Flushing, Retrievers and Water Dogs, Group VIII
The American Cocker Spaniel is a balanced dog .It is not timid and you cannot notice any aggression. It is cheerful, good-natured, playful, intelligent, utterly faithful, virtually charming, very nice and friendly to children. It is kind to strangers, other dogs and other animals.
It loves all kinds of movement, long walks, games, picnics and other activities. It is able to develop a considerable speed and endurance. It very suits every day jobs it needs training of agility and other dog sports.
It was originally used as a hunting dog-Flushing. When it works it is bold and daring. Top coated show dogs they are not suitable for hunting. .
Temperament & Behaviour:
American Cocker Spaniel is naturally obedient to recognize the authority of the owner and it never reaches for a higher or even a leading position in the "pack" so that its education can pass well even the complete beginner.
Socialization of American Cocker Spaniel is needed because some puppies can be fearful. In this case, it is necessary when socializing proceeds slowly, carefully, with understanding and sensitivity. With regard to its coat and social nature it is not appropriate to keep it in outdoor kennels.
American Cocker Spaniel is a dog of ideal size, perfectly balanced with a robust and compact body. Topline is sloping gently from the withers towards the croup, the back must be solid. Distance from the breast bone to the buttock in the pan should be longer than height of wither. The body must be long enough to allow movement typical of the breed, but never dog looks overall, long and low. Ideal height at withers for an adult dog is 38.1 (about 38) cm and 35.6 for adult females (about 35.5) cm. Height may deviate by 1.3 (1.5) cm in both directions.
Well-proportioned head must be sized in accordance with the total size of an individual. Skull above rounded (rounded), but not excessive and it should not be even a hint flat. The supraorbital arches are pronounced and under the eyes slightly deepened. The frontal slope (stop) is steep. The head was properly balance, the distance from the stop (line connecting the inner corners of the eye) to the tip of the nose to be equal to half the distance from the stop to the occiput (length of muzzle to length of skull has a 1: 2). The earlobes are hanging, long, fine, richly feathered, and placed in a line at the bottom of the eye.
Muzzle should be broad and deep, the nose must be large enough to fit the muzzle and the entire facial region. Nostrils should be well open.
The upper lip is thick and deep, cover the mandible. The jaws should be on the tops of "square" (i.e. wide enough) and symmetric. Cheeks should not be dented. The teeth must be strong and health, it must never be too small. Required is a scissor bite.
The eyes are round, full and look directly forward, must be either sunken or protruding. Eyelids give them a slightly almond shaped.
The neck is long enough for the dog to reach its nose on the ground. It has to be muscular and without free skin. At the shoulders should be massive neck, toward the head slightly narrow and the neck should be slightly arched.
The chest should be so deep that its lowest point is not above the elbow. Front must be wide enough to provide ample space lungs and heart, but not so wide as to hamper the movement of the forelegs. The ribs are long and curved accordingly. Hipbones are quite far apart, and the whole back is well rounded and muscular.
The tail is docked, never to be flagpole like a terrier and never be carried so low - that implies timidity. It can be set and carried in line with the topline of the body or slightly above. It moves cheerfully and dog is wagging with tail during movement.
The forequarters must be straight and parallel, with strong bones and muscular. Their parts (from the elbow to the ground) must be in the normal position, just below the body. Shoulder blades should be oblique, their tops are directed upwards and backwards. Shoulders are perfectly shaped, protruding to the side (not overly muscled or bulging). Wrists are short and strong. Dewclaws on the front and hind legs may be removed.
The hindquarters when viewed from behind parallel in motion and at rest. They have strong bones and muscular. The thighs should be strong, powerful, reasonable knees bent and rigid. Neither in motion nor in attitude should be inward or outward buckling. Hocks are strong, low over the base. Feet must be closed (with tightly closed toes), large, round and firm with tough padded. They may be neither turned in nor out.
Movement should be a typical for hunting dog - its condition is balanced the action of the limbs. Proper construction of its forelegs allows unimpeded, due stride that balances the massive hind limbs action. Above all, the movement must always be perfectly coordinated, smooth and effortless, capacious.
Coat on the head is short and fine, medium length on the body with a sufficiently dense undercoat that provides protection against the weather. On the earlobes, chest, abdomen and legs, hair should be long, but not so as to hide the true contour lines of the body. Coat cannot be problem during movement, working usage.
Texture is most important: to be silky, straight or slightly wavy and such that it can be easily maintained. Excessively rich, curly or woolly coat must be severely penalized. Use of mechanical or electrical razor for grooming on the upper side of the body is not acceptable, but e.g. for throat is necessary.
American Cocker Spaniel is black by black, black and tan, and black-and-white dogs in other colours it may be brown, liver or black - the richer the colour, the better. Colouring nose corresponds to the colour of the eyelid margins. The colour of the iris must be brown, and generally the darker the better.