London Cocker Spaniel Society

Breed Council Breed Specific Guidelines

The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance and information to all Cocker Spaniel breeders, owners and purchasers of puppies and is fully endorsed by all Member Clubs of The Cocker Spaniel Council.

1. Before breeding a litter, serious and equal consideration should be given to type, temperament, health and soundness. In the choice of breeding stock, it should always be borne in mind that aggression and nervousness form no part of a Cocker Spaniel`s temperament and character.

2. No bitch should be mated at more than two out of three successive seasons and never without regard to the well-being of the bitch. No bitch should be mated before her second season and never before the age of 14 months, nor after the age of 7 years. All breeding should be aimed at the improvement of the breed. Members should do all in their power to discourage breeding from clearly inferior specimens and those members who own stud dogs should refuse stud services to such specimens.

3. No member should breed a litter unless he has the time and facilities to devote proper care and attention to the rearing of the puppies and to the well-being of the dam, and no member should provide stud services unless he has endeavoured to ensure that the owner of the bitch has such time and facilities.

4. No member should breed a litter unless he is reasonably sure of finding good homes for the puppies. No puppies should leave the breeder before the age of eight weeks of age.

5. No puppies should be exported before they are fully inoculated or before the age of three months. (Puppies/adults cannot be exported unless DEFRA guidelines have been followed regarding age and health regulations for the country of import, and where age is not specified, not before twelve weeks of age unless they are travelling in the personal care of the purchaser or his known representative). No Cockers should be sold to countries where they are not protected by anti-cruelty laws; (if in doubt, consult DEFRA, RSPCA or the Kennel Club).

6. No Cockers should knowingly be sold to laboratories, pet shops or dealers in dogs or to persons known to sell stock to any of the above, nor should stud services be provided for such persons. (A dealer is defined as any person who regularly buys stock for sale at a profit, a person who buys a Cocker as an agent for a known individual is not necessarily a dealer). No Cockers should be sold or offered as a prize in a raffle or competition.

7. Prospective buyers of Cockers should be screened for suitability and should be fully advised of the characteristics of the Cocker Spaniel as a breed, stressing the necessity for care, grooming and exercise, Puppies/adult Cockers should not be sold where they will be left on their own all day.

8. No Cocker which has any physical defect or which shows any definite departure from the Breed Standard should be sold without the buyer being made fully aware of such defect or departure, and its possible consequences. Members should only sell puppies/Cocker Spaniels which, to the best of their knowledge and belief, are in good health at the time of sale.

9. Each purchaser of a Cocker Spaniel puppy/adult should be provided at the time of sale with a pedigree, diet sheet and information about training, worming, inoculations and details of the nearest Cocker Spaniel Breed Club. He should also be provided, where applicable, either at the time of sale or as soon as possible thereafter, with any necessary documentation for Kennel Club registration. No puppy that is of unregistered or partly unregistered parentage should be sold without the buyer being made aware that he will be unable to register it with the Kennel Club.

10. It should be impressed on buyers that they should contact the breeder in the event of any problem with the Cocker Spaniel Breeders should make every effort to be of assistance in these circumstances.

11. Advertising by members should be as factual as possible. Misleading, exaggeration, or unfounded implications or superiority, should not be used. Members should also refrain from making unfair or untrue statements about the dogs or practices of others.

12. Officers and Committee members of Cocker Spaniel Clubs should always be ready and willing to do their best to help members with any query or problem.

13. From time to time it may become necessary for the Cocker Spaniel Council and/or Breed Club Committees, supported by professional advice, to seek the assistance and co-operation of breeder in eradicating hereditary complaints/illnesses from the breed. It is expected that in such an event breeders will co-operate with the Council Committee by providing such support and/or information as may be required.