Updated 09-06-2023

Cocker Spaniel

Despite its popularity as a family pet, the Cocker Spaniel is also an excellent bird dog. The Cocker's friendly, cheery demeanour makes him a pleasure to have around the house, despite the fact that he is a labour-intensive breed to care for.

A dog is never happier than when it is making you happy, and this includes cuddling up to their favourite adults as well as playing outside with the kids. The Cocker is an excellent choice for a family with a large back yard or an apartment. Cocker Spaniel characteristics and information can be found in the list below.


  • Due to the high demand for Cocker Spaniels, breeders should be thoroughly vetted to ensure that they are committed to the improvement of the breed.
  • Even if he comes from a reputable breeder and has been well socialised, a Cocker Spaniel might still be apprehensive. Submissive urination in a Cocker Spaniel is nothing to be alarmed about (peeing when excited).
  • Because Cockers have a tendency to bark, knowing how to respond to the command "Quiet" should always be part of this dog's toolkit.
  • The Cocker prefers to spend time with his family and is eager to please. To be clear: he was born and raised to hunt, not herd. When you're out walking, don't be shocked if he starts chasing birds or other small creatures. It is best to keep your Cocker in an enclosed space at all times.
  • With its "gentle" demeanour, the Cocker is well known. It's best to avoid using harsh training methods in order to avoid instilling fear in him.
  • The large ears of a Cocker Spaniel are both an attractive feature and a potential health hazard. You should check your Cocker's ears for infections at least once a week.
  • Keeping a Cocker's coat in tip-top shape is both costly and time-consuming. Brushing the coat every day and hiring a professional groomer are necessary expenses.
  • Never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store if you want a healthy companion. For the best results, look for a reputable breeder that analyses her dogs for genetic health issues and temperament.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easy-going," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they're always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.

Personality Appearance


In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog's brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment

A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.

Easy To Train

Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.

Getting your dog interested in training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" mentality when it comes to learning new things.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn't mean it's immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn't the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a deshedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighbourhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including as barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


24 to 28 pounds


12 to 15 years


1 foot, 2 inches to 1 foot, 3 inches tall at the shoulder


An ancient lineage of dogs known as the Spaniels has produced the modern Cocker Spaniel. Spaniel is Spanish for dog, and it's widely accepted that they originated in Spain. Toys (mainly companions) and huge hunting dogs were separated by the 1800s. The spaniels were further subdivided into land and water spaniels, respectively. The Cocker Spaniel was given its moniker because of his prowess in the woods.

For hundreds of years, spaniels were a functional category rather than a distinct breed in England. James Farrow founded the Obo Kennel, where the Cocker Spaniel was originally recognised as a unique breed in England. English breeders officially recognised the Cocker Spaniel in 1892.

Early in the late 1870s, American Cocker fanciers began importing the breed from England. The National American Kennel Club's inaugural studbook included a liver-and-white Cocker Spaniel named Captain (later called the American Kennel Club). Black Cocker called Brush II appears in the second volume of the studbook that was printed in 1885. Cocker Spaniel Kennel in New Hampshire imported this dog from England.

The American Spaniel Club was founded in 1881 by Clinton Wilmerding and James Watson. Breeders of a variety of different sorts of Spaniels were originally members of this American institution, making it the country's first breed club. However, as the variations between the Spaniel breeds became more defined, breeders formed their own organisations.

With both breeders and the general population, Cocker Spaniels quickly became popular. It wasn't until later that certain breeders began preferring a smaller Cocker Spaniel with a little different conformation from the original English Cocker. In the show ring, these little canines were particularly eye-catching.

They created an American club in 1936, and they received recognition from the AKC for a variety of Cocker Spaniel that originated in the United Kingdom. A motion was voted two years later by the club to prohibit the breeding of English Cocker Spaniels with American-type Cocker Spaniels. American-type Cockers were also banned from English Cocker courses by the club.

