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The American Cocker Spaniel is descended from the original Cocker Spaniel of England. In contrast to the latter, however, it has a distinctly longer coat, especially on the sides, and a set-off round, somewhat smaller head.
The American Cocker Spaniel is a lovable, somewhat affectionate dog that is especially suitable for families and active people. Because of his surviving hunting instinct, he needs a lot of exercise and movement.
He also has very long ears, which are heavily feathered downward, and more pronounced eyebrow arches than his English congener. Due to its origin as a hunting dog, its coat should not actually interfere with this activity, but the reality is unfortunately different. Due to the exaggerated show breeding, dogs of this breed cannot normally go outside in rainy or muddy weather and do their job as hunting or retrieving dogs, because of their extremely long hangings.
Characteristic of the American Cocker Spaniel is its silky, shiny, long coat. According to the judgment of strict breed standards, waves or curls are rather disliked. On the other hand, the colors of his coat are varied. This is either monochrome or multicolored. Unicolored, his coat goes from a light beige, to silver, dark red, brown or brown with tan markings, to a uniform black. If the coat is multicolored, the colors are clearly separated, one of which must be white. Otherwise, all color combinations of the above colors are common. Its characteristically long ears are lobed or leathery and not set above the line of the lower eye area. Not only his ears are heavily feathered, but also his chest, underbelly, tail and legs. However, on the head the hair is rather short and on the body only medium length.
Its body is slightly sloping towards the back. In general, the stature of this breed is compact and athletic, but slightly longer than its English counterpart. The small to medium sized dog measures an average of 37 centimeters and weighs 10 to 12 kilograms. It can grow up to 12 years or older.
The American Cocker Spaniel was originally a hunting and retrieving dog. Due to extreme breeding to become a show dog and his resulting long coat, long ears and other breeding measures, this activity is almost impossible for him today. He is nevertheless playful and likes to romp in nature. As a companion dog, extended walks in nature are suitable for this, as long as it is dry and not too muddy or dusty.
The American Cocker is always open to exploring new things and eager to learn. In addition to his curious and lively disposition, he has a loving, friendly nature, inclined to people, which is why he is also well suited as a beginner dog. He is affectionate and always eager to form a close bond with his two-legged companions. A great playmate, this happy, gentle and intelligent breed is also well suited for children. However, when looking for a guard dog, the American Cocker Spaniel is by no means the right choice. He would greet burglars in a friendly manner and be pampered by petting. But that’s why he’s the perfect family dog, who also gets along well with family friends right away. He also gets along well with other pets. Only with mice, cats or rabbits should be careful, because these awaken his hunting instinct.
Due to his original breeding as a hunting dog, his stubborn character has remained, which is why the education of this four-legged friend should not be neglected. The most important thing is that the dog is not bored. He usually reacts to this with stress and continuous barking.
Since the American Cocker Spaniel was originally bred as a hunting dog, his education should by no means be neglected. He is calmer than the other spaniels, but still needs plenty of exercise and exercise. The temperamental quadruped is well manageable and willing to learn, which is why it is not difficult to train him. However, it is important to have a loving consistency. The dog learns rules quickly, but these should always be followed by both animal and human. The basis of successful education is the intimate bond between animal and owner. This makes the companion and family dog also well suited for beginners. All in all, the elegant four-legged friend is relatively uncomplicated and can also be kept in a floor apartment.
The interesting combination of hunting and show dog also has some disadvantages. The silky long plumage of the American Cocker Spaniel has a magnetic effect on any objects in nature, such as burrs, stalks or mud, when the former hunting dog pursues his favorite occupation, rummaging in the thicket. He also does not shy away from bodies of water. Therefore, the grooming of the elegant spaniel must not be neglected at all. Ideally, his coat should be brushed daily and even cut regularly. Especially on his long ears and paws, the fur tends to mat. Especially his ears should always be cleaned from dirt and parasites, otherwise he is susceptible to disease here. One should not shrink from a visit to the veterinarian in case of abnormalities.
Caution is also advised, especially with potentially exposed poison bait. The American Cocker Spaniel is often quite greedy and likes to collect everything it can find. The command “off” should therefore be trained at an early age. Due to his enthusiasm for edibles, the dog furthermore quickly goes wide. Therefore, its feed should be accurately dosed. The most suitable food for this purpose is a complete food that provides the four-legged friend with the most important nutrients. So the be-all and end-all is a balanced diet and plenty of exercise, not forgetting coat care.
Unsurprisingly, this type of spaniel originated in the United States of America. Although this breed was first bred in Canada in 1880, a little later it was bred in the USA. By the 1930s at the latest, the English and American spaniels had little in common. The former hunting dog from England was bred to be an elegant slightly smaller show dog with a smaller head and more luxuriant coat. After the first standards for the American Cocker Spaniel existed in 1940, it was recognized as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club in 1943 and then by the FCI in 1951. While the English Cocker Spaniel is still used as a hunting dog, the American Cocker Spaniel is kept as a companion dog and used for shows.
The American Cocker Spaniel is a lovable, somewhat affectionate dog that is especially suitable for families and active people. Because of his surviving hunting instinct, he needs a lot of exercise and movement. His long coat, which comes from being bred to be a show dog, requires extensive grooming. The cuddly four-legged friend is a perfect companion and is well received by his sociable nature not only with his two-legged friend, but also with his peers.