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Showing posts with label cocker spaniel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cocker spaniel. Show all posts

Friday, November 10, 2017

Everything about your Afghan Spaniel

Everything about your Afghan Spaniel
  The Afghan Spaniel is not a purebred dog. It is a cross between the Afghan Hound and the Cocker Spaniel. The best way to determine the temperament of a mixed breed is to look up all breeds in the cross and know you can get any combination of any of the characteristics found in either breed. Not all of these designer hybrid dogs being bred are 50% purebred to 50% purebred. It is very common for breeders to breed multi-generation crosses.

Overview
  The Afghan Spaniel is an interesting blend of two dogs who like to hunt as much as they like to play. The Afghan Hound has always been known for their elegance and speed and the Cocker Spaniel is known for being eager to please and fun. The Cocker Spaniel has two types, the English and American, which are similar in size, energy, appearance, and temperament. These two were considered to be the same breed until 1936 when the English Cocker Spaniel Club was formed in America. The Americans modified the Cocker Spaniel in ways the English Cocker Spaniel Club did not agree with, so they separated.

Breed standards
Breed Type: Mix
Family: Sighthound
Average lifespan: 12-15 Years
Average size: 20-300lbs
Coat appearance: Medium, Short-Haired, and Silky
Coloration: cream, white, golden, black, light brown, brown, and combinations of these
Hypoallergenic: No
Comparable Breeds: Afghan Hound, Cocker Spaniel

History
  There is little known about the Afghan Spaniel because it is so new but the histories of the parent breeds can give insight into its characteristics. The Afghan Hound is a sighthound and one of the oldest breeds in history, dating back to Ancient Egypt where drawings of these beautiful dogs were found. It is thought that the Afghan Hound was used in hunting to flush and catch gazelle and rabbits. They were finally noticed in the early 1800s when they were brought down from the mountains of Afghanistan where they had lived isolated for centuries. 
  At first, the Afghan Hound was known as a Barukhzy Hound or Persian Greyhound but was later renamed for the area in which they originated. They were first noticed in the United States in 1926, when it was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and it became popular but mostly with the wealthy. 
  The Cocker Spaniel comes from a large family called the Spaniels that have seven varieties, which are the Welsh Springer Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, Field Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, and Clumber Spaniel. They were divided depending on whether they were water or land Spaniels, with several types of each. This breed dates all the way back to the 1300s when a description was written by Gaston Phebus. 
  The Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular dogs in the United States and has been a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC) since 1878. The name Cocker comes from their special ability to hunt woodcock.


Personality
  With a playful personality and a love for playing around, the Afghan Spaniel is friendly yet reserved in certain situations. The hound part of the breed is very independent and doesn't need to be lavished with attention, yet the cocker part of the breed is very loveable and wants to be hugged and praised. To get out all their extra energy, the Afghan Spaniel craves long walks and outings at the park.

Health
  Afghan Spaniel is a healthier breed like other hybrid breeds. However Afghan Spaniel has tendency to suffer from some congenital disorders.

Care
  Both the Afghan Hound and Cocker Spaniel have long, fine hair that needs a lot of attention. Therefore, you should be prepared to brush your Afghan Spaniel at least three times a week to keep the coat from getting matted and the skin healthy. Another alternative is to get your dog trimmed and groomed every few months. You can bathe your dog when needed with a gentle shampoo and conditioner specially made for dogs with fine hair.

Activity Requirements
  Due to the limited amount of information on this breed, the temperament of their parent breeds is the best way to determine how they will turn out. The Cocker Spaniel is a loyal and lovable family pet that likes cuddling as much as she likes hunting. They do well with children and pets and is really too friendly to be a guard dog. The Afghan Hound is an independent breed that can be wary of strangers so they make good guard dogs. They can become destructive if they do not get enough of your time to keep them from being bored so think twice about this breed if you are away from home often. However, they are happy if they are able to chase the neighborhood squirrels in a fenced yard all day.

Exercise
  Daily exercise for your Afghan Spaniel is important, dogs are living with human since thousands of years, wild dogs have challenges to survive so they work daily to find food, save food and themselves from other animals but companion dogs have nothing to do, they have ready food and couch to sit, which may affect their health, habits and activity. 
  Your Afghan Spaniel is recommended Fetching,Walking,Swimming regular according to its breed specific exercise requirements.

