English Cocker Spaniel

Everything you should know about a Cocker Spaniel. Whether it’s a cocker spaniel for hunting or a cocker spaniel for the home.

Pro’s and con’s of owning a Cocker Spaniel.

Cocker Spaniels are very sweet-natured. They are as popular both on the hunt and as household pets; and this is with good reason.

The Pro’s

There are loads of good points about cocker spaniels and even though they were bread as a hunting dog (Woodcocks to be precise)

•They are intelligent but not stubborn.
•They are easy to train and willing to respond to commands.
•They are playful and well-rounded toward other animals.
•They are great if you have young kids as they love to play.
•They are great at flushing out birds as they will go through anything (even brambles and thorn)
•They are good retrieving dogs especially for bird hunting, as they have soft mouths.

The Con’s

There are few cons with the spaniel. The main concern people have is with their health. Since this is such a popular dog, people tend to breed without discretion. This brings a problem of mixing in bloodlines that are filled with past problems.

Some health concerns this can create are:

•hip dysphasia
•elbow dysphasia
•Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia.

Do not let this put you off getting a Cocker though as the pro’s far outweigh the cons. But it is best if you buy this breed for a reputable source. Do not visit puppy farms and the alike. You need to have a dog that has been thoroughly screened and whose bloodline is clean. Ask to see the pup’s parents if possible, this should be enough to assure you that you are getting a great dog.

Due to the problems which may come with spaniel ownership I would recommend taking out health insurance.

Height & Weight:

The Male is usually 28-34 pounds and between 15-17 inches high.
The Female is usually 26-32 pounds and 14-16 inches high.


The coat does require regular combing. Some Cocker Spaniels have coats that are prone to matting, while others tend to lay flat, so some trimming is necessary, particularly around the pads of the feet. Shampoo and bath regularly also check ears carefully for wax and foreign material, particularly after outdoor play.

Life Expectancy:

Well cared for dogs can be expected to live up to 15 years old.


As I mentioned earlier they were bread for hunting woodcocks in the 1800’s. In the 1800’s there were lots of types of spaniels including the Clumber, the Welsh Springer, the Field, the Sussex, the Irish Water Spaniel, the Field, and the Cocker. In 1892 the Cocker and Springer Spaniels were divided into separate breeds, and in the 1940s, the English and American Cocker Spaniels were divided again.

Gun Dog, AKC Sporting




The great thing about the cocker spaniel is you can either train as a pet or as a hunter or combine both training methods. We find the best way to train is to train your cocker as a hunting dog. This seems to give you a more obedient pet whether you use him on the field or not.

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