Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed & Puppy Information

Are Cocker Spaniels World Best Loved  Dog Breed?

A Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular dogs for families. It is a medium-sized dog weight up to 30 lbs. In addition, also one of the world’s best-loved breeds and the smallest member of the sporting dog family.

The good thing is they can adapt in any environment, you just need to keep them busy with regular exercise for one hour and walks (2).

This is a dog great for a family as its lifespan is 12-14 years, the bonding and healthy lifestyle keeps it for many years with your family.

Moreover, this breed is keen to please make it easy to train and a great family pet. Importantly it comes in two types, the English breed and the American breed and both are not only affectionate to family and children but also loyal.

Key Breed Facts

  • They are loyal.
  • They are followers-they go with you everywhere.
  • They are easy to train.
  • Great family dogs.
  • Keen to please.
  • Has a lifespan of 12-14 years.

Breed Characteristics

  • Easy to please.
  • Comes in various colours (black, black with tan points, tan, red and mixed in a variety of ways).
  • Good for Novice people.
  • Small to medium dogs.
  • Loving and friendly nature.
  • Sporty dog; good candidate for many sports, especially agility and obedience competitions, hunt tests, and tracking.

Breed HighlightsCocker spaniel highlights

  • Excellent family pet.
  • Weight: 26-34 pounds.
  • Lifespan: 12-14years.
  • They are a sporting dog with high energy levels.
  • Small size breed height is around: 1foot 3inches.
  • Very affectionate with Kids and family.
  • Friendly with other dogs.
  • Suitable for the apartment also.
  • Easy to groom.
  • Easy to train as they are intelligent.
  • Adapt well to both cold and hot weather.
  • Easy to please.


In the 14th century, as the name suggests, spaniels originated from Spain. Besides they were breed for hunting purposes. They are two distinct breeds (the English and American) which were used for both land and water hunt.

The name cockers come from their use of hunting woodcock in England, even so, English cockers have been used to hunt other types of birds too.

They were trained to flush out and retrieve game shot out by hunters.

In 1878 the cocker spaniel was 1 among the 9 breeds recognized. The first cocker spaniel came to the United States in 1620 and was registered by the America Kennel Club in 1884 once the club was formed.

Different Traits lead to Distinctive Breeds

By the 19th century, they were written as different breeds due to different trait standards.

Not only are the English cocker medium size dog with long floppy ears but also with a happy disposition. Contrary to the America cocker which was smaller and ancestors of the modern cocker spaniels.

In 1940 the English and Canadian kennel clubs registered the varieties separately breed and AKC followed in 1946.

The America kennel club named the US breed type cocker spaniel while the British type English Cocker Spaniel.

Cocker spaniel is one of the most popular breeds among American purebred dogs.

The American Water Spaniel

At any given date the American Water Spaniel was a rare breed with only an estimated 3000 in existence.

It is among the few dogs recognized as having being developed in the United States. In the mid-1800s it was reportedly developed in the Fox and Wolf River valley of Wisconsin. Used by market hunters near great lake region to hunt all manner of game.

Doctor Pfierfer of new London, Wisconsin efforts made the United kennel club in 1920 recognize the American water spaniel and eventually the American kennel club in 1940.


Furthermore, they are known with their big brown eyes, silky hair, and long floppy ears.

Cocker Spaniel appearances and colour shades

Cocker Spaniel various coat colours

Comes distinctively with two types of cocker spaniel mainly the English and American breed. Indeed, it is easy to differentiate them.

American Cocker Spaniel

The American cocker spaniels tend to be smaller, with rounder heads, unlike the English cockers which have less distinct eyebrows and longer snouts.

Besides, the American Cocker spaniels were tasked with hunting down woodcocks, a type of bird that flies low to the ground due to their small size.

English Cocker Spaniel

Nevertheless, the English cocker spaniel was larger in size clearly they had the ability to spring into bushes and scare flying birds out of hiding.

These breed come in many colours from black, black with tan points, tan, red and mixed in a variety of ways.

The dog is of ideal size and balanced well with a sturdy, compact body cleanly chiseled with a refined head.

As a busy dog, the cocker spaniel stands well up at the shoulder on straight forelegs with a topline sloping slightly.

For an adult dog, the height sizes are 15 inches and for an adult bitch, 14 inches but can vary with one-half inch with more or less.

Eyeballs are round and full and look directly forward. This is an intelligent breed which is alert, soft and appealing.


Their gentle personalities and friendly attitudes have made cocker spaniels a favorite family, kids and famous personalities.

This is an active breed that likes being busy, do not leave them alone as it can cause separation anxiety. Moreover, when bored they can engage in destructive behaviour and bark a lot.

A cocker spaniel waggling tail shows you she is eager to mingle and full of life and you will find them cuddling with you in the settee.

The English Cocker is merry and affectionate, of equable disposition, neither sluggish nor hyperactive, a willing worker, and a faithful and engaging companion for all family members.

Cockers make good family pets when given the correct training, exercise, and leadership and can form close relationships with members of the family.

Subsequently, Cocker spaniels adapt well in apartments.

Intelligence / Trainability

Cocker Spaniel is a breed that is quick to please and being a people-pleasing breed makes it easy to train them. Use gentle and consistent training methods as aggressive voice commands can make them fearful.

You can motivate them with treats, praise, and rewards. Play games and get toys to make the training more fun, which will help during early socialize and puppy training.

To avoid your dog from following other people restricted or keep him on a leash when outdoors.