Training 
  Afghan Spaniel require training in early age like other hybrid dogs. Afghan Spaniel is easy to train.  It learns basic commands such as sit, stay, come easily. Behavior training is also very important for your Afghan Spaniel.  Behavior training prevents and or corrects bad habits of your puppy or dog. Behavior and basic commands training for your Afghan Spaniel should must on these lines. Do not get impatient. You will probably have to repeat the command many times. Never use negative reinforcement. Do not call your dog to come to you for punishment because this will teach your dog not to come on command. Be sure to keep any frustration out of the tone of your voice. If you feel yourself becoming frustrated, take a break. Your dog can sense this and will start to associate training with your unhappiness. You cannot hide your frustration from a dog. You cannot pretend. Dogs can feel human emotion, so stay relaxed, firm and confident.


Children and other pets

  Good with children of all ages and other pets after early socialization training.

Is the Afghan Spaniel the Right Breed for you?
Moderate Maintenance: Regular grooming is required to keep its fur in good shape. Occasional trimming or stripping needed.
Moderately Easy Training: The Afghan Spaniel is average when it comes to training. Results will come gradually.
Fairly Active: It will need regular exercise to maintain its fitness. Trips to the dog park are a great idea.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Everything about your English Springer Spaniel

Everything about your English Springer Spaniel
  The English Springer Spaniel dog breed was developed as a gun dog to flush, or spring, game in the field, but he’s also a popular companion. Athletic and versatile, he’s been known to participate in agility, hunt tests, tracking, obedience trials and more, and he’s a great pal to have along when you go hiking or camping.

Overview
  The oldest and most-established gun dog, the English Springer Spaniel made its appearance during the Renaissance when it would accompany European hunters. Once born alongside Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels were the larger of the breeds used to chase game. The English Springer Spaniel received its name because of its springing abilities. Now a popular breed in the home, this dog is known for its intelligence, tricks, affection and obedience.

Highlights
  • English Springer Spaniels don't like to be left alone and may become nuisance barkers if they're bored or lonely.
  • In recent years, there have been reports of English Springer Spaniels who are aggressive or overly submissive. Be sure to get your Springer from a breeder who tests his or her breeding dogs for health and temperament.
  • In essence, there are two varieties of English Spring Spaniel: ones intended to work in the field, and ones intended to show. Be sure you know the difference and get the type that best suits your needs.
  • Don't expect your English Springer Spaniel to be a good guard dog. They bark at noises and when strangers come around, but quickly settle down and want to be pet.
  • English Springer Spaniels were developed to have great stamina and energy. Be sure that you can provide your dog with adequate exercise or he may become nervous and destructive.
  • Some English Springer Spaniels can demonstrate submissive urination, which means they pee in excitement or anxiety when you come home. The best way to deal with this is to make homecomings very low key by not looking at or paying attention to your dog until you've been home for a few minutes. If you do this, your puppy may grow out of this behavior.
  • Be sure to keep your English Springer Spaniel on a leash when you take him to unprotected areas. You never know when he will see a bird and be overcome by his instinct to go after it!
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • Field-bred English Springer Spaniels have less coat and a more pointy muzzle.
  • Show-bred English Springer Spaniels have a heavier build, longer hair, a squarish muzzle and long ears.
  • English English Springer Spaniels are high-energy dogs and need lots of daily exercise. As long as they get plenty of exercise, they can live in any type of home, including an apartment or condo.
  • When you are choosing a English Springer puppy, consider whether you are more interested in the dog for athletic ability and endurance or for the combination of beauty and milder temperament that is the show-bred dog.

Breed standards
AKC group: Sporting Group
UKC group: Gun Dog
Average lifespan: 12 - 14 years
Average size: 40 - 55 pounds
Coat appearance: Medium length, with wave and feathering on ears, legs and face
Coloration: Liver and white; black and white; black, white and liver; white with blue or black markings
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Medium-sized dog, black or liver nose, oval-shaped eyes in brown to hazel color, deep chest, medium-length pendant ears, tails are typically docked and head is proportionate to body.
Possible alterations: Blue in color, various color combinations
Comparable Breeds: Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever

History 
English Springer Spaniel from 1807
  Spaniel-type dogs have been popular with hunters for centuries, used to flush feathered and furred game. Spaniels came in several sizes, and it wasn’t unusual for puppies in the same litter to grow up to be different sizes. The smaller ones were used to hunt woodcock, giving rise to the name Cocker Spaniel, and the larger ones were used to “spring” game for the hunter, flushing birds from the brush so they could be shot. They became known as English Springer Spaniels. In 1902, England’s Kennel Club separated the two types into distinct breeds, one becoming the English English Springer Spaniel, the other the English Cocker Spaniel.
  In the U.S., the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association formed in 1924 and began the competitions known as field trials, in which the dogs were judged for not only hunting ability but also that elusive quality, style. Since then, the breed has split into two types: the smaller field-bred English Springer prized for his hunting ability and the somewhat larger, beautified show-bred English Springer, known for a milder temperament and a heavier coat. Despite their differences, both types are registered as a single breed with the American Kennel Club. They rank 29 th in popularity, down just slightly from 26 th in 2000, so their appeal holds steady.

