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In some cases, a breed's origin overlaps the boundaries of two or more countries; the dog is normally listed only in the country with which it is most commonly associated (for example, by its designated country according to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). While dysplasia was largely unknown in Foxhounds, it is beginning to crop up occasionally, along with some eye issues. Owners Edwin and Willie Scott liked the dog's look and temperament, and upon maturity bred her hoping to reproduce the hairless quality. By the 1920s the English and American varieties of Cocker had become noticeably different and in 1946 the AKC recognised the English type as a separate breed. The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.

Members of the breed suffer from a wide variety of health ailments including problems with their hearts, eyes and ears. Centuries of selective breeding by humans has resulted in dogs being more genetically diverse than most other mammals by a considerable margin. A height of about 18 to 19 inches (46 to 48 cm) at shoulders for the male and 17 to 18 inches (43 to 46 cm) for the female is to be considered preferable. Early training and socialization both in the home and outside of the home is essential for this breed.

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