English Cocker Spaniel

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26-32 lbs
15-16"
England
Cocker, Merry Cocker, Woodcock Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniels are most often described as merry, and it is generally an apt description. Bred for flushing game out of the bushes for hunting, the English Cocker Spaniel is an enthusiastic and active dog with a high level of commitment to their owners. Their coats are soft and silky but prone to mats and tangles and require a high level of grooming as they tend to shed heavily. English Cocker Spaniels are the direct ancestor to the American Cocker Spaniel, but the American Cocker Spaniel has been bred to be slightly smaller with a more domed skull and a lower prey drive. The English Cocker Spaniel does require more exercise than their American counterparts, but they also tend to be hardier and somewhat less prone to anxiety and nervousness.

Purpose
flushing game birds
Date of Origin
1800s
Ancestry
land spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel Health

Sketch of English Cocker Spaniel
Average Size
Male English Cocker Spaniel size stats
Height: 16-17 inches Weight: 28-34 lbs
Female English Cocker Spaniel size stats
Height: 15-16 inches Weight: 26-32 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Deafness
  • Hypothyroidism
Minor Concerns
  • Otitis Externa
  • Eye Problems
  • Separation Anxiety
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hearing
  • Blood Test
  • Thyroid Tests
  • Ear Examination

English Cocker Spaniel Breed History

Spaniels, in general, are classified as a type of gun dog, but they have existed since long before the gun, initially bred to flush game out of the deep brush for the hunter and in some cases, to retrieve birds from the water. Initially, they were divided into just two groups; water Spaniels and land Spaniels. It wasn’t until the 17th century that any distinction was made between types of land Spaniels. During this time Spaniels began to be classified as either Springer or Cocker Spaniel, based entirely on the size of the dog. The larger Spaniels, those that were over  were used to “spring” game animals for the hunt and were therefore called Springers, where the smaller dogs were particularly adept at flushing out birds like the woodcock for their owners, earning them the name of Cocker Spaniel. At this point in the history of the Spaniel, Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels were frequently born into the same litter. In 1902 The Cocker Spaniel Club was founded in England. When the Cocker Spaniels began developing in America they changed considerably, their backs lengthened, their heads became more domed, and their prey drive was greatly reduced. The change was so great that in 1935 a group was formed for those who preferred the traditional look of the English Cocker Spaniel and were intent on discouraging interbreeding between the original English Cocker Spaniel and the newer Americanized version of the Cocker Spaniel. In 1946 the Cocker spaniels that had developed in America were recognized as a separate breed, the American Cocker Spaniel.

English Cocker Spaniel Breed Appearance

The English Cocker Spaniel is a small to medium-sized dog with long ears that lie close to the head, a long, broad snout, and a soft, soulful gaze. They are a muscular yet graceful breed, bred to be compact and powerful for flushing and retrieving game. One of the most notable features of this breed is their medium length silky coat with distinctive feathering on the belly, legs, ears, and tail. This attractive coat comes in a number of colors and is classified into four general categories for patterning. Solid coats are typically all one color, but they may occasionally include small white markings, and those classified as open marked have large sections of white between patches of solid color. Roan is defined as having a base color that is muted or lightened by the presence of a mixture of white hairs whereas a ticking pattern is the presence of spots of color in an area that would otherwise be white. These patterns are present in black, liver, tan, blue, sable, red, orange, golden, and lemon colors, and occasionally even combinations of those colors. Dogs with multiple colors, but with little to no white showing, such as a black and tan cocker spaniel, are considered to have a solid pattern. They have firm rounded paws that have been described as cat-like with thick pads, and a long, straight tail which is frequently docked at a young age either to meet breed standards or to prevent injury when the dog ran through the heavy brush.

Appearance of English Cocker Spaniel
Eye Color Possibilities
brown English Cocker Spaniel eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black English Cocker Spaniel nose
Black
brown English Cocker Spaniel nose
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
black English Cocker Spaniel coat
Black
sable English Cocker Spaniel coat
Sable
brown English Cocker Spaniel coat
Brown
red English Cocker Spaniel coat
Red
silver English Cocker Spaniel coat
Silver
gray English Cocker Spaniel coat
Gray
pied English Cocker Spaniel coat
Pied
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
English Cocker Spaniel wavy coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

English Cocker Spaniel Breed Maintenance

The English Cocker Spaniel is an active and energetic animal that requires a great deal of maintenance, much of it in the form of exercise. The English Cocker Spaniel is a people-oriented dog that is full of energy, and require larger than average amounts of both attention and exercise to be at their happiest and healthiest. Their beautiful, silky coats are prone to tangling, and the feathering on the ears and legs tend to collect leaves, sticks, and dirt that need to be picked or brushed out. They can also shed rather heavily and have a light but distinct doggy odor. Brushing to remove tangles and prevent excessive shedding should be completed several times a week and bathing should occur every four to six weeks to prevent the odor from becoming too strong. It is also important to regularly check and clean this dog’s ears to prevent bacterial or fungal ear infections from developing.

