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Cocker Spaniel Adoption

Breed Photo

What do you need to know before you adopt a Cocker Spaniel? We asked the experts!
 

Second Chance Cocker Rescue, Inc. says:

Cocker Spaniels are all about their people. All they want to do is hang out with you and will make you feel very loved. They are medium to high-maintenance with grooming, medical, and emotional needs, so they make a perfect pet for someone who is a natural caregiver.

Camp Cocker Rescue says:

Cocker Spaniels are high-maintenance dogs!  A Cocker Spaniel's coat must be brushed frequently and professionally groomed once a month, and his long, floppy ears must be cleaned weekly to prevent ear infections.  In addition, Cocker Spaniels tend to have skin problems, especially if they are not fed a high-quality, grain-free diet.  And unfortunately, the breed is prone to several serious eye diseases that can cause blindness and are expensive to treat, like cataracts and glaucoma.

Cocker Spaniels are very people-oriented dogs, so they love to be with their humans. This makes them fantastic companions for people who are home most of the time.  But a Cocker Spaniel is not a good choice for someone who works full-time out of the house, because a Cocker left alone all day is likely to be miserable and respond by developing behavioral problems like excessive barking and chewing.

Cocker Spaniel Adoption Center Inc. says:

Cocker Spaniels are sweet and wonderful companions, but they require care and maintenance. Their beauty is also their curse. Their thick long coats must be regularly groomed to avoid matting, and their ears require frequent attention. Because they have floppy ears, air cannot flow into their canals, and they can become infected. They should be checked every few days to make sure this is not happening. Anyone wanting a cocker spaniel must be willing to attend to his or her special needs.

More about the Cocker Spaniel:

There are actually two distinct breeds of Cocker Spaniels. The back of the English Cocker Spaniel is shorter than that of the American Cocker Spaniel and the head is considerably more round than that of the  American Cocker Spaniel.  Those who share their homes with both Cocker Spaniels and Cocker Spaniel mixes often describe them as cheerful, loving, sweet and gentle, charming and trustworthy. It is helpful  to socialize these breeds at a young age to avoid their natural tendency toward timidity and shyness.

Cocker Spaniels are best suited for people willing to provide daily walks, a bit of playtime and lots of companionship for their pet! These breeds will do fine living in an apartment if adequate walks and exercise are provided.

Though cockers are average shedders they do require brushing several times each week to minimize shedding. The long coat also requires frequent shampooing and trimming. When brushing your dog care should be taken not to pull out the long silky hair.  Care must also be taken to keep the ears clean on these breeds as the long, floppy ears can trap dirt and debris inside leading to ear infections.

More about the Cocker Spaniel

Thinking about adopting a Cocker Spaniel puppy? Here are three reasons to adopt an adult instead:

1. You have kids.

Like most people, you’ve probably heard time and again that if you have kids, you should adopt a Cocker Spaniel puppy (or, gasp! find a Cocker Spaniel puppy for sale). The rationale is that an adult shelter dog is an unknown quantity, so buying or adopting a Cocker Spaniel puppy is safer. Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. Puppies are not usually a great choice with kids; they have very limited control over their biting/mouthing impulses, and when you mix that with lots of energy and unbelievably sharp little teeth, it’s a recipe for your small fry to be in tears.  Puppies are tiny chewing machines and can destroy a favorite stuffed animal or security blanket in short order.  Adult dogs, on the other hand, are generally calmer, and their personalities are already fully developed and on display.  When you meet an adult dog, you can see how they are with kids and with other animals.  This takes the guesswork out of wondering how a puppy will turn out as a full-grown dog.

2.  You value your possessions.

Puppies teethe.  They have a biological need to chew, they want to play constantly, and they can’t discriminate between appropriate chew toys and, say, your favorite pair of Manolos.  Puppies eventually can be trained out of this behavior, of course, and there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, an adult Cocker Spaniel (or any adult dog) is much less likely to shred your drapes like coleslaw or function as a “helpful” canine document shredder.

3.  You work, or otherwise leave the house.

Pop quiz: how often does a two-month-old puppy need to be taken out to do his business during the day?  A) every six hours; B) every eight hours; or C) every two hours?

If you answered B, or even A, you’re an eternal optimist! The correct answer, though, is C: every two hours. When you’re housetraining a puppy, the general rule of thumb is that they can hold their bladder one hour for each month they’ve been alive (up to a max of about eight to ten hours).  So a three-month-old Cocker Spaniel puppy needs to go outside every three hours, a four-month-old needs to go every four hours, and so on.  If you’re retired, or you work from home, or you’re taking the puppy to work with you or to a doggy daycare (make sure your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines before considering that last option), great! But if you’re planning on leaving your dog alone during your workday, you’ll definitely want to adopt a full-grown dog, ideally from a Cocker Spaniel rescue that can help you find the right dog for your lifestyle.

Let’s bust these myths about adopting a Cocker Spaniel

Time to get real: when we ask people what reservations they have about Cocker Spaniel adoption, we hear the same things over and over again.  If you’re operating under any of these mistaken beliefs, you just might be missing out on meeting the best friend you’ll ever have.   So it’s time for us to set the record straight:

  • You CAN find purebred Cocker Spaniels for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.
  • Cocker Spaniels and Cocker Spaniel puppies for adoption are NOT in any way inferior to or different from those for sale.
  • The dogs in the shelter are NOT there because they’re bad dogs.
  • If you want a puppy, you DON’T have to buy a Cocker Spaniel puppy.  Cocker Spaniel puppies ARE available for adoption.
  • If you have children, adopting a dog is likely the SAFEST option.

