American Cocker Spaniel Scientific Classification
KingdomAnimaliaPhylumChordataClassMammaliaOrderCarnivoraFamilyCanidaeGenusCanisScientific NameCanis lupus
American Cocker Spaniel Locations
American Cocker Spaniel Facts
Fun FactMerry, outgoing, and eager to please!Distinctive FeatureLong, dropped ears and feathered feetTemperamentFriendly, happy and enthusiasticTrainingEasyDietOmnivoreAverage Litter Size4TypeGun DogCommon NameAmerican Cocker SpanielSloganMerry, outgoing, and eager to please!GroupDog
American Cocker Spaniel Physical Characteristics
American Cocker Spaniel Images
Owning an American Cocker Spaniel: 3 Pros and Cons
|Affectionate: These dogs are very loving and affectionate to their family members.||Require frequent grooming: The coat of an American Cocker Spaniel will get tangled and matted if it is not brushed every day.|
|Easy to train: This breed aims to please its owners, which makes them relatively easy to train.||Some bark a lot: Some American Cocker Spaniels may bark a lot.|
|Playful: American Cocker Spaniels can be very playful.||Health concerns: When not purchased from a reputable breeder, these dogs can have a lot of potential health concerns.|
American Cocker Spaniel Size and Weight
These are small to medium breed dogs. They are actually the smallest sporting dog. Males are between 14.5 and 15.5 inches tall and typically weigh between 25 and 30 pounds. Females are just a little smaller standing between 13.5 and 14.5 inches tall and weighing between 20 and 25 pounds. Puppies typically weigh only 2 pounds when they are one month old. At four months, puppies weigh around 17 pounds. When the puppies are 12 months, they will reach their maximum height, and when they are 24 months, they will reach their full weight potential.
|Height (Male)||14.5 inches to 15.5 inches|
|Height (Female)||13.5 inches to 14.5 inches|
|Weight (Male)||25 pounds to 30 pounds|
|Weight (Female)||20 pounds to 25 pounds|
American Cocker Spaniel Common Health Issues
If you’re planning to adopt one of these dogs, it is important to be aware of some of the common health issues faced by this breed. While these health issues are not present in all dogs, knowing what to look for can help make sure you address any potential issues with your veterinarian right away.
Some of these dogs develop eye disorders as they age. These can include cataracts between the ages of 1 and 5, progressive retinal atrophy between the ages of 3 and 6, and glaucoma between the ages of 5 and 8. All three of these disorders may lead to blindness.
These dogs are also very prone to ear infections. They have a very narrow and long earn canal that can create a welcoming place for parasites and fungi, which can lead to ear infections.
Over 11% of these dogs also develop a luxating patella. This is a loose knee joint that can be very uncomfortable and may make it painful or difficult for the dog to walk. Often surgery is required to address this issue.
To review, some common health issues that these dogs face include:
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Ear infections
- Luxating patella
American Cocker Spaniel Temperament and Behavior
These dogs have a very happy and cheerful personality. This breed also aims to please its owners, which can make them easier to train than other dog breeds. Since they were bred to be sporting dogs, they also can possess very inquisitive behaviors and enjoy accompanying their family on walks and trips. Some of these dogs may bark frequently, while others have more submissive personality traits.
How to Take Care of an American Cocker Spaniel
Each dog breed is unique, so there will be special considerations to keep in mind as you prepare a care plan for your dog. Keep their temperament, dietary needs, grooming needs, common health issues, and other important information in mind as you plan to care for your dog.
American Cocker Spaniel Food and Diet
Always select high-quality food for puppies and adults. Many of these dogs do well with chicken and rice-based food, but since each dog has specific needs and dietary concerns, consult with your veterinarian to select the ideal food for your dog. It is important not to overfeed these dogs as it can lead to obesity.
Puppies have a smaller stomach than adult dogs. This means they will require smaller more frequent meals throughout the day. eight-week-old puppies need to be fed four times a day. Once the puppies reach the age of four months, three feedings a day should be sufficient. And, once the puppies are eight months old, two feedings each day is fine.
