Confession. I can’t imagine my life without the internet. But the internet is only good if you either know what to look for or use a source created by educated professionals. Otherwise you end up reading all kinds of nonsense including the “facts” about cockers I’ve come across on several “expert websites” & social media.
Allow me to show you why the statements below are so misleading.
Cockers are bred from Springer spaniels. No. Cockers were originally bred from Field spaniels, the all-black short legged breed that is practically extinct. Springers were sometimes introduced to improve the working qualities of cockers, but they weren’t the only breed used in developing an English cocker spaniel.
Cockers come in all shapes and sizes. No. There’s a breed standard and an English cocker should fit its description. A typical cocker will be a small dog about 38-42 cm in withers and weight 12-15kg depending on gender & height (slight variation in height is possible)
Cockers are one if the breeds with a long list of health issues. Wrong again! Cockers are genetically predisposed to a few illnesses (see previous post), but most can be avoided through DNA testing of dogs used for breeding. Risk of haemolytic anaemia may be potentially reduced through choice of daily diet & correct vaccination programme.
Cockers suffer from ear problems. No. Just like any breed with long floppy ears, cockers can develop ear infections, but the issue can be completely avoided with proper grooming routine & appropriate preventatives.
Cockers smell. Yes & No. All my boys have a wonderful light scent that feels very comforting. But No, they don’t smell unpleasant even when they are wet after a rainy walk. Any dog can develop an unpleasant odour if he’s groomed incorrectly, neutered, suffers from yeast infections, unwell or, truth of life, rolls in something stinky.
Cockers shed a lot. Again, that’s wrong. As a silky double-coated breed, cockers do not really shed. However the silky strands can break and fall off at times. Cockers can leave some hairs here and there, but they will not be dropping piles of hair all over the house. The secret lies in proper diet, grooming and coat maintenance.
Cockers require little grooming & need only be brushed 2-3 times a week. One of the biggest mistakes is to follow this advice! Cockers are high maintenance dogs. They need daily brushing & regular grooming sessions.
Cockers are one of the most aggressive breeds. No. Cockers have been bred to be happy, friendly and mellowy-soft. Just like ANY dog, some CAN BECOME aggressive, but there’s always an underlying reason for it. Poor breeding, unbalanced diet, lack of exercise & mental enrichment, neutering, psychological issues, illness are just a few reasons that can make a cocker “show his teeth”.
What do you think? Is there anything else you’d like to learn about English cocker spaniels?