American Cocker Spaniel

Description:
The American Cocker Spaniel has a small compact body and it stands out because of the shape of its head, which is refined, chiseled, and because of its beautiful coat. The head of this dog should be rounded but not exaggeratedly, it has marked eyebrows and stop; its cheeks are smooth, its nose is wide and deep and its jaw is square. Its eyes should look round and full and its eyelids are slightly almond shaped. The ears are long and fine and have an abundant amount of hair on them. Its neck is long and its shoulders are well inclined back. The back of this dog is strong and descendent, the tail docked, its chest deep and wide, and its front legs are parallel, straight and close to its body. Its hind legs are well angled and its feet are compact and have big and hard pads. The coat of the American Spaniel is silky, straight or slightly wavy, and it has long hair on its ears, chest, abdomen and legs. The three varieties of the American Cocker are black or with fire colored legs, or any other solid color that isn't black. The ideal height for the males is of thirty-eight centimeters and around two and a half centimeters less for the females.

Ideal owner:
The American Cocker Spaniel is very popular as a companion dog and is one of the favorites amongst many. The reasons for this are pretty obvious; this dog is small, easy to handle, but most importantly it's very affectionate and funny. The American Cocker will do almost anything to please its owners. It enjoys being inside the house but it does need attention and patience on its owner's part. Even American Cockers with cut hair require time to maintain its coat in good condition. This time and effort is also necessary to avoid it from getting that doggie smell. This dog does not have a tendency to hunt as much as other Spaniels do. It is a very attractive looking dog and its beautiful head and lovable character will melt anyone's heart.

Growth:
The American Cocker Spaniel weighs around 170 grams at birth. It grows quite quickly and at around eight weeks of age it should weigh around two or three kilograms. The tail is often docked and its spurs are removed when it is around three to six days old. This dog usually reaches its maximum weight around nine months however; females reach their full maturity between eleven and thirteen months and the males between twelve and sixteen months. When picking one of these puppies out make sure to choose one that is extroverted and does not show fear. Ask the breeder to give you all the information on its health because; since this is a popular breed it can have a lot of health problems. A puppy American Cocker changes its coat around eleven months of age and during this time it is common for its hair to form knots a lot. The amount of knots it gets on its coat will mostly depend on the amount of hair it has though. This dog must be brushed and groomed daily to keep its coat looking impeccable. It needs to get fed twice a day until around seven months of age and then it should be fed once a day depending on the amount of exercise, activity and the metabolism of the dog.

General health:
Most likely due to its enormous popularity, the American Cocker Spaniel can have a lot of health problems, although most of them are nothing to be alarmed about and can be diagnosed and treated if they are caught on time and the dog is well taken care of. The eye problems that can arise in this dog are progressive retina atrophy, cataracts, primary glaucoma, and keratitis; because of these an ocular examination is required. Skin problems are pretty common in this breed especially allergies, dander, epidermis cysts and pyoderma lips. The black ones are more prone to malignant cancer to the mouth. These dogs can suffer from hip dysphasia, which is why it is very important to not pick out a puppy whose parents have the problem. American Cockers that have become affected by cardiomyopathy respond well to Taurine supplements. Some are prone to pulmonary stenosis, hypothyroidism, kidney stones and metabolic liver problems. The American Cocker Spaniel has a life span of about fifteen years.

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