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Adopt an English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


gundog, spaniel

Area of origin:


Original function:

bird flushing and retrieving

Average size of male:

Ht: 16-17, Wt: 28-34

Average size of female:

Ht: 15-16, Wt: 26-32

Other names:

cocker spaniel

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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English Cocker Spaniel Dog Temperament

The English cocker spaniel retains more of her hunting nature than does the American version, and she also needs a little more exercise. She is cheerful, inquisitive, demonstrative, devoted, biddable, loyal and sensitive. This is a sociable dog that likes to stay close to her human family.

English Cocker Spaniel Dog Care

Daily exercise is a necessity, either in the form of a long walk on leash, a good run in the field or a lively game in the yard. The English cocker is such a social dog that she does best living inside and playing outside. The medium-length coat needs brushing two to three times per week, plus clipping around the head and ears scissoring around the feet and tail every two months. The ears should be cleaned weekly.

English Cocker Spaniel Dog Health

Major concerns: PRA
Minor concerns: cataracts, CHD, familial nephropathy
Occasionally seen: glaucoma, cardiomyopathy
Suggested tests: hearing (for particolors), eye, hip, (knee)
Life span: 12-14 years
Note: deafness is a major concern in particolors; CHD is more common in solid colors; PRA is of PRCD type

Interested in the history of the English Cocker Spaniel dog breed?

The spaniel family is one of the largest groups of dogs, and one of the most specialized. The English cocker spaniel is one of the land spaniels. The land spaniels consisted of larger spaniels that were better for springing game, and smaller spaniels that were better for hunting woodcock. These different sizes appeared in the same litters and were essentially two variations of the same breed. Only in 1892 were the two sizes considered separate breeds, with the smaller size (under 25 pounds) designated as the cocker spaniel. In fact, because both breeds shared the same gene pool, they still share many of the same hunting talents. In 1901, the weight limit was abolished. Cocker spaniels became extremely popular in England, but American breeders strove to change the breed in ways that traditional English cocker spaniel enthusiasts objected to. English and American cocker spaniels were shown together until 1936, when the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America was formed and the English cocker received status as a separate variety. The English Cocker Spaniel Club discouraged the interbreeding of the American and English cockers, and in 1946 the English cocker was designated a separate breed. After the breeds were separated, the American cocker eclipsed the English in popularity, but only in America. Throughout the rest of the world, the English cocker is by far the more popular of the two breeds and is known simply as the cocker spaniel.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

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