English Cocker Spaniel – Facts, Breed History & Information

Country of origin: Great Britain
Shoulder height: 38 – 41 cm
Weight: 12 – 15 kg
Age: 12 – 15 years
Color: solid black, red, brown, or in many colors piebald and moldy
Use: hunting dog, companion dog, the family dog

The English Cocker Spaniel is a happy, outgoing and lively hunting and the family dog. He is very friendly with other people, adaptable, and docile. His strong urge to move and his pronounced hunting instinct should not be underestimated. The Cocker Spaniel is only suitable for active and sporty people.

Origin and history

The Cocker Spaniel goes back to medieval scavenger dogs that were specifically designed to hunt woodcocks. Shortly after the Kennel Club was founded in 1873, the Cocker Spaniel was separated from the Field and Springer Spaniels and recognized as a separate breed.

The versatile and hard-working hunting dog has also become increasingly popular as a family companion dog over the years. The English Cocker Spaniel is one of the most common and popular spaniel breeds. For many years he has also ranked among the top ten pedigree dogs in Germany.


The English Cocker Spaniel is a compact, athletic dog. With a size of about 40 cm, it is one of the small breeds. Its body is square – the distance from the withers to the ground is about the same as that from the withers to the base of the tail. The head is particularly expressive with its pronounced forehead (stop) and the square muzzle. Its big brown eyes give it its characteristic gentle expression.

The English Cocker’s coat is close-fitting and silky, soft and dense. It is short on the head, and long on the ears, chest, belly, legs, and tail. The Cocker is one of the long-haired dog breeds and therefore its coat also requires regular grooming. The ears are long and hanging. The tail is of medium length and is carried at back level. The tail used to be docked, which is now only permitted for designated hunting dogs.

The English Cocker Spaniel comes in a variety of colors. The best known are the solid redheads, but there are also solid blacks and browns as well as multicolored, piebald, or road.


The Cocker Spaniel is a very gentle, happy, and affectionate dog. It is extremely friendly and open to strangers and other animals. As a hunting dog, he is particularly suitable for rummaging, water work, and sweat work. It is also an avid retriever and tracker dog.

With its informal and friendly nature, the Cocker Spaniel is a popular family dog ​​and an ideal companion dog for all ages. However, its great liveliness and the pronounced urge to move should not be underestimated. Likewise, its passion for hunting is more pronounced than its will to obey. Therefore, the busy Cocker Spaniel needs a very consistent education and clear guidance.

The lively Cocker is not a dog for easygoing people. It has to be challenged and needs a lot of work and exercise, otherwise, it becomes sluggish and fat or goes its way. It can also be kept in an apartment, provided it gets enough exercise every day and can let off steam regularly in fetch games or dog sports activities.

The Cocker Spaniel also requires a lot of grooming: The smooth, silky coat should be brushed daily, and the eyes and ears need to be checked and cleaned regularly.

Ava Williams

Written by Ava Williams

Hello, I'm Ava! I have been writing professionally for just over 15 years. I specialize in writing informative blog posts, breed profiles, pet care product reviews, and pet health and care articles. Prior to and during my work as a writer, I spent about 12 years in the pet care industry. I have experience as a kennel supervisor and professional groomer. I also compete in dog sports with my own dogs. I also have cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

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