Cocker Spaniel

Also known as: Cocker, English Cocker Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel
  • Cocker Spaniel - RED
  • Cocker Spaniel - BLACK
  • Cocker Spaniel - OTHER COLORS
  • Red
  • Black
  • Other%20colors

General description

The Cocker Spaniel is a medium-sized dog gifted with elegant looks thanks to a silky coat, long ears and soulful eyes. A Cocker's lively, playful, cheerful and loving nature make it a perfect pet although it is important to remember that these are not the reasons Cocker Spaniels were bred for. This breed was actually created to hunt and as all hunting breeds it tends to have unlimited amounts of energy (which should be released through plenty of exercise), great intelligence and willing nature. Despite a few behavioral issues, a Cocker is easy to train and a great companion for children. Unfortunately, this breed is prone to various genetic diseases therefore it is important to carefully choose your puppy by demanding DNA tests from the breeder.

Cocker Spaniel in short

Aspect and attributes

Characteristics accepts by FCI:

  • Colors: red, fawn, white, black, blue, brown, liver, lemon, orange
  • Hair: smooth, silky, long
  • Coats: double color, tricolor, solid

The English Cocker Spaniel is of medium build, agile, proportioned and elegant.

Looking for Cocker Spaniel?

Costs and maintenance

A Cocker Spaniel puppy will cost around 600 euro. Therefore, it is not a very expensive breed. Nonetheless, the unique grooming requirements of a Cocker Spaniel must be taken into account. If you don't have time to keep your pet clean, you'll need to pay someone to do it for you. As the Cocker may be subject to health issues you may need to spend more money on vet bills and medicines.

Average purchase and maintenance cost

Characteristics Summary


Suitability to apartment life

The Cocker Spaniel easily conforms to apartment life. This breed is lively and incredibly affectionate towards the family, it loves being amongst people and it enjoys living indoors although it still needs to play and exercise in order to release energy. Very friendly and happy when amongst loved ones as well as other animals.

Perfectly suitable to live in a unit

Tolerance for solitude

Due to a strong bond to the family and its friendliness, a Cocker will struggle to cope with solitude. We advise against choosing a Cocker Spaniel if you intend to live it alone for long periods of time. A Cocker needs lots of cuddles and playtime with loved ones in order to avoid being in distress. This type of dog is a perfect choice if you're instead looking for a pet that will wag its tail with joy all the time.

Cockers can't stand being on their own

Suitable as first pet

This is a very sensitive and extremely docile breed. A Cocker's sensitivity could become a problem, especially for first time owners that may unknowingly damage their pet's behavior through inadequate interaction. The Cocker Spaniel has a tendency to pick up bad habits and its stubbornness can make training difficult.

A gentle and sensitive dog but not suitable for first time owners


This breed's sensitivity is extraordinary. A Cocker Spaniel will understand your emotions before you do. For this reason, it requires a peaceful environment and consistency in order to receive the confidence it needs. A Cocker seeks companionship in a peaceful home and doesn't tolerate chaos, screams or an erratic lifestyle.

Very sensitive breed that doesn't cope well with chaos

Tolerance for cold temperatures

Cockers can tolerate cold weather as long as they are provided with shelter during winter. A Cocker Spaniel will prefer to be indoors rather than outside however, if you plan on leaving your pooch outside you should ensure it has a warm and dry place as a shelter. This said, a Cocker Spaniel doesn't need special precautions when walking outside even in winter.

A Cocker copes well with low temperatures

Tolerance for high temperatures

As many other dog breeds, the Cocker Spaniel tolerates low temperatures better than hot ones. During summertime your Cocker will need to be sheltered in the shade or in the house in order to avoid heat strokes. Your pooch will always need a bowl filled with water. Avoid taking your Cocker out during the hottest hours and let it rest as it pleases during hot days.

Moderate intolerance to heat

Friendliness and sociability

Affection towards family

This breed is extremely loving towards its family. Cocker Spaniels simply adore it and love spending time with loved ones, cuddling and playing. If you do choose to welcome this type of dog into your home, you will have a pet wagging the tail any time you look its way. The Cocker Spaniel's lively and jolly nature display in the friendliness towards guests, children and other dogs.

A very affectionate, lively and friendly dog

Friendly towards children

This dog breed was created to hunt and swim and not as a lap dog. Despite a good, sensitive and affectionate nature the Cocker Spaniel is not as docile as other breeds. The English Cocker Spaniel is a lively breed bursting with energy and with the need to release it by running and playing. Cockers can be great playmates for children however can become irritable and boisterous.

An affectionate type of dog that can become irritable and boisterous

Relationship with strangers

As mentioned, the Cocker Spaniel is of lively and playful nature. Your Cocker will easily bond and socialize with strangers who approach it for cuddles and games. However, this breed can become protective towards the family and its sensitivity may cause it to become irritable when in a confined and crowded space.

