American Cocker Spaniel for Sale: Compact and Vivacious Family Companion
The American Cocker Spaniel has found its way into many homes by way of its bubbly personality, portable size, and good looks. As the smallest sporting dog, American Cockers are still sturdy and active enough to keep up with adventurous families or couples. Always game for finding new friends, a well-socialized American Cocker is perfect for dog owners with the time to dedicate attention and to sufficiently exercise their pooches.
The American Cocker Spaniel is a jovial sporting dog with a tail that wags continually and merrily.
American Cocker Spaniel for Sale Appearance
An American Cocker Spaniel is a compact and balanced dog. Its head should be in proportion to the rest of its body with round eyes with a slight tilt, square jaws, a muzzle about half the length of the head, and a moderate rounding of the top of the skull. The ears are low-set, long, and hanging. You should notice the length of your Cocker’s neck, well-adapted to support carrying fowl. The neck seamlessly joins the strong and laid-back shoulders. The limbs are straight and strong with moderate angulation and balance between the forequarters and hind end. Cocker Spaniels have a deep chest and a straight topline that slopes slightly towards a moderately rounded croup. Their tails are generally docked in the US. The height standard is unforgiving, with dogs ranging from 13 to 15 inches tall. American Cocker S
paniels weigh 20 to 25 pounds.
The American Cocker has a dual coat. Compared to many of the herding breeds and all Spitzes, the Cocker’s undercoat is minimal, but it is protective. The outer guard hairs are medium in length and silky to the touch. On the dog’s head and face, the fur is short and fine. Hair on the body can be flat or slightly wavy. You will see clear feathering on the belly, chest, legs, and ears. American Cocker Spaniel puppies for sale are fluffballs. They have cotton-like fur until their adult silk-like strands start to grow at eight months to a year old.
American Cocker Spaniel Colors
American Cockers can be a solid color or a duo or trio of contrasting shades. Solid colors are categorized as black or any solid color other than black (ASCOB). A solid black American Cocker Spaniel is one of two varieties.
- Jet black – may have minimal white markings on the chest and throat
- Black base with tan points
ASCOB American Cockers can be the following solid colors.
- Brown – same as liver or chocolate in other breeds
- Brown with tan points
Any solid color can have minor white markings on the chest or throat or both areas.
Parti-colored Cocker Spaniels have a base coat that is white with one or more additional colors. Neither white nor any of the contrasting colors should contribute over 90% to your dog’s coat pattern from a show perspective.
- Red and white
- Black and white
- Roan – intermixed red and white, brown and white, or black and white hairs
- Brown and white
Black and white, blue roan, and brown and white dogs may have tan points. Note that red dogs do not have tan markings because points are a feature of the black-based dog. Brown represents the suppression of black pigmentation (eumelanin), whereby red is an expression of phaeomelanin, responsible for reds and yellows in dogs. Tan points are like those in other breeds and must be in specific stereotypical areas.
- A point above each eye
- Sides of the muzzle
- Under tail
- Inner flap of the ears
- On the feet – can extend up the legs
- Sometimes on the chest but not always – AKC expresses no preference
Whether on a solid black, brown, roan, or particolored Cocker, tan points can range from light cream to tan to deep mahogany.
Like most breeds in the sporting group, Cocker Spaniels are outgoing and highly social. They are also intelligent, affectionate with their families, and blessed with an ongoing jolly attitude. Finally, the Cocker Spaniel is eager to learn and level-headed. Timid or aggressive dogs can come from poorly-bred lines or insufficiently socialized individuals. American Cocker Spaniels are excellent with children. This breed does not have aggressive tendencies towards children and is lively enough to serve as a great playmate. Similarly, they enjoy playing with other animals and should get along well with a housemate that is a dog or a cat. Birds and small exotics may become victims to the Cocker’s predatory instincts depending on the dog’s family lines and unique personality.
American Cocker Spaniels typically live between 12 and 15 years. An American Cocker Spaniel for sale does not come with a lifetime health guarantee, but breeders can decrease the incidence of genetic disorders with a couple of recommended tests such as hip and eye evaluations.
