Cocker Spaniel Information: The Hard Facts!

If you're looking for reliable Cocker Spaniel information and facts, you've come to the right place! Discover all you need to know about this adorable breed, including the history of the Cocker Spaniel, their loving temperament, characteristics and health concerns!

Facts About Cocker Spaniels

The History of the Cocker Spaniel

As the name suggests, Cocker Spaniels originally came from Spain. They have been with us for many years, as willing gun dogs, faithful companions, or loving family pets.

Beautiful orange rowan cocker spaniel with his tongue out.Find out all about Cocker Spaniels here!

These sturdy little gun dogs were named 'Cocker' Spaniels because of the woodcock they were bred to catch.

Cockers have a good nose, and this good sense of smell allows them to quickly pick up a scent and flush birds from hedgerows and fields so that the hunters (following behind the dogs) can shoot the birds as they emerge.

Spaniels were trained to retrieve the birds using a soft mouth. When the hunters hit their targets, the Cockers would trot off merrily to retrieve the game.

If you'd like to learn more about the history of Cockers, you can follow the link.

Cocker Spaniel Information: Temperament

Cocker Spaniels are very gentle and loving dogs, and once you've owned one, I guarantee you won't want to own any other breed of dog, ever!

They're affectionate and playful, and although Cockers can be reserved with strangers, they are very friendly and loyal once they get to know you.

They love to bark to let you know someone is coming up the garden path or someone is at the door, but if you're looking for a burglar alarm, forget it; a Cocker is more likely to lick an intruder into submission!

Just like our human personalities, dog temperament can show itself as either assertive, passive, or submissive.

Cocker Spaniels can sometimes be timid (submissive), so it's essential to ensure your puppy gets lots of socialisation as early as possible. This is true of all breeds, not just Cocker Spaniels.

Socialisation should continue well past his first year to help him become a happy, confident dog without behavioural problems!

Cockers can be a little stubborn too, but they are curious, intelligent, and so willing to please - all of which make them very easy to train.

They're exceptional hounds, equally happy as working gun dogs, as affectionate companions. As they're especially good with children of all ages, they make good family pets.

I may be biased, but the Cocker Spaniel temperament is definitely a winner for me!

Cocker Spaniel Information: Characteristics

As you can see from this photo, Cockers are very handsome dogs with luxuriously glossy, silky coats and typically long, floppy ears.

Aren't they just adorable?

Black and white cocker spaniel with golden cocker peeking over other dog's shoulder.Find lots of information about Cocker Spaniels here

Their tails, docked or otherwise, are always wagging!

In fact, Cockers often wag their tails so enthusiastically that their bottoms wiggle from side to side too! You've heard the saying, 'the tail wagging the dog'? Well, I'm just saying!

And when they look up at you with those beautiful soulful eyes, who could resist them?

Cocker Spaniel's characteristics are so very appealing. Still, one word of caution, they can sometimes be a little greedy and will eat almost anything on offer. Mine certainly does.

Only last week, he (accidentally?) munched his way through an entire box of doggie bones!

Cockers are also prone to weight gain as they grow older, so their diet needs to be managed carefully.

Cocker Spaniel Information: Health Matters 

Most dog breeds have health problems specific to their species, and the Cocker is no exception.

Whilst most of the hereditary health problems are gradually being bred out by responsible breeders, some problems still do exist; for example:

Please don't think your pet will succumb to all those listed above. It's just not true. These are simply a few health problems that the Cocker Spaniel could develop at some point in his lifetime.

If you own or are planning to own this wonderful breed, I think it will be helpful to understand what problems may arise, and you can learn more about the Cocker's health concerns here.

English Cocker Spaniel Information: Coat Colours

Cocker Spaniel coats are renowned for being luxuriously silky. Their fur can be relatively straight or slightly wavy, and they have feathers on the back of their legs, the front of their chest, and their underbelly.

Six black and tan cocker spaniel puppies in a leather briefcase.English Cocker Spaniel colours in black and tan!

The Cocker Spaniel's coat can be seen in many beautiful colours, with many different markings.

Roan markings are probably one of my favourites, especially the blue roan. Other roan colours include orange, liver, lemon, blue and tan, and liver and tan roan.

Follow this link if you'd like to learn more about 'roan' markings, a brief explanation of the Cocker Spaniel's coat colours and some of the terms used to describe them.

Solid Colours & Rage Syndrome

Some breeders say that the golden Cocker Spaniel (and some say all solid colours) is prone to 'Rage Syndrome'. However, today many breeders are careful to check the history of the sire and dam for signs of rage syndrome in their history before breeding.

Thankfully, rage syndrome in Cocker Spaniels is very rare, and instances of aggression often tend to be behavioural problems rather than rage.

Where a good breeder has evidence to suggest that any of their dogs has shown signs of rage syndrome, they're unlikely to be used for breeding purposes.

Do Cocker Spaniels Shed?

Although Cockers are not renowned for shedding, some do.

