English Cocker Spaniel

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Is the English Cocker Spaniel right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): English Cocker

The basics:
The English Cocker Spaniel is a well-regarded hunting dog, show dog, and even a personable family pet. This breed enjoys outdoor exercise and projects an attitude of tail-wagging enthusiasm while working or playing with its humans.

As the name suggests, English Cocker Spaniels were developed in England in the Middle Ages from dogs brought from Spain. "Cocker" refers to the woodcock, a game bird that these spaniels were adept at flushing. Although the American Cocker Spaniel is also descended from this stock, the American branch of the family is considerably smaller and offers a noticeably different shape, so they were recognized as two separate breeds by the mid-20th century.

Appearance / health:
The English Cocker Spaniel is a sturdy dog with long hanging ears.

Regular brushing and combing is necessary to keep their medium-long coats in good condition. Show dogs are normally stripped by hand or with a stripping knife. Ears require more care, and must be cleaned regularly with a ear cleaning solution.

Cockers have plenty of stamina and need regular exercise. They adjust well to apartment living if they are adequately exercised, and are fairly active indoors. A small yard is sufficient for exercising. Walking for 60 to 80 minutes is sufficient. Puppies require very little exercise.

Progressive retinal atrophy and canine hip dysplasia (abnormal hip development that can result in lameness) are some of the problems that plague this otherwise healthy breed.

Behavior / temperament:
English Cocker Spaniels are intelligent and highly trainable. They have a tendency to wander but not as much as compared to other hunting breeds. They can be too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound and thus may bark excessively.


trainable, excellent temperament, loyal dog, gentle dog, great family pets, loves children


prey animals, weekly ear cleanings


fantastic apartment do, sensitive dogs, Field Work, great recall

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