Breed All About It – Dog Breeds starting With C – Cocker Spaniel
Adopt a Cocker Spaniel here www.battersea.org.uk/search/site/cocker%2520spaniel
Narrator: It’s a stocky, sturdy, silky smooth kind of dog with an ever wagging tail.
Dr. Karen Halligan: They are stunning to look at.
Dr. Debbye Turner Bell: There are a lot of people who would pay a lot of money to have hair like a Cocker Spaniel.
Dr. Karen Halligan: Cocker Spaniels are sweet, loyal, affectionate, playful. In fact they’re terrible watch dogs because they’re so friendly.
Narrator: Oprah Winfrey has three. President Truman had Feller. President Nixon had Checkers. And this Cocker Spaniel help sell sun tan lotion. Two other Cockers are famous in England for sniffing out cancer at Amersham Hospital.
History has it, these dogs date back to the 14th century and originated in Spain. They may have been one of the few dogs that come to America on the Mayflower.
Dr. Debbye Turner Bell: Cocker Spaniels were bred to hunt game birds, particularly one game bird called the Woodcock is where their name comes from, the Cocker Spaniel.
Narrator: Way back then a litter of Cockers weren’t just all baby Cockers.
Dr. Nicholas Dodman: The smaller dogs were called the Cockers and the larger ones were called the Springers.
Narrator: The smaller dogs were great at hunting Woodcocks, birds that fly low to the ground. And the taller litter mates were good at flushing or spring a flying game out of its hiding spots.
The first lovable thing people notice are the Cocker Spaniel’s long, low slung feathered floppy ears.
Dr. Debbye Turner Bell: They’re long and cute and flowing.
Narrator: Traditionally Cocker Spaniels have dark eyes. They are round with almond shaped rims.
Dr. Debbye Turner Bell: When they look at you, you really think they can understand what you’re saying and they can look into your soul.
Narrator: The Cocker Spaniel’s body is sturdy and compact. It’s the smallest of the sporting dog breeds, and the smallest of the spaniels. Traditionally these dogs live around 12 to 15 years if properly taken care of.
Andrea Arden: Good care on the part of parents is probably one of the things that is most likely to determine the length of a dog’s life.
Narrator: And that’s what Cherie and Norm have done with their little Cocker Spaniel at this four storey townhouse in Sherman Oaks, California.
Norm: I call him Mr. Fatty Pants. I call him Mr. Fatty Pants because he looks fat but he’s really not. He’s just a short little Cocker Spaniel that’s very muscular.
Narrator: And Uno loves cruising the neighborhood in a car and on the sidewalks.
Norm: He’s the original Alta Cocker. And in Hebrew that just means old man. He’s an old Jewish dog.
Narrator: In fact he may be America’s oldest dog. According to his owner Uno is 22 years old. In dog years that’s like 154. While most dogs only live about 12 human years, the oldest dog ever lived to be 29. He wasn’t a Cocker Spaniel but an Australian Cattle dog named Bluey. He died in 1939. But amazingly this 22 year old guy gets around just fine. He eats, sleeps, goes for walks, even climbs up four stories of stairs on his own every day.
Norm: When he has to go upstairs to go sleep or make a pee-pee, there’s a lot of stairs and he does this five, six, seven times a day all the way out here to his lawn.
Narrator: Norm adopted the dog when Uno was two years old. Six years ago Cherie came into Norm and Uno’s life and that’s when the dog really started to get pampered. Cherie even opened her own doggy spa.
Cherie: I know you don’t love this. But you have to get this done and you’re so happy when it’s done. He’s old, so he just likes to run around and hang out instead of being in the tub or being dried.
Narrator: But not does Uno get fluffed and buffed, he has his own personal chef too.
Cherie: Do you want some chicken, honey?
Narrator: And while he loves his home-cooked dinners his favorite meal of the day is soup.
Cherie: It’s wipey mouth time. I know you don’t like this.
Narrator: Even Uno vet says he’s amazed at just how healthy this dog really is.
Dr. Clipsham: I think it’s a combination of a lot of things – diet, exercise, good stable environment. He just keeps going, he’s like the energizer bunny.
Cherie: You are the best boy in the world. Yes, you are. You’re the best boy and the oldest boy.
Norm: I just love him to death and I couldn’t imagine being without him.
Narrator: If you want your Cocker Spaniel to live a long life like Uno, raise your dog in a stress-free environment. Apartment living works just fine.
Dr. Debbye Turner Bell: But you just have to make sure you exercise them.
Narrator: Most Cockers live fairly long lives. But see your vet for cataracts, kneecap problems and ear infections.
Dr. Nicholas Dodman: You do need to pay regular attention to those ears, perhaps keeping the hair on the inside of the ear flat, shaved down a bit to allow full ventilation.
Narrator: Along with keeping a Cocker Spaniel’s ears clean you will need to groom their body. And training can happen with a Cocker Spaniel but they can be a little stubborn.
Dr. Debbye Turner Bell: They are great family dogs. They are affectionate, they’re loyal, they are devoted to their family. However they’re also very protective. And if they’re socialized and trained well then they’re good with children and they’re good with the entire family. If you don’t train them well they can develop a little bit of aggression. They can become a little territorial. However, those things are easy to nip in the bud when they’re very young.
Narrator: So does the Cocker Spaniel make a good family pet? It can, but make sure you get yours from a good breeder. In general the Cocker Spaniel can live almost anywhere but needs exercise. They can have health problems like cataracts and ear infections. They need regular grooming and are easily trained, so overall the Cocker Spaniel can make a good pet if adopted from a reputable breeder.
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