American Cocker Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel
In the US, when someone says, “Cocker Spaniel,” they mean the American Cocker Spaniel. In other parts of the world, a Cocker Spaniel refers to the English variety. Through breeder selection, the differences between the American Cocker Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel have become pronounced. The AKC separated the English and American Cocker Spaniel into two varieties in 1936. In 1946, the American Kennel Club split the breeds completely.
English Cocker Spaniels are taller (15 to 17 inches at the shoulders) and slightly heavier (26 to 35 pounds) than the American type. The English breed also has a longer and narrower head with a muzzle the same length as the back skull. The skull is slightly flattened on top, and the stop is moderate. American Cocker Spaniels have a shorter muzzle, a more pronounced stop, and a slight dome of the skull. Colors between the American and English Cockers are almost identical except for the addition of lemon as a solid shade or part of a dual-color for English Cocker Spaniels. The English type can also be sable (banded hairs give the dog a two-toned look), but it is not a standard color. English Cockers have oval-shaped eyes, whereas the American Cocker’s peepers are more almond-shaped. Both breeds have medium-long silky flat or wavy fur, but the American Cocker Spaniel tends to have a fuller coat with more length on the legs and belly. Finally, the American Cocker Spaniel is slightly longer than it is tall while the English Cocker is taller than it is long.
Contrasts in Temperament
English Cocker Spaniels tend to be more intense and driven than the American Cocker. You may notice the American Cocker Spaniel is more affectionate than the English type. English Cocker Spaniels are often better suited as field dogs while American Cockers are more ideal household pets with a lower prey drive. Since temperament can be difficult to predict, individual variations may cause the two breeds to overlap. Both breeds have had problems with aggression during different periods in history. Such temperamental challenges were associated with specific family lines.
American Cocker Spaniels tend to be high-maintenance dogs.
The AKC prefers that American Cockers show in a full coat with trimming to enhance the lines. Many owners keep their dogs in a short style for easier care. A short hair American Cocker Spaniel does not exist naturally but is clipped so the fur is a uniform length. Generally, the hair is only slightly longer than the fur on the face all over. However, many flattering cuts exist for the Cocker Spaniel.
- Short all over except ears are left long
- Back and body short with feathers left on legs, belly, and chest
- Light clipping on the body and scissoring to make the Cocker look like a Golden Retriever; hair will be moderate length on ears and chest; feathers will be shaped on legs; works well for dogs with a full tail
- Unform medium cut – hair left longer than for short cut
A short hair American cocker Spaniel will only need you to brush her every week. A dog in a full coat needs brushing every few days to prevent tangling, especially of the feathers. Cockers are not as difficult to groom as other dogs with hair of similar length because their fur is rather thin and soil-resistant. You must also focus on a few of the other grooming needs of Cocker Spaniels.
- Bathe every four to eight weeks – Cockers with allergies may need more frequent baths with medicated shampoo
- Trim nails also every four to eight weeks
- Check ears every other day – American Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to ear infections
- Clean ears every one to three weeks
- Clean face gently every one to two days
An American Cocker Spaniel needs to eat about 1.5 to 2.5 cups of food daily. If you prefer to think in terms of calories, you should feed your dog 450 to 600 calories per day. Adolescent puppies and working dogs need two to three times the amount of food that a typical adult requires. If you feed a fresh or raw diet, you need to weigh out about 0.4 to 0.6 pounds of food each day depending on age and activity levels. Proteins should make up most of your dog’s food. A balanced diet also includes fats, vitamins, and minerals. Some owners feed carbohydrates while others avoid them. Fruits such as berries, and vegetables, may provide antioxidants. Limited studies show that certain greens may help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases.
American Cocker Spaniels are active and require 50 to 70 minutes of exercise each day. Show lines need exercise approaching the lower limits of the range while working Cockers might require as much as two hours of daily exercise. Training and socialization are much more important than any kind of physical exertion for American Cocker Spaniel puppies for sale. You should exercise in moderation until your pup reaches 10 to 12 months of age to protect its joints and bones.
The American Cocker Spaniel ranks high in working intelligence, well-qualified for its original purpose as a sporting spaniel. It is also quite sensitive which can pose challenges in training. Cockers do best with positive reinforcement, repetition, consistency, and finesse in their training regimen. You must keep sessions short to ensure your dog stays interested.