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Cocker Spaniel Dogs
Very Intelligent And Eager To Please!

Cocker Spaniel Dog

Cocker Spaniel dogs were developed in America and are directly derived from the English Cocker Spaniel which was introduced to the United States around 1880. Having the same name has caused some confusion between the English and American varieties, even though the breeding goals were along different lines.

Cockers are the smallest of the sporting group of dogs, and were originally bred to hunt small game, particularly Woodcock. Though they still can be trained to flush and retrieve, they are rarely involved in hunting events today. This popular breed is now mainly enjoyed as a family companion and is often seen as a participant in dog shows.

The Cocker has a dome-shaped head that is framed with long well feathered ears. The eyes are large and the expression is sweet and endearing. His quite muscular body is covered with a luxurious abundant coat that is long and silky. The tail is customarily docked.

Former President Nixon and popular TV host Oprah Winfrey are among the celebrity owners of Cocker Spaniel dogs.

Many who have visited Walt Disney World may have noticed that the Cocker Spaniel is a featured dog character in many of the rides. This breed also gained much fame in the cartoon, Lady and The Tramp.

Appearance, Coat and Care

Height: 14-15 inches
Weight: 24-28 lbs
Color variations: Solid black including black with tan points, or any solid color or a combination of two or more colors with tan points, or parti-colored.

cocker spaniel weathervane
The long, silky and abundant coat needs considerable grooming to maintain it in the best condition. You can easily take care of the basics, but if the classic dog show appearance is wanted, use the services of a professional groomer every couple of months.

Long ears don't get as much air circulation and are perfect hideaways for parasites, so don't forget to inspect them often and keep the hair trimmed.

Personality and Traits:

Cocker Spaniel dogs are cheerful, intelligent, loving, and very sensitive. They can be rather mischievous, yet at the same time they are eager to please.

Some rather loose breeding in the past got this breed a bad rap as being a bit aggressive. Nowadays that seems to have been taken care of by proper attention to selective breeding. The advice to prospective owners is to seek out a responsible breeder who takes pains to breed for the best temperament.

However, Cockers are a little independent and do like to test owners for dominance. This makes it really important to obedience train them from the get go, with firm, but never harsh methods. This will establish you as the alpha presence in the pecking order. Early socialization with other dogs and people in a variety of venues, is also important and very worthwhile.

Cocker Spaniels are charming free spirits and make enjoyable family pets. They love people and are affectionate and playful.

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Activity Level:

Cocker Spaniel dogs need regular exercise, plus owners need to keep an eye on their dog's waistline. These little dogs are known to have hearty appetites and a tendency to easily gain weight without sufficient exercise.

Space Needs:

Best environment is a home with an outside area for romping, though they can adapt to an apartment if daily walks are taken.


Children, who are older (young adults)and considerate with pets, will enjoy the lively and cheerful nature of this breed. However, because children and dogs can be unpredictable it's always wise to play it safe and have adult supervision whenever they are interacting.


Cocker Spaniel dogs make loving companion dogs for the elderly and are adaptable to a more sedate environment, as long as someone is available to provide regular walks for them.

Share Your Knowledge and Pictures

Do you have a Cocker Spaniel?

If you do, we know you must be proud to own this charming and affectionate dog breed. Plus you have the "insider" knowledge of what spaniels are like as family pets!

We would love for you to share your dog's pictures and his/her story as well as your knowledge about the breed in general.

You can upload photos and tell your dog's story here. For inspiration, read some of the stories already submitted by other dog lovers.

Book Recommendations:

cocker spaniel owner's breed book
The Cocker Spaniel Handbook

A book for new and current owners of the breed. Comprehensive coverage, packed with information everything Cocker Spaniel including nutrition, allergies, training, grooming and keeping your pet healthy, breed traits and how to enjoy your dog through training and activities.

the american cocker spaniel reference and guidethe american cocker spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel

Excellent guide and definite reference to the breed including comprehensive breed history and breed standard, puppy care, grooming, and training.

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