English Cocker Spaniel, breed history

Little dog with a meek look ...

Many still believe that Cocker is. But in reality he is a hard worker, a tireless hunter and his disposition is decisive. The Cocker Spaniel is also an excellent athlete (although “some” believe that he didn’t come out in height). This dog is worthy of understanding and respect.

But if a spaniel - can SPANISH? Not! Without a doubt, he is a purebred Englishman. Breed began to breed in the UK since 1879. But as early as the 17th century, the British took on dogs like Spaniels to hunt. Is that their distant ancestors were Spaniards ...

There is an assumption that the first spaniels were introduced by the Phoenicians, and the name spaniel came from the name "spani", which in Phoenician means "rabbit" - eared dog, for example, etc. However, this hypothesis is also doubtful, since the first dogs existed on the continent long before they appeared on the territory of Britain. It is much more likely that they came from the East along with the Crusaders. Indeed, thanks to them, falconry has spread in Europe, for which such dogs were necessary. But these facts are more interesting to historians. We will study the breed of dogs that appeared in Britain and that still exists today.

The name Cocker comes from the name - woodcock (English) - snipe, woodcock. These wild birds were hunted by the first spaniels. At first, the dogs were slightly larger than the current Cocker. They were subsequently crossed with a small Japanese spaniel, which in the XVII century. Portuguese missionaries brought a gift to their countrywoman - the Queen of England, wife of Charles II. Obviously, the original task of crossing was a color that would distinguish this breed from others.

Multi-colored British Spaniels have become an indispensable attribute of the castle of Blenheim, owned by the Dukes of Marlborough. In the castle of Blenheim, in the county of Oxford, got dogs with clearly demarcated chestnut-red spots on a pure white background. Such color later became known as "Blenheim." It is applicable to all types of spaniels ... Both the castle and the park are remembered precisely for this, and not because Sir Winston Churchill is buried there.

Until 1879, the Cocker Spaniels as such did not exist. The progenitor of the breed can be considered Obo, a cute dog, who gave all his characteristics to the children, as if “fixed” them in the breed. In 1893, the English Cocker Spaniel, as a breed, was recognized by the club, albeit with a strict weight limit of up to 25 pounds (about 11 kg). Dogs exceeding the maximum allowed were ruthlessly rejected. Of course, under such conditions the breed developed rather poorly. However, in 1901, the breeders managed to convince them to lift the restrictions, which qualitatively improved the breed. A standard was developed that has survived to the present day. The first changes appeared almost in 1986, when the English Cocker Spaniel was “legitimized” as a hunting breed, and not as a “salon affiliation”.

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