Spaniel (American Cocker) Dog
Originally bred from English Cocker Spaniels imported to the United States, this American form has been recognised as a separate breed since the 1940s. The American Cocker Spaniel was developed as a gundog, to take smaller games than its English counterpart, such as quail. Although shorter in stature, this should not be viewed principally as a pet dog. You will need to give these spaniels plenty of exercise.
The coat of the American Cocker is another distinguishing feature, being more profuse compared with the English form of the Cocker Spaniel. As a result, it needs extra care and will benefit from a regular trim every two months or so.
Regular inspection of the ears is also to be recommended, to minimize the risk of infections developing here. The upper part of the ear canal can be wiped over with damp cotton wool, but never be tempted to probe down into the canal itself, if your dog appears to be scratching at its ear repeatedly, your veterinarian will be able to inspect the canal and prescribe appropriate medication.
In terms of temperament, the American Cocker Spaniel usually proves easy to train and makes a good family pet. These spaniels are also available in a wide range of colours, ranging from solid colours, such as black, chocolate or red, to tri-coloured and mixed parti-coloured forms. In the case of the solid colours, it is generally permitted to have a few white markings on the throat and chest, although, preferably, these should not be present. Certainly, small white areas elsewhere on the body will be penalized in the show ring.
The American Cocker Spaniel is a variation of the English Cocker Spaniel from whom it descends. It is slightly smaller than the original type, has a rounder skull and a more profuse coat which is much barbered for the show ring. The English Cocker Spaniel was recognised by the American Kennel Club as a separate variety in 1936. A few specimens of these dogs have recently been seen in England.
- Height 15 in (38 cm)
- Weight 24-28 lb (10.9-12.7 kg)
Poodle (Toy) Dog
The Toy version of the Poodle is recognised as a separate breed, in spite of the fact that it shares a common ancestry with both the Miniature and the larger Standard Poodle. These particular dogs are descended from working stock, in spite of their often-elaborate appearance, which may be more suggestive of a cosseted and delicate breed. In fact, Poodles were originally used to guard sheep, and, being descended from the Irish Water Spaniel, would also readily enter water as retrievers.
Interest in the Poodle as a lap dog meant that smaller individuals were favoured, and certainly, the Toy form appears to have been established by the eighteenth century, according to contemporary Spanish portraits. Poodles do not moult their hair in a similar way to other breeds, and, certainly, for show purposes, coat care is very time-consuming. In the case of a pet dog, however, this can be carried out at a grooming parlour.
Although show dogs have more elaborate clips, the simple lamb clip, which merely keeps the hair at an even length, can be recommended for a Poodle kept just as a companion. This will need to be carried out about every six weeks or so and will add to the cost of keeping your dog unless you decide to undertake the task yourself. When purchasing a puppy of this breed, it is especially important to ensure that it is sound. Like some other smaller dogs, Toy Poodles can suffer from a problem affecting the knee caps. Known as luxation of the patella, this problem can lead to lameness.
A very small dog has great charm for many people. With the Miniature Poodle enjoying such tremendous popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, American breeders and admirers of these little dogs began to breed them yet smaller and it was not long before British breeders followed suit. The earliest attempts were not very successful but within a few years very tiny and quite typical Poodles were being bred and in the 1950s the Toy Poodles became a third and officially accepted member of the family.
- Height must be under 11 in (28 cm), in the U.S.A. under 10 in (25 cm)
- Weight 15 lb (6.8 kg)
- In all other respects the standard is the same as for the two larger varieties.
Collie (Rough) Dog
A widely known Scottish sheep-herding breed of great intelligence and beauty. Its name is probably derived from the Colley or mountain sheep of the Scottish Highlands. It is an expert at handling large flocks and is popular in Australia for that reason. The breed was very popular in the early years of the century but had a serious decline from which it has only recently recovered.
- Height 22-24 in (56-61 cm)
- Weight 45-65 lb (20.4-29.5kg)
- Coat type/colour The coat should be dense and the outer coat harsh to the touch; the mane and frill abundant, moderately long tail never carried over the back. Ears semi-erect when alert. Colour and markings are immaterial.
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