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English Cocker Spaniel Breed

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa

Are you looking for a sweet and engaging canine companion?

Look no further than the English Cocker Spaniel!

This medium sized pup is a well-balanced life-long friend and adventure partner.

This pup is often confused with the American Cocker Spaniel.

The English cocker is larger and more traditionally active in sporting events than his American cousin.

His long ears and expressive eyes are just two highlights of this handsome dog.

No matter where you take him, you will have people admiring your furry friend!


So, what do you need to know before committing to an English Cocker Spaniel puppy?

In this article, we will discuss not only what this breed looks like and how he behaves.

In addition, you will come away with information regarding his exercise, grooming, and training needs.

We will spend some time talking about potential health issues to be aware of.

You will even get a brief dive into the history of the breed and where the English cocker comes from!

If you are ready to learn about this charming pup, let’s get started!




The English cocker is a distinguished looking dog.

Medium-sized and covered in medium to long hair, he carries himself like a prince of the canine world.

Long ears frame a square muzzle and expressive eyes.

This pup’s tail is traditionally docked to make his job of flushing prey out of brush easier.

Grooming can be extensive, and we will cover it more in detail below.

But this breed commonly leaves most of his double layer coat long, except around the muzzle.

The feathering on his ears and legs can accumulate debris, so keep an eye out for that.


This breed can come in a myriad of colors and patterns.

The most common colors for the English cocker are black, tan, white, roan, liver, and orange.

These can be single colors or any combination of two or more.

Many within this breed are ticked or have white or tan markings.


The English cocker is a medium dog, standing at around 15-17 inches tall.

A healthy weight for this breed is 26-34 pounds.

As long as you provide ample opportunities for exercise and follow your vet’s diet recommendations, your pup will live a healthy and happy life.

No matter where you go, the English cocker will be a handsome and sweet companion for you and your family.




The English cocker is often described as a charming and sweet.

This pup is a wonderful addition for any family, but especially one that has children.

Your kids will absolutely adore this cuddly playmate.

This dog is gentle and affectionate.

You don’t have to worry about making sure your kids are safe playing with your English cocker.

He will not allow any harm to come to your children if he can help it.

The English cocker’s medium size, soft coat, and gentle nature makes him the perfect companion for both you and your kids!


This breed is energetic and sensitive.

Training is absolutely necessary, as with all breeds.

However, it is imperative that you remember to use firm but gentle correction.

Your English cocker will become depressed if you speak too harshly to him.

Similarly, this working dog needs daily exercise in order to feel happy.

Specific exercise needs are discussed below, but a lack of activity can also impact your pup’s mood.

If he goes without exercise of some kind for too long, your English cocker can quickly become destructive.

A fulfilled and loved pup will follow you and your family to the ends of the world!



This medium pupper is a ball of energy and joy.

He will need daily exercising to maintain a happy life.

Not only does exercising your English cocker keep him healthy, but it helps feed the part of his brain that is curious about everything.

Long walks and hikes are the perfect solution to get you and your pup out of the house every day.

Because the English cocker has hunting instincts bred into him, always keep him on a leash.

If he smells something interesting, your pup may not listen to you, no matter how well he is trained.


If you have a back yard, your English cocker will love running around in it!

Just make sure that you have a sturdy fence to keep your dog from following his nose outside your property.

Playing games and presenting your pup with puzzles will help keep him entertained.

The English cocker is very intelligent and wants to please you.

Offering him opportunities will not only fulfill his mental needs, but also give him the satisfaction of a job well done.

This breed is highly social, so you can take full advantage of local dog parks.

As always, be sure that your pup has been thoroughly socialized beforehand.



Because of his long, double coat, the English cocker does require a fair amount of grooming.

His soft hair can pick up dirt and debris very easily, especially the feathering on his belly and legs.

Expect to give your English cocker a thorough brushing at least once a week.

His soft, double coat has a tendency to get tangled and matted, so be prepared to work those issues out.

A quick one-over brushing daily will help cut down on the time you have to spend with your more thorough weekly brushing.

In addition, most English cocker owners take their pups to the groomers around once a month.

The groomer will help keep your dog’s hair trimmed and neat.

Specifically, the feet, face, neck, tail, and underside of the ears all need to be trimmed.

This will help your pup stay healthy and clean!


You can learn to do basic trimming yourself.

Just be sure to ask your groomer what tools you will need and the best way to go about it.

In addition to coat care, your English cocker’s ears need to be checked weekly for wax buildup.

You will also need to trim his nails on a regular basis to keep them to a healthy length.

Use your daily and weekly grooming to create connections with your pup!




The wonderful thing about the English cocker is that he loves training and he wants to do what you ask.

This cheerful guy craves the mental stimulation and challenge that training gives him.

Training is an essential part of how this breed finds fulfillment, so make sure to take the time daily to work with your pup.

This breed is a people-pleaser.

To the best of his ability, your English cocker wants to do everything possible to make you happy.

