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English Cocker Spaniel Breed Info: Pictures, Traits, Puppy Info

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By Nicole Cosgrove

English Cocker Spaniel

Height: 15 – 17 inches
Weight: 25 – 35 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Colors: Black, silver, gray, red, brown, sable, pied
Suitable for: Hunters, families, houses with yards, active lifestyles
Temperament: Active, loyal, smart, social, upbeat outdoors, mellow inside

The English Cocker Spaniel is a purebred direct descendant of the American Cocker Spaniel. However, they do have different traits, including the fact that American Cocker Spaniels tend to be a little smaller and have more rounded heads than English Cocker Spaniels. Like the American version, this purebred dog was originally bred to flush out animals for hunting. However, these dogs can excel on the agility course and in conformation contests too. They are graceful and strong, making them good at just about any activity they do, from running and swimming to solving puzzles and learning tricks.

This purebred dog enjoys spending time with their family members, although they are typically shy around strangers at first. After warming up, though, they’ll treat friends who don’t live in the household like family whenever they come around. Highly active, the English Cocker Spaniel requires daily outdoor exercise in the form of a walk, hike, or run. Some people find it enjoyable to let their dogs run alongside them while they ride a bike or rollerblade.

Indoor time is typically spent relaxing near family members or quietly playing with toys. Their high prey drive means that they should always be behind a fence or on a leash when spending time outdoors. Playful, curious, smart, and loyal, these dogs make for great family companions overall. Keep reading to learn everything that you ever wanted to know about the magnificent English Cocker Spaniel.

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English Cocker Spaniel Puppies

English cocker spaniel
Image Credit: Lilya Kulianionak, Shutterstock

Because English Cocker Spaniels are purebred dogs, they should come with paperwork that verifies them as such. They should also come with a health certificate, their dewclaws removed, and their first vaccinations administered. These things should be included in the adoption fee.

Even though most English Cocker Spaniels will come with a health certificate, it’s a good idea to have your new puppy checked out by a veterinarian you trust before bringing them home, especially if there are other dogs already living in the household. This will help protect the furry family members you already have and ensure that you don’t end up having to deal with a host of health problems as the puppy ages.

Before deciding whether to adopt an English Cocker Spaniel, it is important to understand things like their energy levels, training capabilities, and lifespan expectations. Keep reading the English Cocker Spaniels’ full care guide to learn what type of care these pups need.

3 Little-Known Facts About the English Cocker Spaniel

1. They’re Excellent Hunting Companions

Cocker Spaniels were born to help their masters hunt. Their main job is to flush animals out of bushes and forest areas so their masters can hunt them. These dogs are also great at retrieving birds and other animals after being hunted down. They can perform many different hunting tasks with proper training.

2. They Love the Water

While the English Cocker Spaniel is known for their land skills, they are exceptionally good at watersports and love to swim. They enjoy spending time in the ocean, lakes, ponds, rivers, and even swimming pools.

3. They’re Beloved by Famous People

Many famous people have been the proud owners of Cocker Spaniels throughout the years. Some notable owners include Oprah Winfrey, Elton John, and Einstein.

Sitting English cocker spaniel
Image Credit: Lukas Gojda, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the English Cocker Spaniel 🧠

The English Cocker Spaniel is a fun-loving dog that’s speedy, strong-willed, loyal, and impressive when they are hunting or performing on the agility course. While inside the house, these dogs are laidback and gentle. They like to cuddle or lounge around in front of a sunny window or fireplace, depending on the time of year. They’re curious, though, so if they haven’t been exercised, they can become disruptive within the household.

