English Cocker Spaniel – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
The English Cocker Spaniel is a breed for you if you want a playful dog with a silky coat. Read on to learn more about the breed's grooming needs and temperament.
Dog Breed Group:
Sporting Dogs
1 foot, 3 inches to 1 foot, 5 inches tall at the shoulder
26 to 34 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 14 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The English Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular dog breeds today.

Their temperament is so lively, that they are even named ‘merry cocker’ – as such, this is a cheerful and playful dog with a heart-light personality. They are highly loyal and make great pets for families with children.

Thanks to their compact size, the English Cocker Spaniel is a great apartment dog. This is a breed of gun dog that is happiest when there is a job to be done.

This working dog is best known as the Cocker Spaniel.

The word cocker is commonly held to stem from their use to hunt woodcock.

They may seem like elegant and gentle dogs, but they are hard-working dogs who love nothing more but to be of use for their humans.

They are so active and agile that they can easily dominate the show ring.

In fact, this dog has many skills that he can easily perform, including catching birds.

Quick Facts

Real name: English Cocker Spaniel
Other names: Cocker Spaniel
Common nicknames: Cocker, Cocker Spaniel
Origin: England
Breed type: Sporting Dogs
Weight: 26 to 34 pounds
Height: 1 foot, 3 inches to 1 foot, 5 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
Litter Size: 3 – 12 puppies
Color: They come in variety of colros, including black, liver, red and golden, brown, blue roan, orange roan, lover roan, or orange and white. Other color combinations are present as well
Coat: Medium-long coat that is slightly wavy

English Cocker Spaniel History

Spaniel-type dogs are one of the oldest types of dogs alive. They have been around for almost 500 years if not even longer.

Originally, spaniels in England were separated into two different groups:

  • Land spaniels, and
  • Water spaniels

As of the 1850s and 1860s other types of spaniels started appearing. Over time these types were classified into different groups.

Yet, the English Cocker Spaniel is one of the oldest types of land spaniel. They are so old breed, that their roots can be traced back to 14th century Spain.

Originally from England, these dogs were used and bred to hunt birds. In fact, their specialty was hunting a type of bird called the woodcock. Hence the name.

English Cocker Spaniel Physical Appearance

The English Cocker Spaniel is a sturdy and well-balanced dog of elegant posture.

This elegant dog is known for his gentle nature and intelligence. Their eyes are dark, big, and expressive.

It’s common to dock their tails in the States, while docking today is illegal in Australia and South Africa.

In England and Wales, dog owners need special permission if they want to duck their dog’s tail.

Dog owners need to prove that their English Cocker Spaniel will be used for shooting or working dogs.

They commonly weigh between 26 to 34 pounds. As for the height, they stand 1 foot, 3 inches to 1 foot, 5 inches tall at the shoulder.

Their coat is of medium length and will be flat or slightly wavy. They will have a silky texture.

English Cocker Spaniel’s coat is called feathering and covers legs, chest, and belly. Their head is slightly longer compared to other spaniels, while ears are long and set low. The coat comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

English Cocker Spaniel Personality

Living with the English Cocker Spaniel will be a unique experience. They may seem gentle and soft, but they will show you how active and powerful dogs they are in fact.

English Cocker Spaniels were bred to hunt all day, which means that they thrive on duty.

Give your English Cocker Spaniel a task, and he will appreciate it a lot. You do have to send him to the forest or the field to hunt, you can provide a puzzle toy that will keep him busy and moving.

A simple interactive toy packed with treats can keep your English Cocker Spaniel busy for hours. This is also a great way to keep anxiety away from your dog.

When bored, neglected, or overall unhappy, dogs may develop separation anxiety. This condition is treatable, but the process si long and can take a lot of your energy.

Make sure that you have someone always with your English Cocker Spaniel and that you can provide enough toys and indoor games. This is a cheerful, loyal, and sensitive breed, who loves children.

