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Breed Library
American Cocker Spaniel adult standing in black and white

American Cocker Spaniel

Even-tempered and never timid, American Cocker Spaniels have become more widespread in the home than in the field.

About the American Cocker Spaniel

These extraverts are loved by many, and their compact size means they can go almost anywhere. Though the smallest of the sporting dogs, American Cocker Spaniels are perfectly proportioned, with a finely chiselled head atop a strong, compact body.

American Cocker Spaniels are friendly, outgoing, yet quiet dogs who form strong bonds with their family.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Breed specifics

Country
United States
Group
FCI Group 8, AKC Sporting Group
Size category
Medium
Avg life expectancy
12–15 years

Lively / Loving / Alert / Enthusiastic / Friendly / Gentle / Intelligent / Loyal / Sociable / Resilient

Key facts

  • Needs moderate training
  • Requires a lot of grooming
  • Garden not essential
Breed origins illustration

Origins of the breed

When Cocker Spaniels were imported to North America in the 1880’s, the breed gradually changed as breeders produced a smaller dog with longer legs, shorter muzzle, more domed skull and a heavier coat. By the 1930’s, the differences between North American and English Cockers were so obvious, efforts were made to split the breed.

In 1947, the original Cocker was renamed the English Cocker Spaniel and the new variety retained the name Cocker Spaniel in the U.S.A. Elsewhere, it is known as the American Cocker Spaniel. Overpopulation threatened to destroy the Cocker’s merry temperament, but the trend has now reversed and the breed’s personality is as attractive as its appearance.

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