Cockers in Competition
Cockers in Competition
ver 15,000 competitive events are held annually under AKC rules. There are formal, licensed events (shows or trials at which points are awarded towards championships or titles) and informal events (match shows or practice events at which no points or titles are earned.)
Dogs can compete for over 40 titles, which are then officially recorded in the dog's permanent AKC record. For further information visit the AKC's Dogs in Competition site.
Cockers compete in many different events and in three color varieties, Black, Parti, and ASCOB. Blacks may have a white chest or tan points, Parti's are two or three colors, and ASCOB is any solid color other than black.
Most competitive events held under AKC rules are dog shows, where the accent is on conformation. After being examined by a judge, dogs are placed according to how well (in the judge's opinion) they measure up to their own breed's written standard. To be eligible to enter, dogs must be at least six months old on the day of the show. Dogs that are spayed or neutered are only eligible in stud dog and brood bitch classes. Dogs with disqualifying faults as described in their breed standard are ineligible.
Most dog shows are of two types: specialty and all-breed. Specialty shows are limited to dogs of one breed and all-breed shows are for all AKC breeds. Most show dogs are competing for points toward their championship.
CCCC 62nd Specialty Friday, May 16th, and Saturday, May 17th, 2003
AKC obedience competition began in 1933. The concept behind obedience training is to develop a very close working relationship between humans and dogs, while demonstrating the usefulness and enthusiasm of dogs. There are several levels of obedience - Novice, Open and Utility. Titles can be earned at each level. For more information, visit the Obedience section at The Dogpatch. <This link's target cannot be found>
The exciting sport of Agility has taken the world by storm. The Agility ring allows handler and dog to run full speed, while having to perform accurately and safely on A-frames, Dog Walks, See-Saws and a wide variety of jumps and tunnels. There are various levels of AKC agility, and titles can be earned at each level. For more information, visit the Agility section at The Dogpatch or Cockers in Agility
AKC tracking events are the competition form of canine search and rescue. Tracking events also provide a forum for demonstrating the extremely high level of scent capability that dogs possess. AKC Tracking Tests allow dogs to demonstrate their natural ability to recognize and follow human scent. Dogs may earn tracking titles at various levels of difficulty.
Working in the field with a cocker spaniel is one of the greatest feelings around. There is a moment of awakening as the young dog learns how to use his nose to find the scent of a bird.
There are two venues to participate in for cockers, which are flushing spaniels (as are English Springers, English Cockers, Welsh Springers, etc).
Hunt tests afford an entry level of dog and handler in the Junior Hunter level. A cocker must have the opportunity fo find, flush, and retrieve two birds in a land series. Then they must complete a water retrieve. There are two additional levels: senior and master hunter.
Field trials are competetive events in which American Cockers compete against English Cockers. Through a point system, championships are awarded.
A third venue for hunting involves instinct tests and are conducted under the umbrella of the American Spaniel Club. Those tests determine if a dog has the basic instinct needed to hunt.
Photos reprinted with permission of owners