Great with children, English Cocker Spaniel will still love boundaries. children should know how to behave around dogs. They mustn’t pull their ears or tail, or touch their noses.

Dogs shouldn’t be disturbed while eating, drinking water, sleeping, or just resting n their crate.

To have a well-behaved dog you should invest your time in proper training and early socialization.

English Cocker Spaniel Training

Training needs are almost identical for any dog breed.

To have a well-behaved canine, you need to organize consistent training sessions that are fun, engaging, and packed with treats.

Use treats to reward your English Cocker Spaniel. Dogs love rewards and good praise when behaved well.

Never use treats as a substitution for a real meal. Treats should always be served as an occasional reward.

Training English Cocker Spaniel should be easy, as long as you have experience as a dog owner.

If you feel like you need support during a training session, think about puppy classes or hiring a professional dog trainer.

This can be a great way to bond with your Fido furthermore and great inputs on how to have a truly well-behaved dog.

English Cocker Spaniel Exercise

English Cocker Spaniel should be given up to a 45-minute walk per day. This should be a separate time from regular toilet walks.

Do you know how many dogs should go outside to pee? Make sure that you know how to provide the right exercise to your dog based on his energy levels, age, and temperament.

Some Spaniels may be more chill, while some may be highly active. Dogs love to explore.

A short walk around the block should be fine when the weather is cold, or a day is extremely rainy, but in general, you should provide longer walks.

Dogs should sniff around, meet other people, and run with other dogs in the dog park – this is how they get to learn about the world.

English Cocker Spaniel Grooming

Most English Cockers have a long and silky coat which requires weekly brushing.

Make sure that you have the right grooming tools on hand, to make the entire grooming experience easy and safe. If you feel that you need some kind of guidance grooming-wise talk to your veterinarian or with a professional groomer.

If you cannot spare time to groom your English Cocker regularly, you can always hire a professional groomer. This may be pricey, but it will save you both time and energy.

Trim or grind a dog’s nails monthly as too-long nails can cause discomfort and pain. Check eyes, gums, and ears weekly.

Learn how to clean a dog’s ears and when. Bathe only when needed and use only shampoo specially designed for dogs.

English Cocker Spaniel Health

If you are buying a puppy you should work only with responsible dog breeders.

This means that you will get medical documentation on the dog, learn about the dog’s parents and even get the opportunity to see the facilities.

Reputable breeders want to give dogs only to people who believe, they want to be sure that you are the best fit for their puppy, and that you are serious. That being said, expect a lot of questions.

Also, expect a lot of information on the dog’s current health condition, and possible health complications in the future.

In some English Cocker Spaniels hip dysplasia or familial nephropathy may appear.

To avoid this, make sure that you provide enough veterinarian check-ups. This is the most effective way to keep your dog’s health on the right path.

Are you thinking about adopting a dog? If so, kudos to you! Adopting a dog is such a humane thing to do.

You will get to save a life and also give a dog an opportunity for safe and lovely senior years in the safety of your home.

Animal shelters representatives will inform you of the dog’s health, tell you that the dog has been microchipped, and give you an in-depth record of the dog’s temperament and daily behavior.

To keep your English Cocker Spaniel healthy, you should think bout nutrition.

Make sure that you provide food that is appropriate to the dog’s age, size, and activity level.

Some may be prone to weight gain, which is why you would want to think about calorie consumption.

You should know how much to feed your dog, how often, and when. As a general rule, dogs shouldn’t be fed after an intense workout.

To avoid obesity in your English Cocker Spaniel learn which human foods is safe to serve to your Fido, and which table scraps should be avoided no matter what.

Is English Cocker Spaniel For You?

The English Cocker Spaniel is a breed that enjoys family time. They are huge family dogs and even bigger family people, lovers.

This is a loyal, sensitive, and playful breed. They are suited for families with adult children. They will get along with other dogs as well and even unfamiliar people.

If you need a guarding dog this breed isn’t for you. This breed is for you if you want an athletic dog, who is playful, polite with everyone, and has a silky coat.

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