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The English Cocker Spaniel is an incredibly energetic, enthusiastic companion, especially when working. Despite its soft, gentle expression, the Cocker, as it is most commonly referred to, is an active sporting dog that makes for an excellent family dog, particularly because the English Cocker Spaniel is easily trained and rarely stops wagging its tail.

Physical Characteristics

For a Spaniel, the English Cocker is fairly tall. Its compact shape and short legs, however, help it move quickly through dense bushes, while its broad muzzle assist the dog during retrieving. The English Cocker's coat -- which can be found in various colors, including black, liver, red, and tan -- is of medium length, wavy or flat, and silky in texture. Its gait is ground-covering and powerful, and its facial expression is soft and pleasant. In addition, the English Cocker typically keeps its tail wagging when on the move.

Personality and Temperament

The English Cocker Spaniel is social in nature, and most often in a cheerful or playful mood. It loves to spend time with humans and is very obedient, carrying out an owner's instructions devotedly. Faithfulness to its master, in fact, is one of the English Cocker's most recognizable characteristic. With a strong hunting instinct, the breed is always keen to learn new things.


The English Cocker Spaniel should be taken on long walks, preferably for hours. This will give it the necessary daily exercise. Running and playing will be good physical exercise for the breed as well. Although the English Cocker Spaniel can survive outside in temperate weather, it is best to keep the dog at home with access to a yard.

One should check its ears regularly to remove dirt, while its coat should be combed and brushed two to three times a week. Trimming the fur at the tail and feet is necessary every two months, and head and ears are to be clipped properly at regular intervals.


The English Cocker Spaniel generally has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. Care should be taken to prevent some serious health-related problems such as patellar luxation and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). This breed is also prone to some minor problems like hypothyroidism, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), cataract, and kidney disease. The parti-colors are prone to deafness. The English Cocker Spaniel must have its knees, ears, hips, eyes, and thyroid tested. Cardiomyopathy can also occasionally be seen in the breed.

History and Background

The English Cocker Spaniel belongs to the family of land spaniels that are extremely competent at hunting. The breed received the recognition of a distinctive variety only in 1936, with the formation of the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America.

However, the crossing of the American and English Cockers was not encouraged by the English Cocker Spaniel Club, which resulted in the separation of the English Cocker and the American Cocker in 1946. The English Cocker Spaniel is also known as just the Cocker Spaniel. American Cockers are popular only in their homeland, but the English Cocker Spaniel is recognized all over the world.

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