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Cocker Spaniel
History
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The Spaniel family is a large one of considerable antiquity. As far back as the 14th century we have mention of the Spanyell, which came to be divided into water and land spaniels, with further divisions in land spaniels based on size. "Cockers" were the smaller of the two types of spaniels and are to this day the smallest in the Sporting Group, their name deriving, apparently, from especial proficiency on woodcock. Not until 1883 were classes provided for the breed at English bench shows, and not until 1892 was the breed given breed status in England's Kennel Clubs stud book.

The Cocker has been exhibited in the US since the early 1880's. As developed here, however, the American Cocker has evolved somewhat differently in type, size, and coloring from the breed now recognized as the English Cocker Spaniel. Field trials for the breed in the US were started by the parent Field Trial Club in the 1920s, and the Cocker's inherent desire to hunt renders him a capable gun dog when judiciously trained. The Cocker covers all territory within gun range speedily, flushing game and retrieving only when under command, as a rule taking to water readily. From the moment it hit the show ring, however, the Cocker has engaged audiences and remains one of the most popular AKC breeds.





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