Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the question or the + sign on the right of the question to reveal the answer.

Do you have any puppies?

Puppies are not always available. Usually, the females will come in heat together and thus you find our litters are usually born around the same time. The best way to find out if we have puppies available is to click on the sub-menus under the “Available Puppies” menu above called “Puppies Ready to Go Home” and “Puppy Nursery”. I try to update those pages as often as possible.

Are your dogs AKC registered?

Yes, all our dogs are AKC registered.

Can you take more photos?

I get asked this question all the time and have a very limited amount of time available to take pictures. I try to update puppy photos as often as possible.

Do you have a waiting list to get one of your puppies?

On some litters there are waiting lists and others not so many. Depending on the color and sex of the puppy you are looking for will determine where on the list you will be placed. If you would like to be put on a waiting list all you have to do is email me or fill out the Puppy Application Form via the menu above. Describe what color you are looking for and what sex. Please also tell me a little about you and your life style as well as phone number with the best time to call you.

What colors of puppies will you have?

Depending on which Female is bred to which Male we will have a rough idea of what is to be expected from that breeding. I usually am on target with what colors we are expecting from two bred cockers.

Puppies and their coloring and freckles.

Puppies who are Parti’s including mismarked solids do tend to get freckles. Sometimes a lot of freckles and sometimes only a few. Sometimes they have so many that it seems their colors blend. Usually, you will find most of the freckles and blending on the face, head, ears and legs. One day they will not be present and another day they will be there. They can get freckles and blending way up into adulthood. Some of our puppies might be born blk/white or tri and turn roan, or red/white might turn roan. We cannot tell you were the freckles will be, when the freckles will come if any, and who will get freckles.

 

Solids:
Puppies who are solid in color can change in color. For instance, a silver that is born might turn into a lighter buff. A light buff might turn into a darker buff, a dark buff might turn into a red. A black might turn into a sable or a blk/tan. Some puppies who are born solid do tend to gain some white and become mismarks. Usually one will see white on the face, neck and feet. On any color or coat type we cannot say what color your puppy’s eyes will stay or turn.

 

Staining:
Some of our puppies do have some yellow staining on them if they are white due to puppies walking through their own feces and other litter-mate’s feces. We try to prevent this by cleaning on a constant basis and washing. But puppy hair sucks up anything that it touches. NOTE puppies usually shed their coats and the yellow will fade eventually with constant washing. That is not that big of a problem. Also puppy’s coats will tend to have oily ears and hair some times, due to dog food. Puppies tend to get puppy food everywhere, from their bowls, playing with bowls and playing with other puppies that may have oily hair.

 

We can only tell you what color your puppy is at the time you decided to reserve or purchase a puppy. It does not mean that the puppy will stay that color. Please note, if you are buying a puppy from us their may be changes in your puppy from day to day, week to week and even month to month. Puppies change as they grow and we have no control over that.

Are your dogs healthy?

I try my best to produce healthy happy puppies. I provide my dogs with Purina brand products which is one of the best dog foods I know on the market. As far as vet care goes I provide medical attention to all my puppies no matter what the cost. Since a number of my dogs are shipped there is a Health Certificate provided to assure both parties that the puppy is healthy at the time of sale or transfer of the puppy. My dogs are like my children – they are first in line.

 

I do try my hardest to make sure my puppies are healthy since the Cocker breed in general does have some health issue. I do lots of pedigree research to find out what lines have what issues and try not to double up on those problems.

 

Puppies do occasionally have ear problems such as ear mites, yeast and/or ear infections only because at this young age puppies tend to get puppy food everywhere on their body. Even with constant washing the puppies and wiping out their ears they still tend to get dirty. I go a step further and cut the hair near their ear so the puppies can have proper ear ventilation.

What if I can't take care of my puppy at a later date?

