The English Cocker Spaniel is famed for its long, curly ears and beautiful coat of wavy hair that comes in a variety of colors. This dog was bred as a sporting dog. It would assist hunters with tracking woodcock and other types of foul. In the United States, these dogs are still used as hunting dogs by many, including those who hunt for game in the Appalachian Mountains and in other regions where bird hunting is popular. However, while they do make great hunting dogs, they are primarily kept as family pets. Their sweet, friendly, and energetic disposition makes this breed a great choice for families, particularly those who have small children. They also get along well with other animals. However, it’s important to note that this breed does require exercise, as it has a lot of energy, and it also needs training, as it is quite intelligent and will seek mischief if he is not properly trained.
If you’re interested in the English Cocker Spaniel, keep on reading to learn valuable care information for this much-loved breed.
Cocker Spaniel Food and Health
English Cocker Spaniels should be fed a diet that features high quality, natural animal protein, like all breeds. They aren’t picky about their proteins; however, they don’t do particularly well with beef. They also require carbohydrates to fuel their energy and fiber to maintain their digestive health. Feeding your dog a premium-quality commercial dog food is recommended to ensure that he is getting the nutrients he needs.
The amount you feed your English Cocker Spaniel will vary and should be based on his size, age, and activity level; however, generally, this breed should eat about 1 to 2 cups of dry dog food on a daily basis. You can either feed him in one meal or divide his meal in half, feeding him twice a day. Puppies and highly active dogs should be fed more calories, while older and less active dogs should eat less. Speak to your vet to find out how much you should be feeding your dog to ensure that he is in optimal health.
The English Cocker Spaniel is generally a healthy dog; however, like all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. Issues that can plague this breed include progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, hip and elbow dysplasia, renal failure, dilated cardiomyopathy (a heart condition), and congenital sensorineural deafness. Also, highly active dogs are prone to injuries, and the English Cocker Spaniel is certainly energetic. Given the health issues and injuries that this breed can suffer from, you should consider investing in pet insurance. This type of insurance works similarly to health insurance for humans in that your carrier will assist with the payments of medical bills in return for your premium payments. There are several reputable companies that offer pet insurance, including Nationwide, Allstate, State Farm, and Geico. The ASPCA also offers pet insurance at affordable rates.
Leashes and Collars for your English Cocker Spaniel
You’ll want to invest in a high-quality dog collar and dog leash for your English Cocker Spaniel. As mentioned, these dogs require exercise, and a collar and leash will allow you to take your dog on regular walks safely.
There are a variety of collars that work well with English Cocker Spaniels; however, you might want to consider using one that is made of a soft or braided material to avoid snagging of their long hair. Always measure the size of your dog’s neck to make sure that you are purchasing a collar that will fit him properly. You should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.
You can also use a harness to walk your dog; however, if you do go this route, you should still keep a collar on him to display his identification and vaccination information. A dog harness can prevent injuries to the neck, as this breed has a powerful nose and does have a tendency to pull when a scent is picked up. A V-shaped, vest-style harness is ideal, as it is designed to prevent choking. Additionally, a vest that features a padded interior can provide extra comfort, and one that is made of mesh material will allow air to flow through.
For a leash, it really depends on your dog’s disposition and your needs. For example, if your dog isn’t well trained, you might want to choose a shorter lead until he knows how to walk properly. If you live in a cold climate, certain materials might not work well. For example, if you live in a cold climate, certain materials might not be easy to handle, such as leather. Instead, a leash made of paracord or nylon would be better suited for these areas.
If you’re going to be walking your dog in a dark area or in high-traffic locations, consider purchasing a collar and leash that features reflective materials. These materials will make it easier to locate your dog and will make him more visible to cars.
Best Crates, Beds, and Doghouses for English Cocker Spaniels
Whether you are training your dog or you want to provide him with a secure space (remember, dogs are instinctually den creatures), a crate is an excellent investment. When you are shopping for a crate for your English Cocker Spaniel, the size of your dog is of utmost importance. He should have enough room to move around in the dog crate so that he can stand and turn around without hitting into the ceiling or walls; however, you don’t want to offer too much space so that the crate is rendered ineffective.
There are several types of crates available, and they come in a variety of styles. For example, if you plan on using your crate on a constant basis and it will be located in a common area of your home, a crate that is designed to look like furniture is a great choice. Alternatively, if you need something that can be stored with ease, a crate that is made of soft material and can easily collapse will allow for easy storage.
For bedding, English Cocker Spaniels like to curl up when they sleep. A donut-shaped bed will allow him to achieve that cocoon-like feeling and offer the support that he desires. If he has arthritis or hip or elbow dysplasia, an orthopedic bed can offer him additional support.
Though this breed prefers being with his human companions and should be kept inside, if he is going to be outside for prolonged periods of time, he should be provided with a dog house. Consider the size of the house, as well as the features. It should offer enough space so that he can move around with ease. It should also offer features that will allow for comfort and safety; for instance, insulation and heating will keep dogs kept outside in cold climates warm.
English Cocker Spaniel Toys
English Cocker Spaniels are extremely energetic and playful. They require exercise and mental stimulation in order to keep them entertained and healthy. Offering your dog a variety of toys will ensure that he is active and has opportunities for play.
There are several different types of toys that work well for this breed. Balls, sticks, and other types of toss toys are great options. This breed does enjoy playing fetch, and these types of toys allow them to do just that. Dog squeaky toys are also a favorite of the English Cocker Spaniel. Toys that are designed to look like animals, have squeakers built into them, and are made of durable materials are sure to be this dog’s favorite choice.
Puzzle toys and treat toys are wonderful ways to keep your dog mentally stimulated.
Grooming Insights for English Cocker Spaniel owners
The coat of the English Cocker Spaniel is medium to long and it has a wavy, yet silky texture to it. To maintain his coat and promote healthy skin, make sure you comb or brush your dog on a regular basis; every other day or every day is recommended. Use a wire comb or a brush mitt. With regular brushing or combing, you can prevent matting, remove dead hair, and encourage natural oil production in the skin, which will keep both his skin and coat healthy.
The trademark of the English Cocker Spaniel is his long ears. While they’re beautiful, they can accumulate dirt and debris. To avoid infections, make sure that you clean out your dog’s ears on a regular basis. Wipe them out with a damp cloth daily.
Flea and tick control should be a priority with your dog. There are several control products available, including sprays, powders, and topical solutions.
There are several accessories on the market that you can use with your English Cocker Spaniel, from training aids to superficial products. For example, since these dogs have long hair, if you want to dress him up, you could affix bows or clips into his hair. Cooling vests will keep your dog comfortable in hot climates, and a life jacket will keep him safe if you are planning on taking him on the water.
For training aids, there are several products available. Bark collars can control barking (though they should be used sparingly), tunnels can be used for agility training, and animal decoys can be used to train your dog for hunting.
If your dog is offered the right care, you and your English Cocker Spaniel are bound to enjoy a long and happy life together.
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