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Several dog breeds serve as gun dogs. A noteworthy among them is the English Cocker Spaniel!
Small and charming, English Cocker Spaniel admires you with its hanging ears and silky coat. A happy dog is a cheerful, active, and energetic companion to your family. It has been bred for both working and show purposes.
The dominance level of this breed’s puppies varies within the same litter. And, this dog is less prone to anxiety. The other interesting fact is that this breed is the base for American Cocker Spaniel.
Yes, the English Cocker Spaniels are different from the cocker Spaniels found in the United States.
In the early days, the English cocker spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel were considered to be the same breed. But in 1946, this dog was considered a distinct breed from the one found in the United States of America.
Today, the English Cocker Spaniel has been recognized by several clubs such as American Canine Registry, Australian National Kennel Club, etc. And, it is ranked 52nd by the American Kennel Club.
Let’s explore more about this beautiful breed in this article!
English Cocker Spaniel Breed Characteristics
- Origin: England
- Size: Medium
- Dog Breed Group: Sporting, Gun dog
- Purebred: Yes
- Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
- Height: 16-17 inches (males); 15-16 inches (females)
- Weight: 28-34 lbs (males); 26-32 lbs (females)
- Coat Appearance: Medium, Straight, Silky
- Coat Colors: Solid black, Red, Blue, Black, and tan
- Temperament: Cheerful, Charming, Friendly, Affectionate
- Good With Children: Yes
- Intelligence Level: High
- Good With Pets: Yes
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Grooming: Moderate
- Shedding: Occasional
- Barking: Occasional
- Suitable For Apartments: Yes (with sufficient exercise needs)
- Need For Exercise: High
- Easy To Train: Yes
- Good For First-Time Owners: Yes
- Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Litter Size: 3 to 12 puppies
- Average Price: $900 to $1200
English Cocker Spaniel History
The name “English Cocker Spaniel” clearly indicates the origin of this breed in England. Spaniels are bird dogs or gundogs that were developed from Spanish dogs several centuries ago.
These dogs were bred to assist bird hunters during the time period when hunting rifles were not invented. So, the Spaniels are the oldest among retrievers, pointers, setters, and European breeds.
In the early days, the authorities divided Spaniels into two types namely land spaniels and water spaniels.
Land spaniels were further subdivided into different types based on their size.
- Field Spaniels
- Springing Spaniels
- Cocking Spaniels – They are smaller and they have the specialization to flush woodcock.
English Cocking Spaniel Field Bred
English Cocker Spaniel field bred refers to a specific type of English Cocker Spaniel that is bred for working purposes, particularly in the field.
They are known for their athleticism, hunting instincts, and ability to excel in activities such as field trials, hunting, and retrieving.
Field-bred English Cocker Spaniels typically have a higher energy level and drive compared to their show-bred counterparts, making them well-suited for active owners and working environments.
An increase in the number of dog shows in the 19th century led to the official breed recognition of many Spaniel-type dogs.
In the early days of the 20th century, Americans developed a cocker spaniel dog with a short head, a more profuse coat, and a more domed skull.
It is known as American Cocker Spaniel in the United States and Cocker Spaniel in the rest of the world.
In 1946, the American Kennel Club, therefore, recognized the English Cocker Spaniel (British type) and Cocker Spaniel (US type) as separate breeds.
English Cocker Spaniel Color
This dog is single-coated with short and fine hairs on the head, and medium-length hairs on the body, and the coat texture are flat, silky, or wavy to the touch. There is feathering on the ears, chest, abdomen, and legs.
This breed comes in several coat colors such as solid black, red, liver, or party colors. For dogs having a solid color coat, white is acceptable only on the chest.
Roan Cocker Spaniel – Parti-color dogs are called “roans”. You can see tan markings on the liver, black, and particolored dogs.
Blue English Cocker Spaniel – This dog has black and white parti-color. The hair intermingles with white color and gives a bluish appearance.
Brown English Cocker Spaniel – If this breed has brown and white party colors and if the brown hairs intermingle with white, it will give you brown, chocolate, and liver English Cocker Spaniel.
Similarly, the red roan, orange roan, or strawberry roan will have red and white parti-color coats with red hairs intermingling with the white hairs. These dogs sometimes have tan points in their coat.
English Cocker Spaniel Appearance
The English Cocker Spaniel is a medium-sized dog having a compact body. It gives you a soft, dignified, intelligent, and alert expression. Displaying a happy disposition and wagging its tail, people affectionately call it “merry cocker.”