When it comes to exercise, the average English Cocker Spaniel expects a long walk every day. Also, they wouldn’t mind free time spent in a fenced yard, time at a dog park, or a game of hide-and-seek in the house. They get along well with other dogs and have a team-player attitude, which makes them awesome family companions for multi-pet households.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

This purebred loves human companions, especially those they live with. When it comes to kids, they will run and play without becoming overbearing. They’ll protect young children rather than try to rule them. They don’t mind a little teasing from kids who don’t know any better. They also do fine when left alone at home when everyone goes to work and school if they get the daily exercise that they need to keep their bodies and minds stimulated.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Although the English Cocker Spaniel is a born hunter, their prey drive doesn’t get in the way of their ability to get along with other dogs and small animals like cats. If they start socializing while they are puppies and they are taught basic obedience commands, they can do well whether at the dog park or while visiting friends who have dogs. They will get along well with cats living in the same household, but they might chase strange cats that they spot outside. Therefore, they should always be leashed when spending time in public spaces.

Black English Cocker Spaniel
Image Credit: Katrina_S, Pixabay

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Things to Know When Owning an English Cocker Spaniel

There is still more to know about the English Cocker Spaniel. What should these purebred dogs be fed? Do they take to training well? What will it take to keep them well-groomed? Here are the answers to these questions and more.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

These dogs are highly active and they love to eat, so owners can expect them to eat upward of 3 cups of dry commercial dog food (or the equivalent of wet or homemade food) each day. Their food should be split into two or three meals daily to avoid the chance of excessive gas or bloating. It’s important to keep in mind that not all commercial dog food is created equal. Some contain artificial ingredients and colors that don’t benefit the health of any dog, let alone a high-performance breed like the English Cocker Spaniel. These dogs need quality food that includes real meat, like chicken, beef, or turkey, as the primary ingredient. Fruits and veggies, like sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, and blueberries, should also be included to ensure proper intake of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Exercise 🐕

These dogs love to explore, adventure, and work. They won’t be happy sitting at home all day long. They need to take long strolls throughout the neighborhood every day. They’ll want to go to the dog park a few times a week. They also need mental stimulation when they are inside. This can be in the form of games like hide-and-seek, toys, or training practice. Other enjoyable forms of exercise for the English Cocker Spaniel include hunting and agility.

Black English Cocker Spaniel
Image Credit: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock

Training 🦮

Every English Cocker Spaniel should start obedience training when they are just a couple of months old. They grow quickly, and if they aren’t well trained, they can be destructive and troublemakers while aging into adulthood. Owners should start training their puppies as soon as they bring them home. Luckily, these purebred dogs are smart, and they take to training well. In addition to obedience training, owners should consider training their Cocker Spaniels on the agility course. This can be done at home with the help of basic materials like PVC pipe.

Grooming ✂️

The luxurious hair of this purebred dog is lovely to look at, but only if it’s properly taken care of. The English Cocker Spaniel’s coat is prone to tangling and matting, so it should be combed out several times a week to minimize these problems. They don’t typically need a haircut unless they end up with matting that can’t be combed out.

Many people report that these dogs have a distinct odor that can be effectively managed with monthly bathing. They’re active enough to keep their own nails naturally trimmed. However, they can’t do a good job cleaning their ears, so owners should do so weekly using a damp cloth.

Health Conditions ❤️

These dogs can live happy and healthy lives, but they are susceptible to a few health problems that potential owners should be aware of.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Hearing loss
Serious Conditions
  • Patellar luxation
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Juvenile-onset renal failure

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Male vs Female

There isn’t a big difference between male and female English Cocker Spaniels temperament-wise. However, there are a few small differences between the sexes when it comes to personality. Some owners find that females are more talkative than males. Some think that males are more independent and stubborn than girls. It really comes down to the dog’s individual personality as to whether an owner will notice a difference between males and females.

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Final Thoughts

We think that any family would be blessed to have an English Cocker Spaniel in their lives. These impressive dogs are spritely, graceful, curious, loving, and loyal. They’re fun to hang out with at the park on a bright sunny day, and they are good for cozying up to a movie on a rainy day. These are active dogs, though, so they aren’t for everybody. They require daily exercise, training, and stimulation. If these aren’t a problem for your family, consider adopting an English Cocker Spaniel!

Featured Image Credit: sabsykorova, Pixabay

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