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English Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed

About the English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel, distinguished by its beautiful silky coat and cheerful personality, is one of the most beloved breeds worldwide. Originally bred for hunting game birds, this breed has captured the hearts of hunters and homeowners alike with its affectionate nature and lively spirit.

AKC Group

AKC Group


Dog Breed Height


15 – 17 inches

Dog Breed Weight


26 – 34 pounds

Dog Breed Lifespan


12 – 14 years


Country of Origin England
Bred For Flushing & Retrieving Birds, Companionship
Known For Intelligence, Trainability, Affection, Willingness
Popularity Moderate
Temperament Smart, Happy, Gentle
Activities Hunting, Running, Therapy Dog, Dog Sports, Conformation Shows

History of the English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel’s history is rooted in the British Isles, where it was primarily developed as a hunting companion specifically utilized to flush and retrieve birds from dense underbrush. Its keen sense of smell, agility, and enthusiastic work ethic made the breed a favorite among hunters, especially those in search of woodcock, a bird from which the breed gets its name.

Historically, spaniels in England were categorized based on their size and the job they performed, rather than as a distinct breed. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the various spaniels were differentiated into specific breeds. The distinction between the English Cocker Spaniel and its close relative, the English Springer Spaniel, became more pronounced during this period. The primary distinction was based on size, with the smaller spaniels used for hunting woodcock named the “Cocker.”

In 1892, the Cocker Spaniel was officially recognized as a breed distinct from other spaniels breeds by The Royal Kennel Club in the UK. The breed’s popularity grew steadily in the early 20th century, both in the UK and abroad. Its charm, intelligence, and versatility made it not just a preferred hunting companion but also a beloved companion.

The breed’s introduction to the United States led to further development, and slight differences in appearance and temperament started to become apparent. American and English variants eventually emerged, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the English Cocker Spaniel as a separate breed in 1946.

Over the years, the English Cocker has seen success not only in the field but also in the show ring. The breed’s pleasing aesthetics, combined with its cheerful demeanor, has earned it numerous accolades at Conformation dog shows.

While hunting remains in the breed’s DNA, today’s English Cocker Spaniel is more commonly found as a companion animal, adored for its affectionate nature, intelligence, and playful spirit. The breed’s rich history and enduring qualities ensure its continued popularity among dog enthusiasts worldwide.

General Appearance

Height & Weight

Adult male English Cocker Spaniels typically stand at a height of about 16 to 17 inches at the withers, while mature females generally measure slightly less, standing at around 15 to 16 inches.

The weight for males usually ranges from 28 to 34 pounds, with females typically weighing between 26 and 32 pounds.

Proportion & Substance

The English Cocker Spaniel is a breed of balance and symmetry. It presents neither a heavy nor a fragile silhouette, but rather a medium-sized body that’s built for endurance and agility. The length of the body is approximately equal to the height, giving it a short-coupled appearance when viewed from the side. The substance of the breed, which refers to its overall solidity and musculature, is significant without being bulky. Its body is compact with a firm backbone, embodying both strength and elegance.

Coat Texture, Colors & Markings

Texture: The English Cocker Spaniel boasts a silky, medium-length coat that lays flat against the body. Its texture is straight and free from curls, though a slight wave is permissible. The coat is dense enough to protect against brambles without being too coarse. Feathering can be found on the chest, belly, legs, and ears, giving the English Cocker its distinctive and unexaggerated appearance.

English Cocker Spaniel Colors

Standard Color
Black ee
Black & White ee
Blue Roan ee
Blue Roan & Tan ee
Liver Roan & Tan ee
Liver Roan ee
Orange & White ee
Red ee
Black & Tan ee
Black White & Tan ee
Liver ee
Liver & Tan ee
Liver & White ee
Liver White & Tan ee
Red Roan ee
Golden ee
Lemon Roan ee
Sable ee
Sable & Tan ee
Sable & White ee

A Note About Color: Solid-colored dogs may be black, liver, or shades of red; a little white on the throat is acceptable, but white feet are not. Tan markings on a solid-colored dog should be clearly defined and of a rich shade.

