Parti-Coloured Cocker Spaniel Club

ADVICE ON FINDING AND OWNING A COCKER SPANIEL

Midland Cocker Spaniel Club Puppies

The Cocker Spaniel is an extremely popular breed, their temperament, size and adaptability making them an ideal family pet. In choosing your Cocker there are important decisions to be made, not only whether a dog or bitch would suit your circumstances, you may also have a preference for colour.

Whether you choose a Solid or Particolour there is a diversity of colours within those definitions; from the black,red, golden, liver, black and tan in Solids to blue roan, orange roan, liver roan, black and white, orange and white in Particolours; not to mention the combination of Particolours with ticking or tan markings. A word of warning though, if you set your heart on a more unusual colour then you may have a long wait and must be prepared to travel some distance to find the pup of your dreams. The more readily available Solids are the black, red and golden and in Particolours, the blue roan.

Cockers should always be of sound temperament whatever colour, although breeders who specialise will agree that the Solids and Particolours without doubt vary in personality.

There is a considerable amount of information available from various sources about the Breed; for more advice on health care and training, on line you can access the Breed Club sites within your locality e.g. The Cocker Spaniel Club; The Cocker Spaniel Breed Council, West of England Cocker Spaniel Club; The Solid Colours Cocker Spaniel Association, The Parti Coloured Cocker Spaniel Club and London Cocker Spaniel Society. Links to all breed clubs which currently have websites can be found HERE

When you have completed your research and established that your family and work commitments make it practical for you to have a dog and that a Cocker is for you, the Club Secretary may be able to put you in touch with a breeder in the area. The Kennel Club publishes an online Puppy Sales List and the other Breed Clubs may also be able to assist.

Some pointers:

  • When you contact a breeder, it is a good idea to have compiled a list of questions to ask. A reputable breed would rather be asked a multitude of questions, rather than  hardly any. No matter how trivial you may consider the question, ask it anyway. The answers will help you decide whether this is a breeder from whom you would like to buy a puppy. If you have any doubts whatsoever as to their credibility as a breeder of Cocker Spaniels either on speaking to the breeder by phone or in person, walk away!
  • A reputable breeder will have many questions to ask you, so be prepared to answer searching questions on your circumstances and how prepared you are to take a lively puppy in to your home.
  • A reputable breeder will be only too pleased to let you see the puppies with their mother, and possibly other relatives, and help you choose the puppy that will fit into your family.
  • There are certain inherited conditions in Cockers for which testing is carried out on breeding stock. It is usual for a breeder to maintain an ongoing programme of testing for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Glaucoma; more recently DNA testing has become available for the condition of PRA and the kidney disease in young cockers, Familial Nephropathy. For more information, see www.thecockerspanielclub.co.uk/health.htm
  • When you collect your puppy, the breeder should provide you with a Puppy Pack which should include the Kennel Club Registration Certificate, Pedigree, Feed Chart, information on Caring for your New Puppy, Vaccination Certificates (if appropriate) and food sample; you may be asked to enter into a formal Agreement (Contract) for the sale/purchase.
  • A  show-type Cocker Spaniel will require regular grooming, having a considerable amount of coat. You should get your puppy used to grooming from an early age; as it grows, the coat will require trimming and unless you are skilled in this practice this should be done by a professional groomer every 2 to 3 months.

The above is reproduced by kind permission of Devon & Cornwall Cocker Spaniel Club

Rescue Cockers
NB: If you are interested in offering a home to a rescue Cocker Spaniel, you will find information about the Cocker Rescue Scheme at http://www.thecockerspanielclub.co.uk/rescue.htm. The regional Representatives for Cocker Rescue in the Midlands are Mick and Jane Bond Tel 01527 831552