Fred, chocolate cocker spaniel puppy in the snow photographed by Natalia Ashton (C) Perfect cocker spaniel / Copyrighted / English cocker spaniel guide to how to choose, find, raise a puppy, grooming and hand-stripping english cocker spaniel, cocker spaniel diet, nutrition, health advice

Does a cocker need a coat?

This weather is no joke, so I got an adorable photo of Fred and his irresistible bum as a part of the “let’s keep smiling” package deal.

And talking of packages… Do you ever wonder if your dog needs to wrap up? Or got him to wear a coat already?

Most cocker spaniels can be pretty weather-proof even in sub-zero temperatures. Their double coat serves them well.

However, some dogs may benefit from a stylish top up if…
… they are young & have to be outside for longer then their typical short walk (a two month old pup would only need 10 minutes, so will be fine playing in the snow without a coat or jumper);
… they are senior & developed sensitivity to cold or suffer from arthritis;
… they are recovering from an illness or have an underlying health condition, for example underactive thyroid;
… the pooch is over or underweight;
… the dog was neutered – the overproduction of gonadotrophic hormones caused by the op affects thyroid stimulating hormone – and the gland function. Thyroid helps the body maintain its temperature. If this function is altered, so is the body’s response to the temperature changes;
… the coat of a cocker was clipped, which removes the undercoat and also makes the resulting coat attract and trap the moisture;
… you walk in a thick wet snow that can cover the fur with huge snowballs and make your spaniel uncomfortable.

Shivering is a sign that your pooch is cold and needs to be taken to a warm place as soon as possible.

The coat needs to be comfortable for your cocker. Remember that dogs see anything that covers and presses on their back as a possible dominant object. Make sure that the coat fits well, let the dog sniff it, be gentle when putting it on and whenever possible – take your spaniel for a walk straight away. No dog will ever enjoy wearing a coat but they can learn to associate a coat with a positive experience (i.e. a walk) & accept it in anticipation of something great and fun.

 

Photo credit: Fred photographed by me

 

Style outfit ideas for dog walking in fashion / Spring edition / Camel outfit ideas / Cashmere jumper, leather trousers, puff jacket, suede leather bag / Perfect cocker spaniel / pet blog (C) Natalia Ashton

Fashion guide to walking your dog in style | Autumn edition

Fashion is virtual. That’s official. But we can take a few style notes from the best of the best, dress up and keep the style alive. I thought of one of my favourite Hedi Slimane’s Celine collections as the starting point of this look. For any woman who wants to look beautiful and feel free. It’s a little bit of Parisian in London and a little bit of London girl in Paris… You choose the mood. I provide the clothes.

Outfit idea for walking dog in style inspired by Parisian style and london fashion, Celine & Hedi Slimane / Created with best finds from high street, vintage and designer / Cardigan, jeans, converse, classic white shirt / Perfect cocker spaniel blog for the love of English cocker spaniels, tips for cocker spaniels, breed, puppy, grooming guide (C) Natalia Ashton

Shop: Shirt | Jeans | Scarf | Trainers | Cardigan | Bag | Sunglasses | Perfume | Book

 

Image credit: Karen Arnold from Pixabay

Style outfit ideas for dog walking in fashion / Spring edition / Camel outfit ideas / Cashmere jumper, leather trousers, puff jacket, suede leather bag / Perfect cocker spaniel / pet blog (C) Natalia Ashton

Fashion guide to walking your dog in style | Summer edition

Not that it will be of any particular importance, but I am currenly 120 pages into one of many fabulous volumes on canine psychology, with the boys sleeping nearby and Hendel filling the room with very summery musical hues. A moment like this could not be more perfect for talking about an outfit idea inspired by romance, poetry and English cocker spaniels.

This was my other mood board idea for the editor of a mag I was in touch with a while ago. I adore this particular one because it feels like a journey into the past that connects the beauty, the dogs, the history and culture with the present embodied into a few items of clothing and accessories.

Summer style mood board inspired by nature love & flowers, raffia, straw, florals as seen at Dior, Prada, Valentino, McQueen, Chloe, Emilia Wickstead

So… “Pure Grace” that looks so simple yet comes with a vivid story, almost like a dream that flows. I started with Virginia Woolf and her book Flush, about an English cocker who belonged to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the Victorian poetess. Not only she had the spaniel, but her works were a perfect accompaniment to many collections and looks seen on the Spring/Summer catwalk.

The line for the subtitle, “The Gifts of Paradise” is taken from her poem, “The Lost Bower”, inspired by The Hope End, Browning’s childhood home. It talks about summer, country walks and nature, all the things you get to experience when sharing moments of your life with an adventurous dog like a cocker.

Curiously, this poem also talks about Chaucer, the “first finder of English language” and author of The Canterbury Tales, who included spaniels in the Wif of Bathe’s Prologue. Even though it was merely for comparison, this was the fist ever mention of the spaniels in English literature.

Phew! That’s all the facts for today. I hope you made it this far without falling asleep on your keyboard.

Style-wise, I was inspired by the spring/summer trend focused on nature, florals, raffia and airy volumes and the mix of alluring romance of the Victorian era and the Caribbean (where a part of the Barrett’s family were born).

The bottle of Bvlgari perfume I added to the mix is a part of Le Gemme Collezione Murano and made in Florence, the place where Browning, her husband and Flush lived for many years.

The colour scheme of the mood board and the outfit were chosen to compliment, so selfishly of me, the cover of my book Perfect cocker spaniel and my favourite portrait of Cooper by Sandra Chiocchetti.

And with this in mind, here is a look to try when taking your cocker out for a walk.

Summer outfit idea inspired by cocker spaniels, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Browning, Flush the cocker, natural materials, fabrics, floral trends / featuring H&M, Chloe, Mango, Stories, Le Labo, BArc London, Astley Clarke / how to walk dog in style / country outfit ideas / Perfect cocker spaniel (C)

Shop: Blouse | Skirt | Boots | Earrings | Bracelets | Bag | Hat | Perfume | Bottle | Toy

In my head I pictured a long walk that didn’t necessarily involved muddy paws, just for once. I added a few extras to make it more comfortable and pleasant for both you and the pup, too. A beautiful water bottle to share a drink, a gorgeous little tennis ball for the pooch to chase and a little bottle of perfume oil that smells like rain, just to make you dream.

 

Photo source: main image by Karen Arnold , field of flowers by Settik27, via Pixabay