English Cocker Spaniel Breed Profile

The characteristic floppy ears and the happy, friendly charisma make the English Cocker Spaniel simply unmistakable. Find out everything about the history, character, attitude, and care of the cocker in the profile. There are also a few exciting facts that you may not have known about.

History of the English Cocker Spaniel

The exact origin of the Cocker Spaniel is not clear. However, dogs are said to have been brought to Great Britain from Spain as early as Roman times. The Latin term “Canis Hispaniolus” (Spanish dog) has evolved over time into the word “spaniel”. The term later appears in several of Shakespeare’s plays, indicating the popularity of spaniels at the time. Around 1800, spaniels were divided into different breeds according to their size, of which the smallest representative was called a cocker spaniel.

However, the breed as we know it today only emerged in the course of the 19th century. Images from this period show the Cocker Spaniel as a companion to hunters hunting wildfowl in England. The suffix “cocker” comes from the English woodcock for woodcock, which was a prized prey at the time. The hounds had to track down the birds and let them fly so that the hunter could take good aim.

The English Cocker Spaniel was one of the first dogs to be officially recognized by the Kennel Club back in 1873. The first international breed association was formed in 1904 and later the breed was classified in FCI Group 8, Section 2 of the scavenger dogs. In Germany, too, the English Cocker Spaniel was widespread as a hunting companion in the 19th century and is still one of the most popular dog breeds today. Not to be confused with the original English Cocker Spaniel is its close relative, the American Cocker Spaniel, which is bred in the United States as a long-haired show dog.

Essence and Character

Because the English Cocker Spaniel is a former hunting dog, it is always active and alert. Contrary to its well-behaved appearance, the dog breed is spirited and almost lively. A Cocker likes to bark a lot and likes to be constantly in action. Since he passionately fetches and follows tracks, it can happen that the spaniel disappears into the undergrowth when going for a walk without a leash. Impassable terrain and impenetrable thickets do not deter the dog. In general, the English Cocker Spaniel is a fearless, cheerful dog with tremendous stamina. He gets along well with other dogs and is always friendly to strangers. His great passion is water.

Acquiring an English Cocker Spaniel

What do I need to pay attention to when purchasing?

Before buying the English Cocker Spaniel, you should be absolutely sure that the breed suits you. After all, the dog remains part of your family for 12 to 15 years. Due to its high barking ability, you should not keep the cocker in a rented apartment. A large house with a yard is the perfect home for the breed. Once you have decided on the Cocker, the first thing you need to do is find a trustworthy breeder.

It is best to choose one who is a member of the Spaniel Club Deutschland e.V. and has a lot of experience inbreeding. Only here you can be sure that the puppy will not have any genetic diseases and will have a solid character. For a purebred and healthy puppy, you should calculate around 1000€. The Cocker Spaniel comes in many different special colors. So you can choose between the liver, blue mold, golden, and much more. Of course, you shouldn’t just make your choice based on the color. Also in animal shelters, there is always a dear English Cocker Spaniel in need who is looking for a new home.

Consistent education of the puppy

Basically, the Cocker is easy to train and is loyal to its owner. The intelligent dog still needs consistent training, even at a young age. He recognizes immediately if you are not serious and is stubborn. Aggressive training methods scare the sensitive dog. He responds best to gentle and consistent training with plenty of rewards. It is equally important that you let the dog interact with other dogs and animals from an early age. Good socialization is fairly easy with the breed as they are social and easygoing by nature. The cheerful dog’s pronounced hunting instinct can become a challenge, especially when going for walks in nature. Once he’s spotted an interesting lead, he has a hard time concentrating on his owner and his commands. So you should start training him as early as possible so that you can go for a walk without a leash.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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