Cocker spaniels own my heart. There are at least 12 reasons a Cocker Spaniels own me, but suffice it to say: I’m gaga for Cockers. Over the years, I am asked “What is it about the Cocker Spaniel that you are drawn to, Carol?” And I am eternally stopped in my tracks and pause for thought. Perhaps you have a favorite breed and one that your heart is just drawn to time and again. There is something that stirs inside me, right in the pit of my stomach, when a Cocker Spaniel is around. I don’t know what that something is and who or what put it there…but it happens every time: Those butterfly-warm fuzzy-happy to be me-in this moment-ohhh I wanna scrunch those cheeks and smooch that face feeling that happens in the presence of a Cocker Spaniel.
There are generally two reactions that occur when someone meets my Cocker Spaniel:
A) “I grew up with a Cocker Spaniel and he bit me.” or a variation thereof, such as “A lady in our neighborhood growing up had a Cocker Spaniel. It liked to bite.”
B) “Squee I love Cockers, he’s so cute, can I pet him, ooze my love all over him, and give him kissy face?”
Thankfully, I have a dog who is generally amenable to strangers gushing all over him, and we continue to practice the tenets of being a Canine Good Citizen, a title he’s held for years, on a regular basis.
I love Cocker Spaniels because of how I feel around the breed. I get butterflies. I get weak in the knees. I get silly. I feel innately happy.
Is it Nature or Nurture?
Are we born with a predisposition to loving a certain species, a certain breed, or a to have a certain affection for all dogs in general (the latter of which I admit to).
As a child, my dad gifted me with a book called, The Big Book of Dogs. It had a German Shepherd Dog on the cover and within it’s glossy large pages, half way through the book, a red and white Cocker Spaniel puppy with a daisy in her mouth took my breath away. As I blog this, I recall the memory with warm fondness. Yet, here I am some 40 years later and Cockers still capture and captivate me. The heart wants want the heart wants.
Nature made me this way and my path in life led me here now: So nature and nurture, I credit you both with my passion for Cockers.
* For 16 years in a row, the Cocker Spaniel took up the place as the most popular dog in America, from 1936 to 1952, a feat that has yet to be matched by another dog.
* The dog aka ‘lady’ of the Disney movie, Lady and the Tramp, was an American Cocker Spaniel.
* Spaniels originated in Spain, hence their name, but most modern breeds were developed in England and America.
* Legend has it that the first Cocker Spaniel, or at least the ancestor of the cocker spaniel as we know it today, arrived in Plymouth, Mass., in 1620 on board the Mayflower with the pilgrims from England.
For me, the Cocker is the all-American dog: Sturdy and playful, snuggly and devoted, plays and yet loves to chill out, and has everything a small dog exudes with the confidence and aura of a big dog caught in a medium-sized body. Having been a dog mom to both a female and now a male Cocker Spaniel, there are inherent gender differences. The Cocker Spaniel comes in American and English varieties, and the breed is NOT for everyone.
Cockers are prone to health issues, as many purebred dogs are. Some include eye and ear issues, epilepsy, and the breed has more cases of IMHA (immune mediated hemolytic anemia) than most other breeds I’ve been around. Urinary tract issues and cherry eye are also common in the breed. Being a nearly lifetime Cocker mom and as someone who has access to experts and reads extensively on dogs and their care, I’ve learned how to prevent problems, what to feed, and I am extra diligent in my care for Cockers who are like children in furry coats. In fact, do your homework if you are considering a Cocker. Get to know the breed.
With all of that said, here are 12 pros of the Cocker Spaniel, some with images and some with video. See for yourself why my heart beats dog and it is owned by Cocker Spaniels.
(B) Mindful of Their Stash:
(C) Silly : Click the video to see what I mean.
(E) Social Outside of Species
(I) Melty Puppies
(K) Mama’s Babies
I could go on and on, but Cocker Spaniels are definitely at the core of my heart. My heart beats dog but it thumps in perfect rhythm for Cockers. I bet some of these folks have a passion for pets. What’s your favorite breed/species/type of animal?