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Cocker Spaniel

Updated on December 1, 2016

The Cocker Spaniel is the smallest breed of bird hunting dog.

The cocker spaniel stands about 14 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs about 25 pounds. It has a compact, relatively short body and straight muscular forelegs. Its rounded head has a broad deep muzzle with square jaws, and its long low-set ears are wider at the tip than at the base. The tail, which is docked, or trimmed, is carried on a line with the back.

The medium-long coat may be flat or slightly wavy, and it forms long fringes, called feathers, underneath the body and on the ears, chest, and legs. Cocker spaniels may be black, reddish brown, buff, other solid colors, or a combination of two colors, usually white with black, brown, or tan markings or black and tan.

The gentle and loving disposition of cocker spaniels makes them extremely popular pets. In addition, like all spaniels, they are excellent bird dogs. They spring, or flush, game from thickets and retrieve fallen game from land or water. American cocker spaniels are smaller and have shorter legs and more fringe than English cocker spaniels.

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