Friendly breed but uncomfortable in chaotic environments

Friendliness towards other dogs

A Cocker's playful nature is the reason why it will normally have a positive behavior towards other dogs. A Cocker Spaniel will approach everyone, be this a human or another dog, with a wagging tail. You won't have any trouble when wanting to introduce your Cocker to other dogs, especially if it is still a puppy.

Friendly towards other dogs

Care and health

Coat care and shedding

The Cocker Spaniel has a silky, soft and not overly thick coat. Your Cocker's hair won't represent an issue in the house. Regularly brushing is sufficient to minimize shedding. Nevertheless, you won't be able to completely get rid of this process. After all, this is the price to pay if you want a dog with beautiful and soft coat.

Cockers shed but not excessively

Salivation and drooling restraint level

This is not a breed with a tendency to drool. A Cocker's face is so graceful and elegant also because of this trait. After all, this breed was created to escort English aristocrats during woodcock hunting so it is obvious that a Cocker knows good manners!

A breed with no tendency to drool

Easiness to clean

The Cocker Spaniel has a tendency to get dirty and its silky and delicate fur requires a lot of attention. Your pet will require frequent brushing to eliminate bromes and other grass residue. The eyes and long ears in a Cocker Spaniel require special care during cleaning as the latter especially, can easily become infested with parasites.

Thorough cleaning required

Health and diseases

Unfortunately, this breed is subject to various genetic diseases some of which can be extremely serious or even deadly: amongst these, hip dysplasia, familial nephropathy and progressive retinal atrophy. Furthermore, over 6% of Cocker Spaniels are deaf. To purchase a Cocker Spaniel, you should refer to professional breeders who are able to provide you with health certificates and who perform accurate DNA tests on their dogs.

A type of dog who is subject to various genetic diseases

Tendency to gain weight

A Cocker tends to gain weight quite easily therefore it should be exercised to keep in shape. A balanced diet and sufficient exercise to reduce your pet's energy levels are vital in order to keep it fit and happy.

Cockers will easily gains weight and require lots of exercise

Learning skills

Intelligence and training

There are different opinions relating to training a Cocker Spaniel. Some highlight this breed's clever intelligence and sensitivity as the reasons why it responds well to training. Others tend to point fingers at the Cocker's stubbornness and tendency to pick up bad habits quite easily. In our opinion, this breed is quick at learning although it does have some behavioral aspects that should be kept under control.

A breed that responds well to training

Loyalty and inclination to escape

It is important to keep in mind that Cocker Spaniels were born to hunt and therefore have a formidable nose, unlimited amounts of energy and drive to chase preys. A Cocker may try to escape to reach the family or other dogs when left on its own too long.

Cocker Spaniels have a tendency to run away

Inclination to bite

As all other active and playful breeds, the Cocker Spaniel may nip during playtime. It generally doesn't happen aggressively but simply in a playful way. Due to the sensitivity characterizing this breed, Cockers can become nervous around loud noises or anything breaking their domestic peace therefore it's important not to underestimate this aspect.

A Cocker Spaniel may have a tendency to bite during playtime

Hunt drive

As all hunting breeds, the Cocker Spaniel has a passion for chasing preys. It must always be monitored when in the countryside or woods as it could run off chasing a bird (a Cocker's favorite prey) or a hare. Be mindful when around hen-houses and rabbit hutches.

A hunting breed that tends to run off chasing preys

Inclination to bark or howl

Cockers are not particularly inclined to bark or howl. A Cocker Spaniel doesn't have much of a drive to guard and it will most likely welcome strangers by wagging the tail. A good choice of breed if your neighbors have a low noise tolerance and you are looking for a dog that won't bark each time it detect a noise.

A type of dog not particularly inclined to bark

Exercise requirements

Energy level

Although it easily adapts to apartment life, the Cocker Spaniel is not a sedentary breed. On the contrary, Cockers are full of energy and need lots of exercise during the day. Your pooch will need you to factor in time for walks and play so that it can keep in shape and be happy.

A type of dog with lots of energy and a need for exercise


This lively and energetic hunting breed can be a bit boisterous during playtime and engage in crazy runs. A Cocker's medium size enables owners to easily control their pet when on leash, even in the most excited state. Generally, a Cocker will be gentle and respectful towards its family.

A gentle yet energetic and not overly strong breed

Exercise requirements

As already recommended, the Cocker Spaniel should not be your choice if you are unable to walk and play with your dog on a daily basis. Cocker Spaniels were created to chase preys during never-ending walks in the estates of the English aristocracy, therefore they are perfectly able to trot for many hours a day. The Cocker Spaniel needs exercise to keep lean and healthy or it will gain weight. A lack of exercise can also affect your Cocker's behavior.

Cocker Spaniels have a real need for exercise

Tendency to play

This breed loves playing and it does so in a cheerful way. A Cocker's joyful affection towards the family is this dog's drive to an endless desire to play with you and your children. Playtime helps release the Cocker Spaniel's high energy levels. In short, the Cocker Spaniel is a vibrant breed who just wants to enjoy life.

Playful and lively dog breed

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more