English Cocker Spaniel
(AKC Sporting Group)
English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel is an alert, compactly built, medium-sized dog, short-coupled but slightly longer than tall. It is solid, but not bulky, strong and well-balanced, but not coarse. The topline slopes slightly to the rear. The upper plane of the skull is almost parallel to the upper plane of the muzzle, and the muzzle is about the same length as the skull. The long ears are set on low, and reach at least to the nose when pulled forward. The dark, oval eyes should have a soft, melting, yet intelligent expression. The hair is medium length. The legs and underside of the body are well feathered. The nose is black or brown depending on coat color (black preferred). The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The topline is almost level, with only a slight slope down from the withers to root of the tail. The chest is very deep and well developed, but not wide enough to interfere with efficient movement. The tail is generally docked. The feet are round and catlike with tight, arched toes. The coat comes in the following: solid black, liver, red, black and tan, liver and tan, or any of these colors on a white background, either parti-color, ticked, or roan.


The Cocker and Springer Spaniels developed together, with only size differentiating them, until 1892, when the Kennel Club of England recognized them as separate breeds. Later, in the 1940s, the American and Canadian Kennel Clubs recognized the English Cocker Spaniel as a separate breed from the American Cocker Spaniel. The name “Cocker” comes from the woodcock, a bird this spaniel was originally bred to hunt. Cockers are also good at hunting other birds. They are excellent retrievers with delicate mouths. The English Cocker hunts well in difficult terrain. These days, the English Cocker is more often a companion dog due to his good-natured disposition.

Key Facts:



Hardy, energetic, merry, lovable, sweet, and affectionate. Lively. Great dog for kids: gentle and playful, but does not tolerate teasing well. Superior companion dog. Generally an outgoing breed, but some individuals can be reserved. Temperament varies widely; research individual lines. Some bitches are fairly dominant and should not be placed with a non-dominant owner. Males tend to be more cooperative. Field lines might be too active to make good pets.