How to choose: Cocker spaniel versus springer spaniel
If you’re considering adding a spaniel to your family, how do you choose between a cocker and a springer? At Michael Graham we’re mad about our dogs, and this is what we found out when weighing up the pros and cons for each breed.
Both kinds of spaniel are typically happy, affectionate and trustworthy and make great family pets. Of the two, cockers are roughly twice as popular as pets, whilst springers hold the top spot for the most popular as a working dog. One explanation is that cockers have a long-held reputation as being harder to train, but today’s cockers are selectively bred to be more obedient so that may change. All spaniels can be very bouncy, and the cocker’s high energy may be challenging if you’re inexperienced with dogs, but a lot of springers are just as troublesome to train. Cocker spaniels probably do have the edge on gentleness though and are frequently used as therapy dogs.
On a canine catwalk, springer and cocker spaniels would both be supermodels, although dog experts say that although a good springer is one of the most attractive dogs, a lot of them are lacking in the looks department. In contrast, most cocker spaniels are considered beautiful examples of their breed. Cockers also have the advantage of coming in all sorts of colours, from solid black, browns and gold to blue and lemon roans.
Perhaps the biggest difference between springers and cockers is price. Springers are the bargains of the working gundog world, with a working springer puppy costing as little as £300. Most cockers will set you back double this amount. On the other hand, over their lifetime the cocker’s smaller appetite will make their monthly food bills easier on the wallet. The cocker’s smaller size also makes them a practical choice if you have a cosy house or small car, or plan on having more than one dog.
If you really can’t decide between the two, the sprocker is the solution. Although the name sounds like a designer hybrid they are pure spaniels, so you’ll get the best of both worlds.
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