|Barked: Mon Nov 29, '10 12:55pm PST |
|Like I said in your other thread (in the puppy forum), I love love love love LOVE Cocker Spaniels. I *could* write on about them all day, but I'm only on a short break from work right now so I have to be unsatisfactorily brief. Basically, they are little buckets of love and wiggly happiness. They are some of the happiest, most loving dogs out there. Endlessly sweet, a bit scatterbrained, playful and VERY devoted to their people. This dog NEEDS to live in the house with you and spend as much time with you as possible, however, as they suffer terribly from separation anxiety. You won't do anyone any favors (you, your dog, your other dogs, or your neighbors) if you plan to keep your Cocker outside and give it less than, say, 6 hours a day of focused, intense attention. They also have a coat that needs professional grooming/clipping every 4-8 weeks with daily brushing in between. Another big issue is their EARS as they are very very very prone to ear infections due to the way their ears are structured. You MUST clean the ears at least once a month (once a week is better if you can find an ear solution that isn't overly aggressive/drying) and you MUST check for infection constantly. Ear infections are very painful, and watching a Cocker go through one is just awful. You also need to keep on top of their eyes as they can get eye goopies and tear staining, especially if on a less than top-quality feeding regimen.
They do not handle harsh treatment or neglect - if from good lines, a mistreated Cocker will become a sad, whiny puddle in the corner. If from bad lines, they can become biters.
A puppy mill Cocker is a disaster waiting to happen. These dogs don't have a great genetic background to start with and they've been overbred since the 40's, so a puppy mill dog is likely to have chronic ear infections, neurological disorders, terrible allergies, and a nasty, bitey temperament among other problems. You will spend a fortune in vet bills. These are problems not really found from really good breeders (especially the temperament issues), but extremely likely to come from a pet shop/puppy mill/ineptly backyard bred Cocker Spaniel. I'm not exaggerating here - they are a particularly bad choice for irresponsible breeding.
A well-bred and cared-for Cocker is a true joy to everyone around it, though you should socialize well to prevent fearfulness. If from good lines (again, NOT from a pet store), they are not prone to any kind of aggression and generally love everyone. They are distractable and likely to chase cats and other small animals.
There's more to say, but I must get back to work before saying it.
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