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Old 10-28-2010, 03:33 PM
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Default Tell me about Cocker Spaniels

My sister moved out here to be with me while my husband is deployed, and she ended up meeting the man of her dreams out here. Who, happens to also be army. They moved in together and got married already. She has a little chihuahua that I have posted pics of on here before. She and her new hubby want to get a dog together and they are seriously considering cocker spaniels. Since I am the animal lover of the family she came to me asking me my thoughts on the subject.

I really don't know much about them and was hoping that you fine people could shine some light on the breed for us. The ones that I have met I have loved to death. They have been really sweet baby dolls that loved to hang out with their people all day.

So, thoughts?

I told them that they are more prone to ear infections and that they need to be groomed. They are fine with this. What they are looking for is basically a dog that will be fine with a walk around the block twice a day that will want to snuggle and watch movies with them. Especially when he deploys and she is alone.
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:40 PM
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The only cockers I know are the ones my agility instructor breeds...and those dogs are drivey little suckers who never, ever stop moving! It's probably atypical, but she hooks her 5 or 6 cockers up to a scooter with harnesses, and they'll pull her 10+ miles, lol.

Gone to the Dogs - Skyrocket Agility and Cockers: Scooter

I'm not sure what an "average" cocker is like though.
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:46 PM
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WOAH! I have never seen a cocker that was very hyper or drivey... maybe I was seeing the exception and not the rule?

This is good. I want to be able to give her good information so that she doesn't get in over her head.

Thank you Cali!
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:27 PM
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Well, you've got American Cockers, English Cockers, and both have bench and field bred varieties. That being said the most energetic cocker I've met was....less energetic than your average lab, probably.

I'm not sure if a walk around the block twice a day is going to satisfy a cocker. I'm not sure a walk around the block twice a day would satisfy any healthy, young-ish dog...certainly not a puppy. If it's a walk twice a day when it's raining or freezing and more outside time (at a park, a jog, a longer walk) three times a week, then I think the dog would be fine.

The ones I've known have been prone to obesity, and came with lots of health problems (Cushings, Addisons, glaucoma, diabetes, cancer, chronic ear infections) but BYB of cocker spaniels is ridiculous on LI. Plus, I've known quite a few to be biters, but I'm sure that stemmed from feeling crappy/being sick all the time.

The healthy ones I've known have been sweet, pretty low-medium energy.
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
The only cockers I know are the ones my agility instructor breeds...and those dogs are drivey little suckers who never, ever stop moving! It's probably atypical, but she hooks her 5 or 6 cockers up to a scooter with harnesses, and they'll pull her 10+ miles, lol.

Gone to the Dogs - Skyrocket Agility and Cockers: Scooter

I'm not sure what an "average" cocker is like though.
Ooh, I like them.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:28 PM
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I have two both American. English are healthier as a breed and less prone to health issues. I like the American's size, shape and coat better.

I have a byb cocker I inherited from my roommate and a well bred one imported from the states. Cider my badly bred child is wild and hyper. 4 qualifying scores from an agility championship, but still is a hyper one if not exercised enough at the age of 6. As a youngster she'd climb the walls due to inactivity.







Smudge is 3 and a bit these days. He is more chill if unexercised. He has drive and multiple master level agility Qs as well, but he's been an easy boy to live with, I like Cider's over the top drive to trial.. day in day out Smudge's more chill attitude is nice.

He is from good show and hunt lines though and does grow floor length coat. And it grows fast.. He could easily be trimmed every 5 weeks to keep him looking good. Cider while badly bred fits in with how many field lines look and her coat grows about 5" max if untrimmed.









I love both my kids, and am debating between a third cocker and a mini poodle. Unfortunately I'm in school full time in a competitive program and am lacking on time and monetary resources these days. We trialled way less this year than usual and what I really miss is the time we usually train together really. It's extra bonding time.

I love the breed. Only had a few minor ear infection issues that cleared fast over the last 6 years between them. Cider is getting lumps sadly, but they were tested an are non cancerous. Any specific Qs I'd try to answer for you.