I do know that problems do arise in everyday life. Someone might die, might get divorced, loose a job whatever the case might be, run into a problem and no longer be able to keep the dog/puppy. I will not buy your pet back from you but I will take back the pet no matter how old the dog is. When I take a pet back I like to have the papers, records and any information that you have about your pet to better understand the pet and get acquainted with him/her again. I would never want one of our puppies that we produced go to a shelter or be abandoned because of a problem in them keeping their pet.

What if I have questions?

People who buy puppies or dogs from me will most likely get to know me before I sell you one on my babies. 100% of the time I talk to you over the phone and through e-mail’s before you buy a puppy/dog from me. I do talk to people on a constant basis when they buy puppies. I do like to know a little about you and how your living situation is before I feel comfortable in just handing over one of my babies. After receiving a puppy if you have any questions I am here to help you. You can pretty much ask me anything and if I don’t know the answer to your question I will try to find someone that will.

Can I make a deal?

Breeding Cockers is very costly when you add it all up. Between medical bills and services, supplies, food and papers it is very rarely you come out ahead. I do not breed to try to make a living off of my dogs but I do like some kind of compensation for the expenses I have made while breeding and adding to the welfare of my dogs. I do believe the price is fair and know that I have been breeding for healthy puppy.

Are your dogs good with kids?

Yes, I think cockers are great around children. I do believe that the more they are with them the better both the puppy and child will act. I do believe when you first get a puppy and you bring the puppy into your home there should be some time just for the puppy away from the child to get adjusted and relax. Puppies in particular need a lot of rest just like a growing child. Limit puppy-children play sessions to 15-30 minute periods 2-3 times a day. Especially since there are new noises, new sounds, new smells and new people and maybe even new pets. Temperament is a major focus in my breeding program.

 

I do not breed adult dogs with temperament issues. Since I am with the puppies from birth until they are of age to leave, I constantly evaluate each puppy’s personality mentally and try to place that puppy with the most fit home possible.

Males vs. Females

SPEAKING VERY GENERALLY…

 

  • Male dogs tend to be “lovable slobs” and “good ol’ boys.”
  • Male dogs tend to be more outgoing, more vigorously affectionate, more “in your face.”
  • Male dogs tend to be more stable and reliable in mood, less prone to emotional swings.
  • Male dogs tend to be clumsy and silly and prone to acting like over sized kids.
  • Male dogs mean well and are easy to love.
  • Female dogs tend to be more subtle than males.
  • They’re affectionate on their own terms.
  • They’ll request or demand petting, then reassert their independence by walking away when they’ve had enough.
  • Female dogs tend to be quicker to learn and are not as easily distracted during training sessions.
  • Female dogs are less likely to be openly defiant or to engage in blunt power struggles or dominance challenges.

I've seen websites with Cocker puppies for salefor only $500. Why do some breeders get in excess of $1,000 for theirs?

Do you want an inexpensive puppy… or a healthy, well bred, and well socialized puppy? Good Cocker breeders incur some significant expenses on the road to breeding healthy puppies. For example, all the costs associated with doing the OFA and CERF testing to lower the chances that the puppies will grow up to have hip or eye diseases. You might be thinking “those tests aren’t that expensive!”… but what you aren’t thinking about is all the expenses involved in removing a dog from a breeding program if he or she fails those tests. There are hugely expensive consequences to doing the testing, if someone fails the tests! Which is one reason that a lot of breeders don’t ever do the tests… they don’t want to know!

I see you live in LaGrange. Where in the heck in Georgia is that?

We are about an hour’s drive southwest of Atlanta. Go to our Contact page for directions and a Google map.

How can I find a Cocker Spaniel breeder in my state?

Check the American Spaniel Club web site for ASC members who breed Cockers in your state. But be forewarned… most of the breeders that the American Spaniel Club recommends are breeders of show dogs… and they tend to like to place their puppies with other people who are involved in the show world. Your best technique for success with a show dog breeder is to let them know that you are not looking for a show dog, just a pet… and to ask if they know where you can find a good pet Cocker puppy in their area.
If you have trouble viewing the ASC’s listings online, you can contact their breed referral representative and ask that the list be sent to you. You might also want to request lists for any other states within driving distance of your home. The person to contact is:
Theresa L. Frye,
ASC Breeder Referral Chairperson
7750 Hollow Corners Road,
Almont, MI 48003-8019
Tel. 810-798-2577

I have heard that it is not a good idea to buy a puppy from a pet store. Why not?

