Though 12,000 less were registered in the UK in 2013 than Labradors, Cocker Spaniels have proven themselves to be a very popular breed of dog, with just shy of 23,000 being registered. This makes the Cocker Spaniel the second most popular dog in the Gundog breed category, and it holds the position quite comfortably considering that trailing behind in third place is the English Springer Spaniel with 11,316. The Cocker Spaniel's popularity seems to have held throughout 2014 also, with over 17,000 being registered between January 2014 and September 2014.
|Exercise Requirements||1 hour|
|Lifespan||10 - 12 years|
As any owner will be able to tell you, each and every cocker spaniel has its very own unique personality and temperament, but most do share common traits. As a rule, cocker spaniels are intelligent, cheerful and sociable, preferring to be around other creatures than left on their own. These dogs are often seen with their tails wagging excitedly behind them, which has earned them a reputation for being a generally happy and easy to please breed of dog.
If taught from an early enough age, a cocker spaniel will readily get along with children and other household pets, but they will always form the closest bond with whoever it is that feeds them (told you these dogs were smart).
Cocker Spaniels are easily trained and once their training is complete they'll be loyal to a fault. Bear in mind however that unlike many other dogs they do not respond well to an overly firm hand, so whenever possible we'd suggest choosing the carrot over stick. Obviously, you will still need to prove your dominance to them as pack leader, but loud noises and scare tactics work a little too well with cocker spaniels and will quickly cause them to become nervous and stressed.
Exercise & Living Conditions
Cocker spaniels do not require too much exercise compared to most other medium-sized breeds of dog, in fact most days an hour is more than enough to suffice. Every other week, or whenever possible, it would be a good idea to take them for a more rigorous exercise to keep their fitness up, but nothing too exhausting.
Though an hour of exercise a day should be enough to keep your dog fit, you should never discourage your cocker spaniel from wanting a game of fetch or having a play around with you if they fancy it. Don't worry about tiring them out; when they're tired they will let you know and you'll both feel better for it.
When given the appropriate outlet for their energy, these dogs will be more than content with what ever living space they have to make use of. They are not renowned for being fussy eaters by any stretch, nor are they more prone to specific dietary requirements than any other breed of dog. Generally speaking, so long as you feed and treat them well these dogs will lead a rich and healthy life.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, cocker spaniels do require regular grooming from their owners. A good brush once a day would be ideal, but we do not suggest you let it go without for more than two days unless you want it to shed its hair all over your home. We also suggest that once a week you give it a thorough comb to keep its coat in good condition and remove any alien objects that may have become entangled in its fur (it happens with surprising frequency).
You should trim your dog's hair every 2-3 months and always bathe it straight after to help remove any lose hair from its body. Bathing a cocker spaniel cannot really happen often enough, so whenever you feel it's necessary to bathe them feel free to do so. When bathing them, make sure you pay particular attention to their ears, back and stomach.