Standing well at the withers, it has a powerful gait. This dog is capable to cover both the ground without effort and penetrate dense cover to retrieve the game. It is an enthusiastic dog and enjoys hunting by continuously acting its tail.
Eyes and ears – Eyes are medium-sized, slightly oval in shape. The eye color is dark brown or hazel in liver-colored dogs. Ears are set low, hanging, and lie close to the head. They are covered with long, straight, silky, or slightly wavy hair.
Skull and muzzle – The skull is flattened slightly when seeing from the sides and the front. The muzzle is in equal length to the skull.
Teeth and jaws – The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The jaws are strong and capable to carry the game.
Nose – This dog has a wide nose for its scenting ability. It is usually black or brown depending on the coat color.
Chest – The English Cocker Spaniel has a deep chest and is neither wide nor narrow.
Tail – This breed has a docked tail. But, docking tail is illegal in many parts of Europe.
English Cocker Spaniel Size
Male dogs of this breed are slightly taller than females. They stand tall between 16 and 17 inches. Females are shorter and their height is between 15 and 16 inches.
The body of an English Cocker Spaniel is compact. Males weigh between 28 and 34 pounds. And, females weigh around 26 to 32 pounds.
English Cocker Spaniel Lifespan
Overall, this breed is healthy. It may inherit health issues from its parents. The average lifespan of an English Cocker Spaniel is typically between 12 to 14 years.
However, it’s important to note that individual lifespan can vary based on various factors such as genetics, overall health, diet, exercise, and veterinary care.
Providing proper nutrition, regular exercise, routine veterinary check-ups, and a safe, loving environment can contribute to a longer and healthier life for an English Cocker Spaniel.
Additionally, some dogs may live beyond the average lifespan with proper care and attention to their specific needs.
English Cocker Spaniel Temperament
You can say the temperament of this breed in one word – Balance.
The English Cocker Spaniel is a balanced breed in its traits and movement. This makes it perform many roles.
A Cheerful Companion – This breed is charming, loyal, affectionate, sweet, and devoted to its owner and the family. It can, therefore, serve well as a wonderful companion to your family.
Child-friendly Pet – The English Cocker Spaniel is a funny, playful dog. It will get along with the children in your family and make them laugh.
This dog will also get along with other pets at your home, especially cats. So, it can be a good choice for families with children.
Wonderful Watchdog – English cockers may be reserved with strangers at times. They are alert dogs and will bark if a stranger approaches your home. With these traits, they are wonderful watchdogs to your family.
English Cocker Spaniel Training
The “merry cocker” will please its owner. As it is friendly toward people, you can easily train them. But, loud noise and rough handling may cause stress in these dogs.
Also, some dogs may be stubborn and will be aggressive and territorial if not well trained.
So, socialization training from a young age and positive training methods are recommended for it to adapt to different kinds of situations.
Socialization training – Puppies need this kind of training from an early age. Specifically, puppies that are 3 to 4 months of age need socialization training to behave in a good manner.
Obedience training – This training will help your canine to behave in a good manner and keep its brain active. It is recommended for puppies that are 4 to 6 months of age.
Your English cocker has a sensitive side. And, it will give a poor response to a harsh, negative approach. So, train your dog in a positive way so that it loves and respects the master.
One of the best approaches is reward-based training. Praise your dog with food treats if it plays well. Ensure that the training is funny and consistent.
Training the English cockers with a soft hand and rewards make them loving, obedient, cheerful, and happy companions.
English Cocker Spaniel Exercise
English cockers have a large amount of stamina. So, it will enjoy walking, fetching games, and agility or flyball sports activities. The high amount of regular exercise will also help this dog’s physical and mental well-being.
But, the exercise needs differ for puppies when they grow. At each stage, exercise timings will also differ. Let’s look at what kind of exercise the puppies need and how long.
9 weeks to 4 months – Let them play in the yard two times a day for 15 to 20 minutes. You can indulge them in ball fetching.
4 to 6 months – Take the puppy for a half-mile distance daily and let it play in the yard.
6 months to 1 year – You can play the ball fetching game with it twice a day (but not during the sunny time). Also, take him for walks for half a mile distance.
Puppies after 1 year of age – Your pup can jog with you at this stage. But, half a mile distance is enough for it. Frequent breaks while jogging is also essential for this dog. Jogging will protect the dog’s joints and bones.