Thankfully, mine doesn't shed too much, it's manageable, but Max does need to be brushed at least once a week to keep shedding to a minimum.

That's not too much to ask, is it?

Grooming and On-going Maintenance

Information About Cocker Spaniels: Brushing His Coat

Your Cocker's coat will need to be brushed every day if he's regularly walked in fields and enjoys rummaging in the undergrowth.

On the other hand, if he's walked in the local park or around town, you'll probably get away with brushing him once a week.

All About Cocker Spaniels: Ears

His ears, however, will probably need to be brushed twice or more each week to keep them silky and tat-free.

Extra care should be taken to brush under the ears and around the openings, as that's where they tend to mat the most.

I keep the hair around the entrance to the ear canal trimmed very short to allow air to circulate. As bacteria thrive in warm damp places, keeping this fur trimmed short helps keep bacteria in check.

Cocker Spaniel ears need to be cleaned weekly to ensure bacteria is kept to a minimum and infection is avoided.

Cocker Spaniel Information and Facts: Bath-Time

You can bathe your Cocker monthly, or every three months, depending on what he gets up to, and so long as he doesn't roll in anything nasty.

I usually give Max the sniff test – if he reeks, I bathe him. If he just smells of warm 'doggie', I'm happy to leave him for a while longer.

English Cocker Spaniel Facts: All About Their Eyes

Cocker's eyes need to be cleaned regularly too to avoid eye problems and help keep them healthy.

I check Max's eyes most days. If there's any gunk in the corners, I remove it with a damp soft tissue to prevent irritation or infection.

Always remember to use a separate tissue for each eye to prevent cross-infection.

Information About Cocker Spaniels: Routine Grooming Sessions

There are other routine checks that I recommend you add to your Spaniel's grooming sessions, such as; cleaning his ears, clipping his nails and checking his teeth.

If you'd like a more detailed explanation of how to groom your Cocker Spaniel, just follow the link.

Cocker Spaniel Information: Exercise Is A Must!

Cockers are energetic dogs and love nothing more than a long brisk walk or a run in the park. Keep your pet well-exercised, and you will have a calm, contented dog.

An hour each day should be enough, but if you’re prepared to do more, go for it!

Cocker Spaniel Information: Spaniel Breeds

Other Spaniel breeds to learn about include the American Cocker, the Clumber Spaniel, the Irish Water Spaniel, and the Field Cocker.

Photo of a lovely Clumber Spaniel lying on the ground.Beautiful Clumber Spaniel

Some are more pleasing to the eye than others, some more suited to a particular type of terrain, and a few make better hunting dogs than household pets.

The Clumber is quite a chunky dog and often looks very sorrowful. It is the heaviest of the breeds, but I have to say, I think they look gorgeous!

We had a Clumber living near us in the UK (his name was Rocks!), and he was such a lovely-looking, good-natured dog. He was such a character too!

Although some of these breeds look very different from what we have come to love as the more typical Spaniel, they all have a special place in my heart.

Follow the link for a brief description and photographs of more information about Cocker Spaniel breeds.

Cocker Spaniel Information and Facts: Summary

I hope the information about Cocker Spaniels outlined on this page has given you a better understanding of this fabulous breed and that you feel a little more confident now.

They are a delightful breed, and so long as they're trained and socialised well, they will fit into any family home, especially a home with children.

If you've not found your puppy yet, I hope you find the articles below very useful.

Buying And Choosing Your Puppy

There is a lot to understand about buying a puppy, and this article is packed full of helpful tips about what to look out for before you part with your cash.

Black cocker spaniel mother with her chocolate cocker puppy.Photographer: Rob Waterhouse

For example, did you know that there are puppy tests that you can do to help understand how the pup is going to turn out? (Information such as this is vital to the uninitiated!)

And did you know that if you've never owned a dog before, you should choose a less dominant puppy?

Plump for a slightly subservient pup, and you'll have a much easier time all around.

Who knew that picking a puppy could be so involved?

Finding A Reliable Breeder

Once you know what to look for in a puppy, your next step will be to look for a good breeder.

That's not always as easy as it sounds, though. How will you know that you've found a reliable breeder and not one who's just in it for the money?

Don't know where to begin?

This article will help you to find responsible Cocker Spaniel breeders, give you tips and ideas on what to look for in a breeder, and give you an idea of what questions to ask your breeder.

Well, it's over to you now - I wish you lots of luck and success in finding your perfect puppy!

More Information About Cocker Spaniels

I thought you might like to see a gorgeous orange roan Cocker Spaniel in action, so I've added this video. One of our loyal visitors (Mark from Latvia) kindly sent it to us.

Here it is...more Cocker Spaniel Information and facts. I hope you enjoy it!

Photo Credits for Cocker Spaniel Information:
Aurelia Werneck at
2. Isselee at
3. Juliane Meyer at
4. Audrey Sel at -
5. Photographer: Rob Waterhouse at