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A guide to Cocker Spaniel breeds
The two main Cocker Spaniel breeds around today are the English and American Cocker Spaniels; they have many similar distinguishing features though it is easy to spot their differences as they both have uniquely shaped bodies, soft curly fur coats and a trade mark pair long dangly wide ears.
There are also several other mixed breeds of spaniels that share some of the same features as the above two, one of these is the infamous English toy Cocker Spaniel which is a 50/50 hybrid of the Cocker Spaniel and the English toy spaniel.
Lately the English toy Cocker Spaniel has been the subject of debate, with some people who are in doubt their existence. They are so appealing because the inter breeding has created a much smaller dog that looks like a miniature American Cocker Spaniel without as much hair and smaller ears.
Origin of the Cocker Spaniel dog
There is only a rough outline of Cocker Spaniel information relating to their origin, but the English Cocker Spaniel breeds are believed to have originated from Spain, what is known is that they were introduced to England in the 15th century where they were put to work as game hunting dogs.
In fact the name Cocker Spaniel is a mixture of ‘cocker’ which is the name of the bird they hunted and ‘Spaniel’ supposedly referring to their place of origin. On the other hand the American Cocker Spaniel dates back to the 14th century and are actually English spaniels that travelled over from England and were later bred down in size to produce a more house friendly and attractive version of dog.
The English Cocker Spaniel – This Cocker Spaniel has longer legs and a taller more stretched body than the American variety, their faces are distinctly longer due to the thinner muzzle and they have expressive oval eyes with small protruding eye brows. Most have a smooth covering of short hair on the face and wavy hair covering on their long wide ears; in fact compared to the American Cocker Spaniel this dog has a much shorter body coat.
Its legs are long and straight with a fur covering that widens at the bottom near their feet; the tail is usually quite long and hangs in an arch, though it is illegal in some places the owners shorten the tail length.
The American Cocker Spaniel – This particular breed has a compact sturdy body, the head is rather rectangular shaped with the muzzle coming to an abrupt stop and the bottom of the nose having an angular square shape. The eyes are round or almond shaped with a soft and gentle feel, it is also common for this dog to have deep blue eyes; there is a very expressive eye brow ridge stretching across its forehead which adds to its friendly nature.
This Cocker Spaniel breed has a short back with the top line sloping slightly from the front end; its legs are of a medium size and the tail looks like half a sausage pointing downwards. The coat on the American Coker Spaniel is soft, curly and come in a range of colors; it is usually particularly long as are the ears which have been known to almost touch the ground in some cases.
Cocker Spaniel temperament
Because the Cocker Spaniel breeds were originally used as hunting dogs they have a very loyal character, they are active, playful and devoted to their owner’s happiness.
Both the American and English breeds have similar temperaments, they love being around people and make a perfect pet for large families and single people, they are affectionate towards new strangers rarely ever bark out loud unless taunted; they should be put in lots of social situations as a puppy or they may develop a tendency for shy behavior through their adult hood.
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