Cocker Spaniel’s are a popular breed of dog for many reasons.  They can be great hunters, companion dogs, competition dogs and even therapy dogs.  They are great with children and other dogs. They are adaptable to their environment and can be happy on a farm, in a suburban home or even in an apartment.

Cocker Spaniels were originally bird dogs used for retrieving.  So if you love a dog that wants to play with you.  This could be an excellent breed choice.  They are easy to train and would love to go on walks with you.


Breed In Brief:

Height Male: 14.5 – 15.5 inches
Weight Male:  25-30 pounds

Height Female: 13.5 – 14.5 inches
Weight Female:  20 -25 pounds

Life Expectancy:  10-14 years

Cocker Spaniels come in a wide variety of colors and combinations.  They are known for their intelligence and their long silky ears.



The Cocker Spaniel is a family dog.  They desire companionship and want to be with you having fun.  The Cocker wants to please his owners.  They will not do well if left alone for long periods of time.

The Cocker can be nervous and anxious.  You must be careful when correcting bad behavior because of this sensitive nature.  They will pick up on a small change in your tone of voice and usually that is enough to correct bad behavior.  This sensitive nature makes them a good therapy dog.

When bored the Cocker can bark, dig and chew.  They also want to chase birds or small animals.  Hold the leash firmly when walking in case they spot a squirrel or bird they want to chase.


Overall Care:


Expect to feed your Cocker between 1.5 to 2.5 cups of dry dog food per day.  Feeding amounts can vary greatly depending on the size of your dog, the amount of daily activity, age and metabolism.  However, this breed will overeat if given the opportunity so no leaving the bowl full all the time.

The gorgeous long ears of the Cocker Spaniel often end up in his food and water bowls.  Longer narrow bowls may help the Cocker keep his ears free of food and water debris.


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Cockers have thick, wavy, silky long hair which does require regular thorough grooming.   Daily brushing is necessary in most cases.  Grooming will help prevent the coat from mats and help avoid skin problems.  A dog comb with fine to medium spacing is a good tool to have.

Because of the sensitive nature of the Cocker it is important to get them used to grooming as a puppy.  This is going to be part of his whole life so brush early and often.  Mess with his toes even if you only clip nails once a month.  Get him used to all this fusing so he won’t be apprehensive of his grooming.

Be careful when brushing around the ears.  Cocker’s have long floppy ears that are thin.  This is also a good time to check their ears for ear infections.  It is important to clean ear canal after swimming or bathing to help avoid ear infections.  Checking ears weekly can help you avoid a serious ear infection which this breed is prone to.

Regular shampooing is important.  The good thing is Cocker’s like the water so they won’t fear bath time. Two rinses when shampooing is a must.  Soap residue can cause skin irritation.  You can dry your Cocker on the low setting of a blow dryer.


Cocker Spaniels are smart and easy to train.  They love tricks and make great agility competition dogs.  Cockers enjoy praise and treats when you are training.  Due to their sensitive nature just a change in the tone of your voice they will pick up on and adjust their behavior.  Their desire is to please you.


Cocker’s are energetic and will require daily activity.  Remember, they like to be with you, so they will probably want you to be part of their exercise activity.  They love to retrieve.  So if you like to throw a ball and have it returned to you, this is a perfect breed fit.



Cocker Spaniels have several common hereditary health conditions:

  • Ear Infections
  • Mitral valve disease
  • Skin Issues
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap)
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Hutoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Epilepsy

Finding a reputable breeder is important.  You want the parents of your dog to be as healthy and disease free as possible.  Doing research on your breeder is important.



Cocker Spaniels are the oldest breed club in American, started in 1881.  The Cocker Spaniel was the number one registered breed in the late 1930’s to the 1950’s.  The Cocker Spaniel today remains in the top 15 registered breeds.

It is believed this breed originated in Spain.  The word spaniel means Spanish dog. Spaniels were originally used as hunting dogs.  They are great retrievers.  Cockers were divided into water spaniels and land spaniels.  They were further broken down by size.  Toy or small spaniels which were mainly companion dogs and larger hunting dogs.



Average US costs for a pure breed Cocker Spaniel are $1000 to $2000 dollars depending on pedigree.



Cocker Spaniels are a great breed.  These dogs are sensitive, easy to train, want to please you, active, will play games and are great companion dogs for people of all ages.  If you are looking for a breed that has remained popular for a very long time (for good reason) the Cocker Spaniel may be the right dog for you.