypothyroidism.

english cocker spaniel puppy sitting on autumn leaves

Dilated Cardiomyopathy in English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to various cardiac diseases, which can strike at any age. However, English Cocker Spaniels are prone to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, is a life-threatening cardiac ailment in which the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) grow in most instances of DCM in dogs, while the atria (upper chambers of the heart) swell in some cases. The heart’s muscular wall thins as a result of DCM, and the ability of the heart to supply blood to the rest of the body deteriorates.

As a result, fluid can build up in several tissues, including the lungs. Additionally, your dog may become weak or tired, faint or collapse, breathe laboriously, or cough as the condition worsens. Your veterinarian may suggest dietary adjustments to assist in managing your pet’s cardiovascular health, such as controlled salt consumption aids in maintaining normal blood pressure. Although Taurine is not a necessary vitamin for English Cocker Spaniels, it can aid in the metabolism of the heart muscle. Additionally, L-carnitine promotes a healthy heart. Omega-3 fatty acids may also help treat heart disease in dogs.

Oral Health of English Cocker Spaniel

An essential part of caring for your English Cocker Spaniel includes dental hygiene. However, keeping their teeth healthy and clean might be challenging while your puppy is still going through the teething stage.

The products that can help your English Cocker Spaniel’s oral health include:

Dental Diets

They are bigger kibbles that require more chewing and do not break easily. In addition, the kibble texture provides a brushing action against the tooth as the pet bites down on it, which helps clean it.

Rawhide Chews

These are the inner layer of cow or horse skins. The skins are cleaned and chopped throughout the production process. Then, they’re pressed into various shapes and sizes of chewable dog treats.

Edible Chews

Edible chews are delightful snacks that your dog may chew on before swallowing. They maintain your dog’s teeth healthy and satisfy their need to chew.

Other products include water additives, oral gel spray, toothpaste, toothbrushes, wipes, and professional teeth sealants.

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 Oravet Dental Hygiene Chews Based On Size

  1. Merial Oravet Dental Hygiene Chew For Dogs (10-24 Lbs), Dental Treats For Dogs, 30 Count
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    09/25/2022 11:33 am GMT
  3. OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Medium Dogs 25-50 lbs
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    09/25/2022 03:53 am GMT
  5. OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for Large Dogs
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VOHC-approved Products and Recommendations

HealthyAdvantage™ Oral Care for Dogs, and Eukanuba® Adult Maintenance Diet for Dogs as the dental diets.

Purina Busy HeartyHide Chew Treats as the rawhide chews.

Canine Greenies® Weight Management, five sizes, Canine Greenies® Aging Care Dental Chews, four dimensions, Canine Greenies® Puppy Dental Chews, four sizes as the edible chews options.

 VOHC-approved Products We Love

Needs of English Cocker Spaniel

Exercise

The English Cocker Spaniels are happy and sporting dogs that need daily exercise. They will like going on long walks or hikes with their owner and playing ball in the backyard. However, because their hunting instincts are still strong, you should walk them on a leash and in a fenced yard. The English Cocker Spaniel is a happy and friendly dog that is easy to train and care for. Their tail seldom stops wagging, whether they work in the field or relax on the couch.

Every day, your English Cocker Spaniel will require at least one hour of exercise. This should be done throughout the day, with several walks and plenty of opportunities to sniff around and explore. They’ll also require off-leash training to burn off surplus energy in a safe environment.

However, there is a chance that you might overwork your English Cocker Spaniel. Like people, dogs have limits when it comes to exercise, and they vary greatly based on your English Cocker Spaniel’s age, breed, health, and fitness level.

Exercise Toys We Love

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Nutrition

The English Cocker Spaniel should be fed high-quality dog food appropriate for their age (puppy, adult, or senior) and degree of activity. Some English Cocker Spaniels are prone to become overweight, so keep an eye on your dog’s calorie intake and weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is critical no matter what breed your dog belongs to. A diet high in needed protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats is critical for optimal health and performance.

The ideal puppy food for English Cocker Spaniels promotes good bone development, strong teeth, healthy skin, and a shiny coat. Feeding an English Cocker Spaniel puppy differs from feeding an adult since you must acclimate them to the diet. Puppy food is specially developed for their weak stomachs and growing bodies. When your dog turns 1 year old, it is considered an adult and may consume adult dog food.

english cocker spaniel running through the grass

 

Grooming

Grooming is one of the most challenging aspects of caring for your English Cocker Spaniel. This breed requires more bathing, brushing, and trimming than others because of its long coat and skin problems. You should groom your English Cocker Spaniel every three days to help them stay clean.

The coat of an English Cocker Spaniel is prone to matting, especially if it is silky and heavily feathered. Therefore, to appear well maintained and prevent it from bothering your little dog as he walks around, the coat requires a lot of maintenance. Every other day, use a pin brush to brush your English Cocker Spaniel’s coat.

Trim the feathering on the English Cocker Spaniel so that it never hangs or drags along the ground. Trim around your dog’s feet and around the foot pads to help them move comfortably.

Top Product Picks for English Cocker Spaniel

You can choose from the following products for a comfortable and healthy life for your English Cocker Spaniel.

Dog Food

Proteins, lipids, carbs, vitamins, and minerals are part of a well-balanced diet. Water is also necessary for life and should be consumed regularly by your English Cocker Spaniel. When calculating how many calories your dog will require in their diet, keep in mind their activity level, especially if they are highly active. Any type of stress may necessitate an increase in calories or a change in food for your English Cocker Spaniel.

 Dog Food We Love Based On Age

  1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
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    09/25/2022 02:48 am GMT
  3. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-lb
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    09/25/2022 12:15 am GMT
  5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Senior Dry Dog Food, Chicken and Brown Rice 30-Lb
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Crate

For your English Cocker Spaniel, you want to make sure they have their own space where they may sleep, rest, and relax. This should be an area where the puppy feels comfortable and secure, and it should be his own space. Puppies grow at a fast rate, and after a long day of playing and eating, your spaniel will need to relax. For that, a crate is a perfect location for them to feel comfortable.

english cocker spaniel playing in the water

 

Crates We Love

Bed

For the healthy life of your puppy, you need to make sure they are having a sound sleep. The right bed for your English Cocker Spaniel should be at least 3 feet long, 2 feet wide, and deep enough to support their weight while keeping him off the chilly floor. Additionally, as dogs age, they develop joint problems like hip dysplasia and arthritis. A good bed will support your dog’s joints, will be a spot to relax, and will be easy for you to clean. Additionally, it will encourage your dog to sleep in its own space.

 Beds We Love

Harness

Harnesses are often better at preventing your English Cocker Spaniel from accidents, since they attach tightly around your dog’s body and are a secure and comfortable way to connect your dog to their leash in terms of safety and security. Additionally, they are a good option for dogs who like to pull while on a walk. It will prevent the excited dog from straining their neck or hurting themselves.

 Harnesses We Love

Other Resources:

  1. The English Cocker Spaniel Club of America, Inc.
  2. American Kennel Club
  3. English Cocker Spaniel Club of UK
  4. United Kennel Club
  5. English Cocker Spaniel Club of Northern California