You must ensure a few things always while providing exercise to your dog!
- Always keep the English cocker on a leash due to strong hunting instincts.
- Ensure that the backyard is fenced.
- English cockers are good chewers. So, keep the food and garbage out of reach of them! The crate will also prevent your dog from such troubles in your absence.
English Cocker Spaniel Grooming
Accustoming this dog to regular brushing and examination from the puppy stage is essential. You have to make grooming a positive experience for it with praise and rewards.
- You have to brush its coat thoroughly twice or thrice a week for a better look and to prevent matte and tangle formation.
- Trimming the hair on the face, under the neck, ears, and tail area monthly once is beneficial for this breed. Also, it keeps the feather not to drag on the ground and feet.
- The coat of English cocker should be stripped by hand or with the help of a stripping knife. It is advisable to take an apprenticeship with the breeder for proper grooming of the coat.
- Hanging ears of this breed can be easily prone to ear infections. So, check the ears weekly once for excess wax and debris formation, redness, bad smell, and itching. And, clean the ears using a damp cloth and cleanser recommended by the vet.
- If your dog scratches its ears or shakes its head frequently, take it to the vet for a checkup. It is also advisable to start the treatment as early as possible.
- Brush its teeth twice or thrice a week to remove tartar and bacteria buildup. Daily brushing will also keep its mouth healthy.
- Bath this dog once in 6 weeks using a good-quality dry dog shampoo.
- Check the eyes for redness or discharge.
- Trim the nails at least once or twice a month. Short nails will keep its foot in good condition and prevent it from scratching your legs.
A careful weekly examination of this dog will help to identify the health problems at the early stage.
American Cocker Spaniel Vs English Cocker Spaniel
Both spaniel dogs are pretty and serve as companion dogs. But, they have a few differences.
|Characteristics||English Cocker Spaniel||American Cocker Spaniel|
|Size||This dog is larger and taller than the American cocker spaniel. It stands tall between 15 and 17 inches. And, it weighs around 34 lbs.||It is shorter compared with the English cocker spaniel. Its height is anywhere around 12 and 13 inches. It weighs between 24 and 28 lbs.|
|Coat||Its coat is of medium length and silky to the touch.||It has a long, curly coat.|
|Prey drive||English cockers have high prey drive than their American counterparts. It is still considered a sporting dog.||It has been used as a companion dog for a long time.|
|Exercise Requirements||This breed needs a high amount of exercise. It loves jogging, ball fetching, etc.||American Cocker Spaniels have fewer exercise needs compared with English cocker Spaniels. It loves long walks.|
|Grooming needs||Brushing is vital for its silky coat. Its grooming needs are less compared with American cocker spaniels.||Its grooming needs are high. Frequent brushing and bathing are needed for this dog.|
|Health Issues||English cocker spaniels are prone to more health issues such as Progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, etc.||This breed is quite healthier than the English cocker spaniels.|
|Price||It is more expensive than its counterpart. The price ranges between $900 and $1200.||It is less expensive than the English cocker spaniel. You can get it anywhere between $600 and $800.|
English Cocker Spaniel Puppies Names
Want to name your intelligent and eager English Cocker Spaniel? A lot of choices are right there for you!
But, the best name needs your time and effort. When choosing a name for this charming canine, first consider its personality. Next, you can take its coat color into account. Your dog’s appearance will also provide you with a lot of choices.
For example, the name “Bambie” can best suit your female dog. And, you can name your tiny male “Nugget.” The name “Rusty” can suit well for your dog having a red coat. If you consider its wavy coat, the name “fluffy” can best suit it.
If you are not able to decide on a name, create a name on your own for your canine. Have a list of such names and call your furry friend with those names. If it responds well to any name, consider it as an apt name for your pooch!
English Cocker Spaniel Male Puppy Names
English Cocker Spaniel Female Puppy Names
English Cocker Spaniel Food
Food is the vital thing for your dog to be active, energetic, and healthy. But, not all foods are safe canines. So, you have to know the suitable foods that can be fed to these dogs.
English cockers have the tendency to eat more and put on weight easily. The feeding schedule is therefore equally important for them! One or two cups of high-quality dry dog food twice a day are recommended for this dog.
Don’t provide a large, wholemeal to it. Always divide the meals into portions. Now, take a look at the suitable and not to be given foods for your English Cocker.
