Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Posted January 17, 2016
My younger sister decided to bring home a little cocker spaniel puppy a little over two years ago. As a puppy, he was teething and would prefer fingers and toes over his toys and other equipment. No amount of training would rid him of his habit of attacking fingers and it was painful.
Initially, we thought he would never outgrow the biting habit and feared it could become dangerous as he grew stronger. However, he has overcome it and now, he will never attack or use his teeth on us.
Sir Smiggles is spoilt as can be, with a free spirit. Extremely loyal, he will sleep on your bed if you allow him (which we do). He will stand and watch the gate until the car pulls out of the driveway, and will not eat until the family is back home.
With a cocker spaniel, you will have to understand that being present is extremely important. If you are a single working person or a couple with a heavy schedule, do not purchase a cocker spaniel. Smiggles is emotionally anxious and worries when left alone. We always make sure there is company at home, be it a family member, house-help or a friend. He can not be left alone because he will cry for hours, not eat and become unwell with fever for the next week.
He is also very friendly, yet territorial. Afraid of small animals, he will run from a squirrel, but fight any dog, irrespective of size. We hired a professional trainer to help him behave on walks, but the trainer gave up! Cocker spaniels are very friendly, fun-loving dogs and they will not always be obedient since they are very free-spirited.
He will run to any stranger, loves being petted and is not a good guard. But we love his openness :) He's very careful and gentle with old people and kids. We sometimes say he has an old soul, because he shows wisdom in some very important circumstances, yet is a fool in the rest.
He will also hunt lizards, mice and birds. So be careful. They were originally hunting dogs, and the trait is obvious.
All in all, if you want a loyal, fun-loving, entertaining, gentle and kind dog, choose a cocker spaniel. He will make your family laugh, always wait for you before he eats and will play with you and your kids till hours. He will give you gentle licks and sleep at your feet and worry when you aren't home. He will also allow strangers to enter your house.. so do not purchase a spaniel if you wish for a guard dog and if you can not be present for him. In case you are looking for an obedient, quiet dog, I recommend you go for another breed.. because Smiggles certainly has his own personality and we wish to let him be just like that :)
P.S: Will need grooming since his coat reaches till his feet. We constantly cut his hair and nails, and check for ear infections since it is common in cocker spaniels.