Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
Northumberland, United Kingdom
Posted April 4, 2014
Breeders produce two main types of English Cocker Spaniel – a variety bred primarily for showing, and a ‘working’ strain intended for use as a retriever in field sports. The vast majority of both types wind up as highly active, intelligent and entertaining additions to a family home.
Our own dog, Henry, is a working Cocker. The working strain comes in all shapes, sizes and colours, but they all have a slightly flattened head, rather than the ‘domed’ shape of the English show strain and American Cocker.
The English Cocker has boundless enthusiasm and really needs daily access to wide, open spaces to burn off that excess energy. The breed has an astonishing capability to pick up the tiniest trace of an interesting scent. This single-minded fascination and excitement for everything around them can be quite a challenge when a little ‘quiet time’ is needed.
All Cockers are quick to learn. Though not ideal in a home with small children, older kids and English Cockers make great companions. Train the kids how to train your Cocker and the whole family will enjoy the fun.
The other side of the coin is discipline. This is a pretty stubborn breed, so professional help with early training and socialization will make life a whole lot easier in the years ahead. A local puppy class is ideal for working on the basics. Luckily, most bad habits can be trained out later as your dog matures.
The three most important things in an English Cocker’s life are exercise, stimulation and companionship. For a happy, well-adjusted pet you’ll need a home that provides all three in abundance.