Personality
  The typical Springer is friendly, eager to please, quick to learn, and willing to obey. He should never be aggressive or timid. In recent years there have been reports of aggression or excessive timidity in the breed, as well as excessive separation anxiety. These traits aren't desirable and could be an indication of poor breeding. As with any breed of dog, it's important to research breeders and find ones who test their breeding stock not only for genetic diseases but also temperament.
  Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner. Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the one who's available — to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.
  Springers need early socialization and training. Like any dog, they can become timid if they are not properly socialized — exposed to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Early socialization helps ensure that your Springer puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Health
  The English Springer Spaniel, which has an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years, is prone to major health problems like elbow dysplasia, otitis externa, and canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and minor issues such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), phosphofructokinase deficiency, and retinal dysplasia.
  A few of the tests that are required for them are DNA for phosphofructokinase deficiency, elbow, knee, hip, and eye. Gastric torsion, entropion, patellar luxation, seizures, and rage syndrome can occasionally be seen in them.

Care
  The English Springer Spaniel needs combing and brushing at least once or twice a week. Apart from that, trimming and clipping every two to three months is good way to maintain a lustrous coat.
  Keeping them inside the house with access to the field is best for this breed, as they love to hunt. They need to be taken on long hours of walking, as routine exercise is very important for these dogs. Proper lessons in obedience should also be given.

Living Conditions
  They will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. English Springer Spaniels adapt well to town or city life. They are relatively inactive indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.

Training
  Eager to please and generally loyal, it’s important to remember that English Springer Spaniels were bred as a gun dog and have instinctual tendencies toward outdoor hunting-style activities like retrieving. This kind of exercise is good to use during training. As far as the English Springer Spaniel’s temperament for training, it can be highly responsive and eager to please, if not distracted at times. Generally an obedient breed, the English Springer Spaniel should not be a difficult dog to give commands.

Exercise Requirements
  English Springer Spaniels are an active, athletic breed and should be exercised regularly. It’s important to take advantage of their hunting instincts and allow them to roam free in open areas, making them well-suited for the country life. Taking your dog to a park if you live in the city would be advisable – if you can handle this on a regular basis, then your English Springer Spaniel should have better overall mood and weight regulation.

Grooming 
  The English Springer Spaniel should be brushed at least three times per week to prevent tangles and mats, and keep the coat shiny and healthy. Trimming around the head, neck, ears, tail and feet can help neaten the appearance, as well. Trimming is required every six to eight weeks, and most owners take their Springer to a professional groomer for a bath and a trim.
  Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. The heavy ears of the English Springer do not allow for air to circulate, making them prone to infections. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease.   Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear down the toenails naturally.

Children And Other Pets
  Springers usually do well with children if they are brought up with them from puppyhood. Older Springers who are unfamiliar with children may do best in a home with children who are mature enough to interact with them appropriately.
  Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Springers are also generally good with other pets in the household, even small ones, but they might see pet birds as prey since those are what they are bred to hunt. Keep them separated so they don't hurt each other. A parrot's beak is a mighty weapon.

Is this breed right for you?
  The English Springer Spaniel is a true-blue lover of water. While it's OK for apartment life due to its inactivity level indoors, the breed would love to have a yard to play in and a body of water to swim in. This pup loves children, is extremely loyal and very eager to please its human companion. Although this breed is OK with other animals, the English Springer Spaniel has a natural instinct to hunt for birds. Due to a longer coat, it will need regular grooming and bathing.

Did You Know?
  English Springer Spaniels are bred either as hunting dogs or show dogs - but never as both. There hasn’t been an English Springer Spaniel that has excelled in both the show ring and hunting grounds in more than 50 years.

