Weight: Male: 7–14 kg, Female: 7–14 kg
Height: 1 foot, 2 inches to 1 foot, 3 inches tall at ...
Colors: Black, Tri-color, Silver, Red, Tan, Brown, White & Buff
Life span: 12 – 15 years
Known as the "Merry Cocker", the American Cocker Spaniel breed standard defines the ideal dog of the breed as being "equable in temperament with no suggestion of timidity." The breed ranks 20th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, a rating that indicates good "Working or Obedience Intelligence", or trainability. IQ tests run on a variety of breeds in the 1950s and 1960s showed that the American Cocker performed the best when tested on its ability to show restraint and delayed response to a trigger, a trait which was put down to the breed's bred-in ability when hunting to freeze upon finding a bird before flushing it out on command. However, they proved to be the worst breed tested when it came to manipulating objects with their paws, for instance uncovering a dish of food or pulling on a string.
With a good level of socialisation at an early age, an American Cocker can get along with people, children, other dogs and other pets. This breed seems to have a perpetually wagging tail and prefers to be around people; it is not best suited to the backyard alone. Cockers can be easily stressed by loud noises and by rough treatment or handling.
Members of the breed were originally used as hunting dogs, but increased in popularity as a show dog. It was bred more and more in conformation with the breed standard, resulting in certain attributes, such as a long coat, which no longer make it an ideal working dog.
American Cocker Spaniels in UK and USA/Canada surveys had a median lifespan of about 10 to 11 years, which is on the low end of the typical range for purebred dogs, and one to two years less than other breeds of their size. The larger English Cocker Spaniel typically lives about a year longer than the American Cocker Spaniel. In a 2004 UK Kennel Club survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (23%), old age (20%), cardiac (8%), and immune-mediated (8%). In a 2003 USA/Canada Health Survey with a smaller sample size, the leading causes of death were cancer, hepatic disease, and immune-mediated.
American Cockers previously high popularity resulted in the breed frequently being bred by backyard breeders or in puppy mills. This indiscriminate breeding has increased the proliferation of breed related health issues in certain bloodlines.