Cocker Spaniel Information
The Cocker Spaniel dates back to the 14th century. They are generally thought to be of European origin asthe word spaniel derives from the word Espagnol meaning Spanish.
They are gun dogs who are excellent at trailing and retrieving game.
The Cocker Spaniel developed into two distinct breeds, the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel, which were officially recognised in 1873. The main differences are conformational where the American breed has a thicker coat, larger eyes and a domed skull.
Cocker Spaniel Temperament & Size
The smaller American Cocker Spaniel, and larger English Cocker Spaniel, have distinct differences, however both are gentle, affectionate and trainable, making the Cocker Spaniel an excellent family companion.
Their soft wavy coat needs regular attention, including brushing and regular clipping.
Cleaning both ears regularly is paramount to avoid infections.
Cocker Spaniel Life Span & Health Problems
Average lifespan is 12 – 14 years.
Common Illnesses include;
- Ear Infections – Their long ears doesn’t allow adequate airflow in the inner ear and predisposes them to infection.
- Congenital Deafness – Deafness present at birth it may affect one or both ears.
- Dry Eye – Painful condition resulting from inadequate tear production causing irritated painful eyes and potentially blindness.
- Cherry Eye – Prolapsed gland of the third eyelid causes irritation to the eye and requires surgery.
- Glaucoma – Increased pressure in the eye which can affect vision.
- Entropion – Excess eyelid tissue causing the eyelashes to turn inward and rub against the surface of the eye resulting in corneal ulceration.
- Ectropion –The lower eyelids turn outwards.
- Distichiasis – Extra eyelashes at eyelid margin which can rub against the corneal surface.
- Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia – The body’s immune system attacks and destroys its own red blood cells resulting in life threatening anaemia and kidney failure.
- Hypothyroidism (Underactive thyroid gland) – Seen in middle aged dogs, common signs include obesity, lethargy, skin and ear infections.
- Seborrheoa – Excessively greasy and flaky skin.
- Luxating Patella – Partial to full dislocation of one or both kneecaps.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy – Poor contractility of the heart muscle leads to arrhythmias and congestive heart failure.