View Full Version : please advise...cocker spaniel v cavalier king charles

1st July 2009, 04:45 PM
Hi, i need some advice. I've finally decided to go for it and get another little dog, and had my heart set on a ckc, however my boyfriend saw a cocker spaniel and 'fell in love' with him! anyway, yesterday we actually picked the most adorable little golden coloured cocker spaniel and i was happy with the decision - we've even picked his name (i would big time prefer a kc..but i'm tryin to learn to compromise, also i know it would prob remind me too much of my last little darlin and then id be a manic depressive), anyway, I just popped into my friend to tell her the excitin news and she said that no way should we get cocker spaniel cos they are working dogs and not for pets like kc. now im totally confused and dont know what to do, i have to give the lady who has the cocker spaniel pup an answer this eve, and she's a really nice lady so i dont want to waste her time. basically i want a dog to spoil,take to the beach, woods and other long walks,to cuddle up with me when im home alone watchin a movie..the usual, i dont want a big dog like a golden retriever, even tho they are class, for me i just prefer smaller.please advise...im all confused and dont know what to do...thanks a mill

1st July 2009, 04:50 PM
Take a look at this recent thread...


1st July 2009, 05:18 PM
hmmm, having had both, cockers are a lot more work than a cav, ..... a lot, if your other half is prepared (and get it in writing) to train and work with the dog on a daily basis then yes they are adorable. I much prefer cavs now, but when i was 20 i loved my cockers. di

1st July 2009, 06:37 PM
thanks a million!! am ultra confused!! but thanks mil for help

team bella
1st July 2009, 06:42 PM
When I set out to get a dog I had to choose between a cocker or CKC and after much research the CKC fitted the bill perfectly and I'm so glad I chose CKC. Two familes in the village where I live have recently got cockers in the last 12 months and they are quite a handful, plus I don't think the owners realised how much work had to go into them. They are lovely dogs but do need to be kept busy and need training.

1st July 2009, 08:14 PM
I have both Cavaliers (2) and a Cocker. Generally, the show varieties of Cockers are less energetic than the working and also look slightly different. Along with Sripinger, Retrievers, German Sheps etc, they tend to be defined as coming from working stock (ie. both parents were worked and the pup was bred to do the same). Working Cockers are a bit longer in the body, slightly less furry and have a slightly differently shaped face (more rounded). Essentilly, if put into a show ring they wouldn't do the best but using them to hunt they are much great. My boy is a Working Cocker, but I am going to presume that the chap you have your eye on is a show Cocker because there was no mention of using him to hunt. I don't use mine for any hunting or farm work, he's our pet, but he needs a rediculous amount of excersise each day as well as plenty of mental stimulation, and training.

Research the breed, if it is for you then go for it! If there are aspects of their personalities or tempermants that don't appeal to you, then another breed may be a better choice. I have also fostered Cockers (standard) and have found them to be very loving but barky, very energetic, can be a bit snappy and require quite a lot of work. Both of my Cavaliers put together are less work than my Cocker, but I love him to bits and wouldn't change him for the world. Just to say that if you have children, or are planing to have any soon, Cockers are not a good choice at all.

One thing I would say is regardless of what breed you go for, please make sure they come from a good breeder - see both mother and father (if you can) with the puppy, see where they were being kept and ask the breeder as many questions as you like about health probs they are prone to, food etc. If the pup has been vaxed, make sure to get a Vet cert to prove this. Good breeders won't minds answering anything you want to know about them, they should be happy to do so! As I said already, research the breed and they tick all the boxes and you both are happy with the choice then go for it. They are wonderful dogs, but are a lot of work and the dog will be around for a good long time to come so doing the research now will pay off in the long run.

Good luck :)

1st July 2009, 09:50 PM
Hi, thats absolutely brill, uve answered all my questions. The breeder wa lovely and I was very happy with the mom and all that, but I think ill try talk my OH round to gettin a cavalier again, thanks again so so much, really appreciate it, cos as u said, the little chap will be round for a long time and i want him to be as happy as he can be, really appreciate ur help, thanks :)

1st July 2009, 10:25 PM
I'd think a lot would depend on the lines as well. Believe me, there are cavaliers that are a lot of work too as I own one, and have homed others as rescues that didn't fit the bill as a nice little dog that would sit on someone's pillow! There are working lines of cockers that are not really correct for pets (same for many retrievers, setters, spaniels breeds, etc) and there are very laid back cockers. I know many lines of cockers are not great as children's pets as they can be a bit snappy -- but then so are JRTs, yorkies, westies and many breeds where individuals make excellent family dogs with kids in the home. It is incorrect that they are all working dogs -- very few nowadays are working dogs, actually.

If the breeder has good pet/show lines I'd feel very happy with a cocker. You can get very barky cavaliers too! In general people tend to get out of a dog, what they put in, and that should be kept in mind along with what the breed's characteristics are when deciding on an individual dog for a household. I've met every personality of breed and mix so while you can get dogs that really fit the breed type there are many variations within that and I think working with a breeder who knows her puppies' personalities and knowing if you want a particular breed is the main thing -- truly, if someone likes dogs I don't think you would be unhappy with a cocker vs a cavalier unless there's a strong personal preference. I had a cocker as a toddler and she was a lovely, lovely dog, BTW. Very much a family dog.

