Cocker Spaniel

Other names/Nicknames:

  • None

Country/Date of origin:

  • United States
  • 1800′s


  • 14 to 15 inches


  • 24 to 28 pounds


  • Generally even-tempered.
  • Affectionate and gentle.
  • Not particularly intelligent but a willingness to please makes up for it.
  • Can be a problem barker.


This breed was bred from the English Cocker Spaniels that were brought to the United States in the 17th century.  It was recognized as a separate breed in 1946.  Used by hunters to flush out game, it specialized in retrieving quail instead of the woodcock so prevalent in England.  Today, it has become more of a pet and show dog, with an exaggerated coat that would not be suitable in the field.  It reached a peak in popularity between 1940-1956 when it set an American Kennel Club (AKC) record for the number of dogs registered.  It has remained a popular family pet and show dog.

Body Type:

  • Smallest of the sporting dogs.
  • It is known for its distinctive, domed head and large, round, expressive eyes.
  • The docked tail is carried on a line with the topline of the back.
  • The long, hanging, low-set ears are never altered.


  • The lavish, medium-length coat is silky in texture.  It can be flat or slightly wavy.
  • There are three acceptable color classifications: black; any other solid color other than black (called ASCOB by show people); and parti-color, which consists of two or more definite colors appearing in clearly defined markings.
  • Needs a moderate amount of grooming, with occasional professional trimming.
  • Hair tends to mat.
  • Seasonal shedding.

Health and Wellness:

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease.
  • Factor X deficiency.
  • Phosphofructokinase deficiency.
  • Hereditary nephritis.
  • Congenital deafness.
  • Platelet dysfunction (storage pool deficiency).
  • Urolithiasis (struvite).
  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA).
  • Immune mediated thrombocytopenia (IMT).
  • Glaucoma.
  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
  • Atopy.
  • Food allergy.
  • Primary seborrhea.
  • Otitis externa.
  • Chronic hepatitis.
  • Cardiomyopathy (taurine responsive).
  • Progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Cushing’s syndrome (PDH and AT).
  • Skin tumors.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
  • Oral cavity neoplasia.
  • Circumanal neoplasia.
  • Sebaceous adenomas.
  • Hyperplasia.

What you should know:

  • Easily obtained at reasonable prices.
  • Because of past problems with health and temperament, buy only from a reputable breeder.
  • Tends to become overweight if not kept active.
  • May be difficult to housebreak.
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