Cocker Spaniel breed guide


Up to 17 inches


Male and females up to 32 lbs


11 to 12 years



Spaniels are just some of the world’s oldest breeds, with the Cocker being one of oldest types of land spaniels. Their origin can be traced back to 14th century Spain but the dogs were not divided by breed but rather by size. It’s the smaller dogs, ones that were used to flush out woodcock, that were known as the “cocking spaniels.”

It was in the 19th century that these spaniels were designated their official breeds as standards were created for each of the different spaniel types.


Cocker Spaniels are one of the smallest spaniel types and is slightly taller than they are long. They have a square and balanced body, with a long and somewhat narrow head.

What makes the Cocker Spaniel such a distinctive breed is their long, floppy ears and silky coat. They come in a multitude of colours, combinations and patterns including black, red, tan, roans, particolours and tricolours.


This breed is loving, cheerful, loyal and playful, which makes them a perfect companion for families with children. They are very people-orientated and love nothing more than pleasing their owners.

Cocker Spaniels can be easy to train but do have a high prey drive as they were bred to be hunting dogs. With the right training and handling, this can be managed.

These dogs are sociable by nature and so, if they have been well-socialised since they were a pup, they will grow to be a happy and well-rounded dog who is confident in any environment.

Things to watch out for

Cocker Spaniels are incredibly high maintenance when it comes to grooming their luxurious coat. They require daily brushing to keep their fur clean and untangled, and it’s also advised to check their coats after a walk to make sure there’s nothing stuck in their hair.

Owners should also check their dog’s ears often in case of signs of infection or irritation.

As with all dogs, Cocker Spaniels will bark as a response, warning, or out of boredom. If they’re not given adequate exercise or stimulation, a Cocker might develop some behavioural issues which include excessive barking.

Did you know?

Lady from the Lady and the Tramp is a Cocker Spaniel.

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