Your Pet, Our Passion.

American Cocker Spaniel

Distinctly different to the English Cocker Spaniel, the American Cocker is smaller, with a more rounded skull and a profuse and glamorous coat.

12 – 15 years
10 – 15kg
34 – 39cm
Black, liver, red, golden, black with tan points, brown with tan points and parti-colour. Some distinct markings may be present, specified by the breed standard
UK Kennel Club Groups
The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Need to be aware of potential health issues
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Welcomes everyone happily
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • Great family dog
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training
This breed may encounter health problems

American Cocker Spaniels may encounter problems such as: 
- Hip dysplasia 
- Ear infections  
- Glaucoma which is a painful condition where the pressure in the eye builds up. 
- Hereditary cataracts which is a condition where the lens in the eye becomes cloudy and this can result in blindness.  
- Progressive retinal atrophy which is an inherited disorder where part of the eye degenerates and wastes away which can result in blindness.  
- Cruciate disease¹ which is where the ligaments in the knee become diseased and damaged which can lead to pain and limping.

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Eye testing for pectinate ligament abnormality testing to look for signs that a dog is affected by glaucoma.
- Eye screening scheme.

¹A. Necas et al, 'Predisposition of dog breeds to rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament', 2000, Acta Veterinaria Brno.


This is a merry and busy little dog. They should be confident and cheerful, although early and thorough socialisation is recommended to avoid fearful or anxious behaviour. One of the smallest of the gundog types, the American Cocker is an intelligent dog who will thrive in a family environment, given sufficient company, exercise and training. 

As with the English Cocker Spaniel, the American Cocker was developed to flush and retrieve woodcock and other game birds. They are now popular in the showring or as companions, but still retain some of their hunting instinct.

Vet Rating

History and Origins

Ideal Owner

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming American Cocker Spaniel

Training American Cocker Spaniel

Suitability for Family Life

Did You Know?

  • The Disney animated film “Lady and the Tramp” features a cartoon animated version of an American Cocker Spaniel as Lady. However, it was story artist Joe Grant who came up with the idea for Lady and the Tramp, inspired by the antics of his English Springer Spaniel, Lady!
  • Celebrity owners of American Cocker Spaniels include Charlize Theron, Oprah Winfrey and 37th President of the USA, Richard Nixon.
  • American Cocker Spaniel’s are the smallest gundogs in the world. 
  • This breed is popularly used as a therapy dog due to their kind and happy natures. 
find the right dog name
Find the Pawfect Name
Try our new dog name generator to find a great name, from the UK's most popular ones, names for small dogs, big dogs, or something unusual - we've got the one for you!