Cocker Spaniel Information
Characteristically, cocker spaniels have a merry nature with ever-wagging tail shows a typical bustling movement. They are gentle and affectionate, yet full of life and exuberance.
The Cocker Spaniel's face features noticeable eyebrows and stop, clean cheeks, large nose and a square jaw. The eyes are soft and kind either dark brown or brown, never light, but in the case of liver, liver roan, and liver and white, dark hazel to harmonise with coat; with expression of intelligence and gentleness but wide awake, bright and merry; rims tight. Ears should be lobular, set low on a level with eyes with fine leathers extending to nose tip. Shoulders should be sloping and fine. Legs well boned, straight, sufficiently short for concentrated power. Not too short to interfere with tremendous exertions expected from this grand, sporting dog.
The body of a cocker should appear strong and compact, their chest well developed and the brisket deep; neither too wide not too narrow in front. Ribs well sprung. Loin short, wide with firm, level topline gently sloping downwards to tail from end of loin to set on of tail. The tail itself should be set on slightly lower than line of back. It must be merry in action and carried level, never cocked up.
The coat can be any solid color, including black, or particolored, flat, silky in texture, never wiry or wavy, not too profuse and never curly. Cocker Spaniels have well feathered forelegs, body and hindlegs above hocks.
The Cocker Spaniel has a delightful personality with a mischievous side that reflects a mind of its own. Typically described as jolly, sweet, smart, sociable and eager to please, the Cocker has a spirited curiosity and makes an ideal companion.
What is the temperament like in a cocker?
The standard for a cocker spaniel outlines that a cocker should be 'merry' with a wagging tail. When choosing a pup it is important to visit the breeder if possible and see the pups with their mother.
As with most breeders, we show our dogs and they must have a good temperament to be in the ‘ring’ – we also run them free in the park and down at the beach, where they associate with the other dogs and people without problem.
In most cases, any dogs will run in a pack (if you have more than one in your yard) and one will become the dominant dog and the other the submissive if you let them – and this can lead to possessive behaviour for attention, food, toys and so on. However, this can be easily managed – if the owner becomes the ‘pack leader’ and has a firm but kind way of managing the dogs.
I encourage people to take puppy classes and a cocker loves nothing more than fetching a ball, having a walk or a swim – and will enjoy further obedience training.
What's important when choosing a Dog Breeder?
Registration with a Kennel Club. Only breeders registered with one of the relevant Kennel Clubs can provide a certificate of registration, showing the lineage of your dog and proof that it is indeed a dog with a pedigree. It is recommended that you contact the Kennel Club of the breed you are interested in: The Cocker Club of Victoria. You can then be provided with a list of breeders and in most cases a list of puppies currently available.
Don’t rush in though - be wary - just because a breeder has pups available straight away it is important that you make sure that this breeder will support you with your purchase. It is important to note that some breeders breed for maximum profit, and as such breed as many litters as possible, whilst others breed to improve their lines and only occasionally have pups for sale. A responsible breeder will likely breed no more than one or two litters every year, running on several pups for confirmation showing, and selling the remaining pups to pet homes. Don’t negotiate soley through the web as you may regret your decision – especially if you seek to have quality after sales support and a healthy pup / dog. Take the time to visit the breeder's home and meet them in person.
What health tests should my breeder have undertaken?
Different breeds, are susceptible to different gentic conditions. Genetic technologies provide DNA profiling services for breeders which allows breeders to screen their dogs for genetic diseases, thereby allowing them to control the incidence of disease in their breeding stock. DNA testing for dogs can be used to better manage matings, make more informed selection decisions, and discover the correct parentage when in doubt. Potential puppy purchasers should ask for the DNA pedigree and health status certificates when buying a pedigree puppy. For Cocker Spaniels it is recommended that your breeder provide you with a health status in regards to PRA - Progressive Retinal Atrophy (a genetic eye disease). A status of 'clear' or 'carrier' will ensure that your pet will not be affected by these conditions. The Cocker Spaniel Club of Victoria supports responsible breeding and members agree to not knowingly sell any dog with a known heredity disease.
NB: At Glenbrook Kennels -all pups sold will not be affected by this condition.