There are several reasons. First, almost all pet store puppies come from puppy mills… very large commercial breeders with huge numbers of dogs bred strictly for profit. If you saw the conditions the parent dogs live their entire lives in… you would be very upset. It’s awful that these type of operations are allowed to stay in business. You keep them in business when you give your money to pet stores that sell puppies.

 

Besides the conditions the parents are kept in, you need to also consider the puppies. A puppy should be spending lots of time with people… so it gets properly socialized and ends up calm and well behaved when people are around. Pet store puppies live in cages… they get almost no attention at all… and by the time they get to their new owners they are so starved for attention that they tend to be hyper, misbehaved, and so excited to finally see someone that they lose bladder control. Also, pet store puppies generally tend to come from lower quality breeding lines than the dogs from a reputable breeder who sells directly to the public.

 

The other reason we are just completely philosophically opposed to pet stores that sell puppies is because they will sell a puppy to anyone. If someone’s got the money, a pet store is going to sell them a pup with no questions asked. The sad truth is that not everyone should be a dog owner. Good dog breeders will make a good match between a dog and his new owners… and will refuse to sell a puppy to people who don’t have what it takes to take care of that dog every day for the next fifteen years. Certain people… college students, people who live on the 3rd floor of an apartment building, people operating pre-schools out of their homes… should probably not own a dog, at least not a Cocker Spaniel. There are many times that people will email me about buying a puppy and I’ll write back and politely suggest a cat instead. Would a pet store have turned their business down?

I bought a purebred puppy from a pet store, and when they gave me his registration papers it wasn't an AKC registration, it was a UKC registration. What's up with that?

Most reputable breeders will use the American Kennel Club for registration. A lot of the puppy mills can’t pass the AKC’s inspections, so they register their dogs with the Universal Kennel Club or the Continental Kennel Club instead. I’m not saying every breeder that uses the UKC or the CKC is un-reputable, and I’m not saying that every breeder that uses the AKC is reputable… I’m just saying that one red flag indicating that you might be looking at a puppy from a bad breeder is registration with someone other than the AKC… or no registration at all.

 

Please note that for dogs bred in Canada, the Canadian Kennel Club is the organization that most reputable breeders use for registration. Be sure not to confuse the two CKC organizations… the Canadian Kennel Club and the Continental Kennel Club. I’m sure one of the reasons that the Continental Kennel Club chose their name is to try to ride on the coat-tails of the Canadian Kennel Club.

Why is there such a wide difference in the pricing of Cocker Spaniel puppies? I've talked to some breeders who sell their puppies for over a thousand dollars, yet I've seen others advertised in the newspaper or on the Internet for as little as four hundred.

Reputable breeders usually charge a lot more for puppies because they have incurred costs that the backyard breeders and puppy mills have not. For example, the cost of doing proper hip and eye exams on each and every dog in their breeding program. Do you think the guy advertising puppies for sale in the local newspaper has gone to the expense of having hip x-rays taken to ensure that his dogs are not passing along genetic hip problems? Not a chance. Doing just that one test can cost several hundred dollars if the vet needs to anesthetize the dog to get a good x-ray.

 

Trying to keep puppy prices low is usually not the main goal of a good breeder. The goal is to breed healthy puppies that meet the breed standard and that make excellent pets. I won’t bore you with a full accounting of every expense I had during my 22+ year breeding program in order to meet that goal, but I will say that it was an expensive journey. Breeding puppies was never a business for me, it was my hobby… so I was not looking to put my kids through college on profits from selling puppies. But given the expenses involved in breeding puppies the right way, I did have to sell my puppies for more than a few hundred dollars if I ever wanted to come close to breaking even.