CH My Own Brucie, a Cocker Spaniel, earned Westminster's Best American Bred in Show in 1939 and again the following year. American audiences fell in love with Brucie the black Cocker Spaniel when his owner/handler removed the dog's leash as they reached the show ring. The dog waggled his tail triumphantly as they entered the arena. The New York Times ran an obituary for Brucie when he died.

As a result of Brucie's success in the show ring, Cocker Spaniels have seen an explosion in popularity. Furthering the divide between English and American Cocker breeders, it also pushed American breeders to focus more on breeding for the show ring than the field. The English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel were recognised as separate breeds by the American Kennel Club in 1946.

Personality and Temperament 

The kind, easy-going, and friendly nature of Cocker spaniels is well-known, as is their vibrant demeanour. They have a fantastic reputation when it comes to working with youngsters. Non-aggressive to humans and other animals, yet they aren't particularly good watchdogs as a result.

A word of warning is in order. The popularity of cocker spaniels soared to the point where they were overbred, resulting in dogs with health issues and behavioural issues.

Reports on the effectiveness of housebreaking and training dogs to obey commands are mixed. Cocker spaniels, according to some, are an average dog to train. While some people claim that these dogs are quite obedient, others claim that they can be recalcitrant, especially when it comes to learning to use the bathroom.


As each dog breed is distinct, there will be particular factors to take into account when creating a care schedule for your dog. As you prepare to take care of your dog, keep in mind their temperament, food requirements, grooming needs, typical health issues, and other crucial information.


As with other dog, Cocker Spaniel are susceptible to a variety of ailments and diseases.

Eye problems

Cataracts, a foggy film that grows over the eye, glaucoma, and other abnormalities of the eye can all affect the Cocker. Progressive retinal atrophy, a degenerative illness of the retinal cells that leads to blindness, can also affect the Cocker. Take your Cocker to the vet if you see any redness in his eyes or if he starts touching his face a lot.

Anemia caused by autoimmunity (AIHA)

When a dog's immune system assaults its own blood cells, it is known as autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA). There are a number of symptoms that include pale gums, exhaustion, and even jaundice. Having a bloated stomach is also an indication of an enlarged liver. However, even when treated, the majority of injured Cockers are no longer suitable for breeding.


Hypothyroidism is a thyroid gland issue that can lead to a variety of symptoms, including but not limited to: epilepsy, hair loss, weight gain, fatigue, dark spots on the skin, and other skin disorders. Medication and a healthy diet are used to treat it.

Seborrheic dermatitis is the most common form of dermatitis

Overproduction of skin cells, including sebaceous (oil) cells, is the primary cause of primary seborrhea. Scaly and greasy skin is formed, with a terrible odour and an unpleasant appearance. A variety of treatments are available, including medicine and therapeutic baths.


The common condition of allergies in dogs is particularly prevalent in Cocker Spaniels. The three primary types of allergies are food allergies, contact allergies, and inhalant allergies, all of which can be addressed by removing particular foods from the dog's diet or by avoiding certain substances, such as bedding, flea treatments, dog shampoos, and other chemicals. Dietary restrictions, drugs, and alterations to one's surroundings are all possible treatment options, and they all depend on the underlying problem.

Idiopathic epilepsy

Epilepsy caused by idiopathic causes can be moderate or severe, and it is frequently passed down in families. Seizures can be caused by a wide range of conditions, including metabolic problems, viral diseases that impact the brain (such as encephalitis), cancerous tumours, exposure to toxins, and more. You should take your dog to the vet immediately if he experiences seizures.


One of the most common causes of lameness in dogs is canine hip dysplasia. The breeding of dogs with hip dysplasia is not recommended. Inquire about the parents of any puppies you're considering purchasing, and be sure they've been checked for hip dysplasia and found to be healthy.

