Sporting Group Breed
The Cocker Spaniel is the smallest member of the Sporting Group. He has a sturdy, compact body and a cleanly chiseled and refined head, with the overall dog in complete balance and of ideal size. He stands well up at the shoulder on straight forelegs with a topline sloping slightly toward strong, moderately bent, muscular quarters. He is a dog capable of considerable speed, combined with great endurance. Above all, he must be free and merry, sound, well balanced throughout and in action show a keen inclination to work. A dog well balanced in all parts is more desirable than a dog with strongly contrasting good points and faults.
Size, Proportion, Substance
The ideal height at the withers for an adult dog is 15 inches and
for an adult bitch, 14 inches. Height may vary one-half inch above
or below this ideal. A dog whose height exceeds 15½ inches or a
bitch whose height exceeds 14½ inches shall be disqualified. An
adult dog whose height is less than 14½ inches and an adult bitch
whose height is less than 13½ inches shall be penalized. Height is
determined by a line perpendicular to the ground from the top of the
shoulder blades, the dog standing naturally with its forelegs and
lower hind legs parallel to the line of measurement.
To attain a well
proportioned head, which must be in balance with the rest of the
dog, it embodies the following:
Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is sufficiently long to allow the nose to reach the ground
easily, muscular and free from pendulous "throatiness." It rises
strongly from the shoulders and arches slightly as it tapers to join
The shoulders are well laid back forming an angle with the upper arm of approximately 90 degrees which permits the dog to move his forelegs in an easy manner with forward reach. Shoulders are clean-cut and sloping without protrusion and so set that the upper points of the withers are at an angle which permits a wide spring of rib. When viewed from the side with the forelegs vertical, the elbow is directly below the highest point of the shoulder blade. Forelegs are parallel, straight, strongly boned and muscular and set close to the body well under the scapulae. The pasterns are short and strong. Dewclaws on forelegs may be removed. Feet compact, large, round and firm with horny pads; they turn neither in nor out.
Hips are wide and quarters well rounded and muscular. When viewed from behind, the hind legs are parallel when in motion and at rest. The hind legs are strongly boned, and muscled with moderate angulation at the stifle and powerful, clearly defined thighs. The stifle is strong and there is no slippage of it in motion or when standing. The hocks are strong and well let down. Dewclaws on hind legs may be removed.
On the head, short and fine; on the body, medium length, with enough undercoating to give protection. The ears, chest, abdomen and legs are well feathered, but not so excessively as to hide the Cocker Spaniel's true lines and movement or affect his appearance and function as a moderately coated sporting dog. The texture is most important. The coat is silky, flat or slightly wavy and of a texture which permits easy care. Excessive coat or curly or cottony textured coat shall be severely penalized. Use of electric clippers on the back coat is not desirable. Trimming to enhance the dog's true lines should be done to appear as natural as possible.
Color and Markings
Solid color black to
include black with tan points. The black should be jet; shadings of
brown or liver in the coat are not desirable. A small amount of
white on the chest and/or throat is allowed; white in any other
location shall disqualify.
The Cocker Spaniel, though the smallest of the sporting dogs, possesses a typical sporting dog gait. Prerequisite to good movement is balance between the front and rear assemblies. He drives with strong, powerful rear quarters and is properly constructed in the shoulders and forelegs so that he can reach forward without constriction in a full stride to counterbalance the driving force from the rear. Above all, his gait is coordinated, smooth and effortless. The dog must cover ground with his action; excessive animation should not be mistaken for proper gait.
Equable in temperament with no suggestion of timidity.
over 15½ inches; females over 14½ inches.
Approved May 12,