As many dog owners can attest to, it can be difficult to stay away from that cute puppy in the window. With his wagging tail, adorable face, and friendly barks, many a family has adopted a puppy unintentionally, after having seen one in a pet store. Many dog owners have later tried to capitalize on that phenomenon, by attempting to breed their dogs to produce a whole litter of adorable puppies to sell. While breeding dogs can be an enjoyable and productive pastime, breeding is an intricate process and should be thoroughly researched, prior to beginning such a journey.
The American Cocker Spaniel prevents several unique challenges in the breeding world. For many years, the Cocker Spaniel was the most popular dog in America. His small stature, floppy ears, and happy demeanor made the Cocker Spaniel the must-have dog for many American families in the 20th century. Unfortunately, this high demand for Cocker Spaniels led many to over-breed the dog, which hurt the breed standard and produced many unhealthy animals. Many individuals have had unpleasant experiences with such dogs, which has led to a decline in the dog’s popularity.
Like any other dog breed, choosing which dogs to mate is an important step in the breeding process. Many choose to use a stud service when breeding their dog, which is entirely acceptable, though proper research should be done about the male being used. Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to several different diseases, including progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and hip dysplasia. Dogs selected for breeding should come from a healthy lineage of purebred Cocker Spaniels, and should exhibit no signs of such maladies.
Cocker Spaniels should be between 2 and 8 years old when bred. A prospective female dog should be examined by your veterinarian before being bred, as this will allow the doctor to spot any problems before the gestation period. You’ll also need to make certain that you’re financially prepared to take on the burden of paying for vaccinations and medications for the entire litter, as well as paying for any complications that may arise.
Breeding any animal is a large commitment. Cocker Spaniels are wonderful little dogs that make great pets, but they can be a handful to breed. Before beginning any breeding projects, consult with fellow breeders and contact the American Kennel Club for additional resources about dog breeding.