English Cocker Spaniel

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A Bird Dog with a Cheerful Attitude

The English Cocker Spaniel is a breed of bird dogs or gun dogs. Bird dogs are types of dogs that have been developed to assist hunters in the process of finding and retrieving their quarry. Cocker spaniels can be categorized into “field” or “working” dogs and “show” cockers. The working type is bred for hunting and it will be even more energetic than the show type is. Show dogs present longer coats than the working ones.

Floppy-eared and innocent looking, the Cocker Spaniel is a compact dog of medium size, slightly taller than it is long. It has an arched head that, when looked at from the side, will appear to be somewhat flattened. Its muzzle is just as long as its head is and its nose can be either black or brown, varying with the coat color. The ears are long, with ringleted and silky hair on them and hanging low. It has a deep chest, straight front legs and its tail is commonly docked. The habit of docking the tail has been banned by law in most of Europe, however. The dogs coat is medium in length, with a silky texture, and it can be flat or a little wavy. Solid black, liver, red and white with markings of black or liver are its characteristic coat colors.

With its soft and melting expression, yet with a dignified look, the English Cocker Spaniel keeps more of its hunting nature than its American cousin does. It is a cheerful dog and, given his constantly wagging tail, it has also been dubbed the “merry cocker”. It is sociable and loyal, and it enjoys staying close to its human “pack”. Also, it can be kept around the house together with cats.

Cocker Spaniels are lively, lovable and playful, which makes their interaction with children a great one. They are affectionate and gentle, hence nice to have around as companions. They are also very intelligent. Their owners will find it easy to get along with them, as they are happy to listen to what they are told to do. Harsh discipline however is not something they will respond well to. Their temperament will vary depending on how they are treated by their owners and on what type of exercise they are kept busy with. They need to be shown calm, firm authority. Their owners need to be consistent in how they interact with them.

Both show and working dogs are very energetic, but the latter type has a higher energy level. Being energetic, they will of course need daily exercise. This means that they should be taken for long walks, field runs or involved in yard games. Also where the matter of taking care of the dog is concerned, its cot should be brushed two or three times a week and once in two months it should be clipped around the head and the ears. Its ears should also be paid attention to on a weekly basis, aiming to keep them clean.

The English Cocker Spaniel shows great energy, intelligence, an affectionate nature and loyalty, and it has a merry attitude that makes it even more likeable than it already is for its other qualities.

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