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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel

Origin: Great Britain

AKC Group: Sporting

Height: 15 - 17 inches (Male)

Weight: 25 - 35 pounds (Male)

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English Cocker Spaniels are more lively than American Cocker Spaniels, so they need more exercise. They get along well with strangers, children and other pets. They're sometimes hard to housebreak.

The English Cocker Spaniel is a sporting dog. In general, sporting dogs are active and alert and require daily exercise. Because they have superior instincts in the water and woods, sporting dogs are often used for hunting. If exercised and properly trained, most sporting dogs make excellent pets. However, some of these dogs like to bark and whine a lot, so they're not suited for apartment life.

Great Britain
Male height: 
15 - 17 inches
Male weight: 
25 - 35 pounds
Silky, longer hair on the chest, stomach, legs, throat and tail. Tail docked.
Blue roan, solid black and solid tan. Also available in party-colors and tricolors. Eyes dark brown in dark-colored dogs, and hazel in light-colored dogs. Nose is either black or brown.

All English spaniels were developed from a spaniel-type dog imported into the United Kingdom many centuries ago. These English spaniels were eventually divided into seven distinct breeds: the Clumber, the Sussex, the Welsh Springer, the English Springer, the Field, the Irish Water and the Cocker. It is believed that the name "cocker" is taken from either the woodcock (one of the small birds he hunted) or the way the small dogs "cocked" the birds for the hunter's net. The Cocker was a popular spaniel from the beginning, and from the 1940s to the 1960s, he was at the top of the dog breed charts in England. Americans were smitten with the Cocker, too, but took the look of the breed in a slightly different direction. In 1940, England's Kennel Club (KC) officially split the breeds into the American Cocker Spaniel and the Cocker Spaniel; in the United States, the breeds are known as the Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel. Today's English Cocker Spaniel is slightly taller, less chiseled and less heavily coated than his North American cousin.

The English Cocker is a jolly, agreeable dog whose tail wags almost nonstop. He is happy and even exuberant, approaching everything from bath time to hunting time as something to be excited about - as long as he's with you. He is not a nervous dog, though, so his excitement is more of a "joie de vivre" than restlessness. This lovable and affectionate dog gets along with everyone.
At home: 
English Cockers do well residing in either urban or rural settings. They require a modest amount of space, so apartments can suit them fine, as long as they get some outside time in a larger area in which to romp around. A fenced yard is ideal for an English Cocker because it allows him to run free in a secure environment. English Cockers have a great desire to play, so keep plenty of safe toys around and make sure that he gets daily playtime with the family.
The merry English Cocker is a socialite who loves his walks! These are his opportunities to not only sniff and explore but to meet and greet. He is also a hunter and will thrive on excursions to places where he can rustle up some bird scent.
English Cockers love to eat - so much so that you may want to safely secure your trash bins and garbage cans, as they can sniff out even the tiniest of tasty morsels. Feed your Cocker a high-quality diet, and don't overfeed.
Responsive, intelligent, eager and with a strong desire to please, the English Cocker is a joy to train and truly thrives with it. Besides his hunting training, he will quickly learn household manners and is competitive in all kinds of canine activities.
English Cockers are very sociable and get along well with children, other dogs, and even cats. However, if your Cocker has been trained for the field, small pets may not be ideal housemates because he may see them as prey.
The average life span of the English Cocker is 12 to 15 years. Breed health concerns may include ear problems; familial nephropathy (FN); and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Fun fact: 

English Cockers are well known for their soft mouths in retrieving game, and they hunt well even in difficult terrain.

Grooming blurb: 
The fine, silky fur of the English Cocker - particularly the feathering - needs regular brushing with a slicker and a pin brush. The long hair tends to tangle and must be kept free of debris, dirt and things that will naturally collect in the hair during the course of the day. His long, heavy ears lie close to his head, promoting infection. They must be tended to almost daily so that they stay clean.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.