Cocker Spaniel

Group 3: Gun dogs
Male: 39-41 cm
Female 38-39 cm

Energy Level:  Moderate to high
Original Function: Retriever
Lifespan: 12 -15 yrs

Recommended for: Families, most people.

Cocker Spaniel

About This Breed

The English Cocker is no doubt one of the oldest types of land spaniel. Their origins can be traced back to 14th century Spain. Prior to the 1600’s all types of spaniels were categorised together; the larger ones being used to spring game and the smaller ones to flush out the game. Hence the names Springer and Cocker were derived. These spaniels have fine noses for scenting.

They are busy, friendly little dogs who thrive on human companionship, wanting nothing more than to please their owners. They are ideal pets for families with children and get on well with other household animals.

Cocker Spaniels belong to the gundog group and are today used in field and agility trials, obedience competitions, as companions and seen in the show-ring.

General Characteristics

Appearance: Medium size, active dogs with much substance and bone, well-balanced, compact little dogs. Dark eyes. Ears, long and hang to the side of the head.

Temperament: Gentle and affectionate, yet full of life and exuberance.

Characteristics: Merry nature with ever-wagging tail shows a typical bustling movement, particularly when following scent, fearless of heavy cover.

Colour: Black, Black/Tan, Gold, Liver, and Particolours and Tricolours with the colour being broken up with white.

Coat: Flat, silky and wavy but not curly.

Grooming: Their coats must be brushed regularly. The excess hair around the ear passages and beneath the ears must be removed to ensure the ears are adequately ventilated and that no infections set in.

The hair around their feet and that between their pads also needs regular attention. They should be stripped out 3 or 4 times a year by a professional groomer. It is possible, however, to learn how to do this yourself.

Exercise: These dogs adapt to the family situation but do remember they are gundogs and should be given a reasonable amount of exercise. They love to swim and time off the lead to play and run off their energies.

Health: This breed can be prone to eye and ear infections.