English Cocker Spaniel
English Cocker Spaniels are medium-sized, well-balanced dogs. Their coats are flat and silky with plenty of feathering on the front legs. Cocker Spaniels come in a multitude of different colours and combinations, including solid colours of black, red, orange and brown, combinations of black with white, liver with white, red and white, blue roan, orange roans, black roans, particolours and tricolours. Adult males measure 39-41cm and adult females 38-39cm. They weigh about 13-14.5kg.
- Category size: Medium
- Grooming requirements: More than once a week
- Shedding: Little
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Not too noisy
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Gundog
- Alone: Less than 1 hour
- Other pets: High
- Stability as a guard: Low
The English Cocker Spaniel dog breed is one of the oldest types of land spaniel. Their origins can be traced back to 14th century Spain. Prior to the 1600s all types of spaniels were categorised together; the larger ones being used to spring game and the smaller ones to flush out woodcock. Hence the names Springer and Cocker were derived. In 1892, the Kennel Club of Great Britain differentiated the two breeds separately. On the other side of the Atlantic, Americans were using the same breeding stock to develop a slightly different Cocker, now known as the American Cocker Spaniel.
These busy, friendly dogs thrive on human companionship, wanting nothing more than to please their owners. They are ideal pets where there are children about and they get on well with other household animals. Cocker Spaniels are a very happy breed, constantly wagging their tails and bringing 'presents' to one and all. They are easily trained, being eager to learn and to please.
One of the most common problems encountered in the English Cocker Spaniel is recurrent ear infections, due to their large ear flaps. As with many breeds, they can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.
These dogs adapt effortlessly to the family situation but do remember they are gundogs and, as such, should be given a reasonable amount of exercise – at least an hour a day, preferably more. They love to swim so take care when water is in the vicinity to ensure their safety. Allow them time off the lead to play and run off their energy.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's also important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
Their coats must be brushed several times a week and their ears checked regularly, to ensure they are clean and healthy. 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.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information