English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel | Dog Lovers Festival Breed Directory


English Cocker Spaniel origins can be traced back to 14th century Spain. Prior to the 1600s all types of spaniels were categorised together; the larger ones being used to spring game and the smaller ones to flush out woodcock. Hence the names Springer and Cocker were derived.


Well-balanced, compact little dogs. Their coats are flat and silky with plenty of feathering on the front legs. They cover the ground well, their great drive coming from their muscular back legs.

Grooming and Physical Needs

  • Grooming Needs: Coats must be brushed regularly. The excess hair around the ear passages and beneath the ears must be removed to ensure the ears are adequately ventilated and that no infections set in. They should be stripped out 3 or 4 times a year.
  • Coat Type: Flat, silky in texture, never wiry or wavy, not too profuse and never curly.
  • Moulting: Little shedding.
  • Exercise Needs: Should be given a reasonable amount of exercise, they love to swim so take care when water is in the vicinity to ensure their safety. Allow them time off the lead to play and run off their energies.
  • Average Life Span: 14 – 16 years.


  • Family: Adapt effortlessly to the family situation.
  • Temperament: Gentle and affectionate, yet full of life and exuberance.
  • Trainability: Highly intelligent dogs who are very easily trained, Cockers like to please and are eager to learn.
  • Sociability (Other Pets): Excellent with other dogs and pets.
  • Barking: Medium tendency.


Used in field and agility trials, obedience competitions, as companions and seen in the show-ring.


Prone to many eye problems and indeed, blindness can set in from the age of 10. The long drop ears predispose the breed to many infections and, therefore, regular checking and cleaning is a must.