The American Cocker Spaniel: A Complete Guide

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A well-bred American Cocker Spaniel is a pleasure to own. He is known as having a merry, sound temperament.

His flowing coat is extremely handsome. He’s loving and gentle, and he wants nothing more than to make his family happy.

The American Cocker Spaniel is small, fitting comfortably in an apartment, condo, or a small home.

He is a companion dog by nature, but he can be easily trained for the conformation show ring and to participate in agility and obedience competitions.

He can also do fieldwork and even make an excellent therapy dog.

The typical American Cocker Spaniel is a gentle, loving, trustworthy family companion who is good with children, other pets, and the elderly.

He’s happiest when he’s trying to make you happy. But he’s also happy to snuggle on the couch with you or run around in the yard with the kids.

American Cocker Spaniel Puppies – Before You Buy…

A white American Cocker Spaniel sitting on a chair
The American Cocker Spaniel is a sweet-natured, happy, and playful dog.

What Price are American Cocker Spaniel Puppies?

The price of American Cocker Spaniel puppies is between $600 and $800.

How to Find Reputable American Cocker Spaniel Breeders?

A reputable breeder cares about the welfare of the American Cocker Spaniel breed, as well as the welfare of their own dogs.

You may have to wait to obtain an American Cocker Spaniel puppy from a reputable breeder, but the wait will be worth it.

Along with purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder, you will receive a lifetime support system that will be there whenever you need assistance.

As a general rule, you won’t find responsible breeders by going to the classified ads of your local newspaper.

Most reputable breeders obtain their clientele by word of mouth. They have a waiting list for their puppies.

They do not allow their puppies to leave until at least 9 to 12 weeks of age.

Most reputable breeders’ dogs are a part of their homes. They may have kennel runs that the dogs reside in, but for the most part, the dogs are members of their family.

When you go to look at a puppy, you should be allowed entrance into the breeder’s home. Do not purchase a puppy from the front yard, from the driveway, or the parking lot of a store.

You should be extremely suspicious if any of these scenarios present themselves at the time you intend to purchase a puppy.

Most reputable breeders may need a little notice to do some surface cleaning.

Many of these breeders have full-time jobs. Their house or facility should be reasonably clean, and the dogs should be happy to see you.

The breeder should be pleased and proud to show all their dogs. A reputable breeder will always be there to help you with your dog.

They will usually provide an information packet, a small amount of whatever food the puppy has been eating, and some toys that will keep him entertained.

Read about 5 different Spaniel dog breeds and their differences here!

3 Little-Known Facts About American Cocker Spaniel Puppies

  1. Because American Cocker Spaniels are so popular, it’s important to research about good breeders who are dedicated to improving the breed.
  2. This dog can be a bit nervous. Don’t be surprised if your American Cocker Spaniel pees when it gets excited.
  3. He can be a barker. Teaching him to respond to the “Quiet” command should always be a part of his training.

Physical Traits of the American Cocker Spaniel

Two American Cocker Spaniels sitting together
The American Cocker Spaniel needs regular exercise.

The American Cocker Spaniel has an athletic and compact body. He has a soft facial expression that gives him an appealing look.

His most distinctive feature is his silky medium-length coat, which can be flat or slightly wavy. The American Cocker Spaniel also has a strong and balanced gait.

The American Cocker Spaniel comes in three color varieties: black, any solid color other than black, and part-colors.

The black varieties include solid blacks and black and tan. Any solid color other than black includes the lightest creams and the darkest reds, as well as browns and browns with tan points.

Parti-colored American Cocker Spaniels have large areas of white with another color. This includes red and white, brown and white, or black and white.

Brush him daily to prevent matting. His coat will need trimming every few months if kept long.

His eyes will also need to be checked. They tear often and stain his facial hair. Bathe him only when necessary.

How Big is a Full-Grown American Cocker Spaniel?

The American Cocker Spaniel can grow up to 13.5 to 15.5 inches in height and weigh 15 to 30 pounds.

What is the Life Expectancy of the American Cocker Spaniel?

