Cocker Spaniel Guide, Origin, Characteristics, and Personality

Cocker Spaniel Guide, Origin, Characteristics, and Personality

Breed Info Summary

Breed Suits: Families with young and older children, active lifestyles, companionship

Shedding/Non-Shedding: Little

Size: Medium


In 1902, the Cocker Spaniel Club was created in UK and soon after, the breed standard was established. The English Cocker Spaniel Club of America was then founded in 1935 to promote the English Cocker Spaniel's interests and distinguish it from the growing American type Cocker Spaniel. The AKC recognized the English Cocker Spaniel as a separate breed from the American Cocker Spaniel in 1946. Outside of America the English Cocker is much more popular and is called simply “Cocker Spaniel.”

Cockers were bred specifically for hunting woodcocks. Also classified as gun dogs, they mostly hunt by "bustling" away, which means the Spaniel rushes in advance of the huntsman in wavy lines or circles, attempting to detect the scent of possible prey. Although the breed was originally bred for hunting, the majority of English Cocker Spaniels are now family pets.

Spaniels are very loyal family friend as well as very eager to assist their master in the field. The breed excels in performance activities such as agility, obedience, and any type of nose work, all while maintaining its trademark happy attitude and wagging tail.


As cocker spaniels are eager to please their owners, they are usually easy to teach. They are, however, delicate creatures who require a lot of positive reinforcement. Harsh training methods can produce fear and anxiety, as well as unwanted habits such as submissive urination and separation anxiety. Despite this, they're generally wonderful companions who are gentle, affectionate, and well-tempered.

Pros and cons to consider 


  • Very smart
  • Adaptive to changes in lifestyle and surroundings
  • Friendly to children and other dogs
  • Great for first time owners 


  • Tendency to escape from home
  • Will have a hard time being left alone at home
  • Potential to gain too much weight

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