cocker spanielThe cocker spaniel is actually a common name for two distinct versions of the dog breed. There is the English cocker spaniel and the American cocker spaniel. Each version are known more commonly as just cocker spaniel in their home countries.

Breed Origins

Cocker spaniels come from a large family of dogs called the spaniels which existed for almost 500 years. Spaniels were larger and bigger than the modern cocker spaniels. The breeding of modern and smaller version of cockers began sometime in the mid 1800’s. They were primarily bred to help hunters drive out small wild bird game and retrieve them, hence the name. Cocker spaniels were eventually bred to either develop features for "show" purposes or for their proficiency in the field as sport breeds.

Appearance and Size

Cocker spaniels are medium sized dog breeds. They have characteristically round heads with a smooth forehead. They stand from 15 to 18 inches in height on average, with the American version usually smaller than the English cocker spaniel. Cocker spaniels can weigh from 22 to 28 pounds for American cockers to as high as 34 pounds for the bigger English cocker.

Cocker spaniels have broad muzzles, square jaws and long ears that hang on their sides. Cocker spaniels are also distinguishable by their fairly long and wavy coat of hair. They have thick undercoats that help protect them from cold and damp weather


Cocker spaniels are known for their friendly and playful nature. They are also intelligent and can easily be trained. They are of the cheerful lot and are willing to please their owners most of the time. They are also highly energetic and may require to exercise often.

Cocker spaniels are also known to be highly sociable and love the company of humans. It would not be ideal to leave them on their lonesome for long periods of time. Long periods of loneliness can lead to frustration and may lead to cocker spaniels developing destructive behavior. Cocker spaniels also love to roam and explore due to their highly energetic and playful demeanor. They might develop certain behavioral problems if kept indoors or in small places for long periods of time.

Home and Relations

The cocker spaniel can adapt to certain environments well. Their cheerful, friendly and playful attitude makes them a wonderful pet. Cockers become good pets with children only if they are raised together. Older cocker spaniels not exposed to children while growing may not be as tolerable with kids around. Cockers also have natural protective instincts, making them good watchdogs.