I have added the English Cocker Spaniel at a customer’s request. I love adding new breeds because it gives me the opportunity to learn more about them. The English Cocker Spaniel is one of the oldest types of land spaniels known, descending from the original spaniels of Spain (The Complete Dog Book, 19th Ed.). Once the breed was recognized as simply a variety of Cocker Spaniel, but not its own breed. In 1935, the English Cocker Spaniel Club or America was formed to promote the breed, and to stop the interbreeding between American and English varieties, in order to maintain distinct types. In 1946, the American Kennel Club recognized the English Cocker Spaniel as a distinct breed.
The breed was developed for and is still used for hunting woodcock or pheasant and for flushing partridge. It will also retrieve duck or goose. Being a bird dog at heart, the English Cocker Spaniel does well in field events and working tests. The breed is also adept at agility (check out this video of Eileen winning the Agility Winter Cup 2014/2015), flyball, rally and tracking. The breed is also a popular companion animal, being described as merry and alert.
The English Cocker Spaniel has a luscious coat that beckons to be touched. It requires regular grooming to keep it manageable. Like with American Cocker Spaniels, there are a variety of colors that fall into parti colors (multi) or solid colors. The solid colors include black, liver and red. The red can be a light sandy gold to a deep red, almost the color of an Irish Setter. And the solid black and liver can have tan points (tan areas on the eyebrows, muzzle, front of the legs, feet and beneath the tail). These would then be called black and tan, or liver and tan.
The parti colors include any of the solid colors just mentioned but can either be open marked (solid white with solid patches of other colors), roaned (where white is mixed with another color, like salt and pepper), or ticked (where the white areas are ticked with another color – small spots). There are different names for the roaned varieties, such as blue roan (if it’s salt and pepper), orange roan (a lighter red and white), lemon roan (if the coat’s is a blend of lighter red and white).
The coat color I chose was the blue roan (salt and pepper), though I will add more varieties as they are requested, or as I have time. I will be test firing this design this week, and possibly adjusting the colors. I’m excited (just as I am any time I add a new design) to see some finished English Cocker Spaniel mugs 🙂