English Cocker Spaniel adult in black and white

English Cocker Spaniel

Naturally cheerful, English Cocker Spaniels are active dogs, especially on a trail.

About the English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniels are affectionate and gentle with those they know. Cheerful, vigorous and well balanced, English Cocker Spaniels are the best known and most widespread of the spaniels.

These short, compact dogs are noted for their happy disposition. They are adaptable dogs who settle well into the family home and make excellent companions for active owners.

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

Breed specifics

United Kingdom
FCI Group 8, AKC Sporting Group
Size category
Avg life expectancy
12–14 years

Lively / Friendly / Confident / Gentle / Loving

Key facts

  • Requires a lot of grooming
  • Enjoys training
  • Makes a great family dog
English Cocker Spaniel adult standing in black and white on a white background

Origins of the breed

Cocker Spaniels were recognised as a separate breed from Field and Springer Spaniels soon after the formation of The Kennel Club in 1873. They originated as the “cocking spaniel”, and derived this name from flushing woodcock.

As with a number of gun dog breeds there is nowadays a difference between those used for work and those used for show: the show Cocker is a sturdier, heavier version of their working counterpart.

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A healthy start to life

Puppyhood is a time of massive physical and behavioural change, and a steep learning curve for new owners. Find out how you can provide your puppy with the best start to life so they develop into strong, healthy dogs. 

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Lifetime of health

Get advice and information on how to provide the best care for your dog at every stage of life.

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