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Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is believed to have come from Spain and the term "cocker" came from the dog's use in hunting Woodcock. There are two types of modern day Cocker Spaniel. One is the English Cocker Spaniel and the other is the American Cocker Spaniel. Both breeds share similar coats and have a similar appearance, however the English version of the breed tends to be larger and more sturdy. Both breeds were also used to hunt woodcocks in their respective countries. Today the Cocker Spaniel is a popular family pet and is distinguishable by its medium length, wavy coat and its large, long-hanging ears.


The two breeds of Cocker Spaniel are quite similar in temperament. Both breeds are very loyal, affectionate and intelligent. They will bond strongly to one person in a family and will follow that person from room to room. Cocker Spaniels crave attention and can become destructive without it. While the American Cocker Spaniel is a little softer than its English counterpart, not responding well to rough or harsh training, both breeds are easily trained and obedient. Like many dogs, Cocker Spaniels need to be socialized but their friendly nature means they tend to get on will with strangers, other dogs and children alike.

  • Height, Weight

    Height (English): Dogs 15-16 inches (39-41cm) Bitches 14-15 inches (36-39cm) (American): Dogs 14-15 inches (36-39cm) Bitches 13-15 inches (34-37cm)

    Weight (English): Dogs 29-31 pounds (13-14kg) Bitches 29-31 pounds (13-14kg) (American): Dogs 24-29 pounds (11-13kg) Bitches 24-29 pounds (11-13kg)

  • Health Problems

    Both types of Cocker Spaniel can suffer from eye problems. Blindness is an issue that can set in from the age of ten. The long ears of both breeds are susceptible to infections so must be checked and cleaned regularly.

  • Living Conditions

    Cockers will do fine in apartments as long as they are sufficiently exercised. They are quite active indoors but do enjoy a yard or garden to run around in.

  • Exercise

    Due to their history as gun dogs, Cockers will need a reasonable amount of exercise. They have high stamina and should be taken on long, brisk walks on a daily basis. They love to swim and to run around off leash but should be monitored in case they chase small animals.

  • Life Expectancy

    About 12-15 years.

  • Litter Size

    Usually between 1 and 7 puppies. On average the Cocker will have 5 puppies.

  • Grooming

    American Cocker Spaniels need a thorough grooming every day, while English Cocker Spaniels need only a regular brushing and combing once a week. The ears on both breeds must be checked and cleaned regularly. The coats on both breeds must also be trimmed frequently. The hair around the paws must also be checked thoroughly for dirt and matted hair.

  • Group

    Gun Dog, AKC Sporting

  • Recognition