Missouri, United States
Posted March 26, 2009
I've had cocker spaniels for over 20 years now and at one time had a family of four (Mom, Dad and two children -- it was an accident and everyone immediately got neutered/spayed afterwards) at the same time. I now have 2 wonderful cockers -- a 16 and a 5 year old. Cockers are one of the most loveable, loyal breeds around, but because they were on the AKC list as no. 1 dog for so many years, puppy mills and disregard for breeding dogs with health problems has caused this to potentially be a very expensive breed to maintain.
Although initially bred to hunt birds, these dogs adapt to people with active lifestyles as well as couch potatoes. They want nothing more than to please their owners. They are extremely smart and train very easily. They can be very territorial, thus making for very good watchdogs. If threatened or cornered, they will defend themselves and their owners.
In addition to regular trips to the groomers, other expenses that can mount are for the vet. Cockers are extremely prone to allergies, skin problems, dry eye, seizures, thyroid problems, ear infections and immune and hemloytic disorders.