|Cocker Spaniel Appearance
The American Cocker Spaniel is a small to medium-sized dog with a beautifully flowing coat and feathering over the ears and legs. Cockers can be kept with their coats long or can be trimmed in a puppy cut. The Cocker is elegant, yet sturdily built and spunky. They have large, dark eyes, and long, low-set ears that are covered with long feathering hair. The Cocker’s appearance is that of a dog that is rugged, playful, and affectionate.
Cocker Spaniel Behavior
The best Cockers are extraordinarily affectionate and friendly toward people, dogs, and other pets. They are active and alert but not aggressive or overly barky. Unfortunately, there was a period when Cockers without friendly, balanced personalities were bred and some of these dogs are inclined to bite and be aggressive. Because Cockers are sensitive, they respond to consistent, positive discipline free of threats and physical punishment. If treated roughly, they can develop fear aggression.
Cocker Spaniel Health (dog breed health problems)
Cocker Spaniel allergies that predispose them to ear infections
Providing a natural, holistic diet and vaccinating only when necessary and for the fewest diseases helps prevent and manage immune problems, such as allergies.
Cocker Spaniel Hypothyroidism
Low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism) are easily treated with medication. Many veterinarians believe the incidence of hypothyroidism is reduced if Cockers are not over-vaccinated.
Cocker Spaniel Seborrhea with dry or greasy flaking skin that develops an odor
Seborrhea (dandruff) is treated with weekly or twice weekly bathing with special shampoo.
Cocker Spaniel Entropion and ectropion
Entropion is a condition caused as the eyelid rolls inward and eye lashes rub the cornea causing pain, tearing, and inflammation. Ectropion is an eyelid that rolls outward so that tears aren’t channeled into the tear ducts but drain on the face. Eyelid surgeries repair either of these problems.
Cocker Spaniel Bone and joint problems
Patellar luxation and cranial cruciate rupture are common in American Cocker Spaniels. It’s best to start the dogs on chondroprotective medications when young and use anti-inflammatory medications, such as Rimadyl and Deramaxx as prescribed.
Cocker Spaniel Dry eye
Dry eye (KCS or keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is treated with artificial tears or with Optimmune (cyclosporine) (Rx). Avoid medications such as sulfa antibiotics that may predispose dogs to develop dry eyes.
Grooming your Cocker Spaniel
Cockers require brushing daily or every other day to prevent the long, fine coat and thick undercoat from developing mats. Keep hair over the feet clipped or examine daily for burrs, grass awns, or twigs. Use a clothespin to clip the ears up when your Cocker eats and immediately wash hair that has gotten into the food bowl. Cocker Spaniels have a deep lip fold that traps food and should be cleaned after meals. A Cocker Spaniel’s outer ear canals may be thickly haired and damp. This predisposes Cockers to chronic ear infections, especially if your Cocker has allergies. Keep the ear canals dry and yeast-free by using weekly ear cleansers. Cut the nails at least monthly unless your dog exercises on rough surfaces. Watch for scooting and signs that allergies are causing the bottom to itch. Scooting can lead to anal sac problems, including impacted anal glands, and these should be taken care of by your veterinarian rather than by a groomer.
Daily or every other day
Essential to keep matted hair from forming
Self-trimming if active on rough surfaces
|Eyes, Ears, & Face
Check ears frequently and use an ear cleanser weekly. Clean lip folds after eating.
Seldom need to be expressed unless your Cocker has allergies that lead to scooting