So you and your family are considering getting a Cocker Spaniel?!
It is not hard to see why Cocker Spaniel's are a popular breed, they are a very attractive breed of dog. But there are more things to consider than just what you will be looking at for the next 10-15years. You seriously need to consider what you can offer in the way of life style and company for the dog. Cockers Spaniels are a breed of dog that love to love! A Cocker Spaniel is often referred to as love on four paws, but with this comes responsibility. When considering a Cocker Spaniel for your new family member there are a few points that you need to consider, some of those being:
How much time do you have to share with your new dog.
Cocker Spaniels love attention, they love to be with you. If you or your family are the type of family that are busy and often away from home or are unable to share the majority of your day with your dog this breed may not be the correct one for you. Cocker Spaniels need attention, they crave attention and if you are unable to give it to them, they will make arrangements themselves to see that they get it. And this is where the bad behaviour begins. A Cocker Spaniel that is left alone for long periods of time will howl, bark and make all sorts of noises to gain attention, it is almost garanteed that your neighbours will get to know your new addition to the family if you leave it unattended in the yard as he or she will vocally introduce itself to the neighbourhood. Other behaviour that develops due to boredom and separation anxiety is chewing, digging and probably the most stressful and dangerous of the lot....ESCAPING! A Cocker Spaniel left to its own devices will almost certainly learn how to climb the highest of fences and will also find digging under a fence, an easy thing to accomplish. Once these habits are formed your family member will almost certainly take to them for the majority of its life thus spoiling the relationship between you and your dog. The good news is that this can be avoided! Given the right tools and information your Cockers will live a happy fulfilled life but as an owner you have to be prepared to dedicate yourself to the love of the breed.
A Cocker Spaniel will travel and follow you almost anywhere, they are very dedicated to their owners and love to please. This makes the breed very easy to train, obedience is usually easily achieved, however i would still recommend attending training at a local club or equivalent, as socialization for your new family member is essential so that you and your new family member can enjoy going out and about without being publicly disgraced or embarrassed by an out of control family member.
A Cocker Spaniel requires regular grooming
A cocker Spaniel needs at least 10 minutes EVERYDAY of upkeep and grooming. The coat that you feel in love with is going to require upkeep, this includes brushing, washing and general maintenance. To deal with this there are a few options but essentially you need to be aware that you will be brushing your new dog DAILY for its LIFE!!!!! The coat is very easy to care for if attended to daily, a firm bristle brush and a comb with teeth to de-tangle knots on ears are the very basics. You will also need a sharp pair of scissors and ear cleaner as the ears on a weekly basis will need to be attended to. The coat under its arms and back end will need to be kept tangle free for the dogs comfort. Ears need to be cleaned so that infections do not form. Due to the dogs low set ears infections can arise quickly as there is a lack of general air flow to this area. To assist we recommend that the underside of the ears , especially around the ear canal be trimmed, so that the air flow is increased to this area. A sure sign of ear infection is the smell of his or her ears, if they have any other smell other than your "normal" doggy smell an infection has taken and vets treatment is usually required. As for the rest of the coat this can be trimmed to your liking by yourself, with the assistance of clippers and other appropriate scissors. Attending a professional dog groomer will cost approx $40 to $80per session and this will have to be done usually 4 to 6 times a year depending on coat growth and weather conditions.
Other things to consider before purchasing a Cocker Spaniel are, do you have the time to walk your new friend everyday? Your new puppy will require routine exercise not only for fitness but mental stimulation. This will ensure that your new companion stay happy and healthy!
Please remember that when you purchase a puppy or grown Cocker Spaniel there may be toilet training to attend to. Toilet training your dog can be achieved by ONE KEY ONLY consistency .......and repetition. Every time the dog wakes from sleep, ends a play session, sniffs intently or takes water or food the end result will be the need to toilet......your job for the first few weeks will be to make sure that the dog is taken to the spot that you have designated as their "going" area! Over time your new poochie will get the idea that this is where you want them to "GO!" and don't for get lots of encouragement helps....always praise good behaviour! Please remember that puppies go toilet on average every 3 hours so you will be up during the night as it is very similar to having a new born baby!......because after all THEY ARE!!!!!!!! Training your dog to sleep in a crate is a great idea as few dogs will defecate on their sleeping area and tend to hold until a more appropriate choice is before them. It also provides the dog with a quiet place of their own.
You will also have to consider the costs involved in not only the initial purchase of your poochie but the upkeep that is required. Your new friend will require:
annual injections for C5 $80 - $100 annual Heart worming $50 -$100. There is also general worming which usually takes place 4 times a year $10 -$40. There is the cost of feeding your dog. And if you are serious about the health of your dog, no name brand food is not a great long term plan, as your dogs health will suffer and there will be costs incurred for incorrect feeding as the dog will get sick and you will be left with medical bills to pay. Think of your new companion as a child, you would not feed your child McDonalds everyday, as kids need other nutrition to develop.......your dog is the same. Cockers Spaniels when full grown cost approx $25 per week to feed. Puppies are feed more frequently 3 -4 times a day and require a special diet to ensure that they get the right nutrients to assist in the development of bones, strong internal organs and muscle tissue.
You will have to provide an appropriate sleeping area, so a bed or crate will need to be purchased....$40 -$300 depending on your choice or sleeping area. Dog bowls and toys.
YES your new dog will chew and yes there is a large possibility that you are going to have something chewed that you dearly love............be prepared when you get your new Cocker and have things to chew on so every time they hit something that is not the right thing eg: dining table chair you can redirect them to something more appropriate like a KONG or other designated chew toy.
Please remember that dog lessons usually cost $$$$ as well and this a financial cost to consider.... On average a Cocker that is purchased as a pup not including the purchase price will cost you $1000 upwards in the first year of its life as there is much to initially purchase.
And in the coming years if you are not taking your Cocker on holidays with you, you will be paying for a doggy hotel, kennel or other service to care for your loved one while you are away. Leaving your dog unattended for long periods while you are away IS NOT AN OPTION!!!!!
IF you have read the above and are still considering a Cocker Spaniel.......please know that these are not the only things to consider, your whole lifestyle is about to change.......there is much to learn and l recommend that purchasing a book or other literature on your Cocker Spaniel is always a good move. The more you know the better the owner and companion you will have!