Cocker Spaniel dog picturesmikebaird, Flickr

Name: Cocker Spaniel

Personality: This perennially popular breed is well-known for it's boundless energy. The Dog Breed Info Center call them "Amusing, trustworthy and charming with an ever-wagging tail." Cocker Spaniels are known recognized for their loyalty. The Dog Breed Info Center notes their devotion, and the American Kennel Club describes the breed as "intelligent, gentle dogs that thrive as part of a family."

Grooming: TerrificPets.com says that, despite its appearance, the Cocker Spaniel's "beautiful, silky, medium long coat" is actually rather low-maintenance. "Regular brushing and a trim every few months helps keep the coat free of mats," says the American Kennel Club. The Dog Breed Info Center advises Cocker Spaniel owners to "wipe under the eyes often, as they tend to tear."

Common Health Issues: Cockers enjoy a longer-than-average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, according to the Dog Breed Info Center. "Some major concern in American Cocker Spaniels are cataracts, glaucoma and patellar luxation," in addition to the usual canine health hazards such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, allergies, cardiomyopathy and liver disease. For this breed, be particularly aware of IMHA (immune mediated hemolytic anemia), which "is relatively common in Cockers, and almost always fatal. It's a fast-acting, silent killer."

Training Tips: Good news! A Cocker Spaniel is "respectful of its master's authority," claims the Dog Breed Info Center. These dogs are fairly easy to train, but like almost all breeds, should be well-socialized as a puppy in order to produce a well-adjusted adult. And while Cockers are generally eager to learn, they're also notorious for having difficulty adjusting to potty training. "Crate training is recommended to help with the process," says TerrificPets.com.

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