All About Cocker Spaniels

About This Breed

The Cocker Spaniel is the smallest of the bird dog classification. It was originally bred from the English Cocking Spaniel for the purpose of flushing out Woodcocks from their tree holes.

Physical Characteristics

The Cocker Spaniel has a small to medium build with a rounded head. Its ears are long and droopy, as is its face.

COLOR(S)

The breed is most commonly seen in buff, liver and white, white, and black. Some are said to have “freckles” on the face.

COAT

Flat and silky with feathers on the underbody, legs, feet and ears.

 

Personality and Temperament

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate

POSITIVES

The Cocker Spaniel is very loving with its human family; it enjoys playing games.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Some experts believe the Cocker Spaniel has been "over bred" in the United States, which has led to an aggressive line of the breed. They advise that, if possible, you research the lineage of your dog before acquiring it as a pet.

Care

IDEAL LIVING CONDITIONS

The Cocker Spaniel fares well in the city or country.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Because of its propensity to obesity, the Cocker Spaniel should be exercised daily. It also requires weekly coat brushing regimens.

Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Cocker Spaniels:

  • Ear Infections
  • Eye Infections
  • Deafness
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Obesity

History and Background

The Cocker Spaniel is a very lovable and pleasing creature, which comes in two distinct breeds: the English and the American Cocker Spaniels. According to experts, the American breed originated from a large influx of the English breed, which was brought to America during the latter half of the 17th century (possibly on the Mayflower ship).

The first American Cocker Spaniel was registered in the 1880s and went by the name of Obo II. There is evidence which points to a possible cross-breed of English Cockers with smaller toy spaniels to achieve the American version. For U.S. hunters in search of a smaller-sized dog with the ability to hunt quails and other small bird game, the American Cocker Spaniel was a perfect fit.

The American Kennel Club recognized the English Cocker Spaniel as separate breed from its American counterpart in 1946, ending a long discussion of which dog type could bear the Cocker Spaniel title. The English Kennel Club of England followed suit in 1968 and also acknowledged the distinction between both breeds. Whether it is referred to as the American Cocker Spaniel or Cocker Spaniel, this dog breed has become a mainstay in the U.S. and is beloved for its warm temperament and distinctive look.

National Clubs and/or Organizations

American Spaniel Club

PO BOX 4194

Frankfort, KY 40601

Fun Fact(s)

The Cocker Spaniel is referred to as American Cocker Spaniel within the U.S., though there is an English Cocker Spaniel that can be found in other parts of the world.