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English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel

This definitive dog has long been a part of the English dog scene. Although outside of Europe the tail of the English Cocker Spaniel is usually docked, this practice is illegal in most of Europe.


This breed is one of the oldest breeds of spaniels and was imported into England several centuries ago. Although the English Cocker Spaniel and the Springer Spaniel were developed together, in 1892 the Kennel Club of England recognised the English Cocker Spaniel as a separate breed. This breed was originally used as a hunting gun dog as it is able to work both on wet and dry land an on difficult terrain. In fact, the name Cocker comes from the word woodcock, which is one of the main types of game birds that the English Cocker Spaniel was used for flushing.

Body Type

This breed has a medium-sized, compact body with an arched head that appears slightly flattened. The muzzle of the English Cocker Spaniel has a defined stop and is the same length as the head. The nose can be either brown or black, while the teeth meet in either a level or scissors bite. This breed has distinctive hazel or dark brown eyes and bears low set ears that are covered in wavy or silky fur. This breed has a wide variation of coat colours such as solid black, brown and red, while it may also have brown and white markings.


The English Cocker Spaniel is very intelligent as well as lively and playful. The breed tends to be very affectionate and relates to children well. The breed makes an excellent companion and takes easily to strangers as well as family cats. The English Cocker Spaniel requires a lot of attention and socialisation, otherwise it can become withdrawn. The breed needs to be trained and controlled, although it does not respond well to severe discipline and needs plenty of encouragement, while the English Cocker Spaniel can develop temperament issues if not well cared for.

Associated Health Problems

The English Cocker Spaniel is susceptible to ear infections and its ears should be checked regularly, especially during the summer months. The breed can become host to burrs and ticks and the fur should be checked carefully while grooming. Feeding should be monitored closely, as the English Cocker Spaniel gains weight easily when overfed.

Living Conditions

The English Cocker Spaniel can live comfortably either in an apartment or in an outdoor area such as a yard. However, the breed prefers being around people to being alone likes to sleep in the same room as other members of the family if possible.

Exercise and Care

This breed requires a large amount of exercise, including a daily walk. When talking the English Cocker Spaniel for a walk on a lead it is important that the dog be made to walk behind or heel, as it will try to assert its dominance by walking ahead and if this is permitted to happen, the dog will be much more difficult to control. The coat requires regular combing and brushing, while the ears such be cleared of excess wax from time to time. The hair on the feet should also be brushed, while the hair around the pads needs trimming occasionally.

Bred Stats

Height of females: 38-43cms
Weight of males: 36-41kg
Weight of females: 12-15kg
Life expectancy: 12-15 years
Group: Gun Dog, AKC Sporting