Cocker Spaniels are representatives of a large group of dogs commonly referred to as Spaniels. American and English Cocker Spaniels are two different breeds that are rather close in their characteristics due to kin relationships. However, both breeds differ some in appearance, display specific personality traits, and perform slightly different functions in the modern world.
There is a certain confusion connected with the omission of the first part of this dog breeds name. US dog lovers tend to call the American Cocker Spaniel simply “the Cocker,” whereas European breeders and owners mean English Cockers when using the word. Hence, both the American and the English Cocker can be called just the Cocker Spaniel.
Cocker Spaniels – Information – Appearance
As mentioned above, Cocker Spaniels possess some specific characteristics, which give grounds for referring to them as to two separate breeds. The AKC has approved of two different standards for the American and the English Cocker.
The American Cocker Spaniel is slightly smaller than its relative is. According to the standard, it should stand about 14-15 inches at the shoulder. The English Cocker is usually 16-17 inches in height. Males are generally bigger than females. Weight ranges from 28-34 pounds in English Cockers with females being about 26-32 pounds. American Cockers can weigh 24 to 28 pounds.
Cocker Spaniels have medium-sized slightly oval eyes that are usually dark in color. Long ears with silky hairs at the end are of fine texture and pleasant to the touch. The skull is flatter in English Cockers melting softly into a broad muzzle with powerful jaws. The nose with well-developed nostrils, typical of all sporting dogs, is usually black. In some color varieties, it can be brown or liver.
The whole of the Cocker’s appearance is meant for hard work with much action and agility. Cockers are compactly built, with a strong neck and a deep chest that allows for a strong grip. The docked tail is the prolongation of the back. It is carried either horizontally or a little higher when in action.
Cocker Spaniels – Information – Coat
Cocker Spaniels have little hair on the head and the muzzle. Coat of medium length covers the rest of the body being longer on the chest, abdomen, and legs. Yet, it should not be too long to hide the natural lines of the dog. Silky, flat, or wavy hairs need trimming to avoid matting.
Solid-colored Cockers are allowed to have white markings on the chest. Parti-colored dogs come in various shades of cream, red, and brown. Colors should be well broken with markings evenly distributed throughout the body.
Cocker Spaniels – Information – Temperament and Functions
Cocker Spaniels are alert happy-go-lucky dogs that need a lot of interaction and a considerable amount of exercise. These sociable dogs are good for both field trials and companionship. The ease of training and biddable personality allows them to be used in agility and other canine sports. English Cockers, however, tend to display a greater extent of hunting qualities in comparison with their American relatives. Nowadays, American Cocker Spaniels are used mostly as pets.