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Spaniel (Cocker)

Cocker Spaniel (English)

English Cocker Spaniels are medium-sized, well-balanced dogs. Their coats are flat and silky with plenty of feathering on the front legs.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys walking more than two hours a day
  • Medium dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • Great family dog

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Weight: 13 – 14.5kg
Height: 38 – 41cm
Colours: Cocker Spaniels come in a multitude of different colours and combinations, including solid colours of black, red, orange and brown, combinations of black with white, liver with white, red and white, blue roan, orange roans, black roans, particolours and tricolours
Size: Medium
Kennel Club Group: Gundog


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 3/5


The Cocker Spaniel is a busy, friendly dog who thrives on human companionship, wanting nothing more than to please their owners. They are ideal pets where there are children about and they get on well with other household animals.

Cocker Spaniels are a very happy breed, constantly wagging their tails and always on the go. They are easily trained, being both clever and eager to learn.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

The English Cocker Spaniel is the most popular of the spaniel breeds and is one of the oldest of the land spaniels. Prior to the early 1800, the Cocker and the Springer Spaniel’s were categorised together and called simply the Land Spaniel but they developed to have different jobs depending on their size - the larger ones being used to ‘spring’ game and the smaller ones to flush out woodcock. The difference between the two became more pronounced thanks to selective breeding by their various devotees, and in 1893, they were finally recognised as two separate breeds - and this is how they got the names we know today - the Springer and the Cocker.

The advantages of the Cocker were that as they were smaller and faster, they could easily push themselves into hedgerows and dense scrubland and so flush game that larger spaniels were unable to get to.

Did You Know?

  • There are two very different types of Cocker Spaniel - the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel. Enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic argue about which one is the ‘real’ one!
  • Cocker Spaniel’s paw pads inspired the sole for the first ever boat shoes when Paul Sperry witnessed his dog running on ice without a problem.
  • Lady, from Lady and the Tramp was a Cocker Spaniel.
  • George Clooney has a Cocker Spaniel called Einstein.
  • They make terrible guard dogs as they’re much too friendly.
Dog with red collar looking out the window
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