MEET THE DOGS …. Cocker Spaniels
Dogs have always figured in the pack. In recent years this part has been played by Cocker Spaniels, particularly those of the working type.
Working type cocker spaniels as pets
Working cockers were bred for temperament and trainability and are the original cockers. The name “Cocker” coming from the bird “Woodcock” as flushing game birds was the cocker spaniels original breed purpose.
While you may conclude that working cockers would not make good pets their characteristics (trainability, temperament) can make them excellent pets. The secret lies in understanding their nature. Their characteristics and nature then work as an advantage rather than disadvantage.
Working cocker spaniels are very intelligent and sociable.
With the right approach, gentle but firm and fair, they take readily to training. As a result they can then be trained to do almost anything.
As house pets working cockers are fairly small. This and their friendly inquisitive nature make them very good companions even where children are in the house.
Exercising your Spaniel
They are however very active and enjoy plenty of exercise. The working Cocker likes nothing better than to spend its time searching and hunting in the undergrowth. The thicker the better. They especially love wild and wet environments such as a moor covered with heather. This helps to keep your dog stimulated and balanced. Expect to provide your dog this sort of exercise daily. Our own dogs have 3 walks of about 1 hour duration daily at home. When away or on holiday they can spend much of the day out and about. If you are active, particularly, with a love of the outdoors a Working Cocker Spaniel could be a good choice.
Members of the pack:
The Cocker History
While the Cocker Spaniel may have been around for some time they are fairly recent additions to the spaniel world. Spaniels have been around for many years. Originated from Spain and arriving in England during the Roman invasion Spaniel have been around for a long time.
From these early spaniels developed strains for work on water or land. Retrieving game from water was the role of the Water Spaniel while the setting and springing spaniels were used to point and retrieve game.
The development of guns and shooting during the 17th century dramatically changed the breed of spaniels. Consequently the spaniel was to develop into a well bred and trained shooting dog. The springing spaniel became the Springer spaniel from which our current Cocker and Springer spaniels have descended. The larger pups would continue the Springer line while the smaller pups became the Cocker. Consequently the Cocker Spaniel was a direct offspring from the Springer spaniel. Recognised by the Kennel Club from 1893.
Cocker Spaniel – Show and Working type
Today there are two distinct strains of Cocker Spaniel.
Firstly, the show Cocker being bred for looks conforms to the KC standard. They have a domed head long ears and long feathered coat.
The working Cocker is bred for working capability rather than looks. The Working Cocker Spaniel is typically much more energetic and needs lots of exercise. As a result they tend to look sleeker and longer in the body. They will also have a flatter scull, shorter ears and smoother coat with less feathering.
Members of the pack:
Our veteran girl clover is now aged 13 and still very capable and active. Brody is her long standing mate at 11 years old also still active. Cory is their 10 year old son, the only pup we have kept and under the care of our son and family.
They have a good number of FTCHs and champions in their lines. Clover is descended from Larford Cateran through Larford Boss. Brodie has Wernffrwd Cymro Du and Larford Elma in his lines.