I have a solid buff colored female Cocker and my neighbor has a black & white parti colored male. We would like to make some puppies. What colors would the puppies be?

Mating those two dogs would be a bad idea. The general rule is to breed partis to partis, and solids to solids. If you breed a parti to a solid, the result will be what the show breeders call “mis-marked” puppies. In other words, mostly solid color dogs that have goofy patches of white in places where they shouldn’t be.

 

If you’re going to get in to breeding Cockers, you have a moral obligation to create puppies that meet the breed standard as set forth by the American Spaniel Club. If you breed a solid to a parti, you will almost surely get some puppies with markings that don’t meet the standard.

We have a two-year-old female Cocker and an eleven-month-old male. We have several friends and family members who are interested in a puppy. My question is: is our male dog old enough to breed?

Your male dog is probably old enough that he could physically do the job of getting your female dog pregnant… but most good Cocker breeders do not breed a dog until he is much older. The good breeders usually wait until both dogs are at least two years old before breeding. There are two main reasons for this…

 

First, you want to allow some time for any major health problems to show up. You don’t want to breed a dog with major health issues, and at your male dog’s age you might not even realize it yet if he has any. For example, cataracts. They almost never show up at eleven months.

 

The bigger reason has to do with testing to determine if the dog is a carrier for genetic hip diseases. There is a very simple x-ray screening that you can do to determine if the dog has genetic hip dysplasia that might be passed along to the next generation. You have your vet take the x-ray, then you send it off to an organization called the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals and they have their panel of hip experts evaluate it. Again, it takes a while for hip disease to show up… so the OFFA will not do evaluations on any dog younger than two.

 

So, the way it works with most good breeders is that they wait for their dogs to turn two years old, then they have a Veterinary Ophthalmologist do an eye exam to check for any hereditary eye problems which might be passed along to puppies. If the dog passes the eye test, the breeder has their vet do hip x-rays to look for hereditary hip defects. The hip x-rays are sent to the OFFA, and if they get a good evaluation back (and if no other major health problems have cropped up) they then proceed with breeding the dog.

 

Of course, most backyard breeders do not do any of this… and no puppy mills do this… and this is why it is generally much safer to buy a dog from a reputable “hobby” breeder than from a backyard breeder or a pet store.

I'm having a hard time potty training my Cocker Spaniel. Can you give me any tips?

Make sure you are taking him to the same place outside every time. Find a nice patch of lawn, and make that his designated potty spot. In time, as he gets used to that one spot, and smells his old urine there, it will get a lot easier to have him go there. Clean up all accidents in the house extremely well, so he doesn’t smell the urine there later.

 

As you get to know him better over time, you should start to notice some patterns… a pattern of when he pees and poops, and a pattern of how he acts just before peeing or pooping in the house. If you pay close attention to the patterns, you will have a lot easier time preventing accidents. Think preemptively… in other words, anticipate! Generally, a puppy needs to pee or poop just about every time they wake up from a nap. And usually you’ll see some patterns develop concerning when they poop… as you get to know the dog you will see start to learn his poop schedule. Also, just as you cannot just command your body to poop at any given time, neither can the puppy. So sometimes you have to spend 10 or 15 minutes out on the lawn with the pup when you are reasonably sure that there’s something due about now.

 

There is a good article about dog training and potty training at http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/Dog-potty-training.html. There is also a good article about crate training dogs at http://www.netpets.com/dogs/reference/training/cratetrain.html

What is the difference between an American Cocker Spaniel and an English Cocker Spaniel?

American Cockers are smaller than English Cockers, and have a shorter snout. If you ever see a dog that looks like a big Cocker with a goofy long nose, you’re probably looking at an English Cocker.

 

The coat coloring of the two breeds tends to be different, too. While buff, black, brown or parti colors are common in the American Cocker… the most common coat color in the English Cocker is the blue roan.

We're having a problem with our new puppy. Whenever my husband comes in to the room and plays with the puppy, the puppy pees. What is going on here?

