About Us 

Actually, there is no US - it's just little old me!

My name is Pauline Simpson, and this is my website about Cocker Spaniels.

I write all the articles for this site and do lots of in-depth research to ensure the information I give you is accurate and up to date.

Pauline Simpson, site owner, sitting on the grass in her garden with her golden cocker spaniel, Max. They are surrounded by lush plants.This is me with my best buddy, Max

I take many photos of Max and his buddies, but visitors often send me pictures of their beautiful dogs, and I use those too.

I also sometimes buy photographs of Cockers from professional photographers - they can't all be of Max!

I also maintain and update the website as and when necessary, which, I guess, makes me the chief cook and bottlewasher!

I'm retired now, but in my previous life, I was in Human Resources, which was always full-on, quite eventful and often demanding, to say the least.

The company I worked for needed a personnel department. I saw an opportunity and went for it. Building upon a Diploma in Business and Finance, I studied part-time for a degree in HR and Employment Law.

When I qualified, I set up an HR department and spent 15 years running it, working for the same company.

Early Retirement

Eventually, the opportunity for early retirement arose, and I grabbed it with both hands.

It felt good not having to join the rat race every day. I was finally able to do what I wanted when I wanted!

Pauline Simpson, the owner of about-cocker-spaniels.com, enjoying lunch in the garden soon after retirement.Retirement suits me, don't you think? Cheers!

Life slowed to an acceptable, relaxed pace, and I began to enjoy my newfound freedom, one leisurely day at a time.

Life was bliss!

I had so much spare time, so I decided the time was right to get a puppy.

Which Breed Should I Choose?

Once I'd made the decision to get a puppy, the 64,000 dollar question was, which breed do I choose?

Over the years, hubby has owned several Cocker Spaniels, and he absolutely adored each and every one of them.

So, after much research (on my part) and a little persuasion from hubby, I decided to plump for an English Cocker Spaniel. I couldn't resist their adorable little faces with those big brown eyes and soft floppy ears!

Three months after retiring, I returned home from the breeders one day with a beautiful 8-week-old puppy, and that's when my passion for golden Cocker Spaniels was ignited!

It was around the same time that I decided to build this website, about 15 years ago.

Experience, Research, and Qualifications

30 Years Experience of Living with Dogs

Between us, hubby and I have over 30 years of experience owning dogs (and cats, too!).

I was 6 years old when we got our first rescue dog, a Heinz 57 variety, which we named Jenny. She was a bit of a mutt, but she gave us many years of love and affection and was loyal to the whole family.

Our next dog was a noble-looking Afghan hound whom we named Prince. Although he was a beautiful dog, his coat was quite labour-intensive. He was also very highly strung and needed an awful lot of attention and handling!

Our next pooch was a cute Yorkshire Terrier (Sherry), who used to run for the cupboard under the stairs every time my Grandma arrived.

Eventually, we realised why. Sherry had quite a long coat which often made it difficult to know whether she was facing you or away from you.

We later discovered that my Grandma, whose sight wasn't too good, had been trying to feed Sherry with doggie treats but hadn't realised she had her the wrong way around!

Moving on…

And then we acquired a wonderful German Shepherd. We took him in because his family could no longer afford to keep him. He was an enormous, fierce-looking black dog, inappropriately named Demon, as he was the biggest softie I had ever known!

Sadly, as is inevitable, they all eventually left this world.

Extensive Research - So You Don't Have To!

Before I even collected my Cocker Spaniel puppy, I had begun my research for this site. (It also acted as a timely refresher while raising my new puppy).

Over the years, I have carried out a ton of research and read countless books and research papers on dogs: dog and puppy care, training and behaviour, health matters, and much more.

Books I've Read and Loved

Here are just a few of those books I really enjoyed reading and found particularly helpful when building this website:

  • The Practical Dog Listener, by Jan Fennell
  • Train Your Dog Like a Pro, by Jean Donaldson
  • The Culture Clash, by Jean Donaldson (endorsed by Dr Ian Dunbar)
  • The Other End of the Leash, by Patricia B McConnell, PhD
  • In Defence of Dogs, by John Bradshaw
  • The Kennel Club Puppy Handbook
  • It's Me or the Dog, by Victoria Stilwell
  • The Perfect Puppy, by Gwen Bailey

I have devoured many other good books about canines, but the above really stood out as leaders in the field of dogs and training.

