American Kennel club l’organisme du chien au USA

Official Standard for the Cocker Spaniel

Gene­ral Appea­rance :
The Cocker Spa­niel is the smal­lest mem­ber of the Spor­ting Group. He has a stur­dy, com­pact body and a clean­ly chi­se­led and refi­ned head, with the ove­rall dog incom­plete balance and of ideal size. He stands well up at the shoul­der on straight fore­legs with a topline slo­ping slight­ly toward strong, mode­ra­te­ly bent, mus­cu­lar quar­ters. He is a dog capable of consi­de­rable speed, com­bi­ned with great endu­rance. Above all, he must be free and mer­ry, sound, well balan­ced throu­ghout and in action show a keen incli­na­tion to work. A dog well­ba­lan­ced in all parts is more desi­rable than a dog with stron­gly contras­ting good points and faults.

Size, Pro­por­tion, Sub­stance :
Size – The ideal height at the withers for an adult dog is 15 inches and for an adult bitch, 14 inches. Height may vary one-half inch above or below this ideal. A dog whose height exceeds 15½ inches or a bitch whose height exceeds 14½ inches shall be dis­qua­li­fied. An adult dog whose height is less than 14½ inches and an adult bitch whose height is less than 13½ inches shall be pena­li­zed. Height is deter­mi­ned by a line per­pen­di­cu­lar to the ground from the top of the shoul­der blades, the dog stan­ding natu­ral­ly with its fore­legs and lower hind legs paral­lel to the line of mea­su­re­ment.
Pro­por­tion - The mea­su­re­ment from the breast bone to back of thigh is slight­ly lon­ger than the mea­su­re­ment from the highest point of withers to the ground. The body must be of suf­fi­cient length to per­mit a straight and free stride ; the dog never appears long and low.

Head : To attain a well-pro­por­tio­ned head, which must be in balance with the rest of the dog, it embo­dies the fol­lo­wing :
Expres­sion – The expres­sion is intel­li­gent, alert, soft and appea­ling.
Eyes – Eye­balls are round and full and look direct­ly for­ward. The shape of the eye rims gives a slight­ly almond sha­ped appea­rance ; the eye is not weak or gog­gled. The color of the iris is dark brown and in gene­ral the dar­ker the bet­ter. Dis­qua­li­fi­ca­tions : Eye(s) blue, blue mar­bled, blue fle­cked.
Ears – Lobu­lar, long, of fine lea­ther, well fea­the­red, and pla­ced no higher than a line to the lower part of the eye.
Skull – Roun­ded but not exag­ge­ra­ted with no ten­den­cy toward flat­ness ; the eye­brows are clear­ly defi­ned with a pro­noun­ced stop. The bony struc­ture beneath the eyes is well chi­se­led with no pro­mi­nence in the cheeks. The muzzle is broad and deep, with square even jaws. To be in cor­rect balance, the dis­tance from the stop to the tip of the nose is one half the dis­tance from the stop up over the crown to the base of the skull.
Nose – of suf­fi­cient size to balance the muzzle and fore­face, with well deve­lo­ped nos­trils typi­cal of a spor­ting dog. It is black in color in the blacks, black and tans, and black and whites ; in other colors it may be brown, liver or black, the dar­ker the bet­ter. The color of nose har­mo­nizes with the color of the eye rim.
Lips – The upper lip is full and of suf­fi­cient depth to cover the lower jaw.
Teeth – Teeth strong and sound, not too small and meet in a scis­sors bite.

Neck, Topline, Body :
Neck – The neck is suf­fi­cient­ly long to allow the nose to reach the ground easi­ly, mus­cu­lar and free from pen­du­lous "throa­ti­ness." It rises stron­gly from the shoul­ders and arches slight­ly as it tapers to join the head.
Topline – slo­ping slight­ly toward mus­cu­lar quar­ters.
Body – The chest is deep, its lowest point no higher than the elbows, its front suf­fi­cient­ly wide for ade­quate heart and lung space, yet not so wide as to inter­fere with the straight­for­ward move­ment of the fore­legs. Ribs are deep and well sprung. Back is strong and slo­ping even­ly and slight­ly down­ward from the shoul­ders to the set-on of the docked tail. The docked tail is set on and car­ried on a line with the topline of the back, or slight­ly higher ; never straight up like a Ter­rier and never so low as to indi­cate timi­di­ty. When the dog is in motion the tail action is merry.

Fore­quar­ters : The shoul­ders are well laid back for­ming an angle with the upper arm of approxi­ma­te­ly 90 degrees which per­mits the dog to move his fore­legs in an easy man­ner with for­ward reach. Shoul­ders are clean-cut and slo­ping without pro­tru­sion and so set that the upper points of the withers are at an angle which per­mits a wide spring of rib. When vie­wed from the side with the fore­legs ver­ti­cal, the elbow is direct­ly below the highest point of the shoul­der blade. Fore­legs are paral­lel, straight, stron­gly boned and mus­cu­lar and set close to the body well under the sca­pu­lae. The pas­terns are short and strong. Dew­claws on fore­legs may be remo­ved. Feet com­pact, large, round and firm with hor­ny pads ; they turn nei­ther in nor out.

