English Cocker Spaniel

  • Overview

    English Cocker Spaniels are larger than American Cocker Spaniel. They carry more power in their legs and are slightly taller than long, as opposed to their longer American counterparts. They are also still incredibly popular in the field, where they are expected to find, flush and retrieve game with great endurance. They stand between 1 foot, 3 inches tall and 1 foot, 5 inches tall and weigh between 25 and 34 pounds.

    English Cocker Spaniels are cheerful family companions who can light up a room with their playful personalities. They require lots of exercise and some extra attention to groom, so they are perfect pets for owners who look forward to spending plenty of time taking care of their dogs.

  • Personality

    English Cocker Spaniels enjoy playing with children and gently rough-housing with other pets, but they are sensitive to harsh treatment or teasing. They are generally outgoing and quite cheerful, especially around their owners. They are biddable dogs who enjoy working for those they trust and are content to learn new commands quickly.

    Some dogs are reserved around strangers, but most English Cocker Spaniels are exceedingly friendly and excited to meet new people. Although they love to bark, they make poor watchdogs because they prefer to exuberantly greet strangers by jumping and licking. These are working dogs who retain lots of their hunting instincts, so they need plenty of outdoor exercise, whether it's a long walk or an outdoor play session.

  • Coat Care

    English Cocker Spaniels have flat-lying, silky coats. Dogs bred for the field have shorter, flatter and less feathered coats that make it easier from them to move quickly through the field without hindrance. Show dogs are profusely coated in soft, downy coats with a slight wave and a smooth, silky appearance. Blue roan is the most popular color for English Cocker Spaniels. Many are parti-colored, in shades of white, black, liver or red. Some are solid black or liver, and some are black and tan with tan points around the face, feet, backside and tail.

Brushing

The English Cocker Spaniel's coat is prone to matting, especially if their coat is very silky and profusely feathered. The coat needs quite a bit of attention to look its best and to avoid becoming a nuisance to your little dog as he moves around. Brush your English Cocker Spaniel's coat every other day with a pin brush. Brush down from the body to make sure you remove tangles. Use a metal rake comb around the feathering.

Bathing

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but it's generally best to bathe dogs with silky coats more often. The coat should end up fresh smelling, light and shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry.

Hair Clipping

Trim the feathering on the English Cocker Spaniel so that it never hangs or drags along the ground. Trim around your dog's feet and around the foot pads to help them move comfortably. Trim the area around their ears and underneath the ears to help their ears stay clean. The English Cocker Spaniel's profuse coat needs to be hand-stripped if you plan to show your dog. Use a stripping knife to strip it by hand at least 4 times a year.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Check their long, hanging ears weekly for infection and make sure to wipe them out gently after your dog has been swimming or bathing.

Teeth

English Cocker Spaniels have sensitive ears and teeth. Brush their teeth daily to help their teeth stay healthy.