This makes them a relatively easy breed to train.

The important thing to remember is that this breed is also sensitive.

Any feedback needs to be firm but gentle.

Harsh words and tone will frighten and crush your pup.


Of course, the most important training is socialization training.

The English cocker is naturally very social.

But it is important to adequately prepare him for interacting with new people and animals in unfamiliar locations.




Just like many breeds, the English Cocker Spaniel is generally healthy.

However, he can have genetic proclivities toward certain medical issues.

The first step in ensuring your pup’s health is finding a reputable breeder.

Responsible breeders won’t breed dogs who have tested positive or are carriers for health issues.

Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that your pup will be 100% healthy.

This is just an extra step that can help your pup be as healthy as he can be.


A few issues that the English cocker can be susceptible to are retinal atrophy and hip dysplasia.

These conditions develop over time and are difficult to predict in a puppy.

Taking your pup to regular checkups with your local veterinarian will help you catch these conditions quickly if they start manifesting.


A very specific concern for this breed is ear infections.

Because of how the English cocker’s ears are naturally floppy and have long hair, they are particularly susceptible to infections.

Gently clean your pup’s ears with a warm, damp cloth at least once a week, ensuring that they dry thoroughly.

Any redness or irritation can be a sign of infection, so take the time to check your pup’s ears regularly.

Finally, use a canine-recommended toothpaste to clean your English cocker’s teeth on a daily or every-other-day basis.

This will help your pup live a happier and healthier life.




The English Cocker Spaniel comes from the general family of spaniels developed centuries ago in Europe.

The spaniel was developed to be a working dog and began to become more and more specific as the breeding process continued.

The cocker spaniel comes from the ‘land spaniel’ line and is named for the woodcocks he specializes in flushing.

The breed was not split into separate types (i.e. springer spaniel, field spaniel, cocker spaniel, etc.), until the 19th century.

This was when dog shows were beginning to gain prominence in Europe.

For the sake of consistency, the cocker spaniel became his own recognized breed around this time.


During the early 20th century, dog enthusiasts developed an American branch of the cocker spaniel.

This new branch is smaller than the English cocker spaniel and has a slightly different built.

In 1946, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel as two separate breeds.

While the English cocker is still often used as a working dog, he is primarily known as a companion breed now.

His sweet demeanor and happy-go-lucky attitude make the English cocker the perfect addition to your family!


Where Can I Find English Cocker Spaniels?

As mentioned above, the first step to finding your forever puppy is locating a reputable breeder.

Avoiding internet scams and puppy mills not only helps you, it also saves more dogs from horrific living conditions as a result.

Not only does a reputable breed have proper documentation, but they also care about the puppies they are raising.

Reliable breeding is responsible and honest.

A good breeder will test all their breeding stock before deciding which to use.

Any breeding stock that exhibits evidence of genetic predisposition to disease or illness will not be used.

Once there is a litter of puppies, a responsible breeder will ensure they are raised in a safe, loving, and ethical home.


When you think you have found a good breeder, ask lots of questions.

A reputable breeder will be happy you are asking questions and will be more than willing to answer everything.

When you are choosing a puppy to take home, ask the breeder about personality.

Breeders will often have little personality quizzes you can take to see which puppy will most likely fit you and your family.

Finally, make sure to visit your puppy several times before taking him home with you.

This will help your puppy make the transition to a new location.





Q: Is the English Cocker Spaniel difficult to train?
A: Generally speaking, no! The English cocker is very intelligent and wants to do what you ask him to do! Just remember to use gentle correction.

Q: Is this breed good with kids?
A: Yes! This pup LOVES children and will be a sweet and gentle playmate even for very small children.

Q: Does the English cocker require a lot of exercise?
A: This breed needs a fair amount of exercise. A daily walk or hike plus regular time to run around outside will keep your pup entertained and fulfilled.

Q: Does this breed bark a lot?
A: This really depends on the individual dog. The English cocker can bark a lot, but it’s always an alert rather than being aggressive.



In Closing

So, what do you think of the English Cocker Spaniel?

He’s a wonderful companion dog who will be friendly and gentle with kids, elderly, and isn’t afraid of new people or animals.

If you are thinking about adding this sweet ball of energy to your family, take a look at these English Cocker Spaniel Puppies now!

Thank you so much for taking the journey to learn about this breed with me!

Until next time!



American Kennel Club. (2022, 5 24). English Cocker Spaniel. Retrieved from American Kennel Club:

Daily Paws. (2022, 5 24). English Cocker Spaniel. Retrieved from Daily Paws:

Dogtime. (2022, 5 24). English Cocker Spaniel. Retrieved from Dogtime:

Hillspet. (2022, 5 24). English Cocker Spaniel. Retrieved from Hillspet:

Petfinder. (2022, 5 24). English Cocker Spaniel. Retrieved from Petfinder:

The Spruce Pets. (2022, 5 24). English Cocker Spaniel. Retrieved from The Spruce Pets:


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