English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel derives his name from the woodcock, or, as some believe, the cockpheasant. The breed was developed in the early 1800s and was ideally suited for the task of finding and retrieving woodcocks from dense brush. He is so excelled at his job that American sportsmen began importing the breed in the 19th century. Famous for his rapid action in the field, tireless enthusiasm in finding and pursuing hare or in searching grouse, dove and other game, he is a superb water dog that excels on wood duck and teal yet can also handle bigger waterfowl.

English Cocker Spaniels are slightly taller, heavier and more solid than American Cocker Spaniels, built more like a miniature setter, with a longer muzzle, low-set ears, and less prominent eyes. The coat can be black, liver, red, and golden. Any of these colors can have accent points over the eys, on the throat, muzzle and feet. The parti-color coat pattern combines the main color with roan, ticked, or open markings. They can way up to thirty pounds.

English Cocker Spaniel
Photo courtesy of Bloodline

English Cockers are friendly, affectionate, and loyal dogs. Their nature can be defined by just one word - "Happy." They are happy with you, your family, other dogs, and also with complete strangers. They adapt well to all environments, provided they have enough daily exercise. English Cocker Spaniels make good watchdogs, but will not protect their property. English Cockers are very sensitive and bond strongly with their owners. They are highly trainable, as has been evidenced by the excellent results in agility and obedience tests.


  1. FCI-Standard #5
  2. Haja Van Wessem. English Cocker Spaniel
  3. Steve Smith. The Encyclopedia of North American Sporting Dogs
  4. Vickie Lamb. The Ultimate Hunting Dog Reference Book

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