English cousin. The The American Cocker Spaniel is a breed of sporting dog. It is a spaniel typedog that is closely related to the English Cocker Spaniel; the two breeds diverged during the 20th century due to differing breed standards in America and the UK. In the United States, the breed is usually called the Cocker Spaniel, while elsewhere in the world, it is called the American Cocker Spaniel in order to differentiate between it and its word cocker is commonly held to stem from their use to hunt woodcock in England, while spaniel is thought to be derived from the type’s origins in Spain.
The breed is the smallest of the sporting dogs recognised by the AKC, and its distinctly shaped head makes it immediately recognisable. In addition, there are some marked differences between it and its English relative
The American cocker is a dog of normal proportions, with medium long silky fur on the body and ears, hanging down on the legs and belly (known as feathering). The head has an upturned nose and the ears hang down. Colors come in White, black, brown, tan, grey, red, fawn. The head of an American Cocker Spaniel makes the breed immediately recognizable, with the rounded dome of the skull, well-pronounced stop, and a square shaped lip. The drop ears are long, low set, with long silky fur, and the eyes are dark, large, and rounded. The nose can be black or brown depending on the colour of the breed.
Known as the “Merry Cocker”, the American Cocker Spaniel breed standard defines the ideal dog of the breed as being “equable in temperament with no suggestion of timidity. IQ tests run on a variety of breeds in the 1950s and 1960s showed that the American Cocker performed the best when tested on its ability to show restraint and delayed response to a trigger, a trait which was put down to the breed’s bred-in ability when hunting to freeze upon finding a bird before flushing it out on command.
It is a happy breed with average working intelligence, although by being bred to a show standard it is no longer an ideal working dog.
American Cocker Spaniels are prone to a some illnesses like infections affecting their ears and, in some cases, their eyes. Some may suffer of progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), glaucoma and cataracts.