The ones I meet at trials (of any kind rally, ob, not just agility) have all had decent drive and a walk might keep them calm but they could totally use more exercise than that.. The ones in my neighbourhood are horrifically bred and are obese.. part of it seems to be the fact that they lack any drive and get very minimal walks.

Mine have prey drive, like to chase squirrels and rabbits. The JRT club has been kind enough to let them lure course for fun as well as JRT race from a start box. Smudge has killed a few rats while on the farm.

Cocker Coursing YouTube - American Cocker Spaniels Lure Coursing (Cider and Smudge together)
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:06 PM
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Thank you MP!

She used to take all of the dogs (mine and her chi) to the park to romp around, but her little girl doesn't really enjoy it much, so she stopped going when she moved out. My sister doesn't work at the present so I am sure that she would love having a dog to go to the park with, and if time allows me to I would be more than happy to take her/him to the park for her.

I'm pretty sure that Root would like having a larger dog to play with every once in a while too. I am talking to her on the phone now, and she is saying that she doesn't want something crazy hyper like a BC, but something more active than her chi... which is a pretty wide range.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:44 PM
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With the rescue, I've seen all sorts of "types" of Cockers, and cocker mixes. Drivey, mellow, reactive, unreactive, healthy, not-so-healthy, long quick growing show coat, short field coat, etc. This is what happens to popular dog breeds, when they are over-bred for monetary reasons alone. But there are still some great breeders out there - and if they're looking for a puppy I'd strongly suggest that route, unless they want a rescue. We do not want to be supporting the BYBs
* And if you tell me the general area, I can give you the info for good cocker rescue in the area. We get all ages, all types, and all colors... seriously.

I always hear about snappy or mean cockers, but so far no one has given me a specific dog or example . Seriously, when people hear I work with the cocker rescue and foster, I am praised or told I'm "brave". The vets always comment how well behaved my rescues always are... they come in with techs ready to help me restrain, and its never necessary. Seriously... I can think of ONE cocker that was snappy in the past two years, approx 2 dozen dogs fostering, transporting, etc. And he had some serious health issues, and ill-handling (hitting & shock collar) before he came to rescue, and I knew what I was getting before I took him in...



But, generally, they're a pretty easy breed to live with IMO. The grooming is usually a big put off to people, so if they're willing to groom or take the dog to the groomer regularly, then a cocker may still be in the running

I think the general public expect Disney's Lady in a cocker... perfectly well behaved, well mannered with little training & no exercise, and that's just never the case with (non stuffed!) dogs
They would need more than a walk around the block twice a day, though. IMHO. Is the yard fenced? Playing brisk ball or something active, running, in the back yard and the walks ought to do it. Maddie and I go hiking. We dabbled in agility when she was younger, she was a really active pup, needed something to do, picked up on training and tricks really quickly. She's 8 now, and she's pretty chill in the house -- but go go go outside, on a hike, etc. Sometimes a ball or an orbee helps her not to be so restless in the house, she likes to play the "out and in" game, occasionally but not as intense or active as a border collie, of course!

The bigger males in rescue seem much more mellow... and, to be honest, a little dopey I don't think I've met any that are not food-motivated. The ones I've met that weren't good with kids were treated badly by kids, and weren't socialized. I've also seen some totally shut down (mill breeder dogs)... those are the saddest to work with, for me

They don't seem do well on dog foods that don't have good, quality ingredients. And like mentioned about, they are prone to several illnesses. But, some preventative, pro-active care can prevent a good portion of these things. It really depends on the individual, and their breeding, conditions, care, nutrition, etc.... because I know some Labs who have a lot more ear infections & I honestly think wouldn't be as bad if the owners would switch foods.


Maybe a foster-to-adopt situation would be good in this situation!
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:05 PM
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Thank you for the insight Brattina!

They seem to be set on a cocker puppy, so they've started searching for a good breeder.

I'll be sure to post here if they end up getting one.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:09 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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hopefully with pics!!
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