English cocker spaniel character attitude care digidogs

English Cocker Spaniel

Happy and active dog with a penchant for browsing, eating and cuddling

The English Cocker Spaniel is originally a British hunting dog. Cocker Spaniels are good-humored nature boys who need a lot of exercise and love to roam through the undergrowth. Another passion is eating. Almost always cheerful, friendly and good-natured they are well suited as family and companion dogs. At the same time they have a still manageable size and can be, apart from occasional self-will once, well educated. English Cocker Spaniels belong to hunting dogs. There to the rummage dogs. Their original hunting task is to flush out so-called small game and birds in the woods and meadows. To the hunter he should indicate the found game with sound. Even though he is not a barker, he is not a quiet dog either.

So that their human companions can shoot the game, a certain distance is necessary here. Independent and eager, the Cocker loves to browse through the undergrowth, looking for game and especially for birds, which it persistently flushes out. However – and this is quite helpful in everyday life – he is not allowed to chase the game and the killing is done by the hunter – the Cocker may retrieve after the shot.

Always following the nose: Aristocratic nature dog with its own head

Even though Cocker Spaniels are only medium sized and can be mistaken for unathletic aristocrats with their long, silky coats and irresistible eye gaze, they are exceptionally persistent and tenacious naturals.

Long walks in wind and weather, jogging or even dog sports like nose work and agility are to his taste. Also most of the Cocker Spaniels like to swim. Afterwards they can also chill with you to your heart's content on or in front of the sofa. However, without exercise Cocker Spaniels become unhappy and with bad luck also grumpy and destructive.

English cocker spaniel character attitude care digidogs

English cocker spaniel character attitude care digidogs

English cocker spaniel character attitude care digidogs

English cocker spaniel character attitude care digidogs

English cocker spaniel character attitude care digidogs


English Cocker Spaniels are quite robust dogs, especially the hunting breeding lines.


If you want to buy an English Cocker Spaniel puppy, you should pay attention to a responsible and healthy breeding. Therefore, ask the breeders about the health tests of the parents, so that you can exclude breed-typical diseases in your puppy as good as possible.

The following diseases are more common in English Cocker Spaniels than in other dog breeds:

– Acral Mutilation Syndrome (AMS), Acral Mutilation Syndrome – Hereditary kidney disease – Auto-immune disease: immune-related hemolytic anemia – In English Cocker Spaniels, unfortunately, some eye diseases can be inherited: – abnormally growing eyelashes – persistent pupillary membrane (PPM)

Other diseases:
Other diseases that are very rare, but still a little more often observed in English Cocker Spaniels than in other dog breeds:

– Chronic Hepatitis – Heart Disease DCM – Malignant Hyperthermia – Xanthinuria – Cocker Rage (Rage Syndrome) Especially in the 1970's the term “Cocker Rage” came up, because a sudden aggressive behavior towards humans occurred more often in Cocker Spaniels. What causes the disease is unclear according to the current state of science and it also occurs very rarely in this millennium. Many ame that this was a case of severe overbreeding due to the high demand in the 1970s. However, the disease has not yet been finally scientifically investigated.

Tolerates heat

Cocker Spaniels have a rather dense and long coat, which makes them less able to tolerate strong heat. Here you should give them a place in the shade and not challenge them athletically.

By the way, it is absolutely not a good idea to shear them and shorten their coat during the hot months of the year! This makes the coat curly and dull and can lead to skin diseases. In addition, they are then no longer protected against sunburn!

Tolerates cold

Due to their rather compact build and dense coat, Cocker Spaniels are quite insensitive to the cold. Provided, of course, that they are allowed to move outside in cold weather.


English Cocker Spaniels belong to the long-haired dogs with long floppy ears. Therefore, you should give special care to both the coat and the ears.

The long floppy ears must be regularly checked for parasites, but also for grass seeds and the like and cleaned if necessary. Here the inner ear should be shorn.

As with all dogs, it is always a good idea to check the eyes, ears and paws/claws of the Cockerl regularly and treat as needed. Here you can find our care tips


From a health point of view, no dog needs to be bathed regularly, except in exceptional cases such as skin diseases or parasite infestation. However, Cocker Spaniels have long fur, which can be soiled by their own feces or urine. As real outdoorsmen in wind and weather, a bath may be necessary just like that.

