Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Training: Previous owner, I haven't learned care / training techniques, Attended conferences / shows, Books
Posted May 10, 2013
My husband and I bought our first dog shortly after we were married and decided on a cocker spaniel. We had read some about the breed and a good friend had a cocker spaniel that appeared to have a good temperament. We purchased the dog from a local breeder and brought Sam home at about three months of age.
Our cocker spaniel was very easy to train and appeared to be very intelligent. There was a need for regular grooming but not as much as some of the other breeds we had considered buying. Sam was a wonderful, friendly dog to my husband and me but when strangers were near, he responded quite differently. Eventually when Sam got to know an adult stranger, he would respond more favorably but was never very friendly. Our cocker spaniel was also definitely a barker. I remember mentioning this to the vet on several occasions. He did have some health problems, namely problems with his ears and ear infections. The biggest problem that we had with our cocker spaniel was his reaction to young children. When we brought our daughter home from the hospital we could not leave the dog and the baby in the same room for fear he would hurt her. The dog was very aggressive towards the baby even though we made every effort to give the dog extra attention after we brought the baby home. We ultimately had to give the dog to an elderly couple who had no children. It was a hard decision but one that we knew we had to make for the safety of our daughter. Personally, I would never buy another cocker spaniel again even though I know there are other cocker spaniels out there with nicer temperaments. We were looking for a friendly, family dog that was nice to strangers, children and other dogs. It was unfortunate that we did not find that with our Cocker Spaniel.