Other Names: English Cocker Spaniel
Country Of Origin: UK,
Dog Group: Sporting
Recommended For: Families, couples, single owners
Maintenance Level: Moderate
Lifespan: 11-12 years
Temperament: Happy, friendly, affectionate
Good For First-Time Owner: Yes
Good With Children: Yes
Good With Other Animals: Yes
Good With Strangers: Yes
Good For Apartments: Yes
Exercise Requirements: Daily walking
Can Live In Hot Weather: Sometimes
Can Live In Cold Weather: Yes
Can Tolerate Being Left Alone: No
The name Cocker Spaniel refers to 2 different breeds: one from America and the other from the UK.
Both were typically bred as hunting dogs, and the name “Cocker” comes from their use in hunting the woodcock, a type of bird.
The Cocker Spaniel is a friendly and affectionate breed, and are known on both sides of the Atlantic as an excellent family dog.
Not only are they great with children, they’re also fine to be kept around other animals, making them a versatile and easy-going companion pet.
Color: Black, brown, red, fawn, gold, or any combination with roan or white patches
Height: Males – 14.5-16 inches, Females – 13.5-15.5 inches
Weight: 24-32lbs (both males and females)
Personality and Temperament
Both the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel are known for their friendly personalities and loyal temperament.
They’re happy, outgoing dogs that are very sociable, both with other animals and people.
Unlike some other breeds, socialization is incredibly easy and it’s unlikely that a Cocker will have an aggressive or unfriendly temperament.
Cockers are intelligent dogs, which makes training both easy and necessary. Without proper obedience training, which provides great mental stimulation, a Cocker can easily become bored or destructive.
Obedience training should start early to ensure the dog is kept under control from a young age.
The breed’s intelligence and personality means that Cocker Spaniels make ideal family dogs. Cockers love to play with children, but are also perfectly happy curled up on the sofa with their owners.
They form strong emotional bonds with every member of the family and are very affectionate creatures.
When it comes to exercise, Cocker Spaniels don’t need loads, but still benefit from daily walking.
Owners should provide at least 30 minutes of good exercise every day, along with plenty of playtime while at home.
The breed’s use as a hunting dog means they have good endurance, but unlike other hunting dogs, Cockers don’t need wearing out every day.
Considering their size and love of relaxing, Cocker Spaniels should generally be fine kept in an apartment.
However, owners will have to compensate for this by providing more exercise and ensuring the dog still gets plenty of time outside. That said, the ideal home for a Cocker is one with plenty of land for the dog to explore.
Cocker Spaniels are usually very friendly with other animals and don’t have a particularly strong prey drive, meaning they should be fine to live around smaller pets.
However, owners will still benefit from proper socialization and training to minimize the risks of any unwanted behavior. Cockers appreciate having other dogs for company but can also be kept as an only pet.
Similarly, Cocker Spaniels are usually good with strangers, although this might be different when at home. This will also vary between dogs, but as a general rule Cockers aren’t wary around strangers.
Depending on how the dog was raised, some Cockers can be very nervous, and these dogs are more likely to be uncomfortable around strangers. However, owners can usually overcome this with the right training.
Due to their friendly and easy-going nature, and their moderate maintenance needs, Cocker Spaniels make a good choice for first-time owners.
Inexperienced owners should however be aware of the breed’s grooming needs, which are more demanding than others, and the need to provide proper exercise and training. Doing this will help the dog reach its full potential, and make everyone’s lives easier.
Cockers are generally considered temperate weather dogs, mainly due to the length of their coat.
However, the fact that Cocker Spaniels thrive in the USA shows that they can tolerate hotter temperatures.
Owners in very warm areas should just be aware of when they walk the dog during summer, and should possibly consider extra grooming to help keep the dog cool.
Cocker Spaniels aren’t the best breed for being left alone for long periods of time because of their sociable personality, and the fact that the breed is prone to anxiety.
Working owners should be careful how long they leave the dog alone for, as this can easily result in separation anxiety. However, Cockers will be much happier being left alone all day if they have another dog to keep them company.
Grooming a Cocker Spaniel is one of the most important things owners can do.
Cockers have quite a long, flowing coat that’s very soft and tangles easily. Similarly, to control a Cocker Spaniel’s shedding, which is quite regular, owners should brush them ideally every day, but every few days is also fine.
Grooming should be done with a comb, which will remove tangles, before combing with a soft brush to make the coat shine.
Cockers also benefit from regular bathing to help keep their coat in good condition, and this needs to be done with a good quality shampoo to avoid skin irritation. Most owners then blow-dry the dog for best results.
Due to their long ears and coat, it’s crucial to check a Cocker’s ears daily for debris and wax. Ears should be cleaned weekly, or more regularly if necessary.
Similarly, their nails need trimming every few weeks, and their teeth should be brushed several times a week to avoid dental issues. Because the breed is prone to skin conditions, it’s a good idea to give them a check when grooming or bathing.
Common Diseases and Conditions
Both American and English Cocker Spaniels suffer from a range of hereditary health conditions, including skin allergies, which can arise at any point in the dog’s life.
Skin problems can also come about due to improper grooming, so it’s very important that the dog’s coat is kept in good condition.
One serious condition the breed suffers from is otitis externa, which is an inflammation of the ear canal.
It’s really easy for the condition to develop because of the dog’s long ears, so cleaning is a must. However, it’s easily curable with antibiotics and other medication.
Cocker Spaniels are also prone to a number of eye conditions, including cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, both of which can develop at any point in the dog’s life.
Other than that, Cockers are also prone to hip issues, although these are tested for by breeders.
Examples of spaniels can be traced all the way back to the 14th century, when they were used as game retrieval dogs, mainly for small birds.
It was only at the beginning of the 19th century that 2 distinct types of spaniel were acknowledged in the UK: the Cocker Spaniel and its larger cousin, the Springer Spaniel.
During this time there were many breeds referred to as Cocker Spaniels, although these have now all split off into separate breeds.
In fact, some breeds that were originally called Cockers are now considered Springer Spaniels, and the classification for a Cocker was a spaniel weighing less than 25lbs.
Both Cocker Spaniels and Springer Spaniels were recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1892, and from then there was a distinct separation between the 2 breeds.
A dog named Ch. Obo is thought to be the first modern English Cocker, and his son the first American Cocker.
Obo II, the son, was born in America, as his mother was exported while pregnant. Although at this time the 2 types of Cocker were considered the same, over time they’ve separated slightly, with the American Cocker Spaniel being smaller. It was also bred for retrieving small birds, but was smaller to make its job easier.
Over the course of the 20th century, Cocker Spaniels were recognized as ideal family pets, and also became a popular sight in dog shows.
The breed is easily one of the most popular companion pets on both sides of the Atlantic, which is mainly thanks to its friendly and loving personality.
- One of the most famous Cocker Spaniels is Lady, from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp.
- Another famous Cocker Spaniel is found on the logo of Coppertone sunscreen.
- If you’re looking for a Cocker Spaniel, expect to pay a reasonable They can regularly fetch up to 2,000 USD, if not more.
- Black and brown are probably 2 of the most popular colors of Cocker Spaniel.
- A Cocker Spaniel puppy is already born with long, floppy ears, although the fur takes much longer to grow in.
- The first Spaniels travelled to America along with the first settlers on the Mayflower. This makes them one of the earliest breeds to go to the continent.
- The first Cocker Spaniel recognized by the American Kennel Club was in 1878, and was called Captain.