This is called submissive urination. When the puppy feels threatened or scared in the presence of a bigger more dominant animal, she loses control of her bladder. Some puppies will grow out of this, others never do. Your husband needs to be careful to use a soft voice when talking to the dog, and to avoid towering over the dog. Have your husband bend down to the dog’s level whenever possible.

 

An even more common problem in Cockers is excited urination. This is where the dog loses bladder control when it is very happy… for example, when you come home from work and greet it for the first time, or when you have visitors over and they greet the dog. My very first Cocker had this problem, and I can tell you that it’s really annoying! I personally am trying to breed puppies that do not have this problem… although sometimes it does happen even with the best bred dogs. The problem is more common in females than in males, and many puppies that have this problem will grow out of it as they get stronger and get better bladder control.

 

You can read more about submissive and excited urination here.

Every time we go to the vet, he tells us that our dog has an ear infection. We can't seem to keep these darned ears clean! Do you have any advice for us?

Two pieces of advice, actually.

 

First, keep the hair trimmed on the underside of the ear in the area within a few inches of the ear canal. I’m talking about the side of the ear that touches the head, not the side of the ear that shows. If you allow the hair to grow in this area, it blocks the ear canal and promotes infections. Keep all hair trimmed in this area to promote air circulation in to the ear. More importantly, keep the inside of the ears clean.

My Cocker has an annoying behavior problem. Any suggestions?

There is a very interesting web site operated by the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point that features links to all sorts of articles about canine behavior problems. There are fifteen specific behavior problems listed, as well as a few general issues. I think you’ll find the articles quite useful. Click here to go to the site.

 

I’d also like to point out the single most powerful word in the English language when it comes to dog training. That word is “NO!”. When your dog does something you disapprove of, use the word “NO!” in a stern voice.

 

In situations where the word “NO!” doesn’t work, you’ll find a really good way to put a quick stop to any Cocker behavior is a shot in the face from a squirt gun. After a while, just the sight of the squirt gun in your hand is usually enough to stop the behavior.

Am I better off to have a pair of Cockers, or just one?

If the dog will be alone for long periods of time (for example, if you work all day) Cockers seem to do better if they have a companion. If the dog is going to be with people most of the time (for example, you are retired) you might be better off with just one… he or she will become TOTALLY devoted to you. If you are going to have a pair of Cockers… a male/female pair has the highest chance of getting along without fighting. A pair of females is the worst combination… they tend to have the most frequent conflicts. Not to imply that two female Cockers can’t get along… I’m just saying the odds are more in your favor with a neutered male and a spayed female.

I've heard Cockers described as hyper, nervous, or high strung. Is that true?

My experience has been that the more time a Cocker gets to spend with his owner, the calmer and happier he will be. The most mellow Cockers I have ever met have been owned by retired people who have the luxury of having the dog with them almost constantly. The most agitated Cockers I’ve known have been banished to the back yard all day while all the humans in the family are at work or at school. It drives the dog nuts… they crave human companionship. This is why I try to place my puppies in homes where someone is at home most of the time.

 

My #1 tip for creating a mellow Cocker: Let it sleep on your bed at night. They absolutely love this! It helps create a special bond, it makes them feel very secure, and you will definitely have a better behaved Cocker this way.

I just bought an 8-week-old puppy and he has a full tail. At what age should I get it docked?

It’s already too late. The breeder should have had the tail docked at the age of 3-5 days, before the nerves in the tail were fully developed. It can be done very easily and with minimum pain to the dog at that age.

 

Even though your puppy is only a couple of months old now, his tail is already very sensitive. It would require surgery with anesthetic to dock that tail now. Enjoy his unique full tail as it is, rather than putting your dog through surgery.

What is the average lifespan of a Cocker Spaniel?

To make a very broad generalization… let’s say 12 or 13 years is about average. Keep in mind that one dog year is roughly equivalent to seven human years.

