The American Cocker Spaniel

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The Cocker Spaniel, also known as the American Cocker Spaniel, originated from careful reproduction of the English Cocker Spaniels in the United States.

The name "Cocker" comes from the game bird named woodcock. These spaniels were used to flush these game birds which they did particularly well. Recently these Cocker Spaniels are mostly found in dog shows and as family pets. They also serve admirably as retrievers, hunters, and agility and tracking dog athletes. They have above average intelligence in the dog world. Cocker Spaniels are an all around great dog with a happy and loyal demeanor. Socialization at an early is a positive thing as they tend to be a little shy if they are not socialized. Like many dogs that pick up the emotions of their humans and strangely enough are not all that fond of grumpy people. They do have a high energy level so if you are not prepared to active with your dog this might not be the breed for. They respond well to various types of training and are generally good with children.

Great Info

Alternative names: Cocker Spaniel / American Cocker Spaniel

Country of origin: England; the American Cocker Spaniel is smaller than the English Cocker Spaniel and has a different conformation. Both types make good pets.

Appearance: Compact, with a short back

Power: the usual weight is 15-30 pounds (7-14 kg.)

Stature: the usual height is 15 in inches (38cm.)

Coat: Profuse, silky, feathered, medium-length

Color: Buff, black, and other solid colors, black-and-tan, or parti-colored variations of these

Head: Rounded head chiseled with an abrupt stop

Teeth: Strong teeth causing a scissor bite

Eyes: Rounded and straightforward

Ears: Very long hanging ears

Tail: Usually docked

Limbs: Parallel, straight, strong

Feet: Compact, large, round and firm with horny pads

Life span: About 12 years


Bold and keen to work. The American Cocker Spaniel is equally suited to both as a gundog or as a household pet. They are cheerful, sweet, and sensitive in nature. There is a Cocker Spaniel named Buddy that goes to our dog park and he is just the happiest little dog and he does not have a mean bone in his body. There is not a single moment at the park that his tail is not going a mile a minute. Cocker Spaniels respond to training and are eager to please their master.

Health Challenges

The Main concerns in American Cocker Spaniels are:

Eye Problems including glaucoma and cataracts

Hip dysplasia

IMHA or Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia


Adequate daily exercise is important as they have a lot of stamina. A walk in the morning and the evening is adequate and you can mix it up with a trip to the dog park for a game of fetch. They have a good bit on energy so this is kind of important and a lot of speed. Playing a game of fetch with a Chuck it Tennis Ball drawer is a fantastic way to bleed off some of this energy.

Famous Cockers

Ch. My Own Brucie, won two Westminster Kennel Club Dog Shows in 1940, 1941.

Checkers owned by Pat Nixon and Richard Nixon

Lucky Bundy from Married … with Children

Solomon and Sophie, pets of Oprah Winfrey

Lady from Lady and the Tramp

The original Coppertone ad.

Cosby and Sophie, beloved Cockers of HRH AE Rose

Whitey Hoover appearing in several Tim Hortons testimonials

Source by Hans Lynch

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