A dream day in the life
  The loving English Springer Spaniel will wake up at the foot of its owner's bed. Following the family downstairs, it'll go out for a quick romp around the yard and a possible dip in the pool. After checking the home turf, it'll mosey back inside to play with the kids. It'll be happy with a few games, tricks and a nice walk before ending the day with its loved ones.
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Everything about your Cocker Spaniel

Everything about your Cocker Spaniel
  Famously known as Lady from Lady and the Tramp, this breed has a sweet temperament and a deep love for the human kind. Named after its preferred hunting game, the woodcock, the original Cocker Spaniel derived from England and was imported to the U.S. Now there are both the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel. Regardless of your choice, this dog is the most-popular Spaniel breed. No longer used for hunting in America (but still used for hunting in England), this breed makes an awesome family pet, wherever it resides.
  The Cocker Spaniel is primarily a beloved companion dog breed, though he remains a capable bird dog at heart. Beautiful to look at , the Cocker's amenable, cheerful disposition also makes him a treat to have in the family. Never more pleased than when he's pleasing you, he's as happy to snuggle on the couch with his favorite adults as to romp in the yard with the kids.

Overview
  The smallest member of the American Kennel Club Sporting Group, the Cocker Spaniel is the darling of many U.S. pet owners. Remember the female lead in Lady and the Tramp? It's no accident that the movie's model of an affectionate and pampered pet was a Cocker Spaniel. From the late 1930s to the 1950s, the Cocker was the number-one breed registered with the AKC. Then his popularity declined for almost 30 years, but he shot to the top of the charts again during the mid-1980s, and only in 1992 was his number-one status taken over by Labrador and Golden Retrievers. Today, the Cocker remains within the top 15 registered breeds.
  And no wonder — a well-bred Cocker Spaniel is a pleasure to own. He is known for a merry, sound temperament. His flowing coat is extremely handsome, he's loving and gentle, and he wants nothing more than to make his family happy.
Compared to other dogs in the Sporting Group, the Cocker is small (20 to 30 pounds), fitting comfortably into an apartment, condo, or a small home. He is primarily a companion but is easily trained for the conformation show ring, obedience and agility competitions, and field work. He is also an excellent therapy dog.
  The Cocker Spaniel resembles the English Cocker Spaniel, one of his peers in Sporting Group, and formerly the two breeds were considered one. However, a number of Spaniel fanciers noticed the different strains of Cocker and sought to preserve separate breeds and discourage the interbreeding of the English and American varieties. The American Kennel Club recognized the two breeds as separate in 1946.
  The typical Cocker Spaniel is gentle, a loving and trustworthy family companion who is good with children, other pets, and the elderly. Unfortunately, his extreme popularity leaves him open to the bane of all favorite breeds: unscrupulous people who breed with no regard for temperament, health, or conformation.
  As a result, some Cocker Spaniels have serious health and temperament problems. If you are considering a Cocker Spaniel, you must be extremely careful from whom you buy or adopt a puppy. Buy only from a reputable breeder. Never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Reputable breeders breed with temperament in mind and perform various health tests to ensure that their breeding dogs don't pass on a predisposition to genetic diseases.

Other Quick Facts
  • Loving, affectionate and gentle, a well-bred Cocker is a terrific family pet and fits comfortably into any size home.
  • A poorly bred Cocker is snappy and afraid of people. This breed is one in which it pays to work with a responsible, experienced breeder.
  • The Cocker can compete in field trials, hunt tests, obedience, rally, agility, freestyle, and other forms of dog performance activities. He makes a good therapy dog.
  • The Cocker tail is typically docked, or cut short, when puppies are three or four days old. This is a point of controversy to some because it is a cosmetic procedure, although people in the breed note that it helps protect the tail from injury in the field.
  • Even well-bred Cockers are sensitive, so it’s important to use positive reinforcement and praise during training.
Highlights
  • Because Cockers are so popular, it is especially careful to research breeders and find one who is dedicated to improving the breed.
  • The sensitive Cocker Spaniel can be a bit nervous, even when he's from a good breeder and has been properly socialized. Don't be surprised if your Cocker exhibits submissive urination .
  • Cockers can be barkers, so response to a "Quiet" command should always be part of this dog's repertoire.
  • The Cocker is eager to please and likes to be close to his family. But remember, he was bred to be a hunting dog. Don't be surprised when he chases birds or other small animals when you're out on a walk. Keep your Cocker on a leash whenever you aren't in a fenced area.
  • The Cocker has a "soft" personality. Harsh training methods will make him fearful, so be sure to use gentle, consistent training to get the best results.
  • A Cocker Spaniel's long ears are both a part of his beauty and a potential health problem. Be sure to check your Cocker's ears every week for infections.
  • Keeping the Cocker coat beautiful is expensive and a lot of work. Plan on paying a professional groomer and on brushing the coat every day.
  • To get a healthy pet, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic health conditions and good temperaments.
Breed standards
AKC group: Sporting Group
UKC group: Gun Dog Group
Average lifespan: 11 - 13 years
Average size: 14 - 30 pounds
Coat appearance: Silky, straight or slightly wavy
Coloration: Black, tan, black and tan, sable and various other colors
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Medium size, dark eyes, low-set feathered ears, docked tail
Possible alterations: Coat may be another solid coloration other than black.

