Exhibited in the US since the 1880s, the Cocker Spaniel remains one of the most popular breeds according to AKC® registration statistics. The Cocker has a sturdy, compact body and a silky, flat or wavy coat. He is a merry, well-balanced dog that is capable of considerable speed and great endurance. Cocker Spaniels can be black, black with tan points, parti-colored or any solid color other than black (ASCOB).
A Look Back
As far back as the 14th Century there is mention of the Spanyell, which came to be divided into water and land spaniels. "Cockers" are the smallest of the spaniels and the Sporting Group. The American Cocker has evolved somewhat differently in appearance from the breed now recognized as the English Cocker Spaniel. His desire to hunt renders him a capable gun dog; he covers territory speedily, flushing game and retrieving only when under command. He takes to water readily.
Right Breed for You?
Despite their small size, the Cocker Spaniel is still an active Sporting breed that needs daily exercise. Regular brushing and a trim every few months helps keep the coat free of mats. Cockers are intelligent, gentle dogs that thrive as part of a family.
Source: American Kennel Club - www.akc.org
General: A cocker spaniel should be groomed every 4 – 6 weeks, with special attention to the ears weekly. Cockers are a sporting breed and are bred to flush game in the field and may need to be bathed as often as weekly or bi-weekly to keep them in good shape.
Ears: Cocker Spaniels have very heavy ears and are prone to ear problems, use Espree Ear Care to clean the ears and help dry out any moisture deep within the ear, this will help with the odor as well.
Bathing: Cockers are a sporting breed and are bred to flush game in the field and may need to be bathed as often as weekly or bi-weekly to keep them in good shape. The first bath is for general cleaning to take off the dirt and grime. Any of the Classic Care or Professional Care products are ideal. Follow up with the second bath and target the need of the dog. Outdoor and field dogs may need flea shampoo or a tea tree after flushing game. Cockers with an oily coat may need Espree Energee Plus Shampoo. Cockers are prone to skin problems and a good scrubbing with Luxury Tar & Sulfa Shampoo may be needed. Cockers with normal skin and coat can be bathed with any of our wonderful scent renewal products for long lasting fragrance. Be sure to end the bath with conditioner. This will help with brushing out your pet and keep the coat hydrated to protect against harsh weather conditions.
Coat Care: Cockers have guard coat with a soft wooly undercoat so regular brushing is necessary. Use Aloe Hydrating Spray when brushing out and Dematting & Detangling Spray for general matts. Because of the wooly undercoat shaving may be required if the matting is excessive.
Paws: Paw Balm should be used weekly as well, paw pads that are soft and pliable are less likely to dry and crack due to weather conditions or from rocks or stickers in the field.
Show Dog Tips: Use the Show Style Aloe Silk before using the flat iron on the skirt and furnishings to protect and keep the hair straight and soft. Use the Show Style Freeze! Styling Gel on the jacket and flat dry to hold the jacket in place and leave NO residue. Freeze! Styling Gel can also be used on the bevel of the feet.
Eyes: Check the eyes after every outdoor adventure and flush if needed with Optisooth Eye Wash
Common problems: Cocker Spaniels have very heavy ears and are prone to ear problems, use Ear Care to clean the ears and help dry out any moisture deep within the ear, this will help with the odor as well. Cockers are also prone to skin problems, be sure to check the health of the skin when drying your dog after each bath with a high velocity dryer.
Tools: The following tools are useful when grooming a Cocker Spaniel: Slicker Brush and metal Comb should be used on a regular grooming routine between grooming to keep matts and tangles from forming. Pin Brushes are used for the show ring to prevent coat breakage but must be followed up with a metal comb. Nail Clippers will keep the nails at correct length and keep the foot from splaying. Dematting rake is used by groomers to help remove mats before grooming.