Brushes for English Cocker Spaniel
Pin Brush
Dematter
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
English Cocker Spaniel requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

English Cocker Spaniel Temperament

This is an attentive and cheerful breed, often referred to as merry. They were bred to run all over the countryside, following their noses and chasing animals out of hiding, and they love their job. It's best to keep your English Cocker firmly attached to a leash when taking them for a walk or a run as they can revert to their natural behavior rather quickly if they scent something interesting, even if you weren’t planning on hunting. They are typically good with children and other types of animals provided that they are well socialized, as well as being fairly friendly with other people or dogs, although they can show some reservation with strangers. These little dogs can make a good watchdog, in that they will let you know that someone is approaching, but they do not have much in the way of a guarding instinct, so once they have informed you of their concern, they will generally leave the rest up to you. They thrive best in a home with a yard in which to burn off their considerable energy, and they tend to bark fairly frequently, making them a less appropriate choice for apartment living. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
9 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

English Cocker Spaniel Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.8 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

English Cocker Spaniel Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of English Cocker Spaniel at six months
Male English Cocker Spaniel size stats at six months
Height: 12 inches Weight: 14 lbs
Female English Cocker Spaniel size stats at six months
Height: 12 inches Weight: 13 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of English Cocker Spaniel at 12 months
Male English Cocker Spaniel size stats at 12 months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 27 lbs
Female English Cocker Spaniel size stats at 12 months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 25 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of English Cocker Spaniel at 18 months
Male English Cocker Spaniel size stats at 18 months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 31 lbs
Female English Cocker Spaniel size stats at 18 months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 29 lbs

Top English Cocker Spaniel Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable English Cocker Spaniel breeders of 2018.
Top English Cocker Spaniel breeder H & H Red Canon Canines
H & H Red Canon Canines
Canon City, Colorado
Top English Cocker Spaniel breeder Salmon Creek Sport Dogs
Salmon Creek Sport Dogs
Vancouver, Washington
Top English Cocker Spaniel breeder Armstrong English Pointers
Armstrong English Pointers
Montrose, Georgia
Top English Cocker Spaniel breeder Parsonage English Cockers
Parsonage English Cockers
Morrill, Nebraska
Top English Cocker Spaniel breeder Rahdy Dobermans & Swathrun English Cockers
Rahdy Dobermans & Swathrun English Cockers
Barrington, Illinois
Top English Cocker Spaniel breeder Ray Dohse's Eshod Farm
Ray Dohse's Eshod Farm
Wrightsville, Georgia
Top English Cocker Spaniel breeder KLS Cockers
KLS Cockers
Mountain Brook, Alabama
Top English Cocker Spaniel breeder Kentucky Cockers
Kentucky Cockers
Louisville, Kentucky
Top English Cocker Spaniel breeder Mud River Cockers
Mud River Cockers
Allensville, Kentucky
Top English Cocker Spaniel breeder Chloe's Cocker Spaniels
Chloe's Cocker Spaniels
Byram, Mississippi

English Cocker Spaniel Owner Experiences

8 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Playdate
Play
Tug-of-war
snuggling
Walking
English Cocker Spaniels look so regal and sweet and they strut like they know it! They're very loyal and loving dogs. They're typically great with meeting new people and new puppies but they will let a person that they don't particularly like how they feel about them. They're easy to train and very happy when they have a routine to follow. They're great family dogs and great with kids, we had a Cocker Spaniel when I was growing up that I loved very much. They're friendly, optimistic puppies with a zest for life and love to go out and explore. Plus they're a great size to be a lapdog and super fun to snuggle. Gotta keep an eye on their majestic ears for matts though. English Cockers are great dogs to hang out with!
5 months, 4 weeks ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
pets
Walk
flower sniffs
This little guy is the cutest dog ever! He is very sweet and very gentle. I still walk him to this day and even though he is small he is also not very jumpy which is awesome. He has been trained very well. When I come to the house to walk him he's usually asleep and I have to find him in one of the rooms. When I wake him and he sees me he greets me with excitement and kisses on the face! He will instantly jump off the bed and start running towards the door because he knows it's time to walk! When I go for a walk with him he always loves to sniff the flowers that are around. It is the cutest thing ever because I've never seen dogs to sniff flowers so much! He really loves to chase squirrels and bunnies, and he thinks that the trash guy is obviously a giant monster! You definitely have a few triggers however they are very natural, instinctual triggers. He is always very friendly to all of the people that we pass by while were walking. He is also not so keen on other dogs and barks at them while we're walking. The barking doesn't last long if I distract him and keep walking, he will continue to walk with me and forget there was a dog even there in the first place:) This little guy is not a guard dog but definitely a mans best friend! He will bark at the door if there's strangers there which is also helpful. His fur is very soft and he doesn't really shed much, which is so awesome!
6 months ago
7 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
smelling
Walking
I have found English cocker spaniels to be very loving and sweet. They are so mellow and gentle (the family I walked for had a newborn baby) and they seem to be great with kids. One of my favorite breeds!
6 months ago
12 Months
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
The English Cocker Spaniel is a sturdy, compact, well-balanced dog. It has a characteristic expression showing intelligence and alertness. Its eyes should be dark and its lobular ears should reach "a bit past" the tip of the nose when pulled forward.[2] Today, a significant difference in appearance exists between field-bred and conformation show-bred dogs. The Cocker's tail is customarily docked in North America.[2] In countries where docking is legal, the tail is generally docked at about 4–5 inches (10–13 cm) in field-bred dogs while show dogs are generally docked closer to the body. Docking is now illegal in Australia and South Africa. In England and Wales, docking can only be carried out on dogs where the owners have proved that the dogs will be used as working or shooting dogs.[8]
6 months ago
6 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Sniffing
petting
The dog I walked was very friendly and happy. He loved being outside exploring.
6 months ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
Running
Hugs
Walking
treats
The Spaniel I walked was extremely friendly. He loved giving hugs nd it was so cute! He was also very well trained and made walking a breeze. He liked going through the woods and off trails
6 months ago
4 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
petting
Walking
The English Cocker Spaniel's I have walked have been so loving and affectionate. They are always so excited when I arrive for the walk and usually like to be pet before we get underway with the way. They are a calm breed and always friendly with other dogs and humans that we encounter. They are never aggressive and like to have a slow pace to their walks for the most part.
6 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd