History of the English Cocker Spaniel

History of the English Cocker Spaniel

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History of the English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel is as comfortable rushing through the undergrowth after game as it is playing fetch in your garden. This breed is very popular, and it’s easy to see why.

All Sorts of Spaniels

Based on evidence from art and literature, Spaniel-type dogs have existed for over 500 years. The word “Spaniel” means “from Spain”, so most Spaniels today probably descend partly from Spanish hunting dogs.

English Cocker Spaniels are from the land Spaniel group (as opposed to the water Spaniel group). The word “Cocker” refers to woodcock: a type of game bird. Land Spaniels were used to drive game birds out of the bushes and towards the guns. Before the 19th century, Spaniels came in all sizes and shapes. They were bred for their agility, intelligence, and stamina rather than their looks. Even tiny “toy” Spaniels could be used to drive game!

Breed all about it

In the late 19th century, dog breeding became a hugely popular hobby. Dog breeders soon turned their attention to Spaniels, and began categorising the different dogs. Smaller Spaniels, weighing less than 11 kg (25 lb) were classified as Cocker Spaniels. Weight wasn’t the only consideration: type was also important. England’s Spaniel Club was formed in 1885, and created breed standards for the various types of Spaniels.

The English Cocker Spaniel was soon distinct from the other Spaniel categories. The English Cocker Spaniel has been hugely successful in the dog show world. Cocker Spaniels have won Best in Show at Crufts on seven occasions. The breed also remained popular for hunting, and specific working lines of Cocker Spaniels were established.

Appearance

Like many gun dogs, the Cocker Spaniel is sturdy and compact. They are medium sized dogs, with deep chests and level backs. One of the Cocker Spaniel’s most characteristic features is its ears. The ears are low set, long, and floppy. The ears are long enough that they reach the tip of the Cocker’s nose if pulled forward. The fur on the rest of the Cocker’s body and ears is wavy and silky, and needs plenty of brushing.

Tail docking used to be required, but it is banned in many countries. In some places, such as England and Wales, owners can only dock their dogs’ tails if they can prove that they are using the dog for hunting, where a long tail could get caught in the undergrowth.

The Cocker Spaniel’s coat comes in many colours and patterns, including solid colours, patched, and speckled. Common colours include black, various shades of brown, red, white, and roan. Working dogs can be any colour. Different clubs have different rules about what markings and colours are accepted for shows, but most clubs agree that it’s better not to breed white Cockers, as they are prone to deafness.

Temperament

The English Cocker Spaniel is usually highly intelligent and sensitive, and very keen to please. Cocker Spaniels respond well to positive reinforcement; harsh training methods shouldn’t be used with them. Cocker Spaniels love to be with their family and hate to be apart. They are actually quite prone to separation anxiety, so they are a better fit for an owner who spends a lot of time at home.

Cocker Spaniels are gentle and affectionate, and get on very well with most adults and children, making them excellent family dogs, as well as with other pets (be warned, they are a hunting breed, and may try to chase birds or small animals).

Cocker Spaniels are energetic, and need plenty of exercise. If you’re willing to give them the time and exercise they need, these dogs will reward you with their affection and loyalty.

Health

The English Cocker Spaniel is generally robust and health, but they are prone to a few health issues. Eye problems and hip dysplasia are common, and those long ears are unfortunately prone to infections. Some Cocker Spaniels are affected by Congenital Sensorineural Deafness, which leads to the degeneration of their hearing. They may also suffer from kidney problems and heart disease.

Although it is rare, some Cocker Spaniels are affected by Rage Syndrome, where a dog (seemingly at random) has bouts of aggressive behaviour, but seem unaware of their surroundings.

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The following is needed to bring a puppy into Dubai:


  1. All dogs entering Dubai from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Dubai must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Dubai must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Dubai specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Dubai must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Dubai must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Dubai.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Abu Dhabi:


  1. All dogs entering Abu Dhabi from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Abu Dhabi must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Abu Dhabi specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Abu Dhabi must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Abu Dhabi.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Hong Kong:


  1. All dogs entering Hong Kong must be at least 3 months old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Hong Kong must be equipped with either a 9 or 15-digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Hong Kong must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Valid for up to 6 months.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Hong Kong specific vaccinations: Canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus and rabies.
  5. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Hong Kong.
  6. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.
  7. Captain’s Affidavit – Document to be provided by the airline personnel confirming that your dog has not left its crate or interacted with other pets at any point during the journey.


* Hong Kong classifies countries into 3 groups. Vaccinations against rabies are only required from Groups 2 & 3.
  • Group 1: Rabies-free countries (at least 6 months of residency) Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Bailiwick of Jersey.
  • Group 2: Rabies-controlled (at least 4 months of residency) Austria, Bahrain, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Guam, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Vanuatu, Bahamas, Belgium, Brunei, Cayman Island, Denmark, France, Gibraltar, Iceland, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands, USA (Continental), Virgin Islands.
  • Group 3: All other countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Switzerland:


  1. All pets entering Switzerland must be equipped with a 15-digit microchip that is compliant with ISO 11784/11785.
  2. Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper.
  3. Rabies vaccinations are mandatory. Dogs must receive their first rabies vaccine at least 21 days before entering the country.*
  4. The state veterinarian of the origin country must equip the dog with a valid Health Certificate.
  5. Import Permit – all dogs entering from a 3rd level rabies country must carry an import permit issued at least three weeks in advance. Entry points through Basel, Geneva, Zurich.
  6. Different regulations depending on whether it is a commercial purchase or individual and where the dog is coming from.


* Specifications differ for booster shots. ** Switzerland categorises countries by level of risk of rabies in three levels.
  • Level 1: All EU Member States and Andorra, Switzerland, Faeroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Northern Ireland, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City State.
  • Level 2 (Low Risk of Rabies): Ascension Island, United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Aruba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda,Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Belarus, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Great Britain (including Crown dependencies), Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, North Macedonia, Montserrat, Mauritius, Mexico, Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Russia, Singapore, Saint Helena, Sint Marteen, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, United States of America, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
  • Level 3: All other countries are considered as having a high risk of rabies.
Travel Requirements