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Important: This information is collected from a variety of sources and is presented as general thoughts about the breed. It is sugggested that you use our information with that of your own to make any decisions. We suggest you DO NOT make any decisions about a family pet based solely on these pages. Keep digging!


Cocker Spaniel (English and American)

Group (AKC):


Country of OriginUSA
Type of coatShort and fine on head, medium length on body, with enough undercoat to give protection.
Groomingrequires frequent brushing and bathing as coat absorbs odors and will mildew and stink, ear cleaning necessary as prone to ear infections, nail trimming
Average height15-17 inches
Average weight25-35 pounds (American slightly smaller)
Activity levelIndoors - Medium, Outdoors - High
Watchdoghigh ability
IntelligenceHigh, Obedience - High, Problem Solving - Low
Trainabilityaverage, stubborn, soft
Compatibility with childrenYes, if from good blood lines he is exceptionally good with children. Not recommended for children unless it is raised as a puppy with children
CharacterActive, friendly
Ideal home environmentApartment, house, country or city as long as he is exercised he will adapt.
Ideal ownerpatient leader who will insist on obedience and daily handling of the dog, no spoilers
Suggestions:Avoid puppy mill or pet store dogs as with any breed. It is imperative to deal with  a reputable breeder.
Links and resources
  • American Cocker Spaniel Club, Inc.
    Correspondence. Secretary, Ellen Passage, 35 Academy Road, Hohokus, NJ 07423-1301
  • Cocker Spaniel Club of South Texas
    President, Debbie Kilpatrick, (281)-471-6989, wyndsongcockers@hotmail.com

Additional notes:

Cocker Spaniel owners in the 90's are always nostalgiacally comparing their current dog to the one they grew up with. Unfortunately, popular breeds often suffer from a shortage of supply. In response, unqualified breeeders move into dog breeeding for money rather than the love of and best interest of the breed. These backyard breeders did not recognize the character of the breed and misunderstood shyness for softness, etc., and filled the demand for Cocker Spaniels with poorly bred dogs. For many years, Cocker Spaniels were bred to be soft and submissive dogs and without careful breeding this character, when not properly recognized and understood, can result in an overly sensitive or shy dog. This shyness can lead to fear biting and other behavior problems that are difficult to train.

Short History:

The Spaniel is an old breed going back to the mid 1300's. They have been divided into two groups: water spaniels and land spaniels. Size has also played a role in further division: toys were used specifically as pets or comforters; the larger spaniels were retained their use as hunting dogs. The cocker is the smallest member of the Sporting Dog class.

The dog has an inherent desire to hunt, is a capable gun dog, and can also be used as a retriever as it likes water too. The name cocker comes from the dog's proficiency at hunting woodcock.
It has a sturdy compact body of excellent size and a cleanly chiseled refined head. Its coat is a beautiful silky texture which is flat to slightly wavy. There are abundant feathers (well, not bird feathers, but you know what we mean) on the legs, ears, chest, and abdomen. There are many variations in colors. The solid colors are black, red, cream, or buff. The parti-colors are black and white, black and tan, or liver and white. There is also a tri-colored black, tan, and white. It is known for its speed and endurance, keen desire to work, and free and merry disposition.

The cocker is a popular pet and companion. It is known as a lover of home and family and is usually trustworthy and adaptable.

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