The American Cocker Spaniel was developed as a breed in the United States for small game birds. Physically, the most distinctive feature is its rounded, domed head with a broad, square muzzle. The American Cocker Spaniel is noted for its affectionate and playful character.
The breed has a small to medium size, with a robust structure. Males can weigh between 11 and 13 kg, while females range between 9 and 11 kg. The height in males is between 37 and 39 cm and in females between 34 and 37 cm. Their life expectancy is 10 to 14 years. The American Cocker Spaniel belongs to Group 8 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which includes retrievers, hunting hounds and water dogs.
Breed history in brief
The Spaniel is a very old type of dog, which because of its name "Spaniel" is believed to be closely related to Spain, considered its possible country of origin. In the 19th century, in England, certain breed standards began to be described, therefore, the different Spaniels were classified as specific breeds. One of the spaniels was classified as a Cocker because it specialized in woodcock hunting.
In the early 19th century, the English Cocker Spaniel arrived in the United States. Originally, the Cocker Spaniel was bred for hunting birds, and was sometimes used to drive the animals to the hunters. Over time, breeders began to select dogs of smaller size and more distinctive appearance to obtain the current American Cocker Spaniel. Today, although still used for hunting, it is also very popular as a family pet.
The size of the American Cocker Spaniel is medium to small with a robust and well proportioned body. The chest is deep and the back is strong and slopes slightly downward from the shoulders to the tail. The head is broad and rounded and the muzzle is square and deep. The eyes are large, round and usually dark in color. The ears are long and hanging, covered with long, silky hair.
The coat of the American Cocker Spaniel is silky, smooth or slightly wavy. The ears, chest, belly and legs have a lot of medium length hair, while the hair on the head is shorter and finer. The preferred coat color is solid black but may also include tan markings, or show other colorations such as red or beige. A coat variant, also common, is parti-color.
The American Cocker Spaniel stands out as a friendly, affectionate and outgoing dog. It has a playful, lively and loyal personality, which makes it an ideal companion for many families. In addition, it is also known for its trainability and desire to please its owners.
Common health problems
As with other dog breeds, American Cocker Spaniels can be prone to health problems. Some of the most common disorders and diseases are hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease, progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts.
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