The Bocker is a cross breed between the Cocker Spaniel and the Beagle. These dogs are very friendly and are known to get along with other pets, be it dogs or even cats. This breed is also among the intelligent breeds of dogs. Their learning acumen is facilitating very much the training process, along with their docile natures and very rarely being aggressive. However, they may manifest some aggression when they feel they need to protect their owner, which makes them good guard dogs. They are not the excessive barker type.
In order to be able to care properly for a Bocker, one needs to know a few things. These dogs are prone to obesity, so feeding is an important aspect. Ideally, the food needs to be served in smaller portions, but also needs to be of high quality. This way the dog still receives all the vitamins and nutrients, without eating large quantities of food.
Bockers are very appreciated by people and it’s very easy for anyone to even love this dog. Although their appearance is the first thing that catches the eye, it is their personality and sweet nature that wins the appreciation of people. If for some reason this dog doesn’t like a specific person, this will be obvious.
From a temperament point of view, the biggest part is inherited from the Cocker. Unfortunately, there are also chances for them to inherit the so-called ‘Spaniel Rage’ from the Cocker, which is a condition they can develop after about 3 years of life and, most often, turns out to be fatal for them. Unlike Beagles, the Bockers usually prefer adults to interact with and are not recommended for families with smaller children.
Bockers are not the shedding type; in fact, they shed extremely little. Mainly because of this, the grooming requirements for this breed are not very difficult or complex. Occasional coat brushing is good, but pay attention to any signs that they dislike this activity, as this is likely to occur. Bathing is not necessary more than two times per year.
Intelligence is an advantage when it comes to training, but the down side is that the Bockers are not very eager to please their masters, so at this point training can get a little bit tricky. Using food rewards may aid in the process, but be careful so that they don’t snap at your hand.
Bockers like to sleep and they usually are very happy to have a routine of their own. If they get used to be fed at a certain hour, they will be alert all the time at that particular hour, even if daylight saving time comes into play in the meantime, so they will not be aware of the time change. Although they do bark, this is not happening as often as with a Beagle. They will very rarely be caught near the fence barking at the neighbor’s dog or at people passing by.
The coat provides the Bockers with some weather proof characteristics similar to both Beagle and Cocker, making them not be particularly disturbed by heat and even to make them enjoy walking in the rain or snow.
From a physical activities point of view, the requirements are similar to the Beagle. They need a few daily sessions of running outside and will always enjoy long daily walks. Bockers are very fast dogs so they will perform excellently in fly-ball games, as long as you can draw their interest on the ball itself. If they want, they can be ideal players in such games.
The physical appearance of a Bocker is similar to that of a Beagle, except maybe the big, round, dark eyes. The ears inherit most of the Cocker’s characteristics, while the tail reminds of that of Beagle. On the overall, most of the physical traits are inherited from the Beagle, including the size which is around 38 centimeters in height and the weight – around 9 kilos. Their legs are about the same length like the Beagle’s, although they lack the thick pads and the ribs are well sprung. Although slim, their build is quite muscular.
A Bocker is a lovely companion and will enjoy cuddling and lying right next to their masters, while also very protective towards them. They proved to be empathic to some degree and it was often observed that they come and cuddle and hug their masters when they are upset by something. Although they enjoy lying next to the family members, they will still prefer to sleep in their crate during the night. The head of a Bocker is similar to that of a Beagle, only a bit smaller. The stop is less pronounced than that of a Cocker. The eyes are small, but not dark like the Beagle’s, but brown to go with the color of their coat.
The color of a Bocker’s coat can vary and depends on the characteristics of the parents. Most often, a Bocker will have a tri-colored coat, bearing spots. Alternatively, their coats will be chocolate brown bearing white spots. In this case, the brown is inherited from the Cocker Spaniel and the white comes from the Beagle. The coat is short, which is a Beagle heritage and soft – coming from the Cocker parent’s side, not harsh like most other hounds.
It is important for a potential future Bocker owner to know that the life expectancy for this dog is around ten years. A fact that has been observed and reported by some owners is that some Bockers will pee when taken to the veterinarians, which is a Cocker characteristic.
From a health point of view, Bockers are prone to certain eye allergies. With regards to the skin, there are no specific issues, dry skin or coat not being noted for this breed. Also, they are much more resilient to ear infections than many other hounds, no matter the cause: fungus, yeast or bacteria. Bockers also have a pretty good bone situations, being a healthy breed in general.
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