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Annette Norris | DreamShadow Cockers

DreamShadow Cocker Spaniel puppy


Interview with Annette Norris, Breeder of DreamShadow Cockers


Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?

Annette Norris: I live in Indiana. I have 32 years in Cocker Spaniels.


What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?

Annette Norris: My kennel name is DreamShadow Cockers.

Annette Norris
Annette Norris – DreamShadow Cockers


Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?

Annette Norris: My most winning is Group Winning, Multiple Group Placing, MRBISOH AKC GRCH Canadian CKC CH UKC MBIS CH NevaehLea N DreamShadow’s Dream CGC TKN FDC (DREAMER), No. 1 Cocker Bitch ALL-VARIETIES NOHS 2021, 2022 & 2023 (6 months into CC/AKC rankings), No. 3 ALL-BREED Black Cocker Bitch 2021 & 2022, No. 4 Lifetime Black Cocker Bitch, and No. 7 Lifetime Black Cocker NOHS.


Which have been my most influential sires and dams?

Annette Norris: My most influential sire is CH DreamShadow’s Carbon Copy. “Cobe” is the sire, grandsire, and great-grandsire of multiple AKC champions as well as Canadian champions.


Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?

Annette Norris: Puppies are whelped in my bedroom and raised in my kitchen.


What is my “process” for selecting Show Puppies? Performance Puppies? Field Puppies?

Annette Norris: I evaluate them throughout, but have respected mentors, who are also judges, who evaluate with me at eight weeks.


Do I compete in Companion Events? Performance Events?

Annette Norris: We compete and hold titles in Trick Dog, CGC, Farm Dog, Barn Hunt, and Conformation.


Are Field Trials or parent club Hunt Tests important to me?

Annette Norris: We are members of several specialty clubs and our parent club.


How would I define “conditioning” as it relates to my breed?

Annette Norris: I use every training and conditioning available to me, including treadmills, hiking, and balance balls. We supplement and feed Purina Pro Plan Skin and Stomach Formula as well as K-9 Power Show Stopper for healthy, gorgeous show coats.


Are there any health-related concerns in my breed? Any special nutritional needs?

Annette Norris: We screen for hip dysplasia, slips in patellas, and elbows thru OFA, thyroid disease and cataracts with OFA CAER, and we do PRA testing. We have a multiple-year study with Dr. Aguirre for cataracts where we submit blood samples and CAER results.


Do I think my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?

Annette Norris: Our breed is shrinking, but we have several well-respected preservation breeders. Due to coat maintenance for show Cockers, it is not an easy breed to show and finish yourself.


Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?

Annette Norris: They are EXCELLENT family dogs and can adapt to nearly every living situation.


What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?

Annette Norris: Cockers are ABOVE ALL, MERRY! A well-bred Cocker lives about 12-15 years and is a loyal, eager-to-please, smart, and trainable family member.


If I could share a comment or two with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them?

Annette Norris: I wish judges would not confuse FLASH and speed with correct reach and drive… coat can hide a lot of things. Also, the head should not be carried pointing up to the sky. It should be level with the ground. The birds it was bred to flush are not flying up in the sky. They are down on the ground and in low-lying brush.


Do I have any words of wisdom to pass along to newer breeders?

Annette Norris: The best advice that I can give new people is to find excellent mentors and ask all the questions you can come up with. Respected breeders have studied pedigrees for YEARS and plan their litters before they are born. Don’t breed to the top-winning dog just because it is winning. Know your dog’s strengths and know where they could be improved, and find the dog that will produce those attributes. Go to the dog shows, watch how they’re groomed, watch how they’re presented, watch how they’re conditioned, and join local Cocker clubs.


For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Sporting Dog?

Annette Norris: Being able to show and title my dogs from the Bred-By Class is the best, and placing healthy, merry puppies with families to cherish them is the ultimate reward. Repeat buyers/owners speak volumes!



Are you looking for a Cocker Spaniel puppy?

The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder?

Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.


Want to help rescue and re-home a Cocker Spaniel dog?

Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.


Cocker Spaniel Breed Magazine

Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.

Read and learn more about the Cocker Spaniel dog breed with articles and information in our Cocker Spaniel Breed Magazine.


English Cocker Spaniel Breed Magazine - Showsight


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