First, Cocker Spaniels are Spaniels, which are flushing dogs, not water retrievers. They were not bred for duck hunting but rather to seek out and flush small upland birds such as woodcock, and quail. There are unfortunatly very few of these birds around in the wild now, so hunters must go to game farms to get them. Second, most Spaniel breeders I know just trim down the dogs if they do not want to spend hours grooming after the hunt, but the hair is there for a reason, to prevent scratches from brush and brambles that the dogs run through, sort of like a built in coat. Think of the herding dogs that were developed to work in overgrown areas, lots of hair!
Cockers are not know to have a water repellant coat, simply because in their home country where they were developed, it was not needed. All Cockers come from the same original stock, many years ago when they started to become popular in America, the breeders of the original dogs didnt like what the American breeders were doing to the breed, so they demanded to have them seperated into different breeds, the English, and American Cockers. The American Cockers were mainly developed as pets, where the English breeders kept more to the original standard, and a new standard was developed for the American Cocker.
The same thing pretty much happened to the Irish Setters. There are now 2 different breeds even though they started out as one. You have the Irish (the dark red ones), and the Irish Red and White. The Red and White were the original breed, but when a few solid red dogs showed up some breeders kept them and worked on promoting them as more of a status symbol, instead of a working dog. Most serious hunters would tell you that if you want a setter for a hunting dog, dont get a Red! The same could be said of the Cockers, and the Springers, (English vs Welsh). The Americans (no offense to any US friends here) really like flashy dogs, and have not done any favours to many of the breeds.
Last edited by hazelrunpack; September 19th, 2011 at 06:12 PM.
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