Having a sporting breed as the family pet also means living with their natural instincts. As an American Cocker Spaniel, Chloe’s breed was initially developed for flushing out birds in the underbrush, hence their small size, and extremely capable smelling abilities that always seem to be pointed toward the ground. Since we don’t have hunting here in the high desert, Chloe’s instincts direct her to retrieve other forms of living and nonliving objects. 

Certainly Chloe still has the natural born desire to sneak up on birds, rabbits, and bugs of all types, but she is especially fond of going after socks, even if you’re still wearing them. She is also drawn to the color “white” for some reason, including white socks, but we can dive into that issue another time. 

A sock for Chloe is like retrieving a freshly downed bird after the hunt, where she proudly displays the sock in her mouth as she struts around the room. It’s a game that her and I play where she will attack my sock and I have to decide how long I can keep wearing it without the pain of her nipping teeth being felt. 

In the end it’s a competition that Chloe usually wins, especially if I’m not heading out the door for work in the morning, and we are just playing around. I usually take off the sock, toss it across the room, where she quickly snatches it and heads off to proclaim victory. Actually I usually just let Chloe think that she wins, but she does get the sock, …so, maybe come to think of it, she really does win.

Chloe with her prize.

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