Personally I think most cavaliers would be happier as more active dogs than what many owners put into them in terms of time, interaction, training and commitment -- in a way maybe it works against them having a richer life, that they tolerate (rather than *prefer*) a lower level of activity and interaction... because they can be quite placid, when if they were more assertive, they'd be happier dogs and less prone to being overweight or acquiring the habits of bored dogs perhaps? None of my four would prefer to lie about if given the choice :) -- all are happiest when interacting actively, out on long walks or swims, doing agility and obedience.

1st July 2009, 11:29 PM
Generally, I'd say there's quite a lot of difference between a cavalier and a cocker spaniel.

Show cockers are usually calmer and need less exercise than a working cocker. The only 'wocker' I've fostered was madder than most of the springers I've fostered in the past.

Like any dog, cockers need firm guidelines, or I think they can tend to take over ;).

I'd have the Cav any day, but I do love cockers as well :).

2nd July 2009, 12:43 AM
I can testify to the difference between show cockers and 'wockers' (love that- does that mean that show cockers are 'shockers'?) too. We had a show cocker when I was eleven and she was adorable. Only a bit bigger than Amber - granted she was on the small side for a cocker - and a lovely personality. Almost Cav like in many ways and a living embodiment of that gorgeous poem 'The Merry Cocker' without the hunting bits. So... when it came to dog hunting for myself I considered a Cocker again and checked them out at my uncle's - and it completely put me off. Admittedly, his dogs are working cockers but they were so insane and even Holly I could be pretty insane, although not on the same level. That was one of the reasons I kept coming back to the Cav, even with all their health issues.

2nd July 2009, 12:53 AM
does that mean that show cockers are 'shockers'?


2nd July 2009, 01:07 AM
My friend has a wocker and she is the best behaved dog I've met. I much prefer the look of a wocker over a shocker!

2nd July 2009, 02:08 AM
I read your initial post several times, and it really seems that you would prefer the CKCS over the cocker spaniel. My question would be, who is going to be the primary caregiver, you or your boyfriend? It's great to compromise, but this is a huge commitment... a large part of your life for (hopefully) many many years to come.

Don't make a hasty decision! If you have doubts, maybe that means you should hold off. :)

2nd July 2009, 09:42 AM
I much prefer the look of a wocker over a shocker!

Me too! They are crazy and a hell of a lot of work though!

2nd July 2009, 10:50 AM
Wockers are just wonderful :). In my opinion, much more attractive looking dogs and sooooooo intelligent.

But they are energetic!

2nd July 2009, 11:24 AM
Cav any time for me,but i am one sided.

2nd July 2009, 12:36 PM
Hi all, thanks so much for al advice. I told the lady no, cos really didnt want to be wasting anyones time, im stil confused. My boyfriend travels ALOT...as in he's out of the country from sep -x mas, so its me who wil be doin all the training walks etc. I walked my little ckc twice a day, once before work and also in the eve and then he got lotsa play time and he was gorgeous with no weight issues at all, he was great craic and a real dote, so i think ill leave the cocker...just to be on the safe side. i could never get a dog and then 'decide' after that he/she wasnt suitable...that really annoys me about people,, so i just want to be 500% sure...decision made now...thanks so much again everyone for all of you great and much appreciated and much needed advice!

2nd July 2009, 05:21 PM
I think you made the right decision, you can always get one later on, maybe when you both have enough time to give it all that training. di

2nd July 2009, 10:54 PM
I went for CKC because I bought the stereotype - sweet, placid, fairly low exercise needs, lap dog. Well I got the sweet dog and he does like cuddles BUT he has at least four walks a day and has a massive prey drive. Scooby would play all day - even in this heat he rarely sits still for more than ten minutes during daylight hours.
I know breed characteristics can help guide us inexperienced dog owners but they are only a guide and every dog is unique.
Is it possible to get two dogs and train one each? That seems the best compromise to me and would give the dogs the joy of another dog to play with.

3rd July 2009, 11:19 AM
I was just going to say that, get one of each, how lovely would that be, di

3rd July 2009, 12:29 PM
ha..2 dogs, Id absolutely love, but under no circumstances whatsoever am i allowed 2 dogs..i'm doin well with one. i was reared with dogs, and we always had minimum 2-3 dogs at home, which i loved so much.when we mved from dublin down, and had the massive garden and all i was dead excited cos thought back then id be able to get a little friend for harry (my kc at the time...but that idea was knocked on the head very quickly)!!:( :(
so, while us dog lover people think 2, 3 and more is a great idea, unfortunately not all people are like us, but thanks milion anyway

4th July 2009, 02:15 PM
-Cavalier, of course. :)
(After all, this is a Cavalier forum...)

4th July 2009, 08:18 PM
fair point well made!! :) yes, its a cavalier we wil be going for I won the debate...comsidering ill be doin house trainin , etc etc...as soon as ai can find a decent breeder!!!!! its takin time