Combing & Brushing

The coat should be brushed daily or at least 1-2 times a week to prevent matting. Especially the places where the fur is longer, such as the ears, and legs.

Small tip: Put on harness or collar basically only for the walk, because at the contact points the hair tangles particularly gladly.


Cocker Spaniels shed all year round, but especially in spring and autumn at the time of the coat change. Especially this phase can be made more bearable by trimming as far as the amount of hair in the home is concerned.

Trimming & Trimming

With the Cocker you should – as with almost all long-haired dog breeds with floppy ears – remove the hairs in the inner ear, so that they are better ventilated. This can be done by cutting or plucking.

Too long hair under the paws can be trimmed. Clipping or cutting the entire coat should generally be avoided, as it can become permanently curly and dull.

For most Cocker Spaniels it is advisable to trim their coat regularly every 2 months. Frequent trimming is not absolutely necessary for every Cocker, but a must at the latest for exhibitions. Most well-groomed Cocker Spaniels are trimmed especially in spring and fall at the time of coat change.

Suitable for allergy sufferers

Cocker Spaniels are subject to seasonal shedding and lose their coat. Just in this time they sometimes hair very strongly. They do not belong to the hypoallergenic dog breeds.

It should be emphasized that there is no dog breed that is 100% hypoallergenic. Basically, each person and their allergy is individual and it is always advisable, if allergy exists or is suspected, to test this before acquiring the dog. You can find more info here: Link


Cocker Spaniels do not tend to drool. However, this does not mean that a begging spaniel – and this can happen! – could not drool extensively.

Health & Grooming at a glance


Be sure to keep a healthy weight

The diet of the Cocker Spaniel has, as with all living creatures, a very great influence on its health.

Cocker Spaniels can be very greedy and therefore you should pay special attention to the weight of your dog and adapt the diet to the activity of your dog.

Cocker learn best about food resp. Treats. These should also be subtracted from the daily food ration. to be planned.

A study of Labradors showed that overweight dogs can shorten their lives by up to 20%. Everyone is aware that being overweight is unhealthy, but drastically shortening life is something else. Almost all Cocker Spaniels are constantly hungry. In search of something edible. If you give in to this need and the dog does not have the necessary exercise, the cocker will quickly become overweight. And this is not good for their joints at all!

By the way, Cockers can be very inventive in finding their own food. In nature they are the vacuum cleaners, which suck up everything seemingly edible. You should take countermeasures early on. And also in the house you should close food well in front of them, because otherwise also unhealthy things like chocolate including packaging could be on the menu. By the way, Cocker Spaniels can open drawers or refrigerator doors at ground level.

Two tips: To keep their long ears out of the water or food, z.B. Long-eared bowls helpful, which are higher. With the greedy Cockers also anti-snacking bowls can be useful, depending on what you feed them.


Handy good mood package with silky fur and long floppy ears

Cocker Spaniels have a characteristic appearance due to their handy, almost square shape and the long floppy ears with mostly wavy fur. Best known as auburn dogs, but they come in many colors and also bicolored and tricolored. Their silky long coat is soft and quite long. With a height between 38-41cm and a weight between 12-15kg they are quite handy, but neither too big nor too small.

The tail is often in motion in these lively dogs. In the past, the Cocker Spaniel's tail was docked as a puppy, which is no longer allowed today due to animal welfare laws. An exception can still form hunt-led dogs in Germany, which is however little understandable and credible.

English cocker spaniel character attitude care digidogs

Eye color

The eyes of the Cocker Spaniel should be dark brown or brown, but never bright. The coat is quite dense. Has undercoat. It is especially on the ears, and on the legs quite long and can easily form burrs here. The coat of the English Cocker Spaniel is very silky and feels smooth and never wiry. With the healthy dog it shines strongly. According to breeding regulations, the coat should be smooth, not too wavy and never curly. Cocker Spaniels come in a great many colors. Variations from bicolored to tricolored to mold colored. In Germany, everyone knows the “red” Cocker Spaniel. There are many more colors, which are slowly becoming more and more popular.

The following colors are desirable according to the breeding standard:

– gold – chocolate brown, also called liver – red and black – black-and-tan (tan): Cocker Spaniels also occur similar to Dobermans, in black with tan markings or in brown with tan markings. According to breeding regulations, small white spots are still allowed in these colors.

Cockers can also be bicolored in the following varieties:

– brown-white – lemon-white – orange-white – black-white. – but they must not be dotty at the same time.

