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OF THE ENGLISH COCKER SPANIELS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.
IS AN ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL THE RIGHT DOG FOR YOU?
This paragraph is from the Breed Standard, which is a guideline that describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed.
“The English Cocker Spaniel is an active, merry, sporting dog, standing well up at the withers and compactly built. He is alive with energy; his gait is powerful and frictionless, capable both of covering ground effortlessly and penetrating dense cover to flush and retrieve game. His enthusiasm in the field and the incessant action of his tail while at work indicate how much he enjoys the hunting for which he was bred. His head is especially characteristic. He is, above, all, a dog of balance, both standing and moving, without exaggeration in any part, the whole worth more than the sum of its parts.”
The breed excels as a loving family pet and their athleticism and extraordinary ability to identify and use scent makes them more than capable of participating in any type of competitive event, always with the hallmark merry temperament and ever wagging tail. The ECS was originally developed in England to hunt woodcock and hare in the rugged and unforgiving terrain, so they need to be able to penetrate thick cover. They have adapted equally well hunting in the wide-open plains of the Midwest. Known as a big dog in a small package, the concentrated power, compact size, merry and versatile temperament, make this a grand sporting dog which is perfect for many dog sports or as a companion.
A red conformation-bred English Cocker female.
This blue roan and tan, conformation-bred English Cocker Spaniel is flying through an agility course.
This orange & white English Cocker Spaniel helped his owner win Best Junior at Westminster KC.
Most English Cocker Spaniels are merry, intelligent, friendly, gentle, and affectionate in nature, while being full of life and exuberance. They make outstanding, devoted family companions. They benefit from patient, consistent training from the start (as is the case for any dog). Being of medium size, they are very adaptable to many environments and are easy to travel with.
Good temperaments depend on good breeding practices (careful selection of breeding stock, correct rearing & socialization of puppies etc.) so always buy an ECS puppy from an experienced specialist breeder and never from a multi-breed commercial establishment (kennels where a variety of popular breeds are always on sale) or puppy farm.
ECS will bark when someone comes to the door. Once visitors come inside however, they are usually treated as friends
A black and tan conformation-bred female.
A solid liver field-bred English Cocker
HEALTH & LONGEVITY
In general, ECS are healthy with good appetites. As with all dogs they need to be properly fed and exercised. Any abnormality in behavior or appearance should be investigated immediately. If you are worried, contact your breeder for advice and / or take him to a veterinarian.
Below are the guidelines for health testing recommended by the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America Health & Rescue Organization. For more information, visit their website: https://www.ecscahealthandrescue.org/
“The following is a guide for genetically identifiable breed related health concerns. These screening tools ensure effectiveness in maintaining a healthy breed pool. All English Cockers should be checked for breeding soundness before they are bred. Those acquiring a puppy should ask the breeder/owner for printed copies of all health clearances on both parents either on paper and/or referred to the OFA database.
A red field-bred English Cocker
A family photo of orange roans, featuring a senior and a puppy, both conformation-bred English Cockers
- Familial Nephropathy (FN) – DNA test done one time at any age
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – DNA test done one time at any age
- Adult Onset Neuropathy (AON) – DNA test done one time at any age
- Hip Dysplasia – Xray done at two years of age or later, or a preliminary Xray if under 2 years
- OFA Patellar Luxation – Examination at 1 year or older for OFA certification
- Autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism – OFA Thyroid panel
- ACVO eye exam – OFA Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER), exam good for one year
- BAER testing— identifies congenital heredity deafness (required for parti-colored dogs only) from age 35 days and older
Field Bred English Cockers should additionally be tested for:
- Acral Mutilation Syndrome (AMS) – DNA test done one time at any age
- Exercise Induc ed Collapse (EIC) – DNA test done one time at any age”
ECS could be expected to live for about 12-15 years, with the average being 14.. Causes of death, as for most other dogs, would most likely be vehicle collision, cancer, or failure of one of the major organs (heart, liver, or kidneys).