This year’s Brussels Dog Show, organised by the Société Royale Saint Hubert, was the 113th edition. It welcomed 3245 dogs of mixed nationalities. This year Best in Show was won by Very Vigie Century Fox, an American Cocker Spaniel.
History of the breed: the first Cocker in America is said to have arrived with the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower in 1620. Settlers in subsequent centuries brought more with them to help explore and exploit the country's wildernesses. American Cockers were developed from the English Cocker in the 19th century, to retrieve quail and woodcock. Originally they were divided from the English Cocker solely on the basis of size, but over the years they were bred for specific traits and the differences grew greater. By the 1940s the American Cocker differed so much in type from the English Cocker that it became impossible to judge them together and in 1945 the two breeds were separated and each officially recognised with their own standards. Bred as hunting dogs they still retain some of their hunting instincts, some are still kept as working dogs but most are now commonly found in the show ring or as companions. The American Cocker is a very popular breed.
The above picture was sent by my friend, PC, who is a great lover of the breed. She is a collector actually. She has eight of them.