English Cocker Spaniel


The English Cocker Spaniel is of the gun dog breed. This breed is a very active, well natured, sporting dog. As is the American Cocker Spaniel within the USA, outside the United States, the breed is normally understood simply as the Cocker Spaniel. The word cocker is commonly held to come from their use to hunt woodcock. Spaniel type breeds have been found for almost 500 years within art and literature. Initially, spaniels in England were split into two types; land spaniels and water spaniels. The distinction among the spaniels that caused the breeds that we see now did not begin until the mid-19th century.

Physical Appearance

The English Cocker Spaniel is a hardy, compact, and well balanced dog. Its expression is characteristic and displays alertness and intelligence. Its eyes should be dark and its lobular ears when pulled forward should reach just slightly past the tip of the nose. In North America, the dog’s tail is normally docked. In those countries where docking is legal, the tail is usually docked at about 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) in field-bred dogs. Show dogs are generally docked nearer to the body. Both males and females of this type weigh approximately 13-14.5 kilograms (29-32 lb). Standards indicate that males of this type are between 15.5-16 inches at the withers on average. The females are slightly smaller, around 15-15.5 inches. At first glance the English Cocker is similar to the English Springer, the main difference is the larger size of the Springer. English Cockers tend to also have longer ears that are lower set. The Springers tend to have a longer muzzle, and their eyes are not as prominent as the English cocker. Also, the Springers coat is not as full.

Breed standards restrict dogs to particular colours for the purposes of conformation showing (dependent on country). However, working Cockers may be any of a wide selection of colours. The colors can come in solid, particoloured, and roan types of markings. Roan consists of solid patches along with white patches that are speckled or “ticked” with the same color as in the slid patches.


Cockers are compassionate, motivated, kind, intelligent, fit, attentive and resistant and make great family pets. The breed is very social and does not enjoy being left alone. It will bond strongly to one person in the family, and that is usually the one who feeds it. Because of its optimism, ability to adapt, and intellect, this dog is extremely affectionate and loyal. Early socialization of the dog enables the breed to be able to get along well with people, kids, other dogs and other pets. This breed seemingly has a perpetually wagging tail and prefers to be around folks; it’s not best suited to the backyard alone. Loud noises and rough treatment or handling can easily stress Cockers. When trained using lots of rewards and with a soft hand, the Cocker Spaniel will probably be an obedient and loving comrade having a joyful, cheerful nature.


The English Cocker has an average life span of 11-12 years. The most common causes of death for the breed were cancer, old age, cardiac, and combinations thereof. Other common problems include bite problems, skin allergies, shyness, cataracts, deafness, aggression towards other dogs and benign tumors. Uncommon health problems among the breed include; hip dysplasia, patellar lunation, dilated cardiomyopathy, and heart murmurs.

English Cocker Spaniel