Papers Researched

Research papers include:

Aggressive behaviour in English Cocker Spaniels and the personality of their owners. 

Written by: A L Podberscek and James A Serpell

Courses and Qualifications

I have also undertaken several courses on dog training and behaviour and continue to do so as and when I have the time to spare.

Here are some of my favourites:

Animal Behaviour and Welfare

This course on animal behaviour and welfare was given by the University of Edinburgh.

It covered animal welfare policy issues, including both scientific and ethical issues.

The course involved the study of animal behaviour and the challenges associated with monitoring and assessing animals' emotions.

This training was very interesting, and I learned a lot from it.

Simple Solutions for Common Dog Behaviour & Training Problems

Instructor: Dr Ian Dunbar

This course covers many common problems with dog behaviour, including peeing and pooping in the house, chewing habits, barking, digging, and separation anxiety.

Certificate for Simple Solutions for Common Dog Behaviour and Training Problems by Dr Ian Dunbar. Course completed by Pauline Simpson, author of about-cocker-spaniels.comCertificate Awarded: Common Dog Behaviour and Training Problems

It also covers other behavioural problems such as jumping up, pulling on the lead and much more.

I can tell you it has proved to be very helpful many times in the past!

Crucial Concepts in Dog Behaviour and Training

Instructor: Dr Ian Dunbar

This course covers cutting-edge and common sense concepts that make dog training easy and effective (for you both!).

Certificate for Crucial Concepts in Dog Behaviour and Training by Dr Ian Dunbar. Course completed by Pauline Simpson, author of this website.Crucial Concepts in Dog Behaviour and Training

It's about motivating your dog by making the training as enjoyable as possible for your pet.
But it's not all about training; it also covers correcting misbehaviour by redirecting our dogs to other more acceptable behaviours.

My favourite trainer is Dr Ian Dunbar. He is an expert dog trainer, a veterinarian, and an animal behaviourist. He has a friendly, relaxed, but professional manner.

He earned his veterinary degree and a Special Honours degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London University).

He also earned a doctorate in animal behaviour from the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley, where he researched the development of social hierarchies and aggression in domestic dogs.

Dog CPR, First Aid and Safety for Pet Pros and Dedicated Owners

Instructor: Melanie Monteiro

This is essential training to help keep your dogs safe and to give you the ability and confidence to take action in a doggie emergency.

Certificate for Dog CPR, First Aid and Safety for Pet Pros and Dedicated Owners by Melanie Monteiro. Course completed by Pauline Simpson, owner of this website.Dog CPR, First Aid and Safety for Pet Pros

You never know when you might need to know how to stop a dog bleeding or how to calm a dog after an accident.

Fingers crossed, you never need to!

Inside Your Dog's Mind with Victoria Stilwell

Instructor: Victoria Stilwell

This course looks at the inside of your dog's mind, which is exceptionally enlightening.

Certificate for Inside Your Dog's Mind with Victoria Stilwell. Course completed by Pauline Simpson, the owner of this website.Certificate awarded: Inside Your Dog's Mind by Victoria Stilwell

The course covers how dogs think, feel and learn to help make training dogs much easier and more effective.

It explores the 5 cognitive dimensions and goes into some considerable depth, probably much more than I had expected!

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

The University of Edinburgh


  • Professor Nat Waran, Professor of One Welfare
  • Miss Hayley Walters, RVN
  • Dr Heather Bacon, Veterinary welfare education and outreach
  • Dr Amy Miele, Lecturer in Clinical Animal Behaviour 
Completion certificate for The Truth About Cats and Dogs - The Edinburgh University. Completed by Pauline Simpson, owner of this website.

This course covers the science, behaviour and body language, senses and perception, and challenges for human-animal relationships, and I found it very interesting.

Ongoing Courses

Well, that's enough learning for now, but I'll never stop researching dog training and behaviour because I find the subject so interesting, and I love to learn new things.

Watch this space for more!

I love working on my website, and I love the fact that my site has thousands of visitors each month - something I'd never have been able to do on my own. Since discovering Solo Build It! (SBI!) I've never looked back.

If you'd like to hear more about how I built this website and, more importantly, how you can do the same, you can do so here