"Above all merry" well describes the affectionate, fun-loving Sporting dog known as the Cocker Spaniel. The breed's personality and elegant appearance have kept the Cocker Spaniel in the top ten breeds in the United States for decades, and today new owners are discovering the many charms of this apartment-size dog. Although the breed was developed to hunt woodcock and other small game in England, few Cockers today are used as hunting companions; most Cockers enjoy a luxurious existence as companion dogs for families. Author and sporting breed expert Richard G. Beauchamp describes his much-loved breed of which is he is a former breeder and handler: "Under the obvious wealth of furnishings, a well-bred Cocker Spaniel remains a most versatile companion. He is small enough to make a pleasant house dog, yet of more than sufficient size and stamina to spend the day trudging alongside his master over hill and dale." This Comprehensive Owners' Guide retells the breed's origins and characteristics as well as discusses the breed standard and offers new owners advice about selection, care, training, showing, and more. New owners will welcome the well-prepared chapter on finding a reputable breeder and selecting a healthy, sound puppy. Chapters on puppy-proofing the home and yard, purchasing the right supplies for the puppy as well as house-training, feeding, and grooming are illustrated with photographs of handsome adults and puppies. In all, there are over 135 full-color photographs in this useful and reliable volume. The author's advice on obedience training will help the reader better mold and train into the most well-mannered dog in the neighborhood. The extensive and lavishly illustrated chapter on healthcare provides up-to-date detailed information on selecting a qualified veterinarian, vaccinations, preventing and dealing with parasites, infectious diseases, and more. Sidebars throughout the text offer helpful hints, covering topics as diverse as historical dogs, breeders, or kennels, toxic plants, first aid, crate training, carsickness, fussy eaters, and parasite control. Fully indexed.