Hind­quar­ters : Hips are wide and quar­ters well roun­ded and mus­cu­lar. When vie­wed from behind, the hind legs are paral­lel when in motion and at rest. The hind legs are stron­gly boned, and mus­cled with mode­rate angu­la­tion at the stifle and power­ful, clear­ly defi­ned thighs. The stifle is strong and there is no slip­page of it in motion or when stan­ding. The hocks are strong and well let down. Dew­claws on hind legs may be removed.

Coat : On the head, short and fine ; on the body, medium length, with enough under­coa­ting to give pro­tec­tion. The ears, chest, abdo­men and legs are well fea­the­red, but not so exces­si­ve­ly as to hide the Cocker Spaniel's true lines and move­ment or affect his appea­rance and func­tion as a mode­ra­te­ly coa­ted spor­ting dog. The tex­ture is most impor­tant. The coat is sil­ky, flat or slight­ly wavy and of a tex­ture which per­mits easy care. Exces­sive coat or cur­ly or cot­to­ny tex­tu­red coat shall be seve­re­ly pena­li­zed. Use of elec­tric clip­pers on the back coat is not desi­rable. Trim­ming to enhance the dog's true lines should be done to appear as natu­ral as possible.

Color and Mar­kings :
Black Varie­ty
– Solid color black to include black with tan points. The black should be jet ; sha­dings of brown or liver in the coat are not desi­rable. A small amount of white on the chest and/or throat is allo­wed ; white in any other loca­tion shall dis­qua­li­fy.
Any Solid Color Other than Black (ASCOB) – Any solid color other than black, ran­ging from ligh­test cream to dar­kest red, inclu­ding brown and brown with tan points. The color shall be of a uni­form shade, but ligh­ter color of the fea­the­ring is per­mis­sible. A small amount of white on the chest and/or throat is allo­wed ; white in any other loca­tion shall dis­qua­li­fy.
Par­ti-Color Varie­ty – Two or more solid, well bro­ken colors, one of which must be white ; black and white, red and white (the red may range from ligh­test cream to dar­kest red), brown and white, and roans, to include any such color com­bi­na­tion with tan points. It is pre­fe­rable that the tan mar­kings be loca­ted in the same pat­tern as for the tan points in the Black and ASCOB varie­ties. Roans are clas­si­fied as par­ti-colors and may be of any of the usual roa­ning pat­terns. Pri­ma­ry color which is nine­ty percent (90%) or more shall dis­qua­li­fy.
Tan Points – The color of the tan may be from the ligh­test cream to the dar­kest red and is res­tric­ted to ten percent (10%) or less of the color of the spe­ci­men ; tan mar­kings in excess of that amount shall dis­qua­li­fy. In the case of tan points in the Black or ASCOB varie­ty, the mar­kings shall be loca­ted as fol­lows :
 1) A clear tan spot over each eye ;
 2) On the sides of the muzzle and on the cheeks ;
 3) On the under­side of the ears ;
 4) On all feet and/or legs ;
 5) Under the tail ;
 6) On the chest, optio­nal ; pre­sence or absence shall not be pena­li­zed.
Tan mar­kings which are not rea­di­ly visible or which amount only to traces, shall be pena­li­zed.
Tan on the muzzle which extends upward, over and joins shall also be pena­li­zed.
The absence of tan mar­kings in the Black or ASCOB varie­ty in any of the spe­ci­fied loca­tions in any other­wise tan-poin­ted dog shall disqualify.

Gait : The Cocker Spa­niel, though the smal­lest of the spor­ting dogs, pos­sesses a typi­cal spor­ting dog gait.
Pre­re­qui­site to good move­ment is balance bet­ween the front and rear assem­blies. He drives with strong, power­ful rear quar­ters and is pro­per­ly construc­ted in the shoul­ders and fore­legs so that he can reach for­ward without constric­tion in a full stride to coun­ter­ba­lance the dri­ving force from the rear. Above all, his gait is coor­di­na­ted, smooth and effort­less. The dog must cover ground with his action ; exces­sive ani­ma­tion should not be mis­ta­ken for pro­per gait.

Tem­pe­rament : Equable in tem­pe­rament with no sug­ges­tion of timidity.

Dis­qua­li­fi­ca­tions :
Height – Males over 15½ inches ; females over 14½ inches. Eye(s) blue, blue mar­bled, blue fle­cked.
Color and Mar­kings – The afo­re­men­tio­ned colors are the only accep­table colors or com­bi­na­tion of colors. Any other colors or com­bi­na­tion of colors to dis­qua­li­fy.
Black Varie­ty – White mar­kings except on chest and throat.
Any Solid Color Other than Black Varie­ty – White mar­kings except on chest and throat.
Par­ti-color Varie­ty – Pri­ma­ry color nine­ty percent (90%) or more.
Tan Points – (1) Tan mar­kings in excess of ten percent (10%); (2) Absence of tan mar­kings in Black or ASCOB Varie­ty in any of the spe­ci­fied loca­tions in an other­wise tan-poin­ted dog.

Appro­ved Janua­ry 9, 2018
Effec­tive March 1, 2018