posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 03:49 PM
OP has asked me to talk about cockers. OK. First, a clarification.
To an American, "Cocker Spaniel" means "American Cocker Spaniel."
To an Englishman, "Cocker Spaniel" means "English Cocker Spaniel."
The differences are minor. An English Cocker Spaniel is a bit larger than the American variety. Its legs are longer and its snout is longer, too. An
American Cocker Spaniel is built a bit lower to the ground and is a bit huskier in its build. Its bark is a little deeper. They come in several
colors: Black, "Fawn" (tan), "Rust" (reddish), and "Parti-colored" (Black & white), and sometimes tri-colored (black, white, rust).
Moses up there is a good example of a parti-colored American Cocker. he is also a "Field Cocker," which is a variation with rather large feet bred
to allow him balance in marshes. His front feet were larger than my hands and I'm a six foot male. Cockers were originally bred to retreive Wood
Cocks, a bird native to England, hence the name. Moses was a rather large male. He weighed 38 pounds. He lived for 16 years. He died last summer. He
was my only dog. Most other dogs in my life, owned by neighbors and friends, were also cockers. He was the last survivor of his litter, which I
followed because my wife's ex had Mama Dog (Margaret Rose), and his brother and sister. Females are probably in the mid twenty pound range.
Disposition wise they are very gentle and unassuming. They aren't really aggressive. They are known as "fooders" because they are extremely
interested in anything to eat and will eat just about anything. About the only thing Moses wouldn't eat was green olives. He loved tomatoes and,
indeed, anything else. I kept him mostly on an Iams diet of dry food and a little garlic bread, which kept the fleas off of him. Never had a problem.
Oh, he was aggressive with other dogs if they got close to the dishwasher. He owned the dishwasher because sometimnes he would manage to lick spoons
clean when it was open. He went after my daughter's Black Lab once during Thanksgiving (about five times his size). Nobody was hurt, but we do have a
story to tell.
I'd judge them very good around small children. Like many dogs, they'll even take a little abuse, a few pulled ears without retaliating. I've only
known one cocker that I would consider a bit hyper. She was a small female, Moses' sister, Elizabite, and she seemed pretty psychotic to me. Moses'
brother, Sylvster, was as mellow as you could be. Cockers aren't big enough to accidentally hurt a child. I had to rescue a neighbor boy from his own
Golden Retriever once. the kid was getting pulled around the yard like a chew toy. The dog was just excited; he meant no real harm, but he was so big
that the kid couldn't handle him.
Cockers are lovers. They have a big heart. Moses thought he was a lap dog (Uumph!!) and loved scratches and human attention. They do not like to be
left alone and will follow you everywhere. That's the nature of the species. They will follow you into the bathroom if you let them. I never let
Moses sleep on the bed, but right below me on the floor. As ususal, if you set the ground rules, you'll be fine. If you are too liberal a parent, you
can create a monster! They play a good game of ball and tug of war, which they really do try to win. I never had 'authority' problems with him. He
could learn some tricks, but you have to be persistent. They are not as bright as an Australian Shepherd. One odd thing. Once he smelled you once, he
knew who you were forever. You could come back a year later. He'd be wary until he smelled you and then it was like, "Oh, yeah. I remember you!"
But the point remains: Moses was not good with strangers. He would not come to you if he didn't know you, especially to men.
American Cockers do have long curly hair and must be groomed periodically. (Not sure about English cockers) They need haircuts just like humans. I
can't say about hot climates. I live in a very temperate area. He seemed to take the few days of hot weather we have okay. Cocker's ears can be an
issue because they fold over. They need attention so they don't get a yeast infection. They make several different potions that you just spray in
there and mush about. If you use it weekly they should be okay. I did not have any serious health issues with him until the end.
Anyway. Hope this helps. Moses was my only dog and I sure miss him.