The American Cocker Spaniel is quite distinct from the better known English style Cocker Spaniel, even though he is a direct descendant. He is a smaller dog, proportionately less heavy, with a much more luxuriant coat and a distinctive chiselled head.
Developed in the United States to hunt and put up game under American conditions, he is one of the more popular breeds in that country, particularly in the showring where he presents a spectacular picture.
He retains the full complement of traditional Cocker characteristics, being sturdy, well-balanced and active, possessing speed combined with stamina and most importantly, an intelligent and merry disposition. He is a responsive and willing worker both in the field and as a companion.
Like his English cousin, he is noted for his love and faithfulness to his master and household, plus his cheerful, happy-go-lucky attitude to life. He is friendly, affectionate and playful, and makes a lovely family pet.
The American Cocker requires plenty of exercise and above all a great deal of grooming, including trimming of his high maintenance coat.
Born in the U.S.A., the American Water Spaniel was developed as a working gun dog. The American Water Spaniel was mainly developed in the midwest. Type was set by 1900 but it wasn’t until 1938 that a club was formed and a standard drawn up.
Though there are no records to confirm the breed’s beginnings, it has been suggested that its ancestors may have included the Irish Water Spaniel as well as the Curly-coated Retriever, old English Water Spaniel and American Cocker Spaniel.
An all-around shooting dog, the American Water Spaniel is an efficient retriever of upland game, while his small size and protective colouring make him valuable for duck hunting.
He’s physically and mentally tough enough to take on the frigid waters of the Great Lakes and small enough launch himself out of a boat or clamber back in without swamping it.
Charming and clever, the American Water Spaniel has the typical friendly spaniel character. His desire to please makes him easy to train and in addition, he learns quickly.
Essentially a working gun dog, this is an active breed with lots of enthusiasm. He makes an ideal companion for the weekend sportsman but requires regular exercise to maintain a healthy mind and body.
The Brittany may be close to the original couching dogs of medieval Europe. Except for his short tail, his similarity to the all-purpose setters of Germany and the Netherlands and even the British setters can be seen.
The Brittany has a higher, smaller ear, lighter head and tighter skin than what is expected in flushing spaniels. Similar hunting dogs have been known for a long time in Brittany, and the presence of the Celts in Brittany, Wales and Ireland makes the origin of the red color an interesting topic. Hunting dogs born tail-less have a French precedent in the Braque du Bourbonnais.
The modern history of the Brittany dates from the beginning of this century, when Arthur Enaud created a planned breeding program to restore this old, but waning, French breed. The Brit has become a popular hunting dog once again in France and, since its entry into the USA in the 1930s, has enjoyed remarkable success in the States as well. American fanciers have recently dropped the word “Spaniel,” changing the breed name to Brittany.
The Brit works much the same as the pointers, the setters, and the vorstehhunds. He is an aggressive searching dog and can be pushed out to distance if the conditions warrant.
A keen nose and classic point gives him style and dash and, after the point, he retrieves from land or water. His small size is ideal to minimize both the cost of feeding and the space needed to keep and transport him. The Brittany is immensely popular as a personal gun dog in the USA and consistently ranks well in AKC registrations. American Brittany field trials are well attended, and breeders are justifiably proud of a long list of dual champions. The breed also has shown an aptness for obedience competition.