Cocker spaniels can be a variety of colour mixes but the most common colours are black or combinations of black and white.
Variations in colours do exist with some Cockers being chocolate coloured ( also known as liver coloured) or combinations of this mixed with white flecks.
Chocolate coloured Cocker spaniels tend to be less common than the rest of the breed. They are capable working dogs that make great family pets. Intelligent and easy to train they are often tricky to find due to their colouring.
This rarity can result in higher prices for prospective owners and, in some cases, bad breeding practices from some breeders who seek to monopolise this rarity.
Are chocolate Cocker spaniels good dogs?
The key consideration with any Cocker spaniel is breeding and upbringing.
A well bred chocolate Cocker spaniel will be just as capable as any other Cocker providing it is brought up correctly and undergoes a programme of basic spaniel training.
In a balanced household and family a chocolate coloured Cocker will be just as happy, trainable and capable as any other breed of spaniel.
Are there any risks associated with chocolate coloured Cocker spaniels?
The main risk is that of poor breeding.
Breeding a pure coloured dog, such as a chocolate Cocker spaniel, is often difficult and the results can be sporadic.
Often, the only way to enhance chances of producing chocolate coloured puppies, is to breed from two Cockers that are chocolate coloured.
This can present risks in the form of inherited genetic problems if the breeder is more focused on colour of coat than the health of the puppies.
To put it simply, some breeders ignore the fact that the parent dogs have physical defects or other health problems, they will breed from the dogs simply because they have nice coats and that the puppies will demand an attractive price
The risk of inherited health problems from the mother or father is often of little concern to these types of breeders.
How to find a chocolate Cocker spaniel puppy
A good way of finding a chocolate Cocker spaniel puppy is to find a reputable and ethical breeder.
You can often do this by contacting the Kennel Club or some of the gundog societies who will often be aware of breeders with litters of puppies.
Good sources of breeder information can also be friends and family and other Cocker spaniel owners.
A good breeder will have experience in producing healthy and well bred dogs and will be able to provide the provenance for their dogs.
They should also be able to provide information on caring for the new addition in the pet family.
You’ll also find that a responsible breeder will be less concerned with the cost of the puppy and will, in most cases, be more concerned about the home that the puppy is destined for.
They may also wish for you to enter into a contract that prevents you from breeding without their consent and that requires you to return the puppy to them if things don’t work out.
Avoid any breeder that shows lack of concern about the puppy’s future or who appears to be driven by the price.
How much do chocolate Cocker spaniels cost?
There can be some big variances in the cost of dogs, this is true across all dog breeds including spaniels.
Spaniels have become particularly popular in the last few years and as result prices of the breed have risen.
Often the rarer colours such as chocolate, liver and roan command higher prices and you should be wary of any breeders that have escalated prices based solely on coat colour.
In the UK, currently in 2021, the price of a well bred working Cocker spaniel ranges from £1000 upwards.
What colour variations can chocolate Cocker spaniels be?
The chocolate Cocker spaniel can be somewhat of a chameleon in terms of their colour, especially as puppies.
As chocolate Cockers age they change colour to a richer chocolate shade sometimes with hints of red or fawn at the base.
This colouring can differ greatly and is dependent on which parent dog you are tracing your chocolate coat back to.
Some chocolate Cockers can have flecks of white on their chests and paws or can even be of roan type where the chocolate coloured hairs are interwoven with white hairs.
Are chocolate cocker spaniels intelligent?
The English Cocker spaniel, chocolate Cockers included, is ranked as being the 18th most intelligent dog breed, according to Stanley Coren’s book – The Intelligence of Dogs.
The American Cocker spaniel ranks slightly lower in the same research at position 20th.
There is little, if any, difference found in the intelligence of chocolate Cockers to other coloured cocker spaniels.
Are chocolate Cocker spaniels healthy?
It is important to establish whether or not your chocolate Cockers come from a reliable breeder that will provide information on their health guarantees.
A good breeder will encourage prospective owners to ask questions about the parentage of their chocolate puppy, so it is essential that you do ask questions before purchasing your pup.
A responsible breeder will have kept pedigrees and should be able to tell you how old the parents are and any problems they have had along with vaccinations history.
You’ll also want assurance that your spaniel does not suffer from such common inherited disorders as Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy.
These conditions are most commonly found in dogs that come from poor breeding lines.
Are chocolate Cocker spaniels aggressive?
it is possible for any breed of dog to become aggressive and adult behaviour is often dependant on the dog’s upbringing and socialisation as a puppy.
Cocker spaniels, including chocolate coloured Cockers, are an affectionate and playful breed that love family life and enjoy being around children
With a good, caring family, a good upbringing and some basic training a chocolate Cocker spaniel makes an ideal pet or working companion.
A word here: If your children are out of control then it is not a good idea to get any type of dog, as it will become like your kids.
What else are chocolate Cocker spaniels known as?
Chocolate Cocker spaniels can be referred to by a number of different names depending on where you are.
Typically they are also known as:
Liver coloured Cocker spaniels
Brown Cocker spaniels.
Many of the working English Cocker spaniels are brown/liver/chocolate in colour and there are instances of black Cockers with brown tints in their coats, which is often noticeable in their ears and feathering.
How long do chocolate Cocker spaniels live for?
The lifespan of a chocolate Cocker spaniel is the same as any other Cocker and that is around 12 years.
Many Cocker spaniels live for longer with the average age being around 14 years for a well cared for, fit and healthy dog.
The chocolate cocker spaniel is a rare dog, and as such they are often sought after.
As with any other animal, you should do your research before committing to this breed of dog, but if you’re looking for something that will be both unique and fun to have around the house then this may be just what you need.
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