What You Should Know About English Cocker Spaniels
When it comes to Cocker Spaniels, it’s safe to assume that almost everyone falls in love pretty much as soon as they set their eyes on this adorable pooch. Thanks to the fact that they look like a toy that miraculously came to life, they are often picked by families with young children and a house with a backyard. Why is the backyard so important? Because English Cocker Spaniels may come in various colors and shapes, but one thing they have in common is the need for constant exercise. They are vigorous and unless they have a safe outdoor space to burn off their energy, things will go flying all over your home.
First thing’s first, there is a distinction between an American and English Cocker Spaniel that you should be aware of – the American are less eager for exercise than the English, and they face many more health issues, which is not the case with the English. Also, American Cocker Spaniels tend to be more nervous, even neurotic than their English ancestors, so American Cocker Spaniels don’t bode as well with children and their mischievous behavior as theEnglish Cocker Spaniels do, seeing they are the calmer counterpart. Make sure to know the difference between the two before you decide to adopt.
When it comes to English Cocker Spaniel’s temperament, they are actually quite gentle creatures, they love to be surrounded by people and other dogs, but their behavior may fluctuate, depending on the level of socialization they had. If not properly socialized, Cockers can become overly dependent on their owners, not to mention the fact that they will demand all of your attention pretty much every time you’re in the room. There are some dogs in the breed that might lean toward being more reserved, just like the true English gentlemen. One other characteristic that Cocker Spaniels can show is being too timid and submissive, which doesn’t really get along with most of the breed’s characteristics, but all can be prevented by timely socialization.
Training Cocker Spaniels isn’t particularly tiresome, but you need to know how to approach them, and your approach should depend on their character. If they are more on the timid side, a lot of praise and treats will do the trick, but if they’re more stand-offish, you need to be sterner, but never too rough, as they can get quite defensive, and you don’t want to deal with that every day.
Cocker Spaniels are hunting dogs, which means – exercise is needed all day every day. Like we mentioned earlier, backyard is a must if you want to adopt this pooch, they will very soon become destructive in a small apartment. While they like to cuddle and spend some down time with their humans, they need to get rid of all that exuberant energy, and you taking them out for a vigorous walk twice a day should be a routine which can benefit both you and your four-legged best friend.
As we mentioned earlier, Cockers are usually very committed to their owners, what they may lack in size they replace with their need for attention. It’s not a surprise then that they have strong separation anxiety and they dislike being alone very much. If you’re not home regularly, maybe you should reconsider about your choice of breed, because you don’t want the barking and chewing hell to be unleashed upon you. Cockers are big barkers as it is, but when left alone, the barking will reach a new pitch and, chances are, it won’t stop until you’re back.
English Cocker Spaniels have a beautiful silky coat that comes in various colors, but it also entails a lot of work. As their hair is quite delicate, it mats quite easily, meaning that you will need to brush your dog often, just to be sure that his coat is in order and free of tangles. Trimming is also required once every couple of months, because the longer the hair, the longer the brushing. Cockers also shed heavily, and you will find their hair everywhere in the house, even when you pet them, the hairs will be all over your hands, so be prepared for it.
English Cocker Spaniels have that recognizable dog smell that comes from their skin and their floppy ears, and this is natural, even though you bathe them regularly, the smell will remain. While they’re young, Cockers also have a tendency towards excitable urination, which means that they might let a bit of their urine slip when they’re overexcited or nervous.