Here’s the truth: you absolutely can find a Cocker Spaniel, even a Cocker Spaniel puppy, for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.  And they don’t end up there because they’re bad dogs.  In fact, often the only difference between the dog in the shelter and the one on your couch is a bit of bad luck.  Think about it: let’s say you buy a Cocker Spaniel puppy for sale by a breeder. Your new dog is great; you immediately enroll the two of you in obedience classes, and soon your best pal is housebroken and well trained. But what would happen to your wonderful Cocker Spaniel if, tragically, something happened to you? What if he escaped from your home and ran away? Your best pal would very likely end up in an animal shelter.  The lucky person who adopts your Cocker Spaniel would be getting a great dog!  Animal shelters are filled with wonderful, healthy, well-behaved dogs who have been in homes before, but whose owners have fallen on hard times.  Many of them are housebroken and trained.  Cocker Spaniel rescue organizations often care for their adoptable dogs in foster homes, which means their foster families will be able to tell you if the Cocker Spaniel you want to adopt is good with other animals or kids, and if he or she is housebroken and knows any basic commands. As you can see, adopting from a rescue organization is likely the very safest way for people with children to add a new Cocker Spaniel to their family!

Breed Photo

Rescues and shelters near you

Green Lake Animal Hospital
Seattle, WA

Northwest Airedale Terrier Rescue
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Saving Great Animals
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Seattle Animal Shelter
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Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League
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Washington German Shepherd Rescue
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Royal Hounds Greyhound Adoption
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Spots of Seattle Dalmatian Rescue
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New Rattitude - Washington
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Tough Love Pit Bull Rescue - Seattle Chapter
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Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue
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Lady's Hope Dog Rescue
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Shilshole Bay Pet Rescue
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Fox Terrier Fanciers of Puget Sound Rescue
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Little Blessings Pet Rescue
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NBRAN Washington
Seattle, WA

Pet Pros Seattle WA
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Seattle Area Feline Rescue (formerly Animal Talk Rescue)
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6dogrees Rescue
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Angel Paws Pet Rescue
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Healthy Paws Foundation
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Red Waggin' Rescue - Connell Chapter
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Emerald City Pet Rescue~ Seattle
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Washington Rescue Dogs
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Pit Bull Project
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Charlie's Guardian Angels
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Finally Home Humane Society
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Ginger's Death Row Dog Pet Rescue
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Mikey's Chance - West-Side
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AnimalDefense Rescue
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Red Waggin' Rescue - Kirkland Chapter
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Saint Bernard Rescue
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Seattle Humane Society
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Ferry Dog Mothers
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The Furrytale Farm
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Pacific Crest Keeshond Club Rescue
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All Paws On Deck
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Animal Aware Northwest
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Animal Aid & Rescue Foundation
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Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue
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Lil' Waif Puppy Rescue
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Northwest German Shepherd Rescue
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Forever Home Dog Rescue
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S.A.F.E. (Saving Animals From Euthanasia) Dog Rescue
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CARES
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Tiny Tails Toy Dog Rescue
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Academy of Canine Behavior Adoption Dogs
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Collar of Hope
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Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue - Puget Sound, WA
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Puget Sound Italian Greyhound Rescue IGCA
NE Bremerton, WA

Northwest International Pet Rescue
Lynnwood, WA

Basset Rescue of Puget Sound
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Greyhound Pets, Inc.
Woodinville, WA

Homeward Pet Adoption Center
Woodinville, WA

Animal Rescue Families
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People United for Pets (PUP)
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Ribsey's Refugees
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Animals In Need
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Project Buddy Rescue
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Rescue Every Dog
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Irish Setter Club of Seattle Rescue
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Vashon Island Pet Protectors
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Motley Zoo Animal Rescue
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Boxer Rescue
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Tiny Dog Rescue
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Rescue Pup
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King County Animal Control
Kent, WA

CJ's Dog Rescue
Snohomish, WA

Vizsla Rescue & Referral - Washington
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Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education (KARE)
Silverdale, WA

Kitsap Humane Society
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The Big Dog Project
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Love A Mutt Pet Rescue
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P.A.W.S. Progressive Animal Welfare Society
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National English Shepherd Rescue
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BMDCGS Rescue Program
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Bulldog Haven NW
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Top Dogs Rescue
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Rockey's Rescue
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Second Chance Ranch
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Coonhound Opportunites Organization Northwest
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PVCA Seattle Washington
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Petsavers
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Prison Pet Partnership
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S.A.F.E. (saving animals from euthanasia)
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Chihuahua Rescue and Referral
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Heart To Heart small dog rescue - Auburn Chapter
Auburn, WA

K9 Rescue & Rehab
Auburn, WA

Ratbone Rescues (WA Chapter)
Seattle, WA

Rescuing Animals In Need (RAIN)
Federal Way, WA

Wolf Pack Animal Rescue
Tacoma, WA

MuttShack Animal Rescue & Response
Monroe, WA

Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Reg. 10
Gig Harbor, WA

Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Region 9
Gig Harbor, WA

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