Behold, the dog with the tail that never tires of wagging. A smallish, sporty dog, the Cocker Spaniel’s trademark look is its luxurious silky coat and dangly ears.
There are two strains of the Cocker Spaniel breed; working Cockers and show-types. Working Cocker Spaniels were originally bred as gundogs, with the stamina to run after game all day long. Show-types, as the name suggests, are bred for dog shows and are more compact. Both types share similar characteristics, with minor differences in temperament and appearance. Let’s take a look at the Cocker Spaniel.
Breed Group: Gundog
Coat length: Medium
Exercise: at least 2x 30-minute walks a day
Grooming required?: At least twice a week
The Cocker Spaniel – a gundog breed – originated in England and earned its name by driving the woodcock bird from its hiding place, making life easier for the hunter. They’re close relatives of Springer Spaniels – once sharing the same litter. Cockers were recognised as an independent breed in 1893, before then, Cockers and other Spaniels were treated as the same breed and known as Land Spaniels
Cocker Spaniels tend to live for more than 10 years, and sometimes as many as 15.
Cocker Spaniel characteristics
Loyal to their owners, playful and gentle natured, Cocker Spaniels make for very popular family dogs. Always up for a run around with children in the garden, or a cuddle on the sofa, these easy going happy dogs are also a good choice if you have cats.
Smart and energetic
Their background has hunting dogs means that they’re always up for a challenge, eager to learn new tricks and have bundles of energy. They’ll take as much energy as you can give them!
Working vs. Show
Working type Cockers bear a closer resemblance to the older gundog type of Spaniels. They tend to be slightly larger with slightly flatter heads and slightly shorter ears. Whereas both types are energetic, the working type usually have more stamina than the show type. The latter are bred with appearance in mind and breeders usually aim to breed dogs that match the Kennel Club standards. Be sure to check with a breeder which type they are breeding, as even the small differences can result in quite a different experience for an owner.
Eager to please, devoted and loyal, the highly intelligent Cocker will respond well to a calm but firm sense authority.
Cocker Spaniels are fairly easy to housebreak – as long as you maintain consistency from the beginning.
Where to find Cocker Spaniels
Cocker Spaniel Groups
Want to swap stories on the sprightly Cocker Spaniel? Find a group below.
The Cocker Spaniel Club
The Midland Cocker Spaniel Club
West of England Cocker Spaniel Club
London Cocker Spaniel Society
The Cocker Spaniel Breed Council
Adopt a Cocker
Want to adopt a Cocker Spaniel in need of a loving home? Find a rescue centre below.
Cocker & English Springer Spaniel Rescue
The Cocker Spaniel Club Rescue
Find an approved Cocker Spaniel breeder below.
Kennel Club Assured Breeders
Do you own a Cocker Spaniel?
If you own a Cocker let us know in the comments below and upload your picture to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tagging @DogBuddyCo. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #dogbuddybreed so we can filter your images!