Tricolored there are two variants:

– black and white with tan markings – brown and white with tan markings

Mildew colors come in the following varieties:

– blue mold – orange mold – lemon mold – brown mold – blue mold with tan – brown mold with tan

Certainly there are many more variations, but these are undesirable from a breeding point of view and can be increasingly associated with diseases.

History and origin

Spaniels: a breed of great popularity since the Middle Ages

FCI standard


English cocker spaniel character attitude care digidogs


Spaniels were already in the Middle Ages popular motives of the court painters

Spaniels belong to the very old and popular dog species, about which many references can be found in history. On paintings and engravings already in the Middle Ages Spaniels can be found in hunting scenes, but also on paintings of the court.

Already at that time there were Spaniels in different sizes, which were kept for different tasks as hunting or also companion dogs. Painters such as Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Oudry, Liebermann, Durer, Titian, Breughel, Rubens or Rembrandt immortalized easily recognizable Spaniels in their paintings.

Spaniels at the court of Henry VIII.

Henry the VIII. (1491-1547) allowed the small spaniels at his court, but they were more likely ancestors of the Cavalier King Spaniels. In any case, it is handed down that he had hired a “Robin – The King's Majesty's Spaniel Keeper” – that is, a dog keeper for the Spaniels.

Chaucer and Shakespeare dedicated themselves to the Spaniel

The popularity of spaniels is also reflected in the most famous English poems and writings. Spaniels may not always be mentioned favorably here, but this is more due to the image people had of dogs at that time.

Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400), who became famous for the Canterbury Tales and compared women in “The Wife of Bath`s Tale” unflatteringly and, from today`s perspective, chauvinistically to spaniels in their search for men: “For as a spaniel she will leap on him, Till she may find some man her to cheap”).

Also in numerous plays of Shakespeare (1564-1616) are mentioned the Spaniels, which were very common at that time. So e.g.B. in the lesser known plays “Julius Caesar” (1599), in “Antony and Cleopatra” (1606/1607), in “Henry the VIII” (1613), “Two Gentlemen from Verona” (1623) as well as in the well-known “A Midsummer Night's Dream” (1595/1596), which is still often performed and filmed today:

Helena speaks to Demetrius, wishing to be his spaniel faithfully accompanying him, even if he is treated badly:

“And that's why I love you more! I am your spaniel, and Demetrius, If you beat me, I must still flatter you! Only meet me like your Spaniel, push me, hit me, disrespect me, lose me: only allow me, unworthy as I am, to accompany you. What bad place can I ask in your love … Than that you keep me like your dog?” (2.Act, 3.Scene)

Where does the name Cocker Spaniel come from?

Often the word “spaniel” is interpreted as a Spanish dog. Whether the Spaniels really originated in Spain and came from Spain to Great Britain with Julius Caesar is not scientifically proven. Although there is evidence for this, z.B. in Dr. John Caius' work on English dogs, in which they were colloquially called “spaniels” because they were said to have come from Spain.

But it could also have been quite different. The Celtic word for rabbit “spain” could be the basis for the name Spaniel, because these dogs were used for hunting rabbits.

Also the origin of the word “cocker” is not clearly provable. Most likely it comes from one of the small spaniels' favorite prey in hunting: snipe (English: woodcock) or even mountain and birch deer (English: mountain and moorcock). At that time they were known as Cocking Spaniels.

The smallest of the original land spaniels

Spaniels were very popular in medieval England in different sizes for different tasks. In particular, water and land spaniels differed. The ancestors of the Cocker Spaniels also belong to the latter, although today's three dog breeds were formed much later from the Land Spaniels: The large Springer Spaniel, the medium Field Spaniel and just the small Cocker Spaniel. This happened shortly after the founding of the English Kennel Club in 1873. Only in the 20.In the nineteenth century, a distinction was made between American. English Cocker Spaniel officially distinguished. In the nineteenth century, between American. English Cocker Spaniel officially distinguished. In 1946, the American Kennel Club recognized the ACS (American Cocker Spaniel). the ECS (English Cocker Spaniel) as two different breeds. While the Americans breed a more cumbersome show dog line with longer coats, the English Cocker Spaniel is more athletic and also still bred for hunting.