The life expectancy of the American Cocker Spaniel is about 15 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the American Cocker Spaniel

A white American Cocker Spaniel standing on grass
American Cocker Spaniels are friendly and peaceful with strangers.

The American Cocker Spaniel is intelligent, gentle, playful, devoted, dependable and can be amusing.

He has a strong desire to hunt and is happy to work. He can suffer from separation anxiety, so he should not be left alone for long periods.

He can also be shy, which means thorough socialization is required.

He is good with children and other pets and is highly trainable. Consistent training is strongly recommended to prevent negative behavior.

The American Cocker Spaniel’s Diet

Your American Cocker Spaniel’s diet should include protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to ensure that he eats a wide variety of nutritious food to keep him fit and healthy.

Protein will help build strong bones and toned muscles.

Animal protein can be found in good quality fish and meat, like lamb, beef, chicken, turkey, and salmon. Just don’t forget to trim off the excess fat.

Protein can also be found in eggs, vegetables, and cereals.

Fats are also an essential part of your American Cocker Spaniel’s diet. They protect his internal organs and maintain his healthy skin, coat, and eyes.

Fats also keep his bones and joints strong and supple and can offer some protection against arthritis.

Essential oils and fats can be found in chicken, lamb, beef, as well as in cod liver oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil.

A healthy Cocker Spaniel diet should also contain enough carbohydrates to give your dog the boundless energy he needs to stay active all day.

Good carbohydrates, those that slowly release energy throughout the day, can be found in many fruits and vegetables, as well as in grains like rice, barley, or oatmeal.

Carbohydrates can also provide your dog with the fiber he needs to help with digestion and keep his bowels regular.

Vegetables provide fiber, but it’s best to stay away from those that produce lots of gas. Instead, stick to beetroot or pumpkin. A couple of tablespoons should be enough.

Essential vitamins and minerals are also very important for your American Cocker Spaniel’s health. Some dog food manufacturers include additional vitamins and supplements in their dog food.

If your pet’s diet is completely balanced, you won’t need to supplement his diet at all.

Please be aware that too many vitamins and minerals can actually cause your dog harm, so play it safe and take expert advice from your vet first.

How Much Exercise Does an American Cocker Spaniel Need?

The American Cocker Spaniel is a well-balanced, medium-sized dog capable of great speed and endurance.

Daily exercise is a must, even though he’s active indoors. He’s fine in apartments, as long as daily exercise is provided.

American Cocker Spaniel Health and Conditions

American Cocker Spaniels have several health problems that are common to the breed. These include ectropion, entropion, elbow and hip dysplasia, luxated patella, cataracts, and glaucoma.

They can also be prone to progressive retinal atrophy, cherry eye, lip fold pyoderma, otitis externa, seborrhea, and allergies.

They are also known to suffer from liver disease, urolithiasis, congestive heart failure, phosphofructokinase deficiency, gastric torsion, cardiomyopathy, and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia.

My Final Thoughts on the American Cocker SpanielAn American Cocker Spaniel with long hair

Unfortunately, an awful lot of American Cocker Spaniels have neurotic behaviors, including nastiness.

You will need to be very careful when buying an American Cocker Spaniel. You want to make sure that you pick out the nice ones.

The American Cocker Spaniel does need regular exercise.

But walks around the neighborhood and trips to the dog park will suffice.

When well-socialized, American Cocker Spaniels are friendly and peaceful with strangers and other animals.

Some American Cocker Spaniels are a bit stubborn.

But most are receptive to positive obedience training that includes occasional food rewards and praise.

Some American Cocker Spaniels, especially adolescents and young adults, are excessively submissive.

These dogs might suddenly urinate when they get overexcited or feel intimidated.

This can simply be someone’s hand reaching out to pet them, or your body looming over them during play.

This is not a housebreaking issue. This is not a big problem It’s just excitable or submissive urination, and it will go away with time, as long as you don’t punish the dog.

The American Cocker Spaniel is a sweet-natured, happy, and playful dog. You will definitely have a lot of fun and happy times with him.

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