Comparable Breeds: Brittany, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

History 
  References to "Spanyells" date to the 14th century. Different types of spaniels evolved over the centuries, some working on land and some retrieving from water. The Cocker, which flushes game and retrieves it under command, derives his name from his skill at hunting woodcock, a type of wading bird. He is the smallest dog in the Sporting Group.
  Spaniels used to be classified by size, and different types of spaniels might be born in the same litter. Eventually, the various spaniel types became individual breeds, and so it was with the Cocker. By 1946 the size and appearance of the Cocker and what is now the English Cocker Spaniel had changed enough that the two were split off into separate breeds.
  The popularity of the Cocker skyrocketed after the release of Disney’s classic movie “Lady and the Tramp” in 1955. The immense popularity fueled a rise in poor breeding that resulted in some bad temperaments, but Cocker breeders have worked hard to correct the situation. It is still important today, however, to find a responsible breeder who maintains the breed’s hallmark cheery disposition rather than continuing to put out the fearful and snappish dogs that nearly ruined the breed.
  Until 1990, the Cocker was the most popular breed registered by the American Kennel Club. Today he ranks 25th, but he will always have a place among people who appreciate his moderate size, sweet nature and intelligence.


Modern breeds
   There are two modern breeds of cocker spaniel, the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel. They were bred as gun dogs; to use their sense of smell to cover low areas near the handler in order to flush birds into the air to be shot, and to use their eyes and nose to locate the bird once downed, and then to retrieve the bird with a soft mouth.The major differences between the English and American varieties is that the American is smaller with a shorter back, a domed head and a shorter muzzle, while the English variety is taller with a narrower head and chest.
   Cocker spaniel coats come in a variety of colors including black, liver, red and golden in solids. There are also black and tan, and sometimes liver and tan, as well as a variety of color mixtures of those solid colors including roans, roan and tans, tricolors and those solid colors with additional white markings.
   Rare colors can appear unexpectedly in certain lines, for instance while an all-white cocker is usually bred by selective breeding of very light golden strains, they can still appear very uncommonly to parents who are dark colored. A noted occurrence of this happened in 1943, when a grandson of My Own Brucie, Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1940 and 1941, was born all-white.
   In its native United States, the American Cocker Spaniel was ranked the 23rd most popular breed according to registration statistics of the AKC in 2009, a decrease in popularity since 1999 when it was ranked 13th. For twenty five years the American Cocker Spaniel was the most popular dog in America. It was ranked number one first in 1936 prior to the English Cocker Spaniel being recognized as a separate breed, and held onto the spot until 1952 when Beagles became the most popular dog. It regained the spot in 1983 and held on at number one until 1990. In the UK, the American Cocker Spaniel is far less popular than its English cousin with 322 registrations compared to the English Cocker's 22,211 in 2009.

Temperament and Personality
  Merry and lively, the Cocker Spaniel is also intelligent and trusting. Although he still retains a strong instinct to hunt, he is most often a house companion. With his family he is affectionate and docile. He can be a bit reserved at first with strangers, but he soon makes friends. Cockers can be good companions for children: not so big that they bowl them over and not so small that they are easily harmed by them. When raised together, they can buddy up with other pets, including cats, but birds may be an irresistible lure — and not in a good way.
  The Cocker is highly trainable, but he has a sensitive soul. Early socialization is critical, and even with it some Cockers will urinate submissively when their people come home or when they meet new people or dogs or go new places. Approach training with positive reinforcement methods, especially praise and food rewards.
  The Cocker can be good at field trials and as a gun dog, although for years he was thought of as "just" a companion. A Cocker is versatile and can do so much more than just hanging around the house, but he's quite content to do that too because he loves being with you.
  Any dog, no matter how nice, can develop obnoxious levels of barking, digging and other undesirable behaviors if he is bored, untrained or unsupervised. And any dog can be a trial to live with during adolescence. In the case of the Cocker, the “teen” years start at six months and continue until the dog is about a year old. His barking can be a problem unless you curb it early.
Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at eight weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines (like kennel cough) to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper and parvovirus) have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.
  Talk to the breeder, describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog, and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality.
  The perfect Cocker Spaniel doesn’t spring fully formed from the whelping box. He’s a product of his background and breeding. Cockers have been overbred in the past, sometimes resulting in a fearful, slightly scary dog that in no way represents a well-bred Cocker. Look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.

