The Solid Colours Cocker Spaniel Association

Foundation of The Red and Golden Cocker Spaniel Club

The foundation of the Club to assist and guide the development of the Red and Golden Cocker Spaniel has been fully justified by its record to date, and it may interest many of the latest recruits to the fancy as well as some of the old ones, to review the marvelous progress, perhaps never before equaled in the history of Dogdom.

After the War, it soon became apparent that Cocker fanciers had lost none of their enthusiasm during that terrible period, and they quickly set to work to re-establish their kennels. The Country was searched in every corner by these creators of the post-war Cocker, eager to obtain what good specimens they could of any colour, and thus it was that the Red and Golden came into being, perhaps more rapidly than it would otherwise have done. Undoubtedly, owing to the scarcity of dogs at that time, indifferent but pure bred Reds were used, which when mated to some of the existing pre-war bitches, resulted in a number of red puppies of various shades, but which were attractive enough to create a small furore for the colour among a number of keen fanciers, who immediately set to work to make them popular

It was, however a heavy task, especially as the blacks and other colours were making great headway. Some specimens exhibited were poor in colour and in contour, they had long backs, bad fronts, short ears, very poor heads, and were generally such indifferent specimens that many Cocker fanciers ventured to predict that they would never become an important factor; but they did not count on the tenacity of those few breeders, who, in spite of ridicule and much discouragement, kept steadily on. Thus these indifferent ones became the pioneers of our present beautiful dogs and bitches. In 1925 and 1926 it was apparent that if Reds were to get a chance to develop, it would be necessary to have special classes for them, for they could not compete except in a few instances with the other colours. A small band of breeders endeavoured by guaranteeing classes at Shows to create interest, but it was very slow, and Show Committees would not encourage them very much, with the result that they were in danger of fading out, and so in 1927 the writer was approached as a pre-war breeder of the colour to assist in a campaign for existence.

It was quite evident from the course of events that not only was immediate action necessary, but it was important that it should be a national movement, for only in this way would breeders have confidence to carry on. Thus in May 1928, a meeting was held at Helesmere Show to form the Club, it met with unexpected opposition by the breeders who were doubtful about the movement, it was thought the craze for the colour would endanger the other good qualities of the Cocker: but time has proved that the colour could be established together with a wonderful improvement in form. The Club was formed with a membership of twenty four, and by the following February the members felt that the progress was so satisfactory that the Club could hold a Members' Show, and at Cruft's 1929, was held the first show for the Red and Golden Cocker only. This proved a huge success, and thereafter that early band of pioneers were rewarded with the remarkable growth of the movement that has created out of those poor indifferent specimens, dogs and bitches that can take their place in competition for the highest awards. Many Challenge Certificates have been awarded to Reds and Goldens during the past year.

It is surely a great achievement on the part of the enthusiastic supporters of the colour, to carve out of history within such a short time, not only a dog whose colour and charms has captivated the imagination and popularity of the public, but one whose conformation and sterling qualities as judged by the standard laid down by the Mother Club, is fit to take its place among the champions of the day. The Clubs objects and standards are the same as that of the Cocker Spaniel Club; the only difference in the descriptive particulars is that of colour, which is as follows. " Red or Golden in various shades ". This allows the Judge a wide discretion and protects the other qualities so necessary in a gun dog. It is the Clubs object to move side by side with the Mother Club to protect the ideal standard, and in every way to encourage the development of the Red and Golden for Field work, for only by maintaining those attributes so necessary for its work, can we hope to retain that wonderful endearing charm so characteristic of the greatest little Gun Dog.

Mr E E Todd (1934)