These happy little dogs are much more than just a house pet. Behind the lovely draping ears and the silky coat is a skilled hunter who would do anything for his master. Here are some more aspects of the Cocker’s temperament that you might want to familiarize yourself with.
A calm nature
These Spaniels are a calm, composed breed that is rarely highly strung, aggressive or noisy. You shouldn’t find that your Cocker is an excessive barker – he will usually be quite happy relaxing at home and is certainly not a watch dog.
Many Cocker owners comment on their dog’s happy natures and the fact that their tails are constantly wagging, especially when they catch hold of an exciting scent! These dogs are frequently found with their noses to the ground and their tails going back and forth and are little balls of energy when they get going.
The Cocker is a very sociable dog. Not only has he been bred to enjoy the company of other dogs, he also craves human company, and like all gun dogs he likes to have a close bond with his master. If you have a home where everyone goes to work or school for the day and there is no one left to keep a dog company, you should reconsider getting a dog, or perhaps look into getting two Cockers so that they can keep each other company during the day. Cocker Spaniels get on well with other breeds too, even dogs that are much larger than them.
A hunting instinct
The Cocker has been bred with a strong urge to chase small animals, so if you have other pets this may not be a wise choice of dog for you. Having said that, a Cocker that has been raised alongside a cat from a young age should get on fine with it as he will not see the cat as prey. This urge means that you’re going to need to be very careful when walking your Cocker near the duck pond. He will most certainly give chase as soon as he catches wind of wildfowl. When you’re in the countryside, you’ll also need to be very careful where and when you let your dog off the lead. The last thing you want is your little dog taking off through the undergrowth in pursuit of a scent and running out of earshot from you.
Good with children
The Cocker’s smaller size and his gentle persona make him an ideal companion for children. Just be careful that your child knows how to treat a dog and isn’t too rough.
Energetic, without being frenetic
Cockers love to romp and play, and they will happily take a long hike or an ambling stroll with you for as long as you want. They have plenty of stamina and have a heritage of covering long distances back when they were hunting dogs. However, the good news is that they will be relatively calm inside the home and are happy to settle down beside you in the evenings, after they have been walked and fed.