I'm searching for the perfect dog. Of course, "perfect" is in the eye of the beholder. That can be seen on any given day at Petland Naperville, where they can have up to 100 (or more!) different puppies for sale. This gives me a great place to observe many different breeds of dogs in one setting. Today I watched a Cocker Spaniel. I was somewhat familiar with this breed, since my parents owned one many years ago. I decided that rather than rely on my memory, I would speak with a Pet Counselor about them. She told me that the Cocker Spaniel is a breed all its own. There are actually TWO breeds of cocker spaniels---the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel. For simplicity, most people just refer to both breeds as simply "Cocker Spaniel." They are the smallest members of the Sporting Breeds, and used to chase birds (including the woodcock, its namesake).
The Cocker Spaniel is a sporting breed. They usually weigh between 24 and 30 pounds, although this may vary. The Cocker Spaniel is covered in long hair. Regular brushing is needed, even though the long hair will shed. That's okay, because brushing your Cocker Spaniel is a great opportunity to bond with your pet. They can be groomed at the groomer and look especially nice after a day at the spa getting a haircut. The Cocker Spaniel makes a very loyal pet. Cocker Spaniels love playing with children, are easily trainable, and are eager to please.
Because of their long ears, Cocker Spaniels are prone to ear infections. While not the end of the world, this may require ear medicine. If your dog starts shaking its head a lot or scratching its ears you might need a trip to the vet. To help prevent infections, you must really dry a Cocker Spaniel's ears well after bath time. Cockers are also known to have eye problems. My Pet Counselor told me that routine vet checkups are a good idea to nip any problems in the bud.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with a Cocker Spaniel. I love the fact that it is incredibly soft and hairy, loyal, and good with people. I absolutely love that they can come in many color combinations. That hairy coat is gorgeous, but also can create quite a mess if you don't give it the attention that it needs. I recommend the Cocker Spaniel to anyone with a family, and I'm sure you can find beautiful examples of this breed at Petland Naperville.