English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel

Group: Sporting Group

Origin: Great Britain

Height: 15 to 17 inches (38-43cm)

Weight: 26 to 34lbs (12-14kg)

English Cocker Spaniel
Ch. Autumnfire Chandra’s Coup
Bred by Noel J. Hynds of Autumfire Reg’d.

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Breed Profile

The English Cocker Spaniel is the original Cocker Spaniel developed in Wales and Southwest England as a gundog. Cocker Spaniels were named for their ability to flush and retrieve game from dense undergrowth. The breed was imported to North America in the 1880s.

The English Cocker Spaniel is larger, both in height and weight, than the American Cocker Spaniel. He also has a longer muzzle, flatter head and less prominent eyes. He has a long, silky coat of medium-length that is either flat or slightly wavy. His coat colour can be either black, red, liver, golden, black and tan, tri-colour or roan in blue, liver, red, orange or lemon.

He is noted for his intelligence and happy disposition, as well as being energetic, playful, affectionate, and eager to please. He enjoys family life and, as an active sporting dog, he needs regular exercise. English Cockers are seen participating in several dog sports and activities, including: Conformation, Obedience, Agility, Field Trials, Tracking, and Flyball. In addition, their friendly and gentle disposition make them ideal to work as Therapy Dogs.

Health Issues

English Cocker Spaniels are generally healthy. However, as with other breeds, they are susceptible to some health problems, some of a genetic nature, others viral. The most common problems found in the breed are:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Chronic Hepatitis
  • Familial Nephropathy (FN) This is a hereditary, fatal kidney disease in young Cocker Spaniels. For more information, see Familial Nephropathy.

If you are considering the adoption of a English Cocker Spaniel puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)

Recommended Health Screening:

For the English Cocker Spaniel, the CHICNOTE 1 database includes health screenings for:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) DNA Test
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Listed as “Elective – TWO of the following: OFA Thyroid Evaluation; Optigen Familial Nephropathy test results registered with the OFA; BAER Test results registered with the OFA; Results registered with the OFA or CERF

Additional Health Resources:

Grooming Information

The English Cocker Spaniel’s coat consists of long guard-hairs on top of a soft undercoat. Grooming styles vary based on purpose. For showing purposes, the coat is generally stripped by hand or with a stripping knife; the face and top of the ears are clipped; the feathering is cut so as not to drag on the ground; and the hair on the feet is trimmed.

The nails should be kept trimmed and teeth brushed with dog toothpaste. The ears must be kept clean to avoid infection and should be cleaned weekly.

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Photo by: Christina Conway | www.dazzlebydesign.ca

Did You Know?

  • The English Cocker Spaniel is one of the oldest spaniel breeds and has a history dating back several centuries.
  • English Cockers are known for their friendly, affectionate, and gentle nature. 
  • Originally bred for hunting, English Cocker Spaniels have a strong prey drive. While they may not be as commonly used for hunting today, they still retain some of their hunting instincts.
  • English Cocker Spaniels are popular both as family pets and show dogs. Their friendly nature, appearance, and versatility make them well-loved by dog enthusiasts around the world.

Additional Information

  • English Cocker Spaniel Rainbow of Colors — One of the most appealing things about the English Cocker Spaniel, as a breed, are the varieties of colors in which they come.
  • Is That A Labradoodle? — A must read article regarding the mixed-breed “Doodles” and “Poos”. These are not exotic new breeds!
  • Breeding World Class Gundogs by Geoffrey A. English, as published at GundogsOnline.com
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit: www.caninehealthinfo.org

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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