Cocker spaniels are energetic and devoted dogs that are excellent family pets. Thanks to their long history as hunting dogs, they have retained their hunting instincts and are still considered to be excellent hunting companions today. They also excel in agility and obedience competitions, which are a great way to spend time and exercise with your Cocker. While there is some concern that Cockers may not be appropriate for families with very young children, others say that with supervision and good training, many of the problems of Cockers with small children can be avoided.
Cocker spaniels are descended from Springing spaniels and can trace their history back hundreds of years. As the smallest of the sporting dog family, Cocker spaniels have always excelled in finding, flushing and retrieving birds on both land and in water. While most people do not associate these beautiful dogs as hunters, they are becoming more and more popular in field tests and are finding some success in that arena.
Here are some more interesting facts about Cocker spaniels:
All spaniels are thought to originate in Spain. The word "spaniel" may derive from Hispania, the old name for Spain, or the French "chien de l'espangol," which means "dog from Spain."
References to spaniels can be found in stories by Chaucer (1342 - 1400) and Shakespeare (1564 - 1616).
Cocker spaniels, Sussex spaniels and English Springer spaniels were all considered the same breed until 1892, when the Cocker spaniel was recognized as a separate breed by the English Kennel Club.
Cocker spaniels have been shown in the United States since the 1880's.
Cocker spaniels got their name from their proficiency in hunting and flushing woodcocks, a woodland bird found both in England and America.
Cocker spaniels only became known for their long, beautiful coats in the 1930s and 1940s, when breeders in America set out to develop a Cocker spaniel with a more beautiful and refined conformation.
The term "Cocker spaniel" means different things to different people: the American Cocker spaniel is well known for its long coat and soulful eyes, while the English Cocker spaniel is a bit larger and rangier with a shorter coat.
The American Cocker spaniel was recognized as a separate breed from English Cocker spaniels in 1946.
The Cocker spaniel is among the most popular breeds in the United States. It was once held the top position of breeds registered by the American Kennel Club for sixteen years in a row, a record that has never been matched by another breed.
Some famous Cocker spaniels include Checkers, who was owned by President Richard Nixon, Lucky Bundy from the television show "MarriedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ With Children," Lady from the Disney movie "Lady and the Tramp," and the Cocker spaniel that appeared in the original Coppertone ads.