Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed At a Glance


If you’re looking for a playful and gentle companion that’s easy to train, look no further than the Cocker Spaniel dog breed. And if you’re a hunter, when you’re in heaven with this dog breed.

The sweet-natured and beautiful Cocker Spaniel was the original dog that was “great with kids.” Ideally sized–not too small and not too big, this affectionate breed, with its dreamy eyes, the sweetest of expressions, and it’s beautiful long ears, was one of the most popular dogs after World War II. Not surprising, Cocker’s are also cat friendly but don’t make the best watchdogs.

They can also be very unhappy when left alone for long periods of time because they are people-pleasing pets who love being with their family. As such, Cockers can experience full-blown separation anxiety when left on their own. This can translate into destructive behavior, incessant barking or crying.

Breed Group: Sporting

cocker spaniel dog breed
Cocker Spaniel puppy

HISTORY of the Cocker

It is believed that this breed originated in Spain, helping bird hunters before rifles were developed. Later, these dogs became very popular in the United Kingdom, and over the years, they became the preferred companion among dog lovers around the world. In the United States, there were two varieties – the English Cocker spaniel and the American. They also look differently, with the English variety being taller and its head, longer than the American variety. It is also the smallest member of the sporting dog family.

Origin: Spain


This is a sweet, sensitive, cheerful, and playful dog whose almost always aiming to please its family. This dog lives happily in the city or in the country, and barks quite a bit. It’s not uncommon for these dogs to be overly submissive.

Physical Characteristics of the Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed

This dog is completely balanced, with its compact body chiseled head and perfect size. Its gait is strong and effortless. It’s coat comes in various colors and patterns, is silky, flat, or slightly wavy. Cocker’s are easy to spot with their floppy ears and sad and loving eyes.

cocker spaniel dog breed

The Cocker spaniel weighs between 24 and 28 pounds and stands between 13.5 and 15.5 inches tall. With its double coat — medium to long silky hairs on top and soft undercoat beneath. When it comes to shedding, some lose more hair than others, but all Cocker Spaniels shed moderately at minimum. During shedding the spring and fall seasons, expect even more shedding. This is NOT a hypoallergenic breed.

HEALTH and CARE of the Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed

Life Expectancy

The Cocker life expectancy is between 10 and 15 years.

Common Health Concerns

All dog breeds are susceptible to certain health issues; the Cocker spaniel may be at a high risk to develop:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • PRA

Medium risk:

  • Cherry eye
  • Patellar luxation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies
  • Ectropion,
  • Liver Disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Urinary Stones
  • CHD
  • CHF
  • Seborrhea
  • Otitis externa
  • Phosphofructokinase deficiency

Low Risk:

  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Epilepsy


This breed is not require extensive exercise to burn off energy. It does, however, need a good walk in the neighborhood or get exercise through playing fetch daily, as Cocker’s do have a tendency to become overweight.


Feed your Cocker Spaniel 1.5 – 2.5 cups of kibble each day, split between the two meals, depending on adult size. It is highly recommended not to feed them table scraps or human food as this lead to weight gain or health problems.


The Cocker spaniel dog breed is one with many grooming needs. Considering its thick and lush coat, it means regular brushing and trimming to keep it clean, tangle-free, looking its best. It is best to use a high-quality metal comb to carefully remove loose hair. Never try to pull through any snarls as that will be painful to a dog. Instead, pick them apart using the tip of the metal comb until they come apart. Once combing is completed, follow up with a slicker brush. Professional grooming is highly recommended on a regular basis and thorough bathing and rinsing is essential. Any soap residue can result in skin irritation.


The Cocker is a people-pleasing breed, so it wants to be a good dog. Sensitive and responsive to correction, this dog needs only a disapproving tone in its owner’s voice. So, only positive reinforcement will work with lots of praise and treats. Recommended: early socialization and puppy training classes.

The Cocker Spaniel dog breed was recognized by the AKC in 1878.

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