Famous Cocker of the 20.Century: Flush and Checkers

Also in the 20.There were famous Cocker Spaniels in the nineteenth century – The stories of Flush and Checkers moved millions Virginia Woolf (1882-1941), a British writer achieved with the biographical novel “Flush” 1932 a first circulation of over 50.000 specimens. It is about the adventures of the cocker spaniel “Flush” of the bedridden writer Elizabeth Barrett Browning and is set in Florence and London.

A Cocker Spaniel Unravels Corruption Suspicions Against Richard Nixon

A Cocker Spaniel named Checkers also played a maudlin and less than praiseworthy role in U.S. politics in 1952 to fend off suspicions of corruption by Richard Nixon in his bid for vice president under Eisenhower (1953-1961). Richard Nixon used the touching story of the Cocker Spaniel in his famous “Checkers speech” to a TV audience of 60 million to testify that he had accepted no illegal gifts-except one: Cocker Spaniel Checkers!

“One other thing I probably should tell you because if we don “t they “ll probably be saying this about me too, we did get something-a gift-after the election. A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was?

It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he'd sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. And our little girl-Tricia, the 6-year-old-named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it"

"… I have to admit that we have actually accepted a gift. Down in Texas, a man overheard Pat on the radio talking about how our two youngest wanted a dog. Believe it or not, the day before we left for the campaign trail, we received a message from the Union Station in Baltimore that there was a package waiting for us. Do you know what it was?

It was a cage with a small Cocker Spaniel that the man had sent all the way from Texas after us. Black and white spotted. Our little daughter Tricia, the six-year-old, named him Checkers. And you know, the kids love this dog, and I'm telling you right now: No matter what anyone may think about it: we will keep Checkers!"

One of the most popular dog breeds of the 1970s. until the cocker rage came!

Until the 70's you could see Cocker Spaniels in Germany in the cities, in the country…actually everywhere. They were at the top of the list of most popular dogs until they got a bad reputation and their popularity declined rapidly.

Just the coveted red cocker spaniels got into disrepute for being aggressive. The "cocker rage took hold. Certainly partly by overbreeding, perhaps also by wrong attitude some Cocker became aggressive. Only a few Cocker Spaniels are still hunted. In their hunting abilities they are simply underestimated.

Cocker become in the 21.Century again more popular

Since ca. In 2015 you can meet Cocker Spaniels on the streets more often again and slowly the popularity of the compact, lively and cuddly nature lovers is increasing again. And rightly so!

Milestones in the history of English Cocker Spaniels:

1873 Foundation of the English Kennel Club The Cocker Spaniel was one of the first dog breeds whose breeding standard was established. The different spaniel species were now separated. Today's Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels and Field Spaniels came into being.

In 1904 the first continental breeding association for spaniels was founded

1907 foundation of the hunting spaniel club

1914 the English Cocker Spaniel was recognized by the UKC (United Kennel Club)

1935 foundation of the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America

1946 Distinction and recognition of American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel by AKC

The Spaniel family has become very large and confusing – and some "Spaniels" are very happy in the weather are not at all

The family of spaniels is very large and rich in varieties, as the following dog breeds show. There are nine spaniels suitable for hunting and three so-called dwarf or companion spaniels:

American Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel

Welsh Springer Spaniel

Norfolk Spaniel (extinct dog breed, later English Springer Spaniel)

Boykin Spaniel (non FCI recognized dog breed from the USA)

American Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniel

The dwarf or. Companion spaniel breeds:

Continental Dwarf Spaniel (Toy Spaniel)- also known as Papillon

English Toy Spaniel: King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

"Epagneul" means Spaniel, but is not Spaniels

And these breeds do not belong to the Spaniels, even if they have "Spaniel" in their name. "Epagneul" translated from Spanish means "Spaniel":

Epagneul Bleu de Picardie

Brittany Spaniel, s. Epagneul Breton

Epagneul de Pont-Audemer

English Cocker Spaniel Overview

Lovable good mood package for sporty people

Cocker Spaniels are well suited for athletic people who also enjoy dog sports or at least consistent-loving education. Because the small eating machines rummage for their life gladly for something edible.

They are very friendly and cheerful companions, which are very suitable as family dogs. After a long walk in the wind. weather they like to cuddle for their life. The coat care is with daily combing. Occasional trimming a little more elaborate.


Cocker Spaniels are not subject to any known conditions. However, on airplanes they usually cannot be taken into the passenger compartment, here it is often the case that dogs inkl.

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