English Cocker Spaniel Markings

Standard Marking
Ticked ee
White Markings ee
Tan Markings ee


  • Skull: The skull is well-developed, but not overly pronounced, giving it a refined appearance. It is slightly domed and broad without being coarse, and there is a defined but not overly sharp stop between the skull and the muzzle.
  • Expression: The expression is gentle and intelligent. The eyes convey a merry and alert demeanor, showcasing the breed’s intrinsic happiness and inquisitive nature.
  • Eyes: The eyes are set to look straightforward. They are almond-shaped and of medium size. Their color generally corresponds with the coat color, ranging from dark brown in darker-coated dogs to a lighter hazel in lighter-coated dogs. The eye rims are tight and dark, giving them a well-defined look.
  • Ears: The ears are medium-length, set low, and lie close to the head. They are finely textured and covered with straight or slightly waved, silky hair, making them one of the breed’s most notable features.
  • Muzzle: The muzzle is strong and square, showing depth and moderation in length. It is never snipey, ensuring the breed has a full jaw and strength of bite.
  • Nose: Fully pigmented, the nose is black in black, black & tan, and black & white varieties, and brown or liver in dogs with liver or chocolate coats. Other coat colors should have a nose color that complements the primary coat color.
  • Bite: The English Cocker Spaniel possesses a scissors bite, meaning the upper incisors closely overlap the lower incisors and are set square to the jaws. This ensures a strong grip, reflecting the breed’s use as a flushing spaniel.


Set slightly below the line of the back, the tail acts as a perfect counterbalance to the head, ensuring that the breed’s overall appearance remains harmonious and well-proportioned. When the dog is at rest, the tail is typically held level or slightly downwards. However, when in motion or when particularly excited, the English Cocker’s tail will often wag enthusiastically, showcasing the breed’s merry disposition.

Traditionally, many English Cocker Spaniels have had their tails docked, especially those intended for fieldwork, to prevent injury in thick brush and when out hunting. The practice of tail docking, however, has become somewhat controversial, and in some countries it has been banned or restricted. Today, whether an English Cocker sports a docked or an undocked tail largely depends on its geographical location, its intended use, and local regulations.

If docked, the tail is usually modified to a length that ensures a balanced appearance, allowing the dog to maintain its characteristic happy wag. Undocked tails are medium in length, tapering slightly, and are covered in a silky coat with some feathering that’s consistent with the breed’s general coat characteristics.

The English Cocker Spaniel – What to Consider?

The decision to bring an English Cocker Spaniel into the home is rewarding on many fronts. With the breed’s joyful demeanor, affectionate nature, and stunning appearance, it’s no wonder this breed has been one of the most beloved around the world for more than a century. However, as with any dog, potential owners must understand the breed’s unique characteristics and needs to ensure a harmonious relationship.

Home Life

Interaction With Family

The level of affection a breed typically shows towards family members and familiar individuals will vary. While some breeds may only show genuine warmth towards their owner, remaining standoffish with strangers, other breeds will treat everyone they meet as if they are their closest friend.
Independent Affectionate

Good With Other Dogs

The innate friendliness of a dog towards other dogs can depend on its breed. Although supervision is always recommended during introductions, certain breeds tend to be inherently more or less sociable with other dogs, whether in a home setting or in public spaces.
Not Recommended Reliable With Other Dogs

Good With Young Children

The degree to which a breed will typically be patient with young children, and its overall suitability as a family member, will vary. It is important to always supervise interactions between dogs and the kids in the house, as well as with children who are not accustomed to being around dogs.
Not Recommended Dependable With Children


Amount Of Shedding

The amount of hair that a dog sheds will typically depend on its breed. Heavy-shedding breeds require more frequent brushing, have a higher chance of activating specific allergies, and often necessitate more frequent use of the vacuum cleaner and lint rollers.
Low High

Frequency Of Grooming

The regularity with which a breed needs bathing, brushing, trimming, or other forms of coat care is an all-important consideration. When evaluating the grooming effort required, consider your available time, patience, and budget. It is important to note that all breeds need routine ear, teeth, and nail care.
Monthly Daily

Amount Of Drooling

The tendency of a breed to drool significantly varies from breed to breed. For those who prefer cleanliness or are particular about keeping things tidy, breeds that are likely to leave trails of drool on your arm or large slobbery marks on your clothing and furniture might not be the best fit.
Low High

Coat Type


Coat Length




Trainability Level

The ease with which a dog can be trained and its eagerness to learn new skills can depend on the breed. Some breeds are naturally inclined to please their owners and will readily accept training, while others tend to follow their own desires, often showing independence in how, when, and where they choose to do things.
Stubborn Eager

Barking Level

The frequency of vocalization, including barking and howling, will vary from breed to breed. Some may bark at each person who passes by and every bird in the sky, while others will typically bark only for a good reason. Additionally, a few breeds that do not typically bark will still be vocal, using different sounds to communicate.
Quiet Vocal

Energy Level

The level of physical exercise and mental engagement required will depend on the breed. High-energy breeds are always on the go. They are enthusiastic about their next activity and tend to be busy most of the time, running, jumping, and playing throughout the day. In contrast, low-energy breeds are akin to couch potatoes, content to just lounge around and take naps throughout the day.
Couch Potato Busybody

Need For Mental Stimulation

The extent of mental stimulation needed to keep a dog content and healthy will vary by breed. Dogs bred for specific purposes may need tasks involving decision-making, problem-solving, and concentration. Without sufficient mental exercise, these dogs can resort to creating their own activities to engage their minds, resulting in unwanted behaviors like chewing, digging, and escaping.
Minimal Engagement Intensive Interaction

English Cocker Spaniel Health

English Cocker Spaniels, by and large, are a healthy and robust breed. Their breeding history, rooted in active fieldwork, has endowed them with a strong constitution. However, like all breeds of dog, they can be predisposed to certain health conditions.

Lifespan: The average lifespan of an English Cocker Spaniel ranges between 12 and 14 years. Proper nutrition, regular exercise, and routine veterinary care can significantly influence a dog’s health and longevity.

Potential Health Risks

English Cocker Spaniels are generally healthy, but like all breeds and mixed breeds, they can be susceptible to specific health problems. Awareness and early detection can make a crucial difference in ensuring a long, healthy life for any dog. Some common concerns known to affect English Cockers include:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is an eye disorder that eventually causes blindness. Regular eye check-ups can detect the disease before the dog shows any signs of blindness.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a condition where the hip joint doesn’t properly fit into the hip socket. While it can be hereditary, it can also be triggered by rapid growth or injury. Regular check-ups can help to manage and detect early indicators.
  • Otitis Externa: English Cocker Spaniels, with their floppy ears, can sometimes be prone to ear infections. Regular inspection and cleaning can assist at preventing severe episodes.
  • Familial Nephropathy: This kidney disease is unfortunately fatal; early detection through genetic testing can help in managing the condition in a family of dogs.
  • Cardiac Issues: Like many breeds, English Cockers can sometimes develop heart conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups can detect early signs and manage any illness effectively.
  • Gastric Torsion: It’s vital to know the signs of gastric torsion, also known as bloat, as this is a life-threatening condition can affect deep-chested dogs.

It’s essential for owners to establish a routine of regular veterinary check-ups. These visits can often detect health issues before they become severe, ensuring a longer, healthier life for the dog.

English Cocker Spaniel Personality

The vivacious and endearing personality of an English Cocker Spaniel makes it a widely cherished companion. For those new to the world of dogs, the English Cocker is an excellent choice. The breed’s amiable nature, combined with its eagerness to please, renders these dogs a straightforward choice which novice dog owners can handle. That said, proper training and early socialization remain vital for promoting harmony in the home.

These dogs are inherently sensitive, forming deep bonds with their human family members which can sometimes border on being clingy. Their delicate nature means they thrive best with positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment, whereas harsh training methods can be counterproductive. It’s also noteworthy that while English Cockers are adaptable, they have a preference for company. Extended periods of solitude can be challenging for them, and in some cases, may lead to separation anxiety.

When it comes to other dogs, English Cocker Spaniels generally showcase a sociable side. They tend to mingle well with other dogs, especially when they’ve been exposed through early socialization experiences. This amicability extends to their relationship with children. The English Cocker’s affectionate and gentle demeanor makes the breed an ideal fit for many families, but as always, interactions between dogs and young kids should always be supervised.

Moreover, while these dogs might exhibit an initial reservation, they aren’t typically aggressive or overly wary of strangers. With the right social exposure, they can transition from being reserved to being genuinely welcoming, although their loyalty and special affection will always be reserved primarily for their family members.

English Cocker Spaniel Feeding & Nutrition

The English Cocker Spaniel, with its boundless energy and agile nature, requires a balanced diet that can support its active lifestyle. While feeding requirements can differ based on age, weight, activity level, and individual health, there are some general guidelines that potential and current owners should consider.

For English Cocker Spaniel puppies, their growing bodies demand a nutrient-rich diet tailored for puppies. Puppies have specific needs for protein, fat, and essential nutrients to support their growth and development. Typically, an English Cocker Spaniel puppy should be fed smaller meals more frequently, around three to four times daily. This helps to ensure steady growth and prevents overeating.

When the English Cocker Spaniel transitions into adulthood, its dietary needs change. Adult English Cocker Spaniels generally require food that’s rich in high-quality protein, to support muscle health, combined with appropriate fat levels for sustaining energy. Most adult English Cockers do well with two meals a day. The exact amount of food can vary, but on average, a healthy adult might require between 1.5 to 2.5 cups of quality dog food daily, split across two meals. However, always refer to the feeding guidelines on your chosen dog food brand and consult with a veterinarian to determine the exact quantity.

Considering their hearty appetites, it’s essential to monitor the weight of an English Cocker Spaniel regularly. Overfeeding or providing these dogs with calorie-dense treats frequently can lead to obesity, which in turn can cause a host of health issues. Providing them with a balanced diet, coupled with regular exercise, will help to ensure that an English Cocker remains at a healthy weight and in good overall health.

Lastly, clean, fresh, water should always be available for an English Cocker Spaniel, ensuring it stays hydrated, especially during warmer months or after active play sessions. Regular check-ins with a veterinarian regarding dietary needs and adjustments, especially as the dog ages or experiences health changes, will ensure the dog receives optimal nutrition throughout its life.

English Cocker Spaniel Training

Training an English Cocker Spaniel is an experience filled with rewards and challenges. These dogs are known for their intelligence and eagerness to please, which can make them relatively responsive to training sessions. However, their sensitivity and spirited nature require a gentle and consistent approach.

English Cocker Spaniels typically respond best to positive reinforcement techniques. Given their sensitive disposition, harsh methods or punitive measures can be detrimental to their confidence and trust. Instead, using treats, praise, and play as rewards can yield impressive results in shaping their behavior and teaching new commands.

One thing that potential owners should be aware of is the English Cocker Spaniel’s occasional stubborn streak. While the breed is generally keen to learn, there might be moments when an individual dog can seem a bit independent-minded. Persistence, patience, and consistency are the keys to overcoming these occasional hiccups in training.

Barking can be a trait expressed by the English Cocker Spaniel. While the breed isn’t incessantly noisy by nature, these dogs will alert their owners to newcomers or unusual occurrences. Training them to understand commands like “quiet” or “enough” from a young age can help to manage their vocalizations.

In terms of intelligence, English Cocker Spaniels are quite bright. They pick up on new commands and tricks relatively quickly, making them delightful obedience competitors and happy participants in many dog sports.

However, the English Cocker’s intelligence can sometimes translate to craftiness. Owners should be prepared for the occasional mischievous behavior, especially if the dog is left to its own devices for extended periods.

Wanderlust potential is moderate in English Cocker Spaniels. While they love exploring and might be tempted by exciting scents or sights, a well-trained English Cocker Spaniel will usually return quickly when called. However, secure fencing and leashed walks are advisable until reliable recall is established.

Lastly, when considering predation, the breed’s hunting background means it can have a natural prey drive. Training can mitigate this to an extent, but owners should always be cautious when introducing smaller pets or when the dog is around wildlife.

English Cocker Spaniel Exercise

The English Cocker Spaniel’s zest for life is evident in its energetic demeanor and enthusiasm for play. When considering this breed, understanding its exercise needs is vital to ensuring a healthy, happy, and well-behaved dog.

Exercise Expectations

Energy Level High
Exercise Requirements 45-90 Minutes/Day, Daily Walks, Regular Exercise, Playing with Another Dog, Mental Stimulation

English Cocker Spaniels are high-energy dogs. Born from a lineage of working dogs primarily used for hunting, they have an innate drive to be active and on the move. This energy level means that they require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental health.

The intensity of the breed’s exercise needs can be described as moderate to high. A simple walk around the neighborhood might not be sufficient for many English Cocker Spaniels. They thrive on varied activities such as fetch, agility training, and even off-leash runs in safe and enclosed areas. It’s essential to mix and match activities to keep these dogs engaged and prevent them from becoming bored.

In terms of playfulness, the English Cocker Spaniel is a breed that loves to engage in play. Whether it’s a game of tug-of-war, chasing a ball, or simply frolicking with other dogs, this breed revels in playful activities. This inherent playfulness can be harnessed during training sessions as well, making the process enjoyable and effective.

However, despite the English Cocker’s active nature, it’s crucial to ensure they aren’t overexerted, especially during their puppy years or in extreme weather conditions. Always monitor the dog’s energy levels and watch for signs of fatigue or overheating.

Incorporating regular exercise into the daily routine of an English Cocker Spaniel is not just about physical health. Adequate exercise also plays a significant role in preventing behavioral issues. A tired English Cocker Spaniel is usually a content and well-behaved one. Without sufficient outlets for their energy, the dog can become restless, leading to unwanted behaviors such as excessive barking, digging, or even destructive tendencies.

English Cocker Spaniel Grooming

The flowing, silky coat of the English Cocker Spaniel is one of its distinguishing features, but it also requires regular attention to keep it in top condition. Understanding the grooming needs of this breed is essential to ensure not only a beautiful appearance but also overall health and well-being.

Grooming Expectations

Coat Type Silky, Flat, Wavy, Medium Length
Grooming Requirements Daily Combing, Weekly Brushing, Occasional Bathing, Routine Ear Cleaning, Periodic Nail Trimming, Regular Tooth Brushing

The coat of the is of medium length, with feathering on the ears, chest, belly, and legs. This beautiful coat, while luxurious to the touch, can become tangled or matted if not regularly groomed. Brushing the English Cocker at least two or three times a week with a pin brush or slicker brush will help to remove loose hairs, prevent matting, and distribute natural skin oils, giving the coat a healthy sheen.

Shedding is moderate in English Cocker Spaniels. Regular brushing can help to manage and reduce the amount of hair left around the house. However, owners should expect some hair on the furniture, on clothing, and on the floor.

Beyond brushing, the English Cocker Spaniel may need occasional trims, especially around the ears, feet, and tail, to maintain a neat appearance. Many owners opt for professional grooming every few months to keep the coat looking its best, especially if they’re showing the dog.

Regular ear cleaning is of paramount importance for English Cocker Spaniels. Their long, floppy ears can restrict airflow, making them more susceptible to ear infections. Checking and cleaning the ears weekly with a vet-recommended solution can help to prevent infections.

Other routine grooming practices include trimming the nails monthly or as needed, and brushing their teeth regularly to prevent dental issues. Introducing grooming routines early in a puppy’s life will ensure it becomes accustomed to the process, making it easier and more enjoyable for both the dog and the groomer.

Living with an English Cocker Spaniel

Living with an English Cocker Spaniel is a delightful experience, filled with moments of joy, playfulness, and affection. However, to ensure a harmonious relationship and a happy home environment, it’s essential to understand and cater to the breed’s specific needs and characteristics.

For those residing in apartments, the English Cocker Spaniel can adapt well to small-scale living. While these dogs are energetic and require regular exercise, their moderate size and adaptable nature mean they can comfortably live in smaller spaces, provided they get their daily dose of activity. However, it’s essential to have a routine in place for regular walks and play sessions to keep them stimulated and content.

Climate can influence the well-being of the English Cocker Spaniel. While they are versatile and can adapt to various weather conditions, some precautions should be taken. In cold weather, their dense coat offers some protection against the chill, but in extremely low temperatures, they might benefit from wearing a doggy sweater or coat during outdoor excursions. On the flip side, during hot weather, it’s crucial to ensure they have plenty of water and shade. Avoid walking them during the hottest parts of the day to prevent overheating.

The English Cocker Spaniel, with its affable nature, typically bonds closely with its family. They are often described as “people-oriented” and can become distressed if left alone for extended periods. If you have a lifestyle that requires you to be away from home often, consider strategies to alleviate potential separation anxiety. This can include maintaining a consistent routine, providing toys for mental stimulation, or even considering a companion pet.

English Cocker Spaniel Puppies

The sight of an English Cocker Spaniel puppy, with its expressive eyes and joyful demeanor, is enough to melt any heart. These bundles of energy, curiosity, and affection bring unparalleled joy to a household. However, raising a puppy comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities. Being well-informed about their specific needs during this crucial phase can set the foundation for a well-adjusted, healthy adult dog.

Caring for an English Cocker Spaniel Puppy

From the moment an English Cocker Spaniel puppy arrives in a home, the well-being and development of the little one become a priority. The pup’s first few months are a time of growth, both physically and mentally.

Diet plays a pivotal role during this stage. It is important to ensure puppies are fed a high-quality puppy food that caters to their specific nutritional requirements. Proper nutrition supports growth and development, ensuring a puppy will grow into a healthy adult.

Socialization is another crucial aspect of raising an English Cocker Spaniel puppy. Introducing puppies to various sights, sounds, people, and other animals in controlled settings is crucial. Positive experiences during their formative weeks can significantly influence their temperament and behavior as adults. Puppy training classes can be beneficial, not just for basic obedience training but also for socialization.

Consistent training from a young age is vital. English Cocker Spaniels are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. However, consistency is key. Establishing boundaries and using positive reinforcement techniques can yield the best results.

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential during their puppy stage. These visits not only ensure they’re growing well but also provide opportunities for vaccinations and advice on preventative care.

Play is integral to a puppy’s life. Puppies need to have access to safe toys that cater to their teething needs and stimulate their minds. Remember, though, while play is encouraged, they also require plenty of rest for their growing bodies.

Lastly, while it might be tempting to carry and pamper these adorable puppies constantly, it’s crucial to give them some independence. This fosters confidence and prevents over-reliance on their human companions.

English Cocker Spaniel Activities & Dog Sports

English Cocker Spaniels, with their lively nature, intelligence, and athleticism, thrive when they’re engaged in activities and dog sports. Participation not only provides physical exercise but also offers mental stimulation and strengthens the bond between the dog and its person. Given the breed’s versatile skill set and eagerness to please, English Cockers excel in a variety of activities and competitions.

  • Agility: English Cocker Spaniels shine in Agility competitions. Their nimble footwork, intelligence, and enthusiasm make them exceptional competitors. Navigating through tunnels, jumping over hurdles, and weaving through poles are just some of the challenges they face… and they do so with gusto.
  • Obedience: The English Cocker’s desire to please and innate intelligence makes the breed a stand-out in Obedience Trials. These competitions evaluate a dog’s discipline, training, and ability to follow commands. With proper training, these dogs often excel in Obedience competitions.
  • Hunting and Field Trials: Given their origin as a hunting dog, the English Cocker Spaniel can be a natural fit for Field Trials. These events assess the dog’s ability to work with their human partners in hunting simulations. A keen sense of smell and retrieval instincts are tested in these trials.
  • Flyball: This is a relay race that involves hurdles and a spring-loaded mechanism that releases a tennis ball for the dog to catch and retrieve. Flyball is a sport where the breed’s speed and love for retrieval come to the fore.
  • Conformation Shows: These are platforms where individual dogs are evaluated against a Breed Standard. Conformation Shows are competitive events where a breed can be rewarded for how closely it conforms to a standard of perfection.
  • Therapy Work: While not a sport, many English Cocker Spaniels are trained as Therapy Dogs due to their gentle nature and affectionate demeanor. They visit hospitals, nursing homes, and schools, offering comfort and emotional support to people in need of comfort and healing.

Engaging an English Cocker Spaniel in activities and dog sports ensures that it is leading a fun and fulfilling life. Not only do these events keep the dog physically active and mentally stimulated, they also offer opportunities for socialization and create cherished memories for both the dog and its partner.

Group Classification & Standards

The English Cocker Spaniel is recognized by the world’s leading registries and kennel organizations, which categorize the breed into a specific Group based on its unique characteristics. This breed is recognized worldwide under the following Group designations:

International Organizations

Organization Group Designation
AKC (American Kennel Club) Sporting
UKC (United Kennel Club) Gun Dog
CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) Sporting Dogs
ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council) Gundogs
RKC (The Royal Kennel Club) Gundog
FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) Group 8 – Retrievers – Flushing Dogs – Water Dogs ; Section 2 – Flushing Dogs

The ideal English Cocker Spaniel is described by a Breed Standard that is approved by each of the world’s leading registries and kennel organizations. The Breed Standards for this breed may be found in the following links:

Breed Standards

Organization Breed Standard
American Kennel Club AKC English Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard
United Kennel Club UKC English Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard
Canadian Kennel Club CKC English Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard
Australian National Kennel Council ANKC English Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard
The Royal Kennel Club RKC English Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard
Fédération Cynologique Internationale FCI English Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard

English Cocker Spaniel Clubs

Breed clubs play a vital role in promoting, preserving, and enhancing the English Cocker Spaniel as a breed. These organizations offer a plethora of resources for breed enthusiasts, including educational materials, events, training seminars, and breeding guidelines. Being associated with a breed club offers an excellent opportunity for enthusiasts to connect, share experiences, and contribute to the well-being and future of the breed.

In the United States, the primary breed club is the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America (ECSCA). Founded in 1936, the ECSCA is dedicated to upholding the Breed Standard, supporting responsible breeding practices, and educating the public about the breed.

In Canada, the English Cocker Spaniel Club of Canada (ECSCC) serves as the leading organization. The ECSCC not only provides resources and support to breed enthusiasts, it also organizes events that showcase the breed’s excellence in all competitive arenas.

Whether you’re an aspiring breeder, a show enthusiast, or a loving pet owner, becoming a member of a club can offer insights, connections, and opportunities that can enrich anyone’s experience with this charming breed.

English Cocker Spaniel Rescue Groups

English Cocker Spaniels, known for their merry nature and friendly disposition, occasionally find themselves in need of new homes due to unforeseen circumstances. Rescue organizations dedicated to this breed work tirelessly to ensure these dogs receive the love, care, and permanent homes they deserve.

In the United States, the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America, Inc. plays a pivotal role in rescuing and rehoming English Cockers in need. The club maintains a rescue network and is a reliable source for those looking to adopt or surrender a dog.

In the United Kingdom, Cocker and English Springer Spaniel Rescue (CAESSR) rehomes dogs of both breeds. The group rehomes spaniels in need with people who are seeking to offer loving care and a forever home to a deserving dog.

In addition to breed-specific rescue groups, English Cocker Spaniels can occasionally be found in general dog rescue organizations. These broader-based groups, while catering to a variety of dogs, may sometimes rescue and rehome an English Cocker. For anyone who is keen on adopting this particular breed, it might be worthwhile to check with local shelters and regional dog rescue groups.

English Cocker Spaniel Facts

  • Royal Connection: The breed has a royal connection. The late Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, owned an English Cocker Spaniel named “Dizzy.”
  • Name Origin: The term “cocker” comes from the breed’s history of being particularly adept at hunting woodcock, a type of bird.
  • American Counterpart: While two breeds share a name and an origin, the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel are recognized as two distinct breeds, with the English variety being larger and closer to the original hunting spaniels of the past.
  • Award Winner: English Cocker Spaniels have had their fair share of the spotlight at dog shows around the world. For instance, an English Cocker Spaniel won the Best in Show at Crufts Dog Show, one of the world’s largest dog shows, in 2017.
  • Highly Trainable: These spaniels are not just pretty faces. They’ve been used as sniffer dogs at airports due to their trainability and extraordinary sense of smell.
  • Not Just a Hunter: Beyond hunting, they have been used in search and rescue operations, showcasing their versatility and keen senses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do English Cocker Spaniels shed?

Yes, English Cocker Spaniels shed. However, their shedding is moderate compared to some other breeds. Regular grooming, including brushing, can help to manage and reduce the amount of hair they leave around the house.

Are English Cocker Spaniels hypoallergenic?

No, English Cocker Spaniels are not considered to be hypoallergenic. To gauge their allergic response, potential owners with allergies should consider spending time around the breed before deciding to acquire one.

How big do English Cocker Spaniels get?

Adult male English Cocker Spaniels generally stand around 16 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder, while females tend to be a bit smaller, standing about 15 to 16 inches tall. In terms of weight, these dogs typically weigh between 26 and 34 pounds when fully grown.

Are English Cocker Spaniels aggressive?

English Cocker Spaniels are generally not aggressive; they are known for their friendly and sociable disposition. However, as with any breed, individual temperament can vary, and without proper training and socialization, any dog can develop undesirable behaviors.

Are English Cocker Spaniels easy to train?

Yes, English Cocker Spaniels are quite amenable to training. They are intelligent and eager to please, which often makes them relatively easy to train. Employing consistent and positive reinforcement methods will usually yield the best results.

Are English Cocker Spaniels good apartment dogs?

English Cocker Spaniels can adapt to apartment living, but it’s essential to remember they are active and energetic dogs. The breed needs regular exercise to keep these dogs happy and healthy. If their physical and mental needs are met, they can live contentedly in an apartment setting.

Are English Cocker Spaniels smart?

Absolutely, English Cocker Spaniels are regarded as intelligent canines. They grasp new commands quickly and often shine in Obedience and Agility Trials, showing off their innate smarts.

Can English Cocker Spaniels be left alone?

English Cocker Spaniels, like many dog breeds, thrive on companionship and may not enjoy being left alone for prolonged periods. Doing so can lead to separation anxiety. Nevertheless, with proper training and by gradually increasing the time they’re left alone, English Cockers can often handle moderate durations without company. It’s always beneficial, however, to ensure they have toys and activities to keep them occupied.

latest articles

English Cocker Spaniel in Therapy work
AKC Therapy Dog
Elizabeth Neff & Sandy LaFlamme

At Your Service

Explore the diverse roles of English Cocker Spaniels as therapy dogs and loving family members, highlighting their empathetic nature.

Read More »
Lynann | Lynda Gall
Breeder Interviews
Lynann | Lynda Gall

Lynann | Lynda Gall

Lynda Gall: Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder? Along with my husband, Bob, and our son, Robert, we live in

Read More »

latest articles

English Cocker Spaniel in Therapy work
AKC Therapy Dog
Elizabeth Neff & Sandy LaFlamme

At Your Service

Explore the diverse roles of English Cocker Spaniels as therapy dogs and loving family members, highlighting their empathetic nature.

Read More »
Lynann | Lynda Gall
Breeder Interviews
Lynann | Lynda Gall

Lynann | Lynda Gall

Lynda Gall: Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder? Along with my husband, Bob, and our son, Robert, we live in

Read More »


Find a Breeder or Rescue

The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin?

Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral Program, which is listed on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.

Find a English Cocker Spaniel Puppy
Find a Breeder or Rescue