American Cocker Spaniel Maintenance and Grooming
These are not low-maintenance dogs. They will need to be brushed each day to prevent their hair from getting matted or too tangled. Using a medium-spaced professional comb to brush through their hair and effectively remove knots. You may also want to get a slicker brush.
When you give your dog a bath, be sure to thoroughly rinse the shampoo residue away to prevent it from irritating their skin. Dry their coat with a warm, but not hot, blow-dryer. You’ll also want to be sure to properly clean and dry their ear canals. Since these dogs have such high grooming needs, many individuals opt to schedule regular appointments with a professional groomer.
American Cocker Spaniel Training
These dogs aim to please, which can make them easier to train than many other dog breeds. Most times they respond well to more gentle corrections and when they can tell that their owner is not pleased by their actions. They also enjoy agility and obedience competitions. Since they are so easy to train and have such an amiable personality, they also make good therapy dogs.
American Cocker Spaniel Exercise
These dogs are sporting dogs and need regular exercise to keep their muscles tones. They are not a very high energy dog, so they don’t need to run off energy, but they should still be given daily opportunities to play with their owners or go on a walk with them.
American Cocker Spaniel Puppies
If you’re bringing home a new puppy, be sure to puppy-proof your home first. Make sure there is mothering that the puppy could get into that could harm him or her. Also, be sure to move any belongings that you wouldn’t want to be damaged by a playful new pup.
Consider crate training your new puppy. Crate training can help your puppy see their crate as a safe place and help them feel more secure when they are left alone. Try developing a routine with your dog and getting them used to go into their crate after eating or playing.
Begin the process of training and potty training your puppy right away as well. This will help him learn expectations and begin responding to cues and commands. Socializing your puppy from a young age is also important to encourage proper interaction with children, adults, and other dogs in the future.
American Cocker Spaniels and Children
These dogs make excellent family dogs. The dogs’ gentle temperament makes them a good choice for families with children. However, you’ll want to make sure that children are taught how to appropriately interact with a dog and how to be gentle to avoid injuring the dog. These dogs are also pretty sensitive dogs, so children, especially younger children, should always be closely supervised when they are with these dogs.
Dogs similar to American Cocker Spaniel
Three dog breeds that are similar to these dogs are English Springer Spaniels, American Water Spaniels, and Field Spaniels.
- English Springer Spaniel: American Cocker Spaniels and English Springer Spaniels are both very intelligent and playful gun dogs. English Springer Spaniels are larger than American Cocker Spaniels. English Spring Spaniels weigh around 50 pounds, while American Cocker Spaniels weigh an average of 22 pounds.
- American Water Spaniel: Both American Water Spaniels and American Cocker Spaniels are easy to train and affectionate. American Cocker Spaniels, however, are more intelligent and sensitive than American Water Spaniels.
- Field Spaniel: Field Spaniels and American Cocker Spaniels are friendly and affectionate dogs that adapt easily to different situations. Field Spaniels have a dense and waterproof coat that is very easy to groom, whereas American Cocker Spaniels have a feathered coat that requires regular grooming by a professional.
American Cocker Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel
American Cocker Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels both have shared ancestors. Smaller hunting dogs developed into Cocker Spaniels that were experts at flushing birds out from where they were hiding. Starting in the mid-1800s, Cocker Spaniels were brought to the United States. American breeders aimed to create Cockers with solid colors like black or tan. British breeders aimed to create roan or parti-colored Cocker Spaniels. American Cocker Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels are both recognized by the American Kennel Club as two distinct breeds.
English Cocker Spaniels are a bit taller than American Cocker Spaniels and have a bit more of a square-shaped build. The tan, black, brown, or white coat of an American Cocker Spaniel is typically longer than the coat of an English Cocker Spaniel.
Famous American Cocker Spaniels
These dogs are the 30th most popular dog breed, so it shouldn’t be surprising that many are owned by celebrities. Here are a few famous ones:
- Einstein was George Clooney’s dog.
- Solomon was Oprah Winfrey’s dog.
- Arthur was Elton John’s dog.
- Lady, the animated dog in Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, is an American Cocker Spaniel.
Popular Names for American Cocker Spaniel
If you’re looking for the perfect name for your new dog, look for some inspiration in the list below: