Breed Information

The Cocker Spaniel is a relatively small, compact dog, with a height at the shoulders of approximately 39-41 cms (15 ½ -16 ins) for males & 38-39 cms (15-15 ½ ins) for females. Weight is approximately 13 – 14 kg’s for dogs and 11 – 12.5kg’s for bitches.

The Cocker is classed as a medium sized dog. The average life span of a well cared for and healthy Cocker is approximately 11 – 12 years although some may live to be 15 plus.

There are a wide variety of colours (the base colours are black, red and liver in solids and in parti-colours there are blue, orange and liver [chocolate]). In addition to the base colours, both the solid and parti-colours can have ‘tan points’.

The Cocker Spaniel is a gundog, and he will enjoy (given the opportunity!) many happy hours investigating interesting smells and looking for the opportunity to flush out wildlife from the surrounding countryside. Equally, a Cocker is at home on his owner’s lap or in front of the fire. Most Cockers (although not all) like water & relish the occasional swim. Cockers are adaptable dogs and can be easily trained to retrieve as well as flush.

Cocker Spaniels are a popular breed; however, this popularity can create problems. Unfortunately, far too many cockers are being bred simply for profit, so it is wise to seek out a responsible breeder with a genuine commitment to Cockers (rather than a commitment to making money), whether it is a show or working type.

For full details of the Breed Standard please go the UK Kennel Club web site http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/

Source:  Powerscourt Cockers

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Cocker Characteristics

Cocker Spaniels are a breed that are very much “in your face” and would not suit owners who want a dog to sit in the kitchen on their bed all day.  They will want to be close to you all the time, following you around from room to room and some can be quite lively, bouncy and exuberant due to their zest for life.

Cockers are also a breed which can be manipulative due to their intelligence and the fact that they are ‘in tune’ with their owners & need firm (clear rules and boundaries) but kind and gentle handling. Their soulful eyes and sweet demeanour can mean that they look sad and owners may be tempted to excuse any unacceptable behaviour that occasionally arises which can result in an unruly and disobedient dog.

The very house proud should consider whether a cocker is suitable for their lifestyle. As a breed they shed significantly if left in full coat and due to their long coats, big paws and love of rooting about in the undergrowth they can bring a lot of dirt, moisture & debris into the home.

Cockers are generally very friendly towards other animals including other dogs, cats & small pets. Early socialisation around other animals is important though as like many dogs they will chase other animals (to play with them as opposed to hurt them) if not trained appropriately from a young age.

Cockers can also be a noisy breed. My own dogs are quiet as “church mice” most of the time, very little disturbs the peace! However, many cockers can become over excited or over stimulated (by activities around the home & various sights and sounds) and this is likely to trigger a barking session! Training away from noisy responses to events is the key!

Personality

Cocker Spaniels are known for their fun, lively & kind natures. They are happy little dogs with ever wagging tails whose enjoy life to the full.

They are also friendly & busy little dogs who thrive on human company and really prefer to be around people most of the time. A Cocker likes to be with the family and if allowed will follow you from room to room. They are merry and happy dogs, they are happy to work, happy to play and above all, they are happy to be cuddled and fussed!

Cockers have very gentle & soft personalities and do not like to feel as if they have displeased their owners, their feelings can be easily wounded and they respond badly to overly strict handling by becoming withdrawn and miserable.

Cockers are generally very tolerant of children and owners should ensure that children behave appropriately towards them as a well socialised and trained cocker is very unlikely to retaliate should he get hurt or frightened.

Cocker Spaniels make brilliant family pets due to their wonderful temperament. The Cocker’s reputation goes before him as a friendly, happy and well-mannered dog. They are easy to train (with patience & consistency), eager to please and make devoted companions.

 

Differences Between Show & Working Cockers

Both the show type cocker and the field cocker share the same Kennel Club breed standard and puppies born to either “type” are registered as Spaniels (Cocker). All spaniels including the show & working strains of cockers descend from the same original foundation stock.

Peggylicious cocker spaniels are breeders of show cockers.  Here is a brief summary of the differences between the two strains.

Personality

Field-bred Cockers are meant to be companions in the field and at home, but they can easily become bored and destructive indoors (as can many dogs!) if they aren’t physically and mentally stimulated on a regular (preferably daily) basis. Field-bred Cockers MUST have a job to do; they have active & quick minds and need many opportunities to put their busy minds & bodies to work. Generally, they do not need masses of exercise but like to be busy and to explore their environment.

Most family households are relatively sedentary and any dog they own is a pet, very few owners “work” their dogs or are willing/able to provide sufficient activity to replace a dogs traditional “work” (shooting, field trials, agility, Flyball etc.).

Most dogs can become bored, noisy & destructive unless their specific needs are met. This is especially true of breeds that were originally developed to perform a working role. Field bred cockers have been developed for their ability to work, which requires an endless reserve of energy, stamina and lots of intelligence.

Show bred cockers have calmer dispositions (by comparison), though they are still an intelligent breed and need daily exercise and the chance to use their noses and their minds. Very few show bred cockers are worked, although given appropriate training, they can make good working dogs as most still retain their basic instinct to flush and retrieve game.

Taking a very simplistic view, with show strain cockers if the weather is horrid and the fire is warm they will happily forego an outing in favour of a snooze on the sofa. By comparison, field bred cockers are ‘champing at the bit’ to get out and about, given the choice they would choose the field (regardless of weather) over a day on the sofa or their owners lap!

Show bred cockers are bred primarily as companions and show dogs and many are capable of working (if trained).

Working bred cockers are bred primarily as working dogs that are companionable.

Appearance

As young pups i.e. under 10 – 12 weeks of age, the two strains are comparatively similar in appearance. Many a novice buyer has purchased a field bred cocker in the mistaken belief they were buying a puppy from a show strain & presumably, there have been show strain cockers sold as working bred too!

Field bred cockers will generally be more “leggy”, they generally have longer bodies, less angulation (forequarters and hindquarters) and longer/narrower muzzles (although sometimes they can have more “stubby muzzles). Their ears are shorter and set higher on the skull (higher than the level of the eye socket) and the top of the skull is flatter than a show strain cocker. They have fine coats with short feathering. Coat colours are varied; many will be a solid base colour with often extensive areas of white coat on the chest and muzzle etc.

Show bred cockers will generally be compact and balanced (height at withers equalling approximately the length from withers to root of tail). They will have short bodies, big ribs and short loins. They are generally more angulated, although angulation should be balanced (forequarters matching hind quarters). Their muzzles are square with a distinct stop (the junction where the bridge of the nose meets the gap between the eyes). The skull will be slightly rounded and the ears will be longer and set low on a level with the eyes. They often have a profuse coat and coat colours are varied, however in solid colours no white is allowed save for on the chest. Both parti-coloured and solid colours are popular in show strain cockers.

Buying a puppy

If you are purchasing a cocker puppy, and you are unsure whether the puppy is a show or working strain, the pedigree (family tree) should give an indication. Any Champions (normally shown in red ink) will be depicted as “Sh. Ch.” or “Show Champion”when a puppy is from show lines. With a working cocker pedigree, champions are listed as “FTCH”or “Field Trial Champion”.

Due to the difference in physical appearance & aptitude for work (potential working ability), reputable breeders do NOT mix working and show lines despite the fact that both are technically ‘Cocker Spaniels’.

When planning to buy a puppy (working or show strain) you should purchase your puppy from a reputable, caring and conscientious breeder.

Summary

Both the show and working strain of cocker should have good temperaments & make devoted companions/workers (depending on what your expectations of the dog are!). Both are delightful to own and live with. The choice between the two strains is an entirely personal one & regardless of which type you hope to own you should do your homework. Once you own a puppy/dog, you should aim to meet its emotional and physical needs to ensure you have a well balanced, well trained & happy dog.

Source:  Powerscourt Cockers

Coat Care

The Cocker Spaniel has a long and silky coat. The Cocker coat, if not clipped will require regular and thorough grooming in order to prevent matting & to keep the dog comfortable. Heavily coated Cockers can get very woolly quite quickly and this is uncomfortable for the dog, may lead to skin/ear infections and adds to the time taken to keep the dog mat and tangle free.

A well-trimmed Cocker is a pleasure to behold, however it does take time (lots of time!) and practice to keep a Cocker in full coat without the dog looking like a sheep in need of shearing!

There are two “styles” of trimming a Cocker, the first (used by show breeders) is to “hand strip.” Hand stripping is the removal of surplus hair coat by gentle plucking until the dog is neat and tidy. Only the old and dead hair is removed & when done correctly this method of trimming does not hurt the dog. Delicate areas, the feet and the ends of the feathering are finished using scissors.

Hand stripping leaves the coat soft and natural looking. It is however, a technique that needs to be learned and it is also time consuming and can be quite arduous! The aim of trimming a Cocker is to trim the coat so the natural shape (construction) of the dog is visible but in such a way as to appear as if the coat grew naturally!

The other method of trimming a Cocker is to use electric clippers. Skilful use of the clippers can produce a dog that looks to be in “show trim” but without the hours of work hand stripping involves. It is important to note that if a dog is to be shown its coat must be hand trimmed, the use of clippers is not acceptable.

 

All Puppies Sold

I’m very happy to say that my last little boy has found a lovely home and will be leaving me on 6th August.  His new Mum and Dad came to visit him on Sunday and I knew straight away that they would be perfect parents for little William Wales.

Although I’ve been very lucky and have found some fantastic homes for all my puppies, I’m also feeling pretty sad that in a few weeks, they’ll all have left to start their new lives, although most have promised to keep me up to date on their progress and send me the odd photo which will be lovely.

I have to say, there’s one dog in this house who will be glad to say goodbye to the puppies!  Poor Honey has been knocked off her perch a little and has retreated to my bedroom where she’s safe from having her ears pulled and her tail played with!

Just one little boy left

This is Peggylicious William Wales.  He is the last puppy left from Peggy’s litter.  All the others have been sold and are going to lovely families in a few weeks time.

William Wales is looking for a loving, kind, caring, forever home too.  He is very clever – he is the only puppy who consistently goes to the toilet on the newspaper, and he’s very gentle and calm, although he does have his moments, normally just before bedtime about 8pm, he likes to run round the sitting room and play with the soft chews I’ve bought.  He also loves lots of cuddles and will happily sit snuggled up in my arms for hours.

Wills would make a lovely pet so if you are interested, or know anyone who is interested please email me at enquiries@peggylicious.com  Wills will be ready to leave during the first week of August when he is 8 weeks old.  He will be micro chipped, have had his first injection and have been wormed.

 

At last a whole night’s sleep!

For the first time in 5 weeks, I had a whole night’s sleep last night!! Every night (apart from the first 2 weeks, when Peggy was being a fab mum) I’ve had to get up at 2am or 3am in the morning to feed the puppies, clean up their mess, give them a cuddle and put them back to bed.  I tried to ignore it two nights ago thinking they were just getting into a habit, but when the noise became deafening at 2.30am I decided to go downstairs and found two puppies had got out of their play pen and wedged themselves between the wall and the pen.  They couldn’t move and were very unhappy!  Of course, the minute they saw me, all of them wanted attention, crying for food and a bit of love.  An hour later…… I went back to bed and that’s how it’s been every night until last night!

Last night I decided to go to Pets at Home and buy some different puppy food.  They don’t really like the puppy kibble mushed up with formula milk.  They drink the milk til the cows come home, but when it’s mixed with kibble it’s a different matter…. so I found some puppy meat – Wainwrights – for 0 – 3 months and fed them that before going to bed, they loved it! They also don’t like it in the pen.  they’ve taken to sleeping on their mum’s dog bed under the stairs and roam around the hall.  So I left them there last night and didn’t put them in their pen.

I don’t know if it was the food or the lack of bars but it worked – a whole night’s sleep….  heaven!  Of course the poo was all over the hall in the morning and it took ages to clean it up, but I don’t care – given the choice, sleep wins hands down!

We only have one little boy left for sale now.  He’s so cute and very bright, he’s the only one that goes to the loo on the newspaper every time, so I’m sure he’ll find a lovely home soon.

 

Feeding, pooing and very noisy!

OK, so the honeymoon has ended.  The puppies will be 4 weeks old this weekend and they are well and truly growing up!  I’ve moved them out of the whelping box because they kept trying to jump out of it and I was worried they would hurt themselves.  I tried turning it round so the lower part was against the wall, but they constantly cried to get out and Peggy didn’t seem to want to go in.  All 6 now have their own bed and blanket in the corner of the kitchen with a playpen around them so they have plenty of room to run around and play.

Peggy lost interest in feeding them after about 2 and half weeks.  She still gives them a couple of feeds a day but they need a lot more than that!  I started weaning them at the beginning of week 3 just onto forumla puppy milk as a top up and one small meal of mushed up puppy kibble.  Not all of them would eat the puppy kibble so yesterday I bought a load of Nature’s Harvest, Chicken and Brown Rice with Country Vegetables puppy food.

I have never seen anything like it! It’s like an abstract artist has come in and ‘created’ a materpiece all over my kitchen floor and all over the puppies!  They absolutely love it – they walk in it, sit in it, eat it and lie in it.  I spent the entire feed time removing them out of the bowls and asking them politely to stand with their feet on the floor and eat like a proper dog.  The noise level when they are hungry and demanding food is LOUD!  And then when they are happily chomping on their grub or slurping their milk you get a contented murmering from all 6.

So my day is spent trying to work at the kitchen table, feeding, cleaning and cuddling puppies, cleaning kitchen floor 4 times a day, walking dogs and cuddling puppies, making up formula milk and cuddling puppies!

We’ve sold 2 boys and 1 girl so just have 3 left.  They’ve all got their own personalities now and I’ll be very sad to say goodbye to them in a few weeks time.

Black Cocker Spaniel Puppies for Sale

Beautiful home reared black cocker spaniel puppies for sale. 1 boy and 2 girls left.  Show type Cockers bred for their excellent temperament and health with many Show Champions in both Dam and Sire’s pedigrees. Born on 2nd June, Jubilee Day! All are KC Registered and have Royal names befitting the day they were born.  Puppies will not be affected by FN or prcd-PRA. Both Mum and Dad have a clear eye certificate and clear of Glaucoma.  Puppies will be ready to leave 1st week of August at 8 weeks old.  Both parents are very gentle and sweet natured. Mum is a much loved family pet and puppies are being brought up in a busy household with another dog, 2 cats and children. Sire is from Powerscourt Cocker Spaniels. Puppies will be microchipped, wormed and have had their first vaccination.  They will have a final vet check before leaving. Puppies will come with a pack of food, a blanket with their mother’s smell and toy.  Puppies will be endorsed so no breeders please.  To enquire please email enquiries@peggylicious.com

Sire’s Pedigree – Powerscourt Pingu

Dam’s Pedigree – Cublington Lady Lillian

Puppies’ Birth Day

Unbelievably Peggy gave birth to her 6 puppies bang on her due date, 2nd June.  I knew something was happening because the night before she’d been really restless and panting, so I’d stayed up most of that night in case she went into labour.  From about 11pm on the 1st she started making whimpering noises every so often and kept wanting to go out into the garden.

At 2.35am I was sitting on the sofa, watching TV, when I suddenly noticed a movement on the chair opposite, under Peggy’s tummy.  When I looked closer a little puppy was snuggled up right next to her!  I couldn’t believe it, she’d had her first puppy and I hadn’t even noticed!

I didn’t fancy Peggy having all her babies on the chair in the sitting room so I moved her off the chair and held the puppy.  She immediately wanted to go into the garden.  Stupidly I let her go out.  She went straight to the corner of a flower bed which she’d made her ‘special place’ over the past few weeks.  It was dark, wet, cold and 2.50am.  I didn’t have a torch and started to panic that she was going to have the other puppies outside.

I managed to coax her out of the garden and she went straight to her bed under the stairs.  I then started to panic that she’d had a puppy in the garden and went outside again with the light of my mobile phone, in my pyjamas trying to see if there was a puppy amongst the mud and rose bushes!  What a sight….. fortunately I couldn’t see anything.

An hour later Peg had her second baby and then two more followed really quickly.  I had to hold them each time she gave birth to a new puppy because they kept falling off her cushion onto the cold floor. They were really cold when they were first born so I wrapped them in a towel and snuggled them in my pyjamas.  After the fourth pup had been born I managed to coax Peg into the Whelping Box which I’d put in the kitchen and there they all sat snuggled up.

Peggy was fantastic, she cleaned the puppies up  and I didn’t see any of the after birth or membrane that surrunded each puppy.  I’d prepared myself for the worst with surgical gloves and lubricant but thankfully both stayed in their packaging!

At 5.34 am the fourth puppy was born and I thought that was it.  I started texting friends and posting on Facebook.  To my surprise at 8.30am Peg started moving around again and licking her bottom which is a sign that another puppy was due to be born and within half an hour we had 2 more!  3 girls and 3 boys.

I let them all settle down and when she was ready gave Peg a big cuddle.  She was fine with me being close to the puppies, athough the next day she got a bit anxious when anyone went too close.

We’re now a week down the line and all is well.  Peggy’s being a fab Mum and all puppies are getting bigger every day!