Cock-A-Chon

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12-24 lbs
11-16"
United States

The Cock-A-Chon is a designer dog, an intentional hybrid of the American Cocker Spaniel, a game flushing gun dog turned family companion, and the Bichon Frise, a small, cheerful companion breed. The resulting hybrid is an engaging and affectionate animal with a high intelligence and a drive to please. They can come in several color combinations and may have either the coarse, curly coat of the Bichon, or the smoother silky coat of the Cocker Spaniel. Although their grooming requires daily attention and a little extra work, their exercise needs are fairly low, making them a suitable candidate for apartment living. 

Purpose
Companion
Date of Origin
Unknown
Ancestry
Bichon Frise, Cocker Spaniel

Cock-A-Chon Health

Average Size
Height: 11-16 inches Weight: 12-24 lbs
Height: 11-16 inches Weight: 12-24 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hemophilia
  • Eye Problems
  • Heart Problems
  • Platelet Dysfunction
Minor Concerns
  • Urolithiasis
  • Epilepsy
  • Skin Problems
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Blood
  • Heart
  • Liver Ultrasound
  • Physical Examination

Cock-A-Chon Breed History

The Cock-A-Chon is a hybrid animal, a cross between the Cocker Spaniel, a small flushing dog from England, and the Bichon Frise, an affectionate and entertaining companion animal. The Bichon Frise is a small white dog that is the descendant of an Italian Water Spaniel, the same Italian Water Spaniel that gave rise to the Poodle and the Maltese breeds. These small companion animals were known as the Bichon Tenerife and prized for their cheery and loving dispositions. They often travelled with sailors to be used as items of trade and from the 1300’s to the 1800’s they were favored by one royal family or another. After falling out of favor with the royals, these spunky little canines found homes working the streets with organ grinders and performing tricks at circuses and fairs. The breed was re-established after World War I, the first breed standard was developed in 1933, and they were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1972. Spaniels are classified as a type of gun dog, but in truth, they have been assisting hunters since long before the gun was invented. The first Spaniels were divided into just two groups which were based on where they worked; the water Spaniels and the land Spaniels. Land Spaniels were originally bred to flush game out of the deep brush for bow hunters and in some cases, to retrieve birds and other animals from where they had fallen. Sometime in the 17th century a distinction began to be made between types of land Spaniels and they began to be classified as either Springer or Cocker Spaniel, based entirely on the size of the dog. The spaniels that were taller were named Springer Spaniels as they were used to “spring” game animal, the smaller dogs, however, were adept at flushing out woodcocks and other such birds for their owners, earning them the name of Cocker Spaniel and the Cocker Spaniel Club was founded in England in 1902. Cocker Spaniels in America were bred to be companion animals and house pets and so they developed differently than the Cocker Spaniel in England; their backs lengthened, their heads became more domed, and their prey drive was greatly reduced. It was enough of a change that in 1935 a group was formed for those who preferred the traditional look of the English Cocker Spaniel and were adamant about discouraging interbreeding between the original English Cocker Spaniel and the newer Americanized version of the Cocker Spaniel and in 1946 the American Cocker Spaniel was recognized as a separate breed, which is the breed employed to develop the Cock-A-Chon.

Cock-A-Chon Breed Appearance

The Cock-A-Chon is a small but sturdy animal with a well-proportioned head and dark eyes with a soft expression that is also alert and inquisitive. Their eyes may be either round or slightly almond shaped and their ears typically drop down from the side of their head, although the length of the ears may vary. They are typically well built with a precise and effortless gait that is evenly balanced and firm, round paws that may be a little cat-like. This hybrid has a double layered coat consisting of an undercoat that is soft and downy covered by an outer layer that can resemble the soft, straight fur of the American Cocker Spaniel, the coarse, curly hair of the Bichon Frise, or anything in between. Although these canines can come in a variety of colors, light colors are more common than the darker colors and white markings are frequently seen as well. 

Cock-A-Chon Breed Maintenance

The Cock-A-Chon will require a moderate amount of attention given to their grooming regimen as their fur may become easily tangled in some cases. This hybrid should be bathed at least monthly, and depending on the coat type that your Cock-A-Chon inherits, they may require some shaping with the scissors at this time. Many owners of dogs that require scissoring on a regular basis choose to go to a professional groomer instead of doing it themselves. They will need daily brushing with a pin brush to remove both tangles and dead hair. A slicker brush should not be used to remove tangles, particularly if your hybrid’s coat favors the Bichon Frise; brushing with a slicker brush should only be done as a finishing step as it can remove too much of the undercoat if it is used as a detangler. 

Cock-A-Chon Temperament

This energetic little dog has all of the charm and intelligence of its parent breeds, is easily trainable, and tends to get along well with adults, children, and other animals. Even though they do get along well with others, interactions between these dogs and younger children should be closely supervised to ensure that contact remains peaceful and neither dog nor child is accidentally injured. They tend to be gentle, affectionate, and cheerful, they love to be the center of attention, and they often excel at trick training and advanced obedience due to their high intelligence and their drive to please. Their intelligent and curious nature requires frequent mental stimulation and they have a tendency to develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long and Cock-A-Chon’s that are anxious or bored may become overly vocal or destructive.

Cock-A-Chon Activity Requirements

The activity requirements for the Cock-A-Chon are relatively undemanding and they are usually content with forty to sixty minutes of vigorous activity a day although it is typically best to break these sessions up into several smaller chunks of time. These little canines are quite happy living in smaller spaces with a few short walks or energetic indoor play sessions a day, and many of them may excel at scent hound activities and advanced obedience training as well. They are quite intelligent however, and some sort of mental stimulation should be provided in order to prevent destructive behaviors caused by boredom. These dogs are naturally fairly quiet and tend to make pleasant and polite roommates, making them a suitable choice for apartment living.

Cock-A-Chon Owner Experiences