Cocker for the Show

Cocker show grooming

Dogs bred for show often have heavier coats and are smaller than those bred for sport. In full trim, it's difficult to see the legs as they "swoosh" across the floor. They are affectionate animals, but their diminished size and heavy coat make it hard to imagine them working the field. The muzzle is notably shortened, 1/3 of the total head length. While AKC "rules" give a maximum size of 14" (female) or 15" (male), these show dogs are much smaller than their "classic" counterparts. The dog pictured above is an example of the "show" cocker. He might weight 15 pounds, while the "classic" would weigh in around 25 pounds. This has led to misunderstandings, with some dogs labeled as "miniature" or "toy" Cockers.

In show dogs, the differences between ACS and ECS are obvious. In working class dogs, the differences are sometimes obscured. A larger dog, with longer muzzle and lighter fur, are desirable in a working dog. Lucky is an example of an attractive working class dog. These differences have led to arguments in the show circuits that the ACS should be removed from the sporting dog classification. In England, where this argument may be the strongest, there are still some notable exceptions, with owners going for titles in show, then placing well in field trials. This works well, since many show dogs have earned their standing by the time they reach full maturity, while many field dogs do their best work at several years of age.
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