- Spinach leaves
- Sweet Potato
- Brown Rice
- Turkey (cooked with no seasoning)
Must Avoid Foods
You have to follow a few basic tips while feeding your dog. These tips will help to prevent your dog from health issues.
- High-quality dog food is recommended for it. But, you should choose the dog food based on your dog’s age and activity level.
- Avoid giving too many treats to your dog as they may cause obesity.
- Watch out for your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level as the English cockers may put on weight.
- If you aren’t sure about whether it is overweight, see its waist and place your thumbs along the spine. And, place your hands on its back with the fingers spread downward.
- You shouldn’t see the ribs without pressing hard. If you aren’t able to see the ribs, it needs more exercise and less food.
English Cocker Spaniel Health Problems
Generally, the English Cocker is a healthy breed. But, it may be prone to a few health issues due to genetic reasons.
Deformation of the hip joint will occur because of various factors including diet, genetics, and the environment. Cockers having this health issue are able to lead a normal, healthy life.
But, you have to monitor their activities and don’t let them overdo exercises. Your dog may need hip replacement surgery in severe cases.
A health condition in which the overdistension of heart muscle becomes occur. Solid-colored English Cockers are prone to this disease.
You are able to see signs of this disease including abdominal distention, rapid heartbeat, coughing, weight loss, fainting, and weakness. This disease can be diagnosed using echocardiography and X-rays.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
The visual cells in the retina will degenerate and it will lead to blindness. It is rare to notice signs of this disease at an early stage. Night blindness is the first symptom. And, your dog may be reluctant to go into dark rooms.
The pupils of your dog’s eyes will become more dilated. And, the eyes are more reflective when light shines. This disease can be diagnosed using an ophthalmic examination. But, no effective treatment is available for this disease.
Glaucoma will also occur in these dogs. It is a health condition that occurs due to the buildup of pressure inside the eyeball.
Take your dog to the vet for a checkup if you notice your dog rubs his face too much. And, if you find redness in your cocker’s eyes, take it to the vet for a checkup.
Congenital Sensorineural Deafness
This health condition can be present from birth. The hearing will be lost in the affected puppies and it leads to deafness by 4 weeks of age. Parti-colored English Cockers are prone to this disease.
It is a kidney disease and is an inherited one. Dogs at a young age generally suffer from this disease. It will become progressive and lead to death.
It is an inherited neurological disorder. This disease will lead to weakness in the hind limbs and progressively to the front limbs.
The clinical signs usually start when puppies are between 7 and 9 years of age. Your dog may feel difficult to swallow when all the limbs get affected.
English Cocker Spaniel Price
This breed is expensive. It will cost anywhere between $900 and $1200. But in the United Kingdom, you can purchase this dog in the range of $600 to $800.
Ensure that you are buying this dog from a breeder who shows health clearances for both parents. The breeder must show health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia.
They should also get certification for the English cocker’s normal eyes from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF). You can confirm health clearances provided by the breeder on the OFA website (offa.org).
English Cocker Spaniel Breeders
When selecting an English Cocker Spaniel breeder, look for those with a good reputation, who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs.
Consider breeders who conduct health screenings, provide socialization, and offer a clean and safe environment for the dogs. Ask for references or recommendations, and visit the breeder’s facility to assess the conditions and meet the parent dogs to ensure they are healthy and well-cared for.
Click here to find English Cocker Spaniel breeders in the USA.
English Cocker Spaniel FAQs
1. Are English Cocker Spaniels Good Dogs?
Yes, English Cocker Spaniels are generally considered to be good dogs. They are known for their friendly, gentle, and affectionate nature, making them great family companions.
They are intelligent and trainable, eager to please their owners. English Cocker Spaniels are also typically good with children and can get along well with other pets if properly socialized.
They have a moderate energy level and enjoy regular exercise and mental stimulation. However, it’s important to note that individual personalities can vary, and proper training and socialization are essential to ensure a well-behaved and well-adjusted English Cocker Spaniel.
2. Do English Cocker Spaniel Shed?
Yes, English Cocker Spaniels do shed. They have a medium-length double coat that requires regular grooming to manage shedding and maintain coat health.
They have a soft undercoat that sheds seasonally, typically in the spring and fall. Regular brushing can help remove loose hair and minimize shedding.
However, it’s important to note that shedding can vary among individual dogs, with some English Cocker Spaniels shedding more than others.
Additionally, factors such as diet, overall health, and environmental conditions can also impact the amount of shedding.