Cocker Spaniel Glossary: Flank

What is the Flank?

The flank, in the context of Cocker Spaniel body elements, refers to the side area of the dog’s body located between the rib cage and the hip. It is a significant region that affects the dog’s overall body composition, agility, and appearance. In Cocker Spaniels, the flank should be well-muscled and firm, contributing to the breed’s balanced and sturdy physique.


  • The side area between the rib cage and the hip.
  • Influences body composition, agility, and overall appearance.
  • In Cocker Spaniels, should be well-muscled and firm.
  • Contributes to the breed’s balanced and sturdy physique.

A Deeper Look: Flank

The condition of the flank is vital for the Cocker Spaniel’s health, agility, and aesthetics. Muscular and well-toned flanks provide support to the dog’s body, particularly during activities that involve twisting, turning, or rapid changes in direction. This is essential for a breed with a history of hunting and retrieving, where agility was a must.

From an aesthetic standpoint, well-muscled flanks contribute to the Cocker Spaniel’s balanced and robust appearance. It ensures that the dog maintains its proper proportions, avoiding a pear-shaped or overly lean appearance.

Proper nutrition and exercise are essential for maintaining the muscular condition of the flank. Weight management plays a significant role, as excessive weight can lead to a loss of muscle tone and potential health issues. On the other hand, too much leanness can also be detrimental to the dog’s overall health.

In dog shows and breed evaluations, the flank’s condition and how it aligns with the rest of the body are assessed closely. It is a crucial component in determining the dog’s adherence to breed standards.

Spotlight on the Flank in Cocker Spaniels

  • Supports body composition and agility during various activities.
  • Muscular and well-toned flanks contribute to the breed’s balanced appearance.
  • Proper nutrition and exercise are essential for maintaining flank health.
  • Evaluated meticulously in dog shows for alignment with breed standards.

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