 

There are definitely people who have had Cockers that have lived to be 15, 16, 17 and even 18 years of age. But Cockers that make it to 15 are few and far between. 12 or 13 is a more reasonable lifespan to expect from your dog. If you do have a Cocker that has lived to be 15 or older… give yourself a big pat on the back… because as far as taking care of that dog goes, you’re probably doing just about everything right!

How can I stop my Cocker from barking?

The best way to deal with the barking problem is to not let it get started in the first place. From the very first time you ever hear the dog bark as a puppy… if you firmly say “no” to the dog each and every time you hear him bark… you can usually nip it in the bud. Just be firm and NEVER let the puppy get away with barking without a firm reprimand.

 

If you’ve got an adult Cocker who’s been in the habit of barking for all of his life, behavioral solutions just aren’t going to work. It’s too late. You’re going to have to consider more drastic solutions such as collars that administer a small shock when the dog barks, or having the vocal cords surgically removed. As you can imagine, this is not a situation you want to be in… so my strong advice is to stop the barking with a firm “no” at a very early age.

 

This brings up one other thing I think will be helpful to new dog owners… don’t talk in sentences to your dog. I’ve actually heard members of my own family try to stop a dog from barking by sticking their head out the window and yelling things like “Abby, be quiet, it’s Sunday morning and you’ll wake the neighbors!” Do you think the dog understood any of that?!? Stating the obvious here… dogs do not speak your language! However, they can learn a few simple words or phrases if you repeat them enough. So stick with very short and simple commands when you speak to your dog… such as “NO!”, “Go Potty”, and using their name when you want them to come to you.

Something odd has happened to one of my dog's eyes. There's some pink flesh bulging out around the bottom of the eye. What is this? Is it serious? Is my dog going to go blind?

This is what’s known as a “cherry eye”, or a prolapsed gland of the third eyelid. It happens to a lot of Cockers, as well as to certain other breeds such as Bulldogs and Shar Peis.

 

What has happened is that a gland (which is normally tucked under where you can’t see it) has popped out. This is basically a cosmetic problem, and nothing to panic about as long as you don’t just let it stay that way. If you do nothing, it could get irritated and infected.

 

In many cases, you can very easily fix a cherry eye yourself. This has the highest chance of working if you do it within minutes or hours of first noticing a cherry eye. All you need to do is wash your hands first, and then gently massage the bulging gland back under the lower eyelid where it belongs. In many cases, you can get the prolapsed gland back under where it belongs, and in many cases it will stay there.

 

If you can’t pop the cherry eye back in by yourself, you’ll need to have your vet do a surgical fix. This typically costs at least a couple of hundred dollars. There are several different surgical procedures that vets can do to fix cherry eyes, but I have a strong suggestion on which way you should go. Many vets will try to get you to agree to a removal of the prolapsed gland, but this is a VERY bad idea. This is the way it used to be done in the old days, and many older vets are only comfortable with this procedure because that’s the way they have always dealt with cherry eyes. Others prefer this procedure because it is the easiest (and cheapest) surgical method of dealing with cherry eyes. But the reason that removal of a prolapsed gland is such a bad idea is that this gland is responsible for production of a significant portion of the tears that lubricate the eyes. Without the gland, the dog is very likely to have dry eyes, and this CAN lead to significant problems down the road… even blindness.

 

A better way to go is to have your vet stitch the prolapsed gland back in place where it belongs. This is sometimes known as “the pocket technique” because the prolapsed gland is tucked back in to a pocket under the eyelid, and then a single stitch is used to anchor it down in place. Because the gland is not removed, it still produces tears… and because it is anchored with a stitch, it generally doesn’t pop back out.

 

So my strong advice if you can’t massage a cherry eye back in place yourself, is to locate a vet that is experienced in performing “the stitch” or “pocket technique” style of cherry eye repair. Don’t let your vet talk you in to removal of the gland, and don’t let your vet do the repair unless they have done it many times before. Getting it done correctly is important enough that you should definitely call around to locate the right vet to do the job if your regular vet isn’t up to the task.

