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English Cocker Spaniel

Country/Date of Origin: Great Britain/1800s

The English Cocker Spaniel, or Cocker Spaniel as it is known in the rest of the world, is a bird dog designed to work before the gun springing or flushing game out of cover so the hunter could shoot it. In litters of spaniels the smallest ones were used to work woodcock, a bird that hides in dense thickets. The breed gets its name from the game bird it hunted. Eventually the different types of spaniels were separated into various breeds. The most popular being the little Cockers. Cockers not only flush birds and hares, they retrieve them as well. In the United States, a distinct variation began to emerge in the early part of the twentieth century. By 1946 the two types of cocker were sufficiently different to be split into two breeds. The AKC granted the name Cocker to the new American variation and distinguished the original by calling it the English Cocker Spaniel.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Sporting

Breed Club: English Cocker Spaniel Club of America, Inc.

Rescue Club: English Cocker Spaniel Club of America Rescue

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Body Type:

  • A larger, lighter coated spaniel than the American Cocker
  • Height: 15-16 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 28-32 pounds
  • The tail is set low and is carried even with the back. It is always moderately docked
  • The long, hanging ears are set low and are not altered


  • The Cocker Spaniel is described as merry
  • Loyal and affectionate
  • Intelligent with a desire to please that makes training easy
  • Child's play pal extraordinary


  • The long coat is silky. It may be flat or slightly wavy
  • Permissible colors are white, black, black and tan, or roan pattern in blue, sliver, red, orange or lemon
  • Moderate grooming required with occasional professional trimming

Health Concerns:

  • Subject to progressive retinal atrophy
  • Occasional ear problems due to lack of circulating air around the heavily feathered leathers
  • May suffer from rage syndrome
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • This dog loves to play and makes a good companion for children
  • A happy little dog
  • Needs a great deal of exercise
  • Should not be difficult to find but not as available as the American Cocker Spaniel

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