This section is from the book "Sporting Dogs. Their Points And Management In Health, And Disease", by Frank Townend Barton. Also available from Amazon: Sporting Dogs; Their Points and Management in Health and Disease.
This is a pretty type of small Spaniel, and one that has been in existence from a very early date.
Modern Cockers have been bred in all sorts of ways, though lately it has become a fairly general rule to breed only Cocker with Cocker, not necessarily of the same colour. A typical Cocker should weigh between 20 and 25 lbs., and be of smart, active appearance.
Typical Cocker Spaniel.
Probably two of the most successful black Cocker Spaniels ever adorning the show bench were Obo and Miss Obo. My (formerly Mr Easton's) Champion Bess was a very typical variety Cocker.
The American clubs' standard for Cockers is not quite the same as the English, the weight there being from 18 to 28 lbs.
Ought to be of medium length, and the muzzle square cut off, tapering from the eye, though there must be no appearance of the so-called " snipy " head.
There is a marked " stop," and from it there is a groove running up the skull, gradually fading away.
Set on low, covered with long, silky, straight or wavy hairs, and reaching at least to the tip of nose.
To be free from any sign of curl, plentiful, straight, or wavy and silky. Body of medium length, with well-sprung ribs, fairly deep chest, and full in the flanks. Many Cockers are very defective here, being what is called " tucked up".
Short fore-legs, strong, straight, well feathered, and well-placed, good-sized, feet. The tail should be carried on a level with back when dog is at ease, but lower under excitement.
Unimportant; regularity and beauty of markings (if any) being qualifications.
The English Cocker Spaniel; the American Cocker Spaniel.
Very typical puppies can be bought for three or four guineas shortly after weaning.
Top-knot, out at elbows, light in bone, too leggy, and, from a sportsman's view, too short on leg. In whole-coloured specimens white is objectionable ; shallow flanks, high carriage of tail, deafness, and bad constitution. Narrowness of chest, flat-sided-ness, and a narrow flank constitutes faulty conformation.