Cocker Spaniel Photo

Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed Info & Pictures

The smallest dog in the Sporting Group, the Cocker Spaniel (or American Cocker Spaniel as it is sometimes called) has an efficient and serviceable-looking body, with straight forequarters and a spine that slopes gently to powerful, moderately bent hindquarters, and a docked tail. The Cocker's head is fine and well developed, with a rounded skull and very long, luxuriantly feathered ears, all covered by a posh coat. The Cocker Spaniel's face features noticeable eyebrows and stop, clean cheeks, large nose and a square jaw. The eyes are soft and kind. The Cocker Spaniel's coat can be flat, silky or wavy. The coat is short and fine on the head, medium length with some undercoat along the ribs and back, and long on the rest of the body. The coat can be any solid color, including black, or particolored.

Cocker Spaniel Fast Facts

12 - 15 years
United States
19th century
24 - 28 lb
24 - 28 lb
14.5 - 15.5"
13.5 - 14.5"
Cocker Spanial, Cocer Spaniel, Cokker Spaniel or Cokcer Spaniel.
American Cocker Spaniel


The Cocker Spaniel has a delightful personality with a mischievous side that reflects a mind of its own....

Typically described as jolly, sweet, smart, sociable and eager to please, the Cocker has a spirited curiosity and makes an ideal companion. These dog get along fantastically with strangers, dogs, children and other pets; aggression or timidity is extremely rare. Cocker Spaniels are rather sensitive, so owners need to be gentle and show patience with these dogs. Adaptable to either country or city living, Cockers are a bit demanding of their owners time. Owners who are new to the breed will benefit from getting advice from an expert before adopting a Cocker Spaniel. Unlike other spaniels, the Cocker has only a modest instinctual drive to hunt.

Caring For a Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels enjoy being inside the house but they need attention and patience on their owner's part....

Their persuasive expression and irresistible desire to snack can easily cause the American Cocker to overindulge. Watch their weight obesity is not only unhealthy but uncomfortable for your dog. Routine exercise is required to help maintain their overall health and fitness. A romp in the park or game of fetch will satisfy their exercise requirements. In full coat, the American Cocker Spaniel is a pleasure to behold; the long and silky coat requires daily visits from the brush and comb. At the very least a once a week thorough combing is necessary, taking care around the ear canal to keep this area free of hair and to provide exposure to air. Avoid pulling out the long silky coat-hairs when brushing. Habitual appointments with a groomer will help maintain their general well-kept appearance. Often owners will clip their Cocker Spaniel, especially in the early summer, to make the dog feel cooler and to allow for easier swimming. American Cocker Spaniels are average shedders. Known health issues in the Cocker Spaniel include progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma, patellar luxation and cataracts. Sometimes, one will also see canine hip dysplasia, ectropion, entropion, allergies, otitis externa, kidney stones and liver disease.

Cocker Spaniel History

Breed History

The cocker in the name Cocker Spaniel refers to the fact that the breed originally hunted woodcock....

The first Cocker Spaniel in America is thought to have arrived in 1620 along with the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower. Over the following centuries, settlers brought more Cockers to help investigate and take advantage of the wilderness game. These dogs are the ancestors of the Cocker Spaniel. Cocker Spaniels have been exhibited in the US since the early 1880s. However, as developed here, the American Cocker has evolved somewhat differently in type, size, and coloring from the breed now recognized as the English Cocker Spaniel. Originally a gun dog, the American Cocker now fulfills the position of family pet or show dog most often and unlike the English Cocker, is rarely seen hunting. Nevertheless, some American Cockers are still bred for fieldwork, and a small movement works to preserve the hunting abilities of the breed. The Cocker Spaniels inherent desire to hunt contributes to his capability as a gun dog when judiciously trained, and the Cocker covers all territory within gun range speedily, flushing game and retrieving only when under command, and taking to water readily.Cocker Spaniels have attained star status in the media. The more famous Cockers are Lady from Lady and the Tramp, Lucky Bundy from Married with Children, Oprah Winfrey's pets Solomon and Sophie, and Checkers, First Dog during the presidency of Richard Nixon.