American Cocker Spaniel – Companion Animal for Young & Old

The American Cocker Spaniel is one of the few medium-sized dog breeds that are ideal for first-time dog owners and families with small children. Like any dog, Cocker Spaniel needs consistent training, appropriate exercises, and clear rules in everyday life. With a well-mannered, well-groomed American Cocker, you’ll be welcome anywhere.

From Hunting Dog to Family Dog

As the name suggests, the American Cocker Spaniel is closely related to the English Cocker Spaniel: both share the same ancestors. A little over 100 years ago, English Cocker Spaniels exported to America developed their own breeding line. In the 1940s, the American Cocker Spaniel was recognized as a separate breed of dog.

From the very beginning, but especially in the last few decades, the American Cocker breed has gone in a different direction. Even outwardly, it differs significantly from its English relative: it is smaller, more compact, and has a shorter nose. There are also clear differences in character. While the English Cocker is still bred and used for hunting in some lines, the American Cocker has long been a purely family and companion dog. His hardness, high energy level, and hunting instinct have been toned down in favor of a particularly even-tempered temperament.

Personality of the American Cocker Spaniel

Being present everywhere is in the blood of the American Cocker. He has an open, friendly, sweet personality and is enthusiastic about approaching every four- and two-legged friend. Aggressiveness or anxiety is alien to him if he grows up in a suitable environment and with good socialization. He loves to play and amuses big and small dog lovers with his antics.

The American Cocker experiences the breed’s typical joy of movement when running off-leash. He loves to have the wind in his face and regularly needs long walks with the opportunity to really hit the gas. To follow the trail with a deep nose is still in his genes.

“The will to please” – willingness to cooperate – goes without saying for the glib Cocker. He is extremely docile and is considered easy to train. However, no matter how smart he is, it can happen that he ignores the command with a friendly wave of his hand and proposes a game instead. If you know how to take it with a smile and stay on top with friendly consistency, you’ll have no problem forming an obedient, loyal companion for any situation in everyday life.

Upbringing & Attitude

The American Cocker fits into almost every home. Whether it’s a small apartment or a house with a garden, Americans will always find a cozy place for themselves. It is important that he gets enough exercise. Due to his friendly nature, he also gets along well in busy dog ​​parks. Socialize him well during the first few months in his new home – dog schools and puppy playgroups will help you teach your little Cocker to socialize with other dogs.

American Cocker adapts well to her people. If you are one of those active people who take their dog with them on walks, bicycles, or horse rides, your American Cocker will turn into a real sports gun. He can walk for hours and never gets tired. If an acute four-legged friend is a companion for the elderly, he can also get along with a quieter life. Maybe there is someone nearby who regularly takes him for long walks or actively plays? The less brisk Cocker moves, the more you should pay attention to his diet – American Cockers tend to be overweight if the ratio between food and exercise is not correct.

Looking for treats – whether in the apartment, in the garden, or on a walk – you give your dog the perfect opportunity to put his sensitive nose to work. From time to time, scatter his daily ration of dry food in the grass – so he has to work off food, and have fun, and train at the same time.

Caring for Your American Cocker Spaniel

No dream dog without a job with a grooming American Cocker Spaniel. The dense, silky coat needs regular combing and getting rid of burrs, twigs, and other debris. Also, trim the coats on the legs, but under no circumstances trim the American Cocker: this will destroy its special coat structure, which keeps it dry in the wind and in bad weather.

Pay special attention to your Cocker Spaniel’s ears. Their length and thick coat ensure that their ears often hang down into the bowl when they are eating. Sticky hair must be cleaned after eating. Also, always remove hair and dirt from your ears to avoid painful ear infections.

Characteristics & Health

In terms of health, the American Cocker has a few things to take care of. The spectrum of diseases typical of the breed ranges from eye and ear problems to joint problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, heart disease and allergies, metabolic problems, and liver dysfunction. Therefore, you should carefully choose the puppy breeder you want.

Less is more when raising a puppy: Don’t let him climb stairs or jump off the couch at first to protect his joints. The duration of walks should be appropriate for the age of the puppy or young dog. A healthy diet, sized according to its use, is important for long life. At best, the American Cocker Spaniel can live up to 15 years.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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