The American Cocker Spaniel is the smallest of the spaniels and the smallest breed in the American Kennel Club’s Sporting Group. Like her close cousin, the English Cocker Spaniel, she was used to hunt woodcock (hence her name), and she still possesses great speed and swimming abilities. The American Cocker was the most popular breed in the United States during the 1940s, 50s and 1980s, and has taken home the “Best in Show” trophy from the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show four times. Several U.S. presidents have also been fans of American Cockers, including Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
The American Cocker is a lighter and smaller dog than her English cousin – averaging between 25 and 30 lbs. – with a distinctive dome-shaped head and short muzzle. Her soft, silky coat can be a variety of colors, but is shown in three main groups: black/black and tan; any solid color other than black (ASCOB); and parti-color. Her coat requires regular brushing to avoid mats.
The American Cocker is known as an able hunting partner and friendly family member, enjoying the company of children and other pets. An intelligent, sociable dog, she prefers not to be left alone, and thrives best with plenty of daily exercise.
Despite her sporting skills, the American Cocker Spaniel is still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect her health – not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses American Cockers are prone to include skin conditions such as atopy; ear conditions such as otitis externa; heart conditions such as cardiac disease; liver conditions such as chronic hepatitis; and blood diseases such as immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA).
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your American Cocker Spaniel inherits her dad’s skin problems or her mom’s bad eyes, you’re covered.