back to main page


The American Cocker Spaniel

We invite you to browse through the following articles in this special feature:

* The American Cocker Spaniel - a breed profile

* Development of Breed Type

* Judging the American Cocker Spaniel: The Head

* Grooming the American Cocker for Show

* A Short History of the American Cocker in South Africa

* An Illustrated Breed Standard


In the most famous social occasion in dogdom, the scallywag, Tramp, took his Lady to an Italian restaurant for a spaghetti dinner in the back alley. The two larger-than-life canines slurped pasta and fell in love to the music of the concertina, and Walt Disney had another animated hit on his hands. Tramp, of course, was a nondescript terrier-type mongrel - a dog of the streets, if you will. Lady, on the other hand, was a sensitive, demure Cocker Spaniel, a dog that has won the hearts of tens of millions of families over the past several decades.

The smallest dog in the Gundog Group, the American Cocker Spaniel is a lot of dog in a compact package. It is a dog with definite appeal as a family pet and child's companion, an often-time winner in the show ring, and an intelligent worker in the field.

A well-bred Cocker is sweet, loyal, cheerful, playful, trustworthy, easily trained, and adaptable. It needs a moderate amount of exercise and will get podgy if allowed to be a complete couch potato. Its sensitivity may be its only drawback, for discipline must be gentle or the Cocker may wilt. The popularity of the breed in the USA almost led to its downfall: puppy farmers and backyard breeders flooded the market with poorly-bred specimens that were yappy, snappy, nervous, high-strung dogs - difficult to train and handle. If you're thinking of acquiring an American Cocker, avoid pet shops and backyard breeders at all costs, preferring to seek out a reputable breeder through reliable sources.

Once upon a time, a very special Cocker was chosen for the blessing of mankind. He was, at first, black in colour. But, when the hands of blessings were placed upon him, the areas touched turned to purest gold. His eyes were blessed to see the good - his mouth to speak the praise - his ears to hear the truth - his chest to hold a loyal heart - his feet to take him spreading joy - and, his tail to show his never-ending love. Many more, so blessed, have followed this first one. Today they are known to man as black and tan.


Some people say...

That the temperaments of the three colour varieties are completely different!

ASCOB (any solid colour other than black) Cockers - especially buff - are not the brightest stars in the firmament. They're not great at obedience, either. Some say that, as puppies, they're wild creatures, but as they mature they become real couch potatoes...

Black Cockers have stable temperaments, some say. Black and tans are the smartest of the whole bunch, but also quite mischievous - they have little self-control. Blacks adore their owners and like to touch you with their paws or cold noses...

Parti-colour Cockers are smart, while red and white partis are more stable than black and white partis. Black and white partis are the clowns of the family - everything is one big game...

Believe it or not.....