English Cocker Spaniel Photo

English Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed Info & Pictures

The English Cocker Spaniel is a breed of gun dog, descended from the now-rare Field Spaniel and closely related to the American Cocker Spaniel. Both dogs are named Cocker Spaniels as they were originally bred for hunting woodcocks. English Cocker Spaniel breeders usually focus on either the field-bred English Cocker Spaniel, which is still a working gun dog, or “show” Cockers.

These two strains are quite different, with field-bred spaniels having shorter ears than the show-bred English Cocker Spaniel. An English Cocker Spaniel bred for show may have longer, pendulous ears, similar to that of their cousin, the American Cocker Spaniel. In general, the English Cocker Spaniel has a long, streamlined muzzle with a black nose.

The head is rounded, without sharp angles, and the wide-set oval eyes are alert and friendly. The Cocker is a medium-sized, compact dog with a well-balanced body. The coat is long and silky, with longer hair along their undercarriage and shorter hair on their head and back. The English Cocker Spaniel comes in black and liver, red, lemon, and golden. The markings can be solid, roan, ticking, open-marked, or tan. After World War II, the English Cocker Spaniel became such a popular companion dog that their field abilities were nearly forgotten.

However, in recent times, the English Cocker Spaniel has enjoyed a comeback as a sporting dog. The friendly and loving personality of the English Cocker Spaniel earned the breed a fitting nickname: the “Merry Cocker.” This breed is well-known as a sporting dog that’s perfect for families with children. When looking for English Cocker Spaniel puppies for sale, make sure you find a trustworthy and ethical breeder, or search for an English Cocker Spaniel rescue organization. Due to their popularity, this breed is often targeted by puppy mills.

Make sure you can visit your English Cocker Spaniel breeder’s home and meet the parents. The English Cocker can be susceptible to several health problems, especially if the breeder isn’t taking proper care of the lineage. English Cockers can be prone to hypothyroidism, ear infections, cataracts, kidney disease, and cardiomyopathy. Rage syndrome can also be another problem for Cocker Spaniels obtained from unethical breeders. Be sure to fully investigate the bloodline before adopting an English Cocker Spaniel puppy.

English Cocker Spaniel Fast Facts

11 - 14 years
19th century
28 - 34 lb
26 - 32 lb
16 - 17"
15 - 16"
English Kocker Spaniel, English Coker Spaniel, or English Cocker Spanial.
Cocker Spaniel


The English Cocker Spaniel is famous for their winning personality....

Friendly, loving, and intelligent, the Cocker Spaniel adores being close to the family, which makes them unsuitable for outside living.The resilient and determined Cocker Spaniel might be a food burglar, but a loving one! Such behavior should be discouraged, as Cocker Spaniels can easily slip into obesity without proper nutrition and exercise. They can also experience problems in the joints, which can be compounded by carrying extra weight. An excellent family dog who does well with other pets, the Cocker is a charming addition to any household. However, in rare cases, English Cocker Spaniels may suffer from rage syndrome. Rage syndrome is a condition where a dog may slip into an unprovoked fit of rage, suddenly displaying aggressive behavior without warning. The dog may have glazed eyes or be unaware of their surroundings. Its unknown why this occurs, but it is extremely rare. Recent studies have indicated that coloring may play a part in rage syndrome, with solid-colored Cockers displaying more aggressive traits than their bi- or tri-colored counterparts. That said, many Cocker Spaniel paw-parents will tell you that the average Cocker Spaniel is the friendliest breed you can find. Do your research before adopting a Cocker Spaniel, and be sure to ask your rescue organization or breeder plenty of questions before adopting a puppy.Although the English Cocker Spaniel shares their sweet nature with the American Cocker Spaniel, the English Cocker may be slightly more energetic than their cousin. As a breed of gun dog, the English Cocker Spaniel will relish long and boisterous walks and playing fetch.

Caring For a English Cocker Spaniel

With their small, compact frame and lap-loving personality, its easy to forget that the English Cocker Spaniel was bred as a hunting dog....

This means that they need far more exercise than their American cousin, who can experience respiratory issues as a result of having a flat face. Not so for the long-snouted English Cocker, who is built for exploring fields and marshes. An English Cocker Spaniel needs at least two vigorous walks a day and mental engagement through play. The English Cocker Spaniel is a non-hypoallergenic dog who will shed a lot. Keep the furballs at bay with a daily brushing and a monthly groom.With long hair around the ears, paws, and rear, its important that your English Cocker Spaniel is frequently groomed to avoid hygiene problems and infections. Ear infections are rampant in Cocker Spaniels, so make sure that the inner ear area is trimmed and clean.

English Cocker Spaniel History

Breed History

Spaniels are one of the oldest dog breeds, with evidence of spaniel-type dogs spanning back over 500 years....

Its believed that the first Spaniel came to England along with the Romans, somewhere between 54-55 B.C. Due to their name, its assumed that the first spaniel originated in Spain. Spaniels have played a part in literature, with both Chaucer and William Shakespeare writing about spaniel breeds. The English Cocker Spaniel has a long history of being beloved by British royalty. When Pope Clement VIII came to visit King Henry VIII, Lord Wiltshires Cocker Spaniel infamously bit the pope on the toe. This clearly soured relations between the Catholic Church and Britain. King Henry XIII took the side of the spaniel and shunned the Catholic Church shortly after medieval toegate. These days, the royal connection with the Cocker Spaniel is less controversial. Prince William and Princess Kate (formally known as the Duke and Duchess of York) are paw-parents to Luna, a solid black English Cocker Spaniel.By the late 1600s, the spaniel breed was separated into two strains; water spaniels and land spaniels. Water spaniels were sent through marshlands and rivers to retrieve birds that had been shot with arrows. Their land counterparts were adept at jumping into the brush, causing all of the birds to take flight and reveal themselves to hunters who either had nets or other animals (such as falcons and Greyhounds) to kill their prey. After the advent of guns during the 17th century, the role of the field spaniel expanded. They became invaluable for tracking down fallen birds and causing enough of a ruckus in the undergrowth to scare off all the fowl inhabitants.The first English Cocker Spaniel wasnt recognized until 1892. Prior to that, all spaniels could come from the same litter. The largest puppies in a litter would be Springer Spaniels, medium-sized pups were Sussex Spaniels, and the smallest were Cocker Spaniels. After 1892, the English Cocker Spaniel was formally recognized. Cocker Spaniels would go on to do remarkably well as show dogs, with the English Cocker Spaniel winning the Best Dog In Show award at Crufts more than any other breed in history.