Cocker Spaniel Information & Characteristics

The Cocker Spaniel featured prominently both as working dogs and pets through the reign of Henry VIII and the Stuart kings, being referred to as ‘wood-cocking spaniels’ - small dogs that could go through hedges and the undergrowth to flush out the woodcock.

The beginning of this century saw the formation of the Cocker Spaniel Club of England which drew up the early standard of the breed for shooters who needed a small, active, strong dog, sturdy enough to work cheerfully and tirelessly all day flushing out game.

Average lifespan
These devoted and lovable dogs will normally live to 14 years of age but treated with the care they deserve and fed a sound diet, Cocker Spaniels can live up to 16 years.

Average size and weight
These dogs in their prime condition should be 14kg and 38cm tall for the female and 15kg and 41cm tall for the male.

Breed personality, characteristics & temperament
This merry little dog makes a wonderful family friend and a devoted companion. It thrives on, and needs the companionship of human beings.

Compatibility with other pets

Care requirements
Requires regular grooming and particular attention should be paid to keeping the hair trimmed away from under and around the ears, the underbelly and the feet. The sturdy little Cocker can be housed inside or out, and, providing the dog receives the love and attention it requires, will happily settle for either situation.

If kept outdoors, the dog will require a suitable shed or kennel which is warm and draught-free in winter, cool in summer and weatherproof at all times. If kept indoors, be aware that it will shed a little hair every day. The Cocker Spaniel is not a fussy eater and will eat almost anything. A good idea to keep the ears clean is a narrow food bowl which will keep the long ears either side of the bowl and not in the food.

Please take note
This breed is definitely not for the person who wants a dog to lock in a pen in their back yard.

Ideal owners
For those who understand that this little dog needs exercise and grooming.

Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.

Want to read up on other dog breeds? Our breeds category page has detailed information on different breeds, so you can prepare yourself to adopt a dog.

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