This is Eddie, our 7 ½ year old Cavalier King Charles spaniel. He’s just gorgeous isn’t he? He’s also one of my best friends! As the breed goes, Eddie is getting into his later years, he loves nothing more than to sleep all day as well as all night, infact the only time he is awake these days is when it’s time to eat; or someone is knocking at the front door, then he goes a little nuts. He wasn’t always like this of course, when he was a pup he did a lot of playing, chewing (sometimes things he shouldn’t). However, Eddie’s legs are getting the better of him these days hence the lying around a lot and since we are not always home this was the time to get a little friend for him – or should I say not so little friend – Lenny.
Lenny is a Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel of the show breed. There are two breeds of Cocker Spaniel, the show and the working. The show breed tend to be a little bigger and have a little less energy; though I would swear Lenny doesn’t know the meaning of rest. He doesn’t tire easily.
Lenny has been with us for a few months now and unfortunately Eddie is still not so keen on him. As to be expected he wasn’t happy with him at all to begin with but now he just tolerates him but certainly tells Lenny off if he tries to sniff him. Hopefully he will eventually start to see him as part of his pack.
Did I mention Lenny has energy? He loves to go on walks, chew his lead, run free on the fields and run through and jump into streams. He’s not really keen on the deeper water yet, though he did venture into the canal once, but I had to go in for him. That walk home wasn’t enjoyable with wet jeans and squelching shoes!
Lenny comes from a long line of show winning dogs, infact his great grandfather was the last cocker to win best dog on show at Crufts in 1996. He was called Albert; see him here.
Through most of this, I have managed to take few photos of him, along with a few of Eddie. With Eddie advancing into his later years he won’t be around forever and with these photos I will treasure him forever. Here’s a selection of both Eddie and Lenny, if you would like to have your dog photographed and featured on my blog just drop me an email on [email protected] or call me on 07880544220. If you would like to read a little more about the Cocker spaniel or indeed spaniels then have a read below.
A little information on the cocker and its larger cousin the Springer.
Spaniel dogs have been found in literature and art for 500 years. Spaniels were initially divided between water spaniels and land spaniels. The difference between the spaniels we see today did not happen until the mid-19th century. It’s during this time that they were divided into breeds based on weight and size. The land spaniels were now becoming more specialised. During this time it was quite common for Cocker and Springers to come from the same litter. Even puppys from the toy sized lineage could grow into Springers.
There are no records to suggest that spaniels were used to retrieve game, quite the opposite, they would drive the game towards the guns.
During the 1850s and 60’s other types of cockers were being recorded, Welsh, Devonshire and small dogs from Sussex. From 1874 the newly formed kennel club published the first stud book. Spaniels under 11kg were placed into the Cocker breeding pool and the Welsh cocker was reclassified as a springer in 1903 due to its larger size.
The Spaniel Club was formed in 1885 and the sport of showing was quickly introduced. To begin with the Cocker and Springer were in the same class until they were separated into breed standards. The Kennel Club separated the two 8 years later. Since then both breeds have bred separate traits and today differ in many ways than height and weight alone.
At Crufts, the Cocker Spaniel has been the most successful breed in winning best in show a total 7 times. The last being Albert, (Sh. Ch. Canigou Cambrai) in 1996.
Cockers are highly intelligent, very athletic, affectionate, extremely determined, alert and tough, they make great family pets. They do not like being alone and will bond strongly to an individual person in the family. Due to the breeds happy nature and continuously wagging tail it was given the nickname “merry cocker”.
A little information on the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
In the early 18th century, John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, kept red and white Cavaliers for hunting. The duke recorded they easily kept up with a trotting horse. The red and white cavalier was renamed the Blenheim due to the Dukes victory at the battle of Blenheim.
Designated a toy breed the Cavalier King Charles is one of the largest of the toys. Historically, Cavaliers were lap dogs and the modern dog’s adults fill a lap easily. However, it is small for a spaniel with fully grown adults only comparable to puppies of the larger spaniel breeds.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel should not be mistaken with the Toy Spaniel, otherwise known as the King Charles spaniel. The Cavalier is bigger and has various different facial features, though not always easy to tell apart.
They are very playful, highly patient, affectionate, extremely intelligent and eager to please. This makes them especially good with children and other dogs. They will adapt very quickly to most environments with family and location. Cavaliers are curious and playful, but equally happy cuddling up on a sofa or lap making them excellent companion dogs, especially for the elderly.
Naturally they regard strangers as friends so they don’t normally make good guard dogs, though they will alert you of intruders; they like to bark. Spaniels in general have a strong hunting instinct and are a danger to birds and other small animals. However they are easy to train and can get along fine with hamsters, gerbils etc. But best of all they are gorgeous and Eddie is my best friend!