Rusty Fence Post Gun Dogs is a small family oriented English Cocker Spaniel breeder located in Southern Texas. We take our breeding program very seriously and only raise purebred American Kennel Club (AKC) registered English Cocker Spaniels from proven working lines. We are home to some of the finest pedigreed working dogs in the world and we plan to continue raising the best. We only select potential breeding stock from the best health tested show and working lines in the world. Our dogs are American-born ECS, and descend from many of the best UK British working lines.
The English Cocker Spaniel
The English Cocker Spaniel is the smallest member of the spaniel family. Originally bred to hunt woodcock, they are now popular gundogs used in both England and North America. They are known for their lively personality, endurance, and love of hunting. While English Cocker Spaniels are the smallest of the spaniels, they are a medium-sized breed, with some males weighing over 30 pounds. They have a dense coat that is either black, brown, or liver-colored, and their ears are long and droopy. English Cocker Spaniels are friendly dogs that make great hunting companions. They are one of the few breeds that make outstanding family pets all while still functioning as an exceptional working dog. AKC describes the ECS as “merry and affectionate, of equable disposition, neither sluggish nor hyperactive, a willing worker and a faithful and engaging companion.”
Health Tested English Cocker Spaniels
To insure a long, happy, and healthful life for our ECS puppies, we do not breed English Cocker Spaniels who are carriers for genetic diseases. We also do not select ECS for our breeding program which are untested for genetic diseases & conditions or carry those illnesses. All dogs that are bred at RFP Gundogs will be health tested via Animal Genetics Testing Labs and clear of all genetic illnesses associated with the breed. Below are the tests & descriptions of the illnesses that are performed on our Cockers before any breeding is planned or performed:
AMS – Acral Mutilation Syndrome
A rare canine hereditary sensory neuropathy that results in progressive mutilation of the distal extremities.
EIC – Exercise – Induced Collapse
A genetic neuromuscular disorder characterized by muscle weakness, lack of coordination, and life-threatening collapse after intense exercise in otherwise apparently healthy dogs.
FN – Familial Nephropathy (Cocker Spaniel Type)
A fatal kidney disease which leads to progressive and irreversible renal failure between 6 months to 2 years. The first signs are excessive water consumption, excessive urine volume, a slowdown in growth, weight loss, reduced appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
PFK – Glycogen Storage Disease VII, PFK Deficiency
An inherited metabolic disorder which affects many breeds of dogs, including the English Cocker. Glycogen is the primary source of energy for the body. Affected dogs have insufficient activity of the phosphofructokinase enzyme which breaks down glycogen for energy. Deficiency of this enzyme results primarily in easily damaged red blood cells and less severe damage to skeletal muscle cells. Affected dogs can have pale gums from decreased numbers of red blood cells (Anemia) and may be lethargic or unwilling to exercise. After strenuous activity or periods of excitement or stress, affected dogs may have symptoms of hemolysis and muscle cell damage, which can include red or brown urine, muscle cramping and jaundice. Affected dogs generally have a normal life expectancy, but may have recurrent episodes of hemolysis after exercise and muscle wasting progressing to an inability to walk.
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
A progressive neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord of dogs. Dogs that have inherited two defective copies can experience a breakdown of the cells responsible for sending and receiving signals from the brain, resulting in neurological symptoms.
PRCD – Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Progressive Rod – Cone Degeneration (PRA-prcd)
An inherited autosomal recessive disorder which causes the cells in a dog’s retina to degenerate and die. The symptoms do not usually present until the dog is around 3-5 years old and can result in complete blindness in older dogs.
OFA & Eyes
We also performed OFA testing on hips & elbows. We also have our ECS certified as clear/no risk for inherited diseases & conditions of the eyes.