Cocker Spaniel- Highlights and Buying Advice

Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed

Information, facts, and advice before buying a cocker spaniel

cocker spanielThe cocker spaniel is a medium-sized dog, that makes a popular choice for a family pet, originally bred to be working gundogs these happy loyal and highly intelligent dogs have adapted over the years. These energetic playful dogs love nothing more than exploring and being outdoors.

The spaniel is known for being one of the oldest breeds around going back as far as the 14th century although some say even earlier than that back to 55Bc who believe the arrived in Britain during the Roman invasion. Many believe the spaniel originated from Spain, as the word ‘spaniel’ could come from Hispania which is known as Spain.

There are two types of cocker spaniels, the working spaniel, and the show spaniel, the working spaniel is much lighter than the show spaniel, yet the show spaniel is much stockier built.


Fun facts about the Cocker Spaniel

  • spaniels were hunting dogs, they were skilled at hunting a bird called the woodcock, this is how they ended up getting their name 
  • A cocker spaniel was the first cancer-detecting dog
  • Prince William and Kate own a cocker spaniel named Lupo
  • In Disneys Lady and the tramp ‘Lady’ is a cocker spaniel
  • Sperrys shoes were inspired by the cocker spaniels paw


Cocker Spaniel appearance

One thing that definitely stands out on the Cocker Spaniel is their eyes, their nicely rounded not protruded and sit nicely apart, their eyes give them their kindness and loveable look that this breed is known for they are usually a dark or hazel colour.

Cocker Spaniels are a medium-sized dog that is compact and well proportioned, there is a difference between the show and working spaniel, the working spaniel fur is a lot finer and has less feathering than a show dog. their muzzle is square and their ears are long and floppy but lie close to the dog’s face. They have a great jaw which is strong which was made for carrying back wildfowl.

Another feature cocker spaniels are well known for is their tail, its always wagging, their tail is always level to their body and their chest is well structured, they did use to be docked, but since the law came into the UK in 2007 docked tails no longer have this trait to this breed.  Their legs are muscular and the hindquarters are strong and rounded and the top,  their paws are just like cats very padded.

The cocker spaniel comes in a variety of colours and their coat should be flat and silky, they shouldn’t be wavy or curly and it shouldn’t feel wiry either. On the front and back of their legs, they are well feathered.


How big do Cocker Spaniels get?

Cocker spaniels can grow around 38-45cm tall and typically weigh between 13-15kg the females tend to be a bit smaller in height and weight than the male dog’s. Cocker Spaniels have a life span of over 12 years.


Are Cocker Spaniel’s good family pets?

Cocker spaniels make good family dogs if they are handled correctly as puppies, any dog around children should be supervised and never left alone,  young children can sometimes be too rough with dogs which can sometimes just be too much for them, however, if properly socialized and trained with a firm but gentle hand these dogs can make great family dogs, you have to remember these dogs were originally bred to hunt.

Cocker spaniels need to know who is alpha in the family as they can try and become dominant that is why gentle but firm handling is needed when it comes to the training stage, these dogs are very sensitive and don’t like loud noises so with the wrong training could actually make this breed timid and nervous. cockers love nothing more than impressing their owner so enjoy positive rewarding.

However with the correct exercise, training, and socialising they are extremely loyal, intelligent and kind, they love being involved with everything the family does, they are full of life and always eager to please because they are very family-oriented they don’t like being left on their own, they need a family that is going to be at the house majority of the time if left for long periods of time they can suffer from separation anxiety. they require a lot of exercise and need to be mentally stimulated to stop the from behaving badly and becoming depressed.


Are Cocker spaniels smart?

Extremely smart, they are very intelligent dogs that are quick learners, but they also get a lot of joy by being obedient and pleasing their owner, they are in the top 20 of most intelligent dogs. they are used a lot in the police force as ‘sniffer dogs’ as they have the ability to sniff out products that are harmful, can cause harm, and are illegal, after all sniffing is what cocker Spaniels do best!

Do Cocker Spaniels Bark a lot?

Cocker spaniels are not known for their barking in fact their fairly quiet dogs, however, excessive barking can start when the dog becomes bored, by giving them plenty of walks and keeping them mentally stimulated this prevents behavioral issues and a happy dog that content. when a Cocker is unhappy it will express itself by barking.


Food and diet

Cocker Spaniel’s diets depend on their age and health conditions, feed them a complete dog food to keep them slim and healthy with regular excercise. The four main types of dog food available are;

  • kibble (dry biscuits)
  • Frozen
  • Semi-moist
  • canned or wet food

If you are not sure which is the best food for you Cocker then its best to discuss this with your veterinarian, they will be able to give you the best advice on what is suitable for your cocker spaniel and also recommend how much you should be feeding them on a daily basis. it also recommended that you split their daily allowance meal into two meals a day for them so they don’t get overly hungry and start trying to steal food from cupboards and bins – remember to leave a gap of at least 30minutes before exercising giving time for the food to digest. Dogs love routine so try and feed them at the same time every day.

The type you choose will ultimately depend on your lifestyle, how much time you have to prepare their food, and your dog’s preference. It doesn’t hurt to try out a few different types first to see how they respond to each one.

when giving your dogs any treat they should be given in moderation, snack and treats are high in calories and can unbalance their diet, When giving your dog snacks and treats remember to take it into account of their daily amount or reduce their amount of food, treats should not make up any more than 10% of their daily calories intake.


Cocker Spaniel maintenance

cocker spaniels are high maintenance when it comes to their coats, they need to be brushed on a regular basis to keep their skin and coat in a healthy condition and prevent matting, it is also recommended they visit a professional groomer numerous times a year. starting daily brushing from a puppy will help them form positive experiences with brushing.

cocker spaniels are known for their love of water, as soon they see the water they are straight in it when walking your dog be careful near areas where water is present and off the lead. When a spaniel has been in water make sure the right cleaning procedure is carried out, they need to be washed in warm water and dog shampoo. again when grooming takes extra care when brushing as their fur can matte when its got muddy or wet.

Regularly check your Cocker’s ears when grooming them, they are prone to ear infections, make sure they are dry and have no infections they are incredibly hard to clear up when they get infections. Because their ears are long air cannot circulate around the inner ear allowing moisture to build up making it the perfect breeding ground for yeast infections.

From a puppy is it is important to regularly try and brush your cocker spaniels teeth, they are prone to build up and plaque which can make them smelly which leads us to the next question.


Why do cocker Spaniels stink?

Cocker Spaniels can be very smelly, this is due to ‘cocker mouth’ which is very common in this breed, its when food and moisture get trapped around their mouth in their fur, fold, and lips, it creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow and create the foul smell. To prevent this from happening you need to regularly wipe and wash your cocker’s mouth. Sometimes the food in the fur can harden around the bottom lip, this needs to be soaked of instead of wiped in some cases its too bad and unable to wipe or wash off, if this happens you need to visit your local veterinarian.


Cocker Spaniel health problems

with any purebred they always some common health conditions, As a pet owner you only want what’s best for your pooch’s health, hee is a list of the most common health problems seen in Cocker spaniels:

  •  Ear conditions
  • Eye problems
  • Slipped discs
  • Heart disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Hip dysplasia


Now you have a better understanding of the cocker spaniel we hope this helps you to decide if this breed is the right dog got you.

cockers make wonderful family pets as they are intelligent loyal and kind. By following the right steps, you and your pooch can lead a long, happy life together.