Health
  The American Cocker Spaniel generally lives between 12 to 15 years. Some of its serious health problems include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, patellar luxation, and glaucoma. Diseases like elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion, and epilepsy can occasionally affect the breed. Other minor health problems that the American Cocker Spaniel suffers from include cardiomyopathy, ectropion, urinary stones, otitis externa, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), hypothyroidism, seborrhea, phosphofructokinase deficiency, entropion, "cherry eye," liver disease, allergies, and congestive heart failure. In order to identify these conditions early, a veterinarian may recommend hip, knee, thyroid, or eye exams during routine checkups; DNA tests may be used to diagnose a phosphofructokinase deficiency, which may lead to anemia in the dog.

Care
  It is important that the American Cocker Spaniel receives regular eye, ear, and feet cleanings to keep them dirt-free. The dog also needs its coat brushed a minimum of two to three times a week, as well as a monthly hair trimming and nail clipping. Its exercise requirements, as with many other dog breeds, can be met with regular walks. And as the American Cocker Spaniel is a social dog that needs constant human companionship, it should be kept indoors to be closer with the family.

Grooming
  The beautiful, silky Cocker coat that you see on dogs in the show ring doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of work to keep it shiny and tangle-free. For good reason, most people keep their pets in a short cut all over, known as a puppy cut. Even that requires a fair bit of maintenance. Dogs with puppy cuts should be bathed, brushed and trimmed about every two weeks.
If you want the flowing long coat, more care and time must be taken, and typically the bathing, brushing and trimming happens once a week. Most people choose to take their Cocker to a professional groomer, but you can learn to do it yourself. The cost of the equipment is equivalent to only a few grooming sessions, you won’t have to schedule appointments and you will find that you increase your bond with your Cocker. However, grooming isn’t for everyone, so if you don’t want to do it, find a groomer you like because it’s an absolute requirement for a Cocker.
  Because Cocker ears are prone to infection, check them weekly to make sure the inside is a healthy, vibrant pink and doesn’t have a foul odor. If not, get to the vet quickly before the ear infection becomes a major issue. Be particularly careful to check the ears of a puppy as there is a significant wax buildup while the ear canal develops. Clean the ears using a solution recommended by your veterinarian.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the toenails every few weeks. They should never get long enough that you hear them clacking on the floor. Long nails can make it uncomfortable for the Cocker to walk, and they can get caught on things and tear off. That’s really painful, and it will bleed a lot.   Brush the teeth frequently for good dental health and fresh breath.

Is this breed right for you?
  Often used as a therapy dog, this breed is very intelligent and easy to train. Friendly and extremely affectionate, the Cocker Spaniel makes the perfect companion or family dog. Extremely active, the dog requires daily exercise and play. A luxurious and thick coat, it will need to be groomed regularly. A social animal, it is best that the Cocker Spaniel isn't left alone much, and although apartment life may be OK if exercised regularly, it is best if it has space to play inside and outside.

Children and other pets
  One of the reasons the Cocker Spaniel is so popular is that he makes a good family dog. He gets along well with children — as long as he is raised with them and the kids are kind and respectful to animals. But because he is a sensitive dog, all interactions between the Cocker and children should be supervised by a responsible adult.
  The Cocker Spaniel also gets along with other family pets (given proper training and introductions), including dogs, cats, and small animals.

Did You Know?
Former talk show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey owns two Cocker Spaniels, Sophie and Solomon. In 2010, designer Ralph Lauren custom designed a cashmere sweater the color of Oprah’s Cockers, which she gave away to audience members at her “Favorite Things” extravaganza.

A dream day-in-the-life
  The Cocker Spaniel will likely sleep in or around its owner's bed. Following you around wherever you may go, your shadow will likely be ready for some early-morning game of catch or at least a short walk around the neighborhood. Keep it busy throughout the day with a lot of conversation and breaks for play. Take it for a long walk at the end of the day, and show it lots of love before you turn in for the night.



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