The history of the breed.
The history of the American Cocker Spaniel is common with other breeds of spaniels, since at an early stage they were all the same dogs, for those who did not read the early history of these dogs I will recall.
The history of spaniels spans several thousand years. It is believed that the ancestor of modern dogs is the so-called ash dog. The ash dog lived in the Bronze Age, for the first time its remains were found in ash, hence the name. Apparently, people sacrificed these dogs to the gods of hunting by burning them at the stake. Of course, most of the dogs survived, as they were widely used in hunting, and, accordingly, were serious helpers in the survival of mankind on the planet.
In the future, similar dogs are found in Greece. These were not tall dogs, with long hair and saggy ears, which were actively used in hunting. Dogs were quite widespread, up to Iberia (the ancient kingdom, which was located on the territory of one of the regions of modern Georgia), then the dogs came to Europe and, to England, respectively.
Naturally, people then did not know anything about genetics, so the selection was carried out only by working qualities, if simpler, then they propagated only those dogs that hunted better. As time passed, the appearance of the spaniels was more or less formed, however, in different regions people preferably hunted different game, respectively, and the signs fixed different, which is why two types of spaniels gradually formed:
– land spaniels, – those who hunted mainly on land
– water spaniels – which were used when hunting on water, usually for game birds
These two types of spaniels are mentioned in the writings of such great minds as Chaucer and Shakespeare.
There is another theory that says that spaniels originated in Spain, hence the name, but plausible facts that would confirm this have not yet been found.
If scientists have not yet come to a consensus with the origin of the name “spaniel,” then with the name cocker, everything is simple, it’s the name of the bird for which they were originally bred for hunting.
In the 18-19 centuries there was a real “BOOM” of breeding work, it was at this time that the majority of spaniel breeds were formed. Here I will make a reservation that the bases were formed, on the basis of which the breeds of spaniels that we see today were bred.
In the 18th century, the first spaniels were brought to America, where the breeders began work on the breeding of a universal hunting dog, and as a result it led to the creation of an American water spaniel, this work was significantly different from what was done in Europe, therefore these dogs are so different from English cockers. But other breeders who received the first English spaniels worked in other directions.
The fact is that American breeders had their own views on the ideal dog, so they crossed the English spaniels with toy cockers, they were also English spaniels, only of a small size (one of the varieties of king charles spaniels). Such dogs did not receive the status of a separate breed, later they integrated into other spaniel breeds and ceased to exist independently.
In 1935, at an international exhibition, it became clear that English Spaniels and American, already, completely different breeds of dogs. Until that moment, Americans were considered only a twig of the English breed.
Since 1935, the mating of American Spaniels with the British was banned, 30 years later, the breed was recognized as independent under the name – American Cocker Spaniel.
Appearance and character.
Outwardly, they are beautiful, graceful with delicate features of a dog, small, so the weight of an adult male can reach 11 to 16 kg, and girls from 8 to 12 kg, with a height of 35-39 cm at the withers. Apparently they are a little smaller in size than their English ancestors.
A separate topic is dog hair. She became much thicker than that of other spaniels, more delicate and as if a beautiful dress covers the body of the animal. The coat covers the whole body, while thick lokans cover both the ears and paws and chest of the dog.
By nature, these are very kind and playful dogs, the activity of these dogs is due to the fact that they are hunters, but the good temperament resulted from the fact that aggressiveness is a defect in the breed and such dogs were never allowed for breeding.
Dogs of this breed are wonderful companions and full members of the family. At the same time, they love all family members, especially children, but they always choose only one as the unconditional leader.
They like active games with their owners very much, therefore they are especially attached to children, who, as a rule, always willingly play with a dog. American Cocker Spaniels get along well with other animals.