The Spaniel dogs were developed to aid in the capture of birds. There was a lot of different types of Spaniel dogs, but earlier, they were not divided by breeds, but by hunting style – either water spaniels or land spaniels. The land spaniels were than divided into springer spaniels, field spaniels and the smaller „cocking spaniels“ who specialized on flushing woodcock.
2) American version
When the Cocker Spaniels arrived to the America, many breeders preffered different appearance and they bred the dog accordignly to it. The two different types were diverging, until they were split into two separate breeds in 1946. And even though, the American Cocker Spaniel is more popular in the USA, the rest of the world still prefers the English Cocker Spaniel.
3) The most popular
Today, the most popular breeds in the world are Labradors and Golden Retrievers, but back than between the 1930s and the 1950s, it was the Cocker Spaniels who were the most popular dogs, accompanied with Beagles and Boston Terriers – at least in the USA.
4) Family companions
English Cocker Spaniels make excellent family companions, they are cheerful, intelligent, friendly and loyal. They are known to bond strongly to one person and they hate to be left alone. Because of their always happy nature, they have been given a nickname merry cocker.
But even though they make excellent family companions, you should never forget about their hunting heritage. English Cocker Spaniel does have a prey drive and because of their hunting past, they tend to be independent, sometimes dominant and stubborn. They love to explore and search for birds when they are outside and it is recommended to keep them on leash when you are in unknown area.
6) Not a Guard
The English Cocker Spaniel is an alert dog that will bark when something wierd or suspicious is going on around them or your house. Thanks to that, they make okay watchdogs, but dont trust them as guards. They are just too friendly towards everyone – their family, other dogs, children, strangers or burglars. They would probably invite the burglar to your house with wagging tail.
The English cocker spaniel is medium sized and powerful dog with average height between 14-17 inches which is between 35-43 cms and they weigh between 26-35 pounds which is 12-16 kgs. Females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
Just like all the hunting dog breeds, even the English Cocker Spaniel requieres good amount of exercise. Daily longer walks are must to keep your dog healthy and happy. You should also stimulate their mind. You can try some dog sports with them, they are doing good at agility or flyball.
English Cocker Spaniels are hardy dogs with good health, but they do suffer from some genetic health conditions. The most common are hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy or deafness.
English Cocker Spaniels have medium long coat with silky texture. The legs, chest, and belly are covered with longer hair called feathering, but they definitely do not have that much feathering like their American cousins. You can find English Cocker Spaniels in many colors, for example in liver, black, red or multicolor. Their coat requieres brushing and combing at least once a week to keep the coat looking good.