Now this is a dog... (as opposed, that is, to a novelty valance) but it sure as hell ain't a gundog. And yet this American Cocker - Afterglow Zippor Just Annabelle - just won Best in Show at the Gundog Society of Wales Show.
This breed needs to be re-classified as a Toy breed. Its retention in the Gundog Group does a disservice to those breeds that can and do still do the work for which they were bred. And, frankly, this amount of coat is a welfare issue - not perhaps directly (as long as it is groomed regularly), but because top show dogs can't possibly get much of an opportunity to be dogs. There's certainly no way they could do a day in the field - it would ruin that all-important coat.
And how on earth do the males pee without soaking their coat?
Here's what the Americans have done to the Cocker... from sturdy sporting dog to dome-headed,over-coated, increasingly-brachycephalic hairdresser's dog in 120 years.
|1892: Ch Obo II - the foundation sire of the American Cocker Spaniel|
|2011: Casablanca's Thrilling Seduction, Westminster BOB|
And here's how they did it...