Patellar luxation

The kneecap is dislocated (luxed) in patellar luxation (patella). The knee joint (typically in the rear limb) slides in and out of place, resulting in discomfort for the animal. This can be a serious problem.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Ophthalmologist Evaluation


A typical day's feeding for these dogs can be as much as three cups of commercial dog food (or the equivalent in wet or homemade food). Excess gas and bloating can be avoided by eating in smaller portions more frequently throughout the day. It's critical to remember that not all commercial dog foods are made equal.

A high-performance breed like the English Cocker Spaniel would benefit greatly from a diet that doesn't contain artificial additives and colours. The predominant ingredient in these dogs' meals should be actual meat, such as chicken, beef, or turkey. It's important to incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet to get enough of the important nutrients, such vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants.


This purebred dog's beautiful coat is only possible if it is properly cared for. It is recommended that you comb your Cocker Spaniel's hair at least three times a week to keep it from matting and becoming tangled. Unless they develop matting that is impossible to remove with a comb, they rarely require a haircut.

Bathing these dogs on a monthly basis can greatly reduce their stink, according to many individuals. Because they're so active, they'll naturally cut their own nails. Owners must wipe their dogs' ears once a week with a moist towel because they can't do it themselves.


These canines have a natural curiosity and desire to learn new things. Keeping them at home all day isn't going to make them happy. Every day, they must go on long walks throughout the neighbourhood. A trip to the dog park will be on their weekly agenda. 

When they are confined indoors, they require mental stimulation as well. For example, hide-and-seek is a great game to do with children. The English Cocker Spaniel enjoys hunting and agility as well as other forms of exercise.


When a Cocker Spaniel puppy is just a few months old, they should begin obedience training. Their development is rapid, and if they are not properly disciplined, they can become destructive and disruptive as they grow older. Immediately after bringing a puppy home, its owner should begin training the dog. 

These purebred canines, on the other hand, are extremely intelligent and adapt well to instruction. Owners of Cocker Spaniels should also consider training their pets on the agility course in addition to obedience training. PVC pipe and other simple materials can be used to do this at home.

Children and Other Pets

The Cocker Spaniel's popularity can be attributed in part to his suitability as a family pet. As long as he is raised with them and the children are kind and respectful to animals, he is fine with them. Nonetheless, all contacts between the Cocker and youngsters should be monitored by a competent adult because he is a highly sensitive dog

The Cocker Spaniel may also get along with other pets in the household, such as dogs, cats, and small animals, if they are properly trained and introduced.


Make sure your home is puppy-proof before bringing home a new puppy. There should be no mothering that the puppy could get into that could be harmful to it. Make sure to move any items that you don't want to be harmed by a rambunctious new pup before you bring one home.

It's a good idea to begin crate training your new dog as soon as possible. Your puppy's crate training can make it more comfortable for them to be left alone, making them feel more secure in their surroundings. Get your dog acclimated to going into his crate after eating or playing by creating a routine for him.

When you bring your puppy home, start the process of training and potty training immediately. As a result, he will be able to understand and respond to cues and directions. Getting your puppy used to children, adults, and other canines as early as possible is critical for his future social development.

Dogs similar to Cocker Spaniel

English Springer Spaniels, American Water Spaniels, and Field Spaniels are three breeds that are closely related to these dogs.

English Springer Spaniel

Dogs such as Cocker Spaniels and English Springer Spaniels are both very clever and fun-loving. Cocker Spaniels are smaller in stature than English Springer Spaniels. A 50-pound English Spring Spaniel can be considered a large dog, whereas a 22-pound Cocker Spaniel is considered a small dog.

American Water Spaniel

These two breeds, American Water Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels, are both friendly and easy to teach. However, Cocker Spaniels outperform American Water Spaniels in intelligence and emotional sensitivity.

Field Spaniel

This breed of dog is known for its ability to adapt to a wide range of conditions, making it a popular choice for families. It is far easier to groom the coat of a Field Spaniel than it is to groom the coat of a Cocker Spaniel, which requires frequent professional grooming.