Breed Group: Sporting Group
Shoulder Height: 15-16 in.
Weight: 26-35 lb.
Life Span: 11-12 years
Colors: Black, tan, white, blue, roan, golden, lemon, liver, orange, red, sable
- The English Cocker Spaniel shares many characteristics with the English Springer Spaniel. The only differences between the two dogs are the Springer Spaniel's larger size and longer snout, and the Cocker Spaniel's longer ears.
- English Cocker Spaniels, like their companion the American Cocker Spaniel, can excel in both field trials and the show ring.
- Spaniels as a group are a very old breed of dog, and it's thought they may have originated in Spain due to their name being very similar to the French word for Spain (Espagnol).
- In hunting, the English Cocker Spaniel is used to flush game from dense bush so the hunters can shoot.
The English Cocker Spaniel is a breed that saw massive popularity during the eighties and nineties, but has since declined as interest turned toward other sporting breeds. However, the English Cocker Spaniel remains a hugely popular house pet, especially in England. This is due to their wonderful personality and their appealing, graceful appearance.
The defining feature of a English Cocker Spaniel's personality is their cheerful nature. The breed is noteworthy for having a happy-go-lucky attitude and seemingly endless optimism. As a result, they have been employed as therapy dogs, especially for depression patients. What makes them even more effective at this task is the strong bond they forge with their human.
They are loyal to their people and very easy to train. English Cocker Spaniels are one of the smartest dog breeds in the world, ranked 18th overall in The Intelligence of Dogs by Stanley Coren.
Social training is quite simple with English Cocker Spaniels as they have a natural tendency to get along with other people, other dogs, and children. They do very well in a multi-dog household. The breed is an athletic one that was developed to work in the field, so daily exercise is required. They also have a longer coat that needs frequent grooming and their floppy ears must be kept clean.
Most English Cocker Spaniels are healthy dogs and have an average lifespan of 11-12 years. There are a few health conditions that prospective pet parents need to be aware of.
- Hip dysplasia can occur, but breeders are working to reduce the incidence in the breed.
- Eye diseases such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy can cause vision problems.
- A 2010 study found that 5% of English Cocker Spaniels were deaf in one or both ears.
- Rage syndrome is unprovoked aggression that can occur in a small number of English Cocker Spaniels. It's thought to be associated with lower than normal levels of serotonin in the brain.
- Lupo, the family pet of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine, is an English Cocker Spaniel.
- Fluff the English Cocker Spaniel belonged to writer Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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