Our history with
Cocker Spaniels

Cockers have been part of
the Zim family since the 1960's

Click here to go to our main Cocker Spaniel page

Photo of Jim Zimmerlin from 1969 That handsome devil in the picture on the left is me...  over 45 years ago, with my very first Cocker Spaniel!  Like many great buff colored Cockers, her name was "Buffy".  (We got a lot more creative with names after that!)

She later went on to be a mom...  my first experience with breeding Cockers.  I remember how excited we were when she was pregnant!  We all made guesses about how many pups she would have.  Six?  Nine?  Eight?

No, her litter consisted of just ONE pup...
who we kept and named "The Lone Ranger".

Little did I know that this was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with the American Cocker Spaniel.


An oil painting by Debra Draves The picture you see to the right is an oil painting that hangs in the entryway to our home.  It's the first thing you see when you enter our house...  and I like it there because I think it sets the tone!  The painting was done by a family member a long time ago...  and it's very special to me.

Over the years since Buffy, we've had a succession of Cockers...  most we acquired as puppies, one we rescued from the pound.  The amazing thing about them all is how similar they were...  happy, always glad to see you, tail in constant motion, and many of them with a passion for chasing and retrieving tennis balls or other toys.


This is Dipper During the 1990's my wife and I decided we were ready to start breeding Cockers.  We had a great male Cocker named Dipper who we thought would make beautiful puppies.  (We were right!)

We bought a female puppy and waited for her to become old enough to breed.  Unfortunately, she died in a tragic accident before she ever had the chance.  Our breeding plans had to be put on hold.

Later we decided to try again...  and this time we got it right!  What followed was 4 wonderful litters of pups over 4 years...  28 pups in all.  Plus, Dipper provided stud service for another Cocker...  who had 8 pups of her own.

Dipper is what's known as a red Cocker.  (The picture is worth a thousand words.)  While most of his puppies were either buff or black & tan, he did manage to usually have one red one in each litter.  Those were always very special to us.


3 blonde pups from litter #1 The three beautiful puppies you see on the right were from our first litter of pups.  The first litter was very special for us...  it was such a positive experience that we knew it was something we wanted to keep doing, and that we were GOOD at raising puppies!

We found that we were particularly well suited to taking care of young puppies, properly socializing them, finding good homes for them, and then being able to let them go.

We also discovered the power of the Internet!  People from all around the world began discovering our web site, and we made a lot of new friends along the way.  I also found a great use for my photography skills, and began to realize that people were interested in learning what I had learned about Cockers over the years.

Jim Zim with two chocolate puppies in 2002A strange thing happened to us during the days when we used to breed solid color Cockers...  we kept seeing pictures of beautiful parti colored Cockers and we had to admit that they were way more beautiful than anything we were breeding at that time.  So we made a decision to find new homes for all of our solids and to start our breeding program over from scratch with the best quality partis we could find.

In 2002, several years of work finally paid off when we delivered our first litter of parti colored puppies!  One look at those beautiful chocolate & white puppies and we were sure that it had been worth the wait!

As great as these puppies turned out, though, we still felt there was room for improvement.  We noticed a trend with many of the puppies sired by our original parti color stud dog:  the pups grew up to be very large adult Cockers, and they seemed more prone to get cherry eyes than your average Cocker does.  So we decided that the right thing to do would be to retire that stud dog from our breeding program, and make yet another new start.

Over the last few years we've gotten to know some truly great Cocker breeders, and they've helped us to obtain Cockers that are in a whole different league than the dogs we had just ten years ago.  The puppies from our last few litters have been the highest quality pups we've ever made, and it felt like we finally got our breeding program to where we wanted it to be.

In 2010, after 15 years of breeding Cockers, we decided it was time to retire.  Looking back over those 15 years... our decisions have been guided by a desire to do the right thing for both the puppies and the people that would eventually own them, and not by considerations over cost or profit.  The people we've met along the way have helped us to continually improve...  and just about every new dog that has joined our breeding program has been an improvement over the ones that preceded.

The messages we get from people who tell us how much they continue to enjoy their Zim puppies have meant a lot to us!


If you find this web site useful, and appreciate the effort it took to create it...  please consider helping us cover some of the costs of keeping it running.  Due to the extremely high amount of traffic and bandwidth on our site, our web server costs amount to hundreds of dollars per year.  There are two easy ways you can help us cover these costs:

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There is a LOT more to this web site than just this page!
Please explore the rest of the site by viewing our table of contents,
or by clicking on one of the quick links below.

All About Our Cockers       Zim Family Home Page        Meet Jim Zim        Cocker Spaniel Forum

If you've enjoyed this web site, please take a moment to let me know!
My email address is: 
james.zimmerlin@gmail.com

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Copyright ©2014 Jim Zimmerlin, Grover Beach, California.  All rights reserved.