Children and Other Pets

Good Family Pet

Affectionate Nature Makes it Great with Kids

Cocker spaniels are generally very loving dogs and are especially good with children. Just make sure the kids do not frighten or injure them when playing.

While children interact with the dog they should be supervised by an adult as cocker spaniel is a sensitive dog.

Early socialization and affectionate nature make it adapt well with other pets and a great family pet.


Despite their lifespan being 12-14 years, they are sometimes prone to diseases like cataracts, skin allergies, and pancreatitis. However, this is still a good family pet as it is active, loyal and reliable.

Buy your cocker puppy from a responsible breed rather than a pet store to ensure that the bloodline of the dog is free from common genetic diseases. From a responsible breeder, breeding is not done haphazardly producing dogs with breeding problems.

Unquestionably, many diseases and health conditions are genetic, meaning they are related to your pet’s breed. Your cocker spaniel can be affected by dental conditions, infections, joint disease, and worms.

Keep your dog clean by grooming her and spray regularly by administering flea and tick medications. Furthermore, this will prevent pests from making their home in your dog’s thick coat and biting her causing painful lumps.

Caring for a Cocker Spaniel

A cocker spaniel is a good companion if you take care of her, train and housebreak her.

In addition, feed her enough food both treats and wet food, give her enough exercise and you will have a great companion alongside you for many years (12-14years) to come.

Learn your pet personality and socialize her from an early age to be able to adapt to other family members and pets.

Introduce your cocker spaniel to people slowly so as not to frighten her, keep her close to you even in your daily walks, don’t allow her to strain far from home. This can be easy with a harness or lead kept on her to control her movements.

Exercise her daily as she has a lot of energy level, one hour exercise and two walks are recommended.

Due to her active nature, regular grooming and bathing should be adhered to keep her clean and dry. This dog loves swimming and playing hence she ends up collecting a lot of dirt on her playing spree and require to be kept clean.

This breed needs an owner who will take time to groom her as it is time-consuming. If you are time-constrained, this is not a breed you should get.


Need to be brushed to avoid their coat from matting.  Also, they are busy dogs and as they go for walk their coat can collect debris. They need regular bathing to keep her clean as she loves swimming and getting dirty.

Their coat needs to be cared for frequently to prevent matting and tear staining.

Get a metal, professional-quality dog comb with fine and medium spacing for the teeth is a necessity. Use a gentle slicker brush after combing to smother her coat and remove any mat remaining after brushing.

Unless you are experienced, the grooming can be done by a professional groomer at a fee, including nail clipping.

A compressed shower can be used for thorough rinsing of shampoo used during bathing to avoid any skin irritation.

Use a good quality towel for drying your dog after bathing or a drier with moderate heat for complete drying of her coat.

Remember this is also a good time to feel for lumps as you run your hand along her coat and if you find anything serious take her for a check-up to your veterinary.


This is a breed that is busy and needs regular exercise to keep her healthy and muscles toned. One hours exercise is enough with 2 walks daily as they enjoy People Company a lot.

You can engage them in playful games, swimming, interactive toy games like fetch. Moreover, this creates more bonding time for both of you.

Unquestionably, they make a good companion to owners who give them ample of exercises that they need.


Cocker spaniel has a good appetite and can eat none stop if not regulated. They tend to gain weight fast hence check on the treat intake while training or rewarding to avoid an obese dog.

The amount you feed your dog should be In relation to her size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level.

With dry food, the recommended amount daily should be 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food considering the above factors.

Feed your puppy more than an adult dog preferably 3-4 times feeds in a day until 6 months.

For the puppy to grow healthy and at the required rate, her food should contain more proteins to support growth. Check the label when buying your dog food to ensure it has the required nutrient standards for your puppy growth.

Consult your veterinary for guidance and advice when not sure, so that your puppy will develop strong bones and joints as well as have normal growth.

Food plays a major role in your dog health hence care should be taken to avoid future health problems.

Once you notice your puppy is gaining weight after she has grown you can reduce her feeding to 2-3 times.

Average Cost to keep/care for a Cocker spaniel

Owning a cocker spaniel which is a high maintenance breed requires a time commitment and also a financial commitment.

This breed needs also a lot of attention, even so, you will be rewarded with a loyal, devoted and great companion in the long run.

Being susceptible to ear and eye infections might require a lot of fees in case surgery is required in case of ear ablation due to severe bacterial, fungal or yeast infections.

The bills range from vet expenses, food and, dog supplies expenses, medical and injury fees, professional training and groomers fees, pet sitting fees. A large commitment is required for a Cocker Spaniel owner.

Dog Supplies

Dog supplies can range from the bed, collar, blanket, leash, harness, toothpaste, toothbrush, a slicker brush, grooming scissors, dog shampoo, crate, tracker, and the list is long. These are the essentials for your cocker spaniel easy transition once it gets home to her new family.

Food allergies and skin conditions are common in them and a cocker spaniel requires good high-quality food to alleviate this issue.

Breed Specific Buying Advice

It should be noted you should find a breeder that is knowledgeable of the breed and who you are comfortable with. Do not rely on adverts visit a breeder home and ask to see the parents or one parent of the puppy you are taking home. This will give you an idea of how your puppy will turn out in terms of appearance and temperament.

The breeder should be someone who can offer support in the future in case of challenges with the puppy hence a good rapport is required.

Just as much as the breeder might need to know if the home the puppy is going to and all necessary requirements have been met so should you be positively helped. This is a relationship that will last all throughout your puppy’s life, hence it should be positive and helpful for an easy transition for your puppy.