The English Cocker Spaniel

descriptive textDog breed info
English Cocker Spaniel
Weight: 26 — 34 lbs
Height: 15” — 17”
AKC Rank 2008 #68
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs
Group: Sporting
Origin: England

Dog Breed Info - English Cocker Spaniel

This is Max, an English Cocker who is
lucky enough to have a whole
website about him. Photo shared with us
by his owner, Pauline in the UK. See below.

Breed Overview

Origin 1800’s. Original function Bird flushing and retrieving. Today, Bird flushing and retrieving. Colors: Black, Red, Black and Tan, Liver and Tan, any of these colors on white background.

The English Cocker Spanial is one of the land spaniels. The land spaniels consisted of larger spaniels that were better at springing game, and smaller spaniels that proved better at hunting woodcock. In 1892, the two sizes were considered separate breeds. The smaller size, under 25 pounds, was designated the Cocker Spaniel. Since both breeds shared the same genes, they still had most of the same hunting abilities. In 1901, the weight limit was done away with. Cocker Spaniels became very popular in England but American breeders tried to change the breed in ways the English didn’t like. In 1946 the English Cocker was designated a separate breed from the American and was registered by the AKC. In Europe, the English version remains by far the most popular of the two breeds.

"How To Train Your Cocker Spaniel" if a 96 page hardcover book that gives you ideas about getting the dog, tips on caring for it and on training. It's a 5-star customer rated book.

How to Train Your Cocker Spaniel (Tr-106)


Yes, easy to train. The Cocker does exceptionally well with clicker training and positive reinforcement training. This is easy for the dog to understand and simple to teach. Pick up a clicker at any pet store for around $3.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your English Cocker Spaniel? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

English Cocker Spaniel puppies are relatively easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

English Cocker Spaniel brothers
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The English Cocker Spaniel retains more of it’s hunting nature than the American version, and it also needs a bit more exercise. This dog is inquisitive, cheerful, devoted and loyal. The breed tends to be quite sensitive and is a highly sociable sort that prefers to stay close to it’s human family.

If you happen to get one with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Yes, they get along with dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes. The English Cocker Spaniel enjoys the company of just about anything.

Here's a happy English Cocker Spaniel!
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Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes, likes people generally.


Yes, very playful.


Very affectionate. Love family.

Good with children?

Maybe. Only if raised with children. Cockers don’t tolerate the nonsense of very young children, so older kids only.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. The English Cocker Spaniel is a good companion for seniors. As long as he/she can get out and walk or throw a ball several times a day it will work. The owner MUST be active.Ig longevity or training are an issue, go to English Cocker Spaniel Rescue and look for 2 or 3 year old dogs that are already house trained and know a few commands. Things will be much better than getting a puppy.

Living environment

Apartment, farm, city OK. Needs to be indoors with family. Okay as long as it gets enough exercise. Does not need a big yard. Small yards are fine as long as the dog gets her walks and play time.

Cocker puppy sniffs the flowers
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Energy level


Exercise needs, daily

Two long walks daily or a good run in the field or some lively games of fetch in the yard are needed to keep the English Cocker Spaniel in proper shape.


Fairly good. Has protective instincts.

Guard dog

Fair to poor. Not aggressive enough to be taken seriously.


A little.


Brushing three times a week. Plus regular grooming of the head, tail and feet every 8 weeks. It’s a good idea to trim the whole body to keep the dog looking smart.

Ears need cleaning weekly.

Want to learn more about the Cocker Spaniel? This is a site packed with good information about Cocker Spaniels. The site, About Cocker, features tips and advice on how to care for Cockers from puppy to adulthood. Included is advice on choosing your Cocker Spaniel, care, crate and toilet training, socialization, obedience training, health problems and a much more.


Suggested Reading For The English Cocker Spaniel

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners to keep close at hand.


English Cocker Spaniel Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for English Cocker Spaniel puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training. This breed is hard to find in the USA. Try this site:
English Cocker Spaniel Breeders with puppies for sale.

English Cocker Spaniel Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for an English Cocker Spaniel Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - English Cocker Spaniel Rescue As of this writing, Petfinder is showing only 21 of this breed available for adoption in the entire country! Go online and search for English Cocker Spaniel Rescue Groups as well as shelters and see what you can find. Seems this breed is scarce. If you do find one to adopt, try to locate the dog health records for possible future use.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but based on what we found with Petfinder above, this is a difficult breed to find. As suggested, surf for English Cocker Spaniel Rescue groups and keep trying.

Dog Health Issues - English Cocker Spaniel
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the English Cocker Spaniel by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

Other health problems could occur with your English Cocker Spaniel. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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