Breeds 101

English Cocker Spaniel


An adept working dog, the English Cocker Spaniel is also a popular household companion.

The English Cocker Spaniel is one of the oldest land Spaniels, a descendant of the original spaniels of Spain.

Spaniel type dogs have been found in art and literature for almost 500 years. Initially, spaniels in England were divided among land spaniels and water spaniels. The differentiation among the spaniels that led to the breeds that we see today did not begin until the mid-19th century when the Spaniels were divided based on size and hunting ability.

The English Cocker, a small land Spaniel, was used to hunt woodcock. Fanciers worked to differentiate the English Cocker from the American type that was gaining recognition; the two breeds were accepted as separate breeds in 1946.

Today the English Cocker Spaniel is an active Sporting dog and loyal companion.

Cockers are compassionate, determined, kind, intelligent, athletic, alert and resilient and make great family pets.
Known for optimism, intelligence and adaptability, the breed is extremely loyal and affectionate.

Medium; females 15 to 16 inches, 26 to 32 pounds; males 16 to 17 inches, 28 to 34 pounds.

White with black, blue, liver, or red markings with roaning or ticking; solid black, liver, or red with or without tan markings.

Affectionate, cheerful, and devoted; sociable and likes its humans. More of a hunter than the American Cocker Spaniel and needs a bit more exercise.

Energy level:
High as a puppy, medium as matures. The English Cocker Spaniel has a cheerful nature.

Best owner:
Active, social person or family. The breed does not like being alone, and will bond strongly to an individual person in a family, usually the one who feeds it.

With a good level of socialization at an early age, Cocker Spaniels can get along well with people, children, other dogs and other pets. Daily exercise, consistent brushing and combing, monthly clipping, special attention to eye and ear care, companionship.

Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years.

More facts:

Common health issues with English Cockers are bite problems, skin allergies, shyness, cataracts, deafness, aggression towards other dogs, and benign tumors.

Some uncommon health issues that can also have an effect on English Cocker Spaniels include canine hip dysplasia, patellar lunation, canine dilated cardiomyopathy, and heart murmurs.