Although they are best known as companions, American Cocker Spaniels can also be very good hunting dogs. Although this breed is really lovely to look at, it does take a lot to groom them. Then again, an American Cocker Spaniel has an amenable and cheerful disposition which makes them great family pets. The Cocker Spaniel was bred to hunt woodcock in England, hence the name. It’s also called a spaniel because of its Spanish origins. This breed is closely related to the English Cocker Spaniel and as such, they are referred to specifically as American Cocker Spaniel to differentiate them from the English breed.
American Cocker Spaniels are now seldom used as gun dogs, they are still quite capable when spending time in the field. So while most Cocker Spaniels are now used for show, there’s still hunt left in them. In fact, a lot of hunters still favor this kind of hunting dog. American Cockers are ideal for thick cover and they thrive in the grouse and woodcock thickets. When bred specifically for hunting, this kind of dog can hunt different birds, including duck and waterfowl. Hunters find Cocker Spaniels comfortable to hunt with because they stay close and work at a nice pace. Plus, they depend heavily on ground scent and sort out bird trails. Cockers are also fairly light compared to other hunting dogs which means they can work well in hot weather and can get through cover very easily. To make sure you get a good one, find hunting dog breeders who develop Cocker Spaniels from the right pedigree. Doing so will give you a hunting dog that is great to hunt with.
American Cocker Spaniels are fun to train because they are intelligent hunting dogs who take to training quickly. Those that are field-bred can be trained to hunt anything from upland birds to waterfowl. Then again, it also takes hard work and patience to keep up with the training routine. But it will all be worth it when you raise a well-mannered adult. The best way to train them is through encouragement and praise. Doing this will build up their confidence and as such, you’ll have a hunting dog that is a great hunting partner and one that will want to work for you all day.
Averaging between 13.5 and 15.5 inches high at the withers, the American Cocker Spaniel is the smallest sporting dog recognized by the American Kennel Club. The Cocker Spaniel is of normal proportions and has medium long silky fur on the body and ears which hang down on the legs and belly. The Cocker has an upturned nose and its ears hang down. It’s rounded head with a well-pronounced stop make it quite recognizable. Also, this hunting breed has a square-shaped lip – another distinguishing characteristic. Male American Cocker Spaniels will usually weigh between 15 and 31 pounds, while female Cocker Spaniel can weigh between 15 and 30 pounds.
This hunting dog is known as the “merry cocker” because it really is a happy dog breed. It is playful, cheerful, sweet, sensitive and willing to please. This is the kind of hunting dog that is responsive to the wishes of the family. It appreciates the country and as such makes a suitable hunting dog. It’s also equally at home in the city.
American Cocker Spaniels have an abundant coat and as such, needs to be attended to regularly. This abundance of fur is one of the reasons most owners elect to have a professional groomer care for their Cocker Spaniel. Whether cared by your hand or not, American Cocker Spaniels benefit from regular grooming to keep their locks neat, tidy and tangle free.
The major concerns with a American Cocker Spaniels are cataracts, glaucoma and patellar luxation. Hip dysplasia, allergies and liver disease also count as minor concerns. The American Cocker Spaniel has an average lifespan of 12-15 years.