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English Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are divided into two groups, American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel. The English Cocker is bigger overall and has a slightly bigger head and longer nose than the American Cocker Spaniel. Although both Cockers originated as hunting dogs, the English Cocker has remained primarily a hunting dog while the American Cocker has become primarily a pet. The English Cocker Spaniel, which is about 75th in AKC breed ranking, is much less common than the American Cocker Spaniel, which is in top 20 AKC registered dogs. This description will be of the English Cocker Spaniel.

26-34 lbs

Height: 15-17”
Color: black, liver, or red as solid colors or mixed with tan. White backgrounds, with large spots of color
(parti-colored) or ticked or roan
Coat: long, silky coat with thick feathers over the ears & legs
Grooming: weekly to daily
Longevity: 12-14 years
Cocker Spaniels are especially good at:
  • Keeping their families active because they require a healthy amount of exercise every day
  • Eager hunting dogs
  • Love running over fields & brush
  • Easily trained
  • Live harmoniously with other pets
  • Good watchdogs
  •   Watch out for these with Cocker Spaniels::
  • Moist ear infections that are difficult to clear up
  • Food collecting in ears that hang in the food bowl or the deep lip folds
  • Thorns, grass awns or matted hair hidden under the topcoat, especially on the feet or between the toes
    Cocker Spaniel Appearance
    The English Cocker Spaniel is an active dog with a beautifully flowing, silky coat with thick feathering over the ears and legs. The English Cocker has large dark eyes and long, low-set ears. Cockers can be kept with long coats or groomed with short hair in a puppy cut. As befits a sporting dog, the English Cocker exudes eagerness and agility.

    Cocker Spaniel Behavior
    English Cockers are bred to hunt and require daily exercise to remain healthy. They are active and alert but not aggressive or overly barky. English Cocker Spaniels are affectionate and friendly toward people, dogs, and other pets.

    Cocker Spaniel Health (dog breed health problems)

    Cocker Spaniel Hypothyroidism
    Low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism) are easily treated with medication, and many veterinarians believe the likelihood of hypothyroidism is reduced markedly if dogs are not over-vaccinated.

    Cocker Spaniel Deafness
    Genetic deafness occurs in English Cocker Spaniels, especially in the parti-colored dogs (white with dark patches of color).

    Cocker Spaniel Entropion and ectropion
    Entropion is a condition caused as the eyelid rolls inward and eye lashes rub the cornea causing pain, tearing, and inflammation. Ectropion is an eyelid that rolls outward so that tears aren’t channeled into the tear ducts but drain on the face. Eyelid surgeries readily repair either of these problems.

    Cocker Spaniel Cardiomyopathy
    Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart muscle) is a genetic disease of some English Cocker Spaniels. Heart function can be strengthened in some dogs with Nordic Natural Omega-3 Pet and Be Well. The amino acid taurine, which is found in 1-800-PetMeds Super VitaChews is also recommended for many dogs with cardiac conditions.

    4 photos of english cocker spaniels with beautiful shiny coats

    Cocker Spaniel Grooming
    Cockers require brushing daily or every other day to prevent the long, fine coat and thick undercoat from developing mats. Keep hair over the feet clipped or examine daily for burrs, grass awns, or twigs, especially if your dog is traveling through fields. Use a clothespin to clip the ears up when your Cocker eats and immediately wash hair that has gotten into the food bowl. Cocker Spaniels have a deep lip fold that traps food and should be cleaned after meals. A Cocker Spaniel’s outer ear canals may be thickly haired and damp. This predisposes Cockers to chronic ear infections, especially if your Cocker has allergies. Keep the ear canals dry and yeast-free by using weekly ear cleansers. Cut the nails at least monthly unless your dog exercises on rough surfaces. Watch for scooting and signs that allergies are causing the bottom to itch. Scooting can lead to anal sac problems, including impacted anal glands, and these should be taken care of by your veterinarian rather than by a groomer.


    Daily or every other day

    Essential to keep matted hair from forming
    Self-trimming if active on rough surfaces
    Eyes, Ears, & Face
    Check ears frequently and use an ear cleanser weekly. Clean lip folds after eating.
    Anal Sacs
    Seldom need to be expressed unless your Cocker has allergies that lead to scooting

    Recommended products for your English Cocker Spaniel!

      Be Well   1-800-PetMeds Ear Cleansing Solution   LiquiTears   Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet  

    More Recommended Cocker Spaniel products (not pictured):

    1-800-PetMeds Oatmeal and Aloe Shampoo

    The articles here were answered by a variety of pharmacists and veterinarians
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