English Cocker Spaniels were bred to be hunting dogs, especially for game birds. One bird in particular, the woodcock, gave the Cocker Spaniel its name. But don't let her name fool you, the English Cocker Spaniel, aka the “Cocker”, has been in the good ol' U.S. of A for a long time and may have come to America on the Mayflower.
Stocky and sturdy, English Cocker Spaniels have been a favorite of presidents and television icons alike: Truman and Nixon both owned these dogs; and Oprah has three! This breed also sometimes works in hospitals. In fact, some English Cocker Spaniels have been known to identify cancer in British patients.
Originally from England, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 26-34 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Sporting group.
|Breed's original pastime||Hunting|
|Average lifespan||12-14 years|
|Date of origin||1800s|
|Original function||Bird flushing and retrieving|
|Today's function||Bird flushing and retrieving|
|Average size of male||Height: 17.5-20.5 Weight: 30-40|
|Average size of female||Height: 17.5-20.5 Weight: 30-40|
|Energy level||Medium energy|
|Affection level||Very affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Very friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Very friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Very friendly|
|Ease of training||Hard to train|
|Protection ability||Not very protective|
|Grooming needs||Moderately maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||Medium tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Medium tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS AN ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
English Cocker Spaniels are loyal, sweet, affectionate, cheerful, and playful. These energetic and enthusiastic dogs are good with families. They get along well with children, other dogs, other pets, and strangers.
WHAT IS ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This breed is hard working outdoors and a mellow couch buddy back inside. English Cocker Spaniels are a somewhat active breed who need regular exercise.
They're alert and vigilant, but entirely too friendly to be good watchdogs. They can be somewhat prone to barking.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN AN ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL?
English Cocker Spaniels are responsive and easy to train people-pleasers. It's important to put the work in, though: some can be stubborn; and this breed is slightly aggressive and territorial if not trained well.
Training for obedience helps your dog become a good canine citizen and helps keep its busy brain active. Your English Cocker Spaniel will likely respond best to food rewards.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO ENGLISH COCKER SPANIELS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
An English Cocker Spaniel's single coat is medium-to-long and silky and its ears are long, feathered, and floppy. Their hair can be wavy or flat. Scientifically speaking, there's no real chemical difference between hair and fur — they're both made of keratin (the same stuff your hair and fingernails are made of). If you're concerned about allergies, choose a breed that doesn't shed much and produces less dander.
English Cocker Spaniels are average seasonal shedders who need regular brushing and grooming. Plan to brush and comb your pup several times a week to discourage matting. It's especially important to keep their ears clean and dry to avoid infection.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO ENGLISH COCKER SPANIELS HAVE?
Though a generally healthy breed, English Cocker Spaniels can be prone to ear infections and cataracts. Some also develop orthopedic issues, including patellar luxation and hip dysplasia, and eye ailments.