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The English Cocker Spaniel

Posted October 01, 2013 in Dog Breeds


Spaniels are presumed to have originated in Spain, but their exact origins have never been established. What’s known for sure is that for centuries Spaniels had been used as a hunting dog. In England two varieties of the Spaniel developed. The first was a large breed used to scare game from the brush. The second, a smaller version of the spaniel, was used for hunting woodcocks. In 1902 the groups were separated as the English Cocker Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniel.

During the 1900’s the English Cocker Spaniel gained popularity in America, but American’s also started breeding the dog with traits that many English breeders found distasteful. As a result the breed was split again into the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel. Outside of America the English Cocker is much more popular and is called simply “Cocker Spaniel.”

The English Cocker Spaniel Club of America was formed in 1935 and discourages crossbreeding with the American Cocker Spaniel.

Sizing up:

  • Weight: 26 to 34 lbs.
  • Height: 15 to 17 inches
  • Coat: Medium length
  • Color: Black, liver or shades of red
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 years

What’s the English Cocker Spaniel like?

Finding the right breeder is a very important step in raising a well adjusted English Cocker Spaniel. It’s important to do your research and find a breeder you can trust. Once you find the right dog, begin training right away. A well-bred Cocker will be sweet and intelligent so training won’t be difficult. Positive reinforcement is important as the Cocker is sensitive and won’t respond well to harsh words. As with most breeds you should socialize early and often. 

The English Cocker was born and bred for hunting. That doesn’t mean you’ll need to take up hunting, but it does mean that exercise will be an important part of daily life. He could run all day, but doesn’t necessarily need to, a half hour of exercise twice a day should be sufficient for an average English Cocker. He also loves the water and would enjoy frequent trips to the lake.

Due to the size of the breed he is great around kids. He’s big enough to play with but not so big that he might knock children over. Not to mention the affection and love he would offer a toddler.  He’s also good with cats, although maybe not so good with birds: he is

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