American Cocker Spaniel dog

American Cocker Spaniel dog About

The American Cocker Spaniel is a breed of sporting dog. It is a spaniel type dog that is closely related to the English Cocker Spaniel; the two breeds diverged during the 20th century due to differing breed standards in America and the UK. In the United States, the breed is usually called the Cocker Spaniel, while elsewhere in the world, it is called the American Cocker Spaniel in order to differentiate between it and its English cousin. The word cocker is commonly held to stem from their use to hunt woodcock in England, while spaniel is thought to be derived from the type's origins in Spain.


The breed is the smallest of the sporting dogs recognised by the AKC, and its distinctly shaped head makes it immediately recognisable. In addition, there are some marked differences between it and its English relative. It is a happy breed with average working intelligence, although by being bred to a show standard it is no longer an ideal working dog. Members of the breed suffer from a wide variety of health ailments including problems with their hearts, eyes and ears.


Photos American Cocker Spaniel dog

American Cocker Spaniel dog
American Cocker Spaniel dog
American Cocker Spaniel dog

American Cocker Spaniel dog

American Cocker Spaniel dog History



The word spanyell is thought to date from the late 12th century when it was used to name a type of dog imported into England from Spain, with the span part of the word referring to the country of origin. Records from the mid-14th century show that selective breeding was already in place, with the breed being separated into two distinct types, called water spaniels and land spaniels. By 1801, the smaller variety of land spaniel was called the Cocker or Cocking Spaniel, so named for its use in flushing woodcock.


According to historical records, the first spaniel was brought to North America aboard the Mayflower which sailed from Plymouth, England and landed in New England in 1620. The first Cocker Spaniel recorded in America was a liver and white dog named Captain, who was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1878. In 1881, the American Cocker Spaniel Club was formed; it would later become the American Spaniel Club (ASC) and is now known as the oldest breed club for dogs in the United States. The task of the club was initially to create a standard to separate the Cocker Spaniel in America from other types of land spaniels, a task which would take over 20 years, only being completed in 1905.

The dog considered to be the father of the American Cocker Spaniel was sired by the dog considered to be the father of the English Cocker Spaniel. Ch. Obo was bred to Ch. Chloe II, who was shipped to America while she was pregnant. Once in the United States, she whelped a dog who became Ch. Obo II. He differed greatly from the modern breed, being only 10 inches (25 cm) tall and with a long body, but was considered to be an excellent dog of that era and became a popular sire.

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Towards the end of the 19th century, the breed had become popular in America and Canada due to their dual use as a family pet and a working dog. In the early 20th century the breeders on either side of the Atlantic had created different breed standards for the Cocker Spaniel and the breed gradually diverged from one another, with the two becoming noticeably different by the 1920s. The American Cockers by now had a smaller muzzle, their coats were softer and the dogs overall were lighter and smaller. The differences were so apparent that in 1935, breeders founded the English Cocker Spaniel Club and restricted breeding between the two types of spaniel. The two types of Cocker Spaniel in America were shown together as one breed, with the English type as a variety of the main breed, until 1946 when the American Kennel Club recognised the English Cocker Spaniel as a separate breed.


Breed Characteristics American Cocker Spaniel dog





The American Cocker Spaniel is the smallest dog recognised by the American Kennel Club as a sporting dog, being on average between 13.5 and 15.5 inches (34 and 39 cm) high at the withers. It is a dog of normal proportions, with medium long silky fur on the body and ears, hanging down on the legs and belly (known as feathering). The head has an upturned nose and the ears hang down. The breed standard states that size over 15.5 inches (39 cm) inches for males and 14.5 inches (37 cm) for females is a disqualification at conformation shows. American Cocker Spaniels weigh around 24 to 30 pounds (11 to 14 kg) on average, with females of the breed usually weighing slightly less than the males.

The head of an American Cocker Spaniel makes the breed immediately recognizable, with the rounded dome of the skull, well-pronounced stop, and a square shaped lip. The drop ears are long, low set, with long silky fur, and the eyes are dark, large, and rounded. The nose can be black or brown depending on the colour of the breed.

The coat of the breed come in a variety of shades with the colours being separated into three main groups: black/black and tan, any solid colour other than black (ASCOB), and parti-colour. The black variety is either all black, or with tan points on the dog's head, the feet and the tail in a pattern called black and tan. The group known as ASCOB includes all other solid colours from light cream through to dark red, although some lighter colouring is allowed on the feathering according to standards. Parti-coloured dogs are white with patches of another colour such as black or brown, and includes any roan coloured dogs. In addition, American Cockers coats can come in a pattern known as merle, which is not recognised by the American Kennel Club.
American Cockers have rounder eyes, a domed skull, shorter muzzle and more clearly pronounced eyebrows than the English Cockers, whose head is more setter-like. In colours, the roan colours are rarer in the American variety than in the English but the shade of buff which is common in the American is not seen in the English breed at all, although there are English Cocker Spaniels which are considered to be a shade of redThe English breed is also slightly larger, being between 14.5–15.5 inches (37–39 cm) in height.