 

If anyone tells you that a cherry eye should be surgically removed — even if it’s a vet that tells you — it should be an instant red flag that the person is way out of touch with the current state-of-the-art in cherry eye treatment. Don’t believe me? Click here to read what the experts at the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists have to say about it.

My lawn has many circular patches of dead grass from where my dog has peed on it. Is there something I can feed to the dog to make his urine less acidic so that my lawn will stay green?

Actually, the easiest solution to this problem is just to water the lawn more often and/or to water the lawn for longer periods of time. The extra water given to the lawn will dilute the urine to the point where it will not kill the grass. Our lawn looks pretty nice, and we have five dogs peeing on it. We just water that particular lawn a little heavier than we would if we did not have dogs on it.

What do you recommend feeding to a Cocker Spaniel?

Over the years, we have experimented with many of the major brands of pet food… such as Purina Pro Plan, Eukanuba, Canidae, Blue Buffalo, Natural Balance, and Taste Of The Wild. However, we have found Purina Pro Plan works best for us and all of our puppies are raised on Purina Pro Plan (Lamb and Rice) formulated for puppies. If you have a different brand preference please migrate your puppy’s food mixture slowly to the new brand. Please allow 7 – 10 days for the transition. Each day, simply feed a little less of the previous food and a little more of the new food until you’re feeding the new brand exclusively. This gradual transition will help avoid dietary upsets.

 

By the way… if your vet tries to talk you in to buying some special food that is only available at his/her office… his/her motivation is probably based more on profit than on trying to help you or your dog. Your Cocker will do fine (and you won’t go broke) by saying “no” to the vet’s brand and sticking with a quality food such as Purina Pro Plan.

My Cocker doesn't show any interest in retrieving tennis balls, or anything else for that matter. Is this normal?

Some dogs are so ball-crazy that they just do it naturally from day one. Others don’t. It just depends on the dog.

 

You can actually train a dog to retrieve things. Start with whatever his favorite chew toy is. Get him chewing on it, then grab it and throw it about a foot or two away. Keep working at it as long as it takes to get him to go over there and get it.

 

Once you’ve got him retrieving it from a foot away, just gradually increase the distances each time. Depending on how much natural retrieving instinct he has, you may have to gradually work on this over days or weeks. When you’ve got him consistently retrieving his favorite chew toy from across the room, switch to other toys such as squeaky toys or balls. Gradually throw them farther and farther away, and in time you will have the dog trained to retrieve the toy from as far as you can toss it.

 

I highly recommend training your dog to retrieve things… it’s great exercise for the dog, and will help to tire him out for the “quiet time” you need to get things done around the house. The other great thing about it is that while the dog is running his little butt off, yours can be planted firmly in a chair. The dog has to do all the work, and you just sit back and watch. It’s much like being in Management!

Do Cockers get along with cats?

Most Cockers will chase anything that moves, and cats tend to run at the first sign of trouble, so don’t expect miracles. If you’ve got a really mellow Cocker that moves slowly and doesn’t tend to run around like a maniac, you might have a chance. Here are a few things you can do to help a friendship develop:

 

The most important thing is to introduce your cat and Cocker to each other SLOWLY and in a carefully controlled way. Get the dog totally tired out before you put them together the first few times. Don’t hold the cat… if it freaks out, you’re going to get severely clawed. Finally, make sure the cat has a safe place to escape to if things go badly.

Why do Cockers always have their tails chopped off?

It’s called tail docking, and there are actually a few reasons it is done. It started back in the days when Cockers did a lot of hunting in the brush, and their tails would get full of burrs and thickets. But there are still plenty of good reasons to dock the tail of a pet Cocker:

 

First, Cockers wag their tail so vigorously that they can actually hurt themselves by either hitting their tail against their own body or by hitting it in to things such as walls or furniture. Another reason is that a full, bushy tail tends to get dirty with fecal matter. Finally, Cockers are a small breed with a BIG tail… and it just plain looks goofy because it’s out of proportion to their bodies.