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Cocker Spaniel… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Seeing how the Cocker Spaniel is one of the most popular dog breeds in America, there probably aren’t all that many people out there who aren’t familiar with what they look like.

But that doesn’t…

Mean that everyone is familiar with what it might be like to own a Cocker Spaniel.  This is why in this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss some of the pros and cons of owning this American Sweetheart so that if you do decide to adopt a Cocker Spaniel, you won’t be disappointed with your decision a year from now.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Cocker Spaniel Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  United States

Original Purpose:  Hunting companion and retriever

Height:  13 to 16 inches tall.

Weight:  24 to 28 pounds.

Dog Breed Classification:  Sporting Group.

Origin of the Cocker Spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel is the direct product of American Hunters in the early 1800’s attempting to take English Cockers and make them smaller and more compact.

Their goal…

Was to use this “smaller” spaniel to hunt quail and other small game birds and found it much more convenient to have a “smaller” dog with them that could still keep up with the hunt but not be so large as to not be able to be carrier or transported in their small hunting boats easily.


How the “why” the Cocker Spaniel was created is the easy part.  The “how” becomes a bit more “vague”.  You see, there are several competing theories on “how” the American Cocker Spaniel came into being.


Credit the dog Obo the second who was born in or around 1880 as being the first “American Cocker Spaniel” while others aren’t so sure.  Much of the confusion lies in the fact that early on, both the American and English versions of the Cocker Spaniel were considered one in the same, until they were officially “separated” by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935.


However, few can argue that the American Cocker Spaniel is one of the true “great” dog breeds out there which is probably why he is still extremely popular today!

Cocker Spaniel Characteristics

Today, the American Cocker Spaniel breed is divided into three different color varieties, which are your black, your mixed color varieties and your ASCOB which stands for any SOLID color other than black.  And while no one “kind” of Cocker Spaniel is preferred, most folks seem to like the brown or red version (while we here at IndulgeYourPet tend to prefer the mixed variety).

Now regardless of…

Which color you prefer, all three varieties are going to have the same soft silky coat, long low set ears, docked tails and massive, expressive eyes which are sure to steal your heart away!


Your Cocker Spaniel be less than no more than 16 inches tall (being the smallest of the sporting Spaniels) weighing no more than 28 pounds, you’ll need to remind yourself that despite the fact that he is quite handsome, he was built for hunting.

Which means…

That even though he may be bit small, he will be ready to mix it up a “bit” and ready to jump in the fray whether that be some bushes, grass or even water, you’re Cocker Spaniel will be ready for some action!


At this point, we also want to point out that Cocker Spaniels coats do require quite a bit of maintenance to keep looking their best.  For this reason, we here at IndulgeYourPet generally recommend that their owners be sure to brush their spaniels at least two or three times a week and either become proficient with “clippers” themselves or take their spaniel to a professional groomer every two or three months so that they can have their coat “professionally” trimmed and maintained.

We should also mention…

That Cocker Spaniels are prone to ear infections so you’ll also want to be sure to both clean and inspect their ears frequently to avoid any serious infections.

Temperament of the Cocker Spaniel Breed

It really shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that one of the world’s most popular dog breeds is a joy to have around.  After all, the vast majority of American’s aren’t hunters and aren’t looking for the perfect little dog to help retrieve a “kill” for them!


The Cocker Spaniel remains one of the most popular dog breeds out there.  And the reason for this is because these little guys are a lot of fun to own.  They are smart, loving, incredibly loyal and great to have around children, so what’s not to love.


Because of their small size, they do really well in apartment or smaller urban sized households provided that their owners provide them with plenty of opportunities to run and stretch their legs on occasion.

That said however…

Because they are so attentive and “loving” of their human pack, these little guys do not do very well on their own.   You see, as a companion dog, the American Cocker Spaniel prefers to be near their family at all times or they will suffer.


If you are someone that spends a ton of time outside the home or you frequently travel forcing you to board your animals, getting a Cocker Spaniel might not be the right choice for you.


Over the years, due to the popularity of this breed, it has not always been breed as responsibly as it should have which is why, the today, the Cocker Spaniel breed as a whole is not one of the “healthiest” breeds out there.  Common issues you might encounter can include:

In fact…

The list of what may go wrong with a Cocker Spaniel puppy is so long that we can’t go into each medical condition here.  This is why it is best just to be safe and ask the breeder for any certification he/she has on the health of the breed. A respected breeder will already have this information ready for you and should be able to introduce your puppies parents to you so that you can see for yourself that they themselves are healthy.

Now the last thing…

That we want to do is scare you away from either purchasing a Cocker Spaniel puppy or better yet adopting a Cocker Spaniel rescue dog, but we here at IndulgeYourPet feel its important for you to understand what your getting yourself into why you agree to become a dog’s parent.

We also like to…

Stress the importance of making sure that you only work with a reputable breeder and if you do end up adopting a Cocker Spaniel that you also take a moment and consider purchasing a pet insurance policy as well.

This way…

If your little guy does become sick or injured and does need to go see a veterinarian, you won’t be on the hook for 100% of the cost should he or she need serious medical treatment.  For more information about who we feel currently offer some of the “best” pet insurance products on the market we would encourage you to check out our Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Pat O'Shea March 29, 2019, 11:44 pm

    My golden cocker spaniel is loving to me and mine, but aggressive to people and children that want to get close to me..this is a big worry to me as I have had spaniels before that are docile and loving..she is 17 months old and with me 24 seven..Can you help me in this matter ?

    • indulgeyourpet March 30, 2019, 7:24 am


      We have heard that Cocker Spaniels can get a bit like this sometimes so don’t feel alone with your issue.

      So, our advice, would be to seek out a local dog trainer in your area and see if they can’t identify why it is that your dog seem so overly protective of you.

      Now if you live in a city where one of the “big box” pet stores are located check in with them and see if they offer an “free dog training day” each month. If so, stop on by and see what advise the can give you during those hours.

      If this is the only issue that you’re having with your loved one, you may be able to pick up all the pointers you need in those few hours and then apply what you’ve learned at home for free.

      Best of luck!


  • Khori September 3, 2019, 3:03 pm

    Cocker spaniels are great company dogs as well, as long as you take them for a walk at least 3 – 4 times a day (Even better if you can let them run freely after a ball, a bird or something to chase) to keep their high energy level under control.

    Take a Cocker Spaniel with you and soon you will love him (her).

    • indulgeyourpet September 4, 2019, 11:50 am


      We couldn’t agree more!


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