The English Cocker Spaniel: A Complete Guide

The English Cocker Spaniel belongs to the gun dog genre, so it is seen as being more of a sporting dog rather than anything else.

There are three different types available with some subtle differences between them. There are field cocker spaniels, working cocker spaniels, and finally show cocker spaniels.

Clearly, determining what you are looking for prior to buying is going to be key.

They are widely regarded as being very affectionate and loyal dogs that are also full of character.

Even though the spaniel breed has been around for hundreds of years; it is believed that this particular breed only dates back to the mid-nineteenth century.

They have been a popular breed of dog for a long time, but they do have certain traits and characteristics that you need to be aware of before you go ahead and buy a puppy.

English Cocker Spaniel Puppies – Before You Buy…

English Cocker Spaniel
The English Cocker Spaniel is exceptionally cute.

As with any dog, you need to think carefully about different aspects before you go ahead and purchase an English Cocker Spaniel puppy.

What Price are English Cocker Spaniel Puppies?

As with any breed, there are several factors to take into consideration when you are looking at the price of purchasing an English Cocker Spaniel puppy.

Clearly, their breeding and pedigree will be the key. Also, buying from a KC registered breeder is also going to bump the price up.

On the other hand, it does mean you will have a puppy that has been bred correctly and properly cared for.

In the United States, you are looking at a price in the region of $900 to $1200 for a puppy of good breeding. In the UK, the price is approximately £800 for a KC registered puppy.

How to Find Reputable English Cocker Spaniel Breeders?

Thanks to their popularity, there are a number of breeders out there that you might want to contact. However, perhaps the key is to focus on those breeders that are KC registered.

You can even contact the Kennel Club to seek their advice, and they will certainly help you out.

The other option is always to go on personal recommendation as you cannot go wrong with that kind of advice. There are owners clubs in various parts of the country, and you can even find them online and ask their advice there.

3 Little-Known Facts About English Cocker Spaniel Puppies

There are a number of rather interesting facts connected to this breed of dog. However, we have selected just three in order to show you that the English Cocker Spaniel is rather special.

  • The cocker part of their name.

The cocker part of their name is something that does intrigue a number of people. However, the explanation is more straightforward than you perhaps realize.

It is believed to come from the fact that they were once used to hunt woodcock. You can see that there is not exactly a giant leap in the imagination to then get to cocker as kind of a descriptive nickname for them.

  • Modern Royals love them.

A number of the younger members of the royal family in the UK love the English Cocker Spaniel. Prince William, in particular, loves them and they have one called Lupo. Recently, Lupo has appeared in a number of official family photographs.

  • They can suffer from a rage syndrome.

Considering they are quite placid, it is shocking to discover that there are instances of what is known as rage syndrome in the breed. This is where their nature can just suddenly change and they can attack. However, this is rare.

Physical Traits of the English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel
English Cocker Spaniels are great with children.

With their physical traits, then what you have is a strong and sturdy dog, and do not be fooled by their rather floppy ears.

They are compact and have a strong chest that is in perfect balance in size to the rest of their body.

They will tend to have dark eyes, and their ears will remain close to their body. Previously, individuals would dock their tails, but this is not necessary as their tail is a prominent feature of their physical appearance.

The angle of their body slopes gently from their shoulders down to their hindquarters with this being a real characteristic of the breed. Also, if you look closely at their feet, then you will notice that they are extremely well padded.

Their coat is smooth to the touch, but you do have to groom them a couple of times a week. You will also discover that they do enjoy getting into mud, so be prepared to have to bathe them on a regular basis.

Overall, this is a dog that is on the smaller side of the medium-sized range, and thanks to their calm nature they are also going to be perfect for apartment living as well.

How Big is a Full-Grown English Cocker Spaniel?

As is pretty common, the male of the breed is going to be larger in size than the female, but there is little difference on most occasions.

With their height, then the male is generally in the region of 15.5 inches to just over 16 inches at their withers. The female is only slightly smaller at 15 inches to 15.5 inches.

For their weight, they both weigh in the same range which is between 13 and 15 pounds. However, it is accepted that the male will have a tendency to be more towards the upper end, and vice versa for the female.

What is the Life Expectancy of the English Cocker Spaniel?

The life expectancy of the English Cocker Spaniel is generally between 11 and 12 years. However, with the correct amount of care, this can certainly be extended by a couple of years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel
English Cocker Spaniel is a very affectionate and loyal dog.

One thing that everybody knows about the English Cocker Spaniel is that they are very gentle and have a loving nature.

They are at their happiest when they are able to please you, and they will go out of their way to do this.

They are very loyal, and particularly to the person that is feeding them on a regular basis.

They do need to be shown who is the boss and alpha of their pack. Failure to do so will lead to them trying to take control, so that has to be dealt with as early as possible.

They are also highly determined and will seek your approval at any possible point. They display a certain resilience about them as well, and will constantly work at trying to get something correct as they know that this will please you.

You will notice that they love nothing more than an interactive game, and they have a real sense of humor that can often be lacking from other breeds.

If you are wanting a dog that loves to play, then you will be hard pressed to find any other one that can surpass the English Cocker Spaniel.

To train them, you need to start early. Their high intelligence levels does mean that you should be able to teach them tricks and commands in next to no time, and you can also get quite advanced with them.

Do focus on basic commands first as they need to learn all about boundaries or they will just trample all over them.

The English Cocker Spaniel’s Diet

As is common with other breeds, if you purchase a puppy, then do keep to the feeding schedule as provided by the breeder.

This should happen for the first few months as it will mean that they develop correctly, and their digestive tract will not come under attack.

For their actual diet, then carbohydrates are going to be important for this breed. This will provide them with the energy that they will ultimately expend throughout the day.

They will also require a healthy share of both protein and fat, so avoid those cheap dog foods as they contain fillers that are just not as beneficial to dogs as you would think.

While you can feed them meat, fish and also vegetables, they can also be quite content with a high-quality kibble.

If you are feeding them meat, then trim off any excess fat as that is not going to be good for their health at all.

Do provide them with rice, and consider some wheat as this can help their digestive tract when it is of a good quality. However, do not overdo it or you could cause additional problems.

If you purchase quality food, then there should be no need to provide them with supplements to get all of the goodness that they require in their diet. Also, feed them twice a day with small bowls in order to avoid obesity.

How Much Exercise Does an English Cocker Spaniel Need?

An English Cocker Spaniel does have more than its fair share of energy. You are looking at a daily brisk walk as they do not really like to just amble along.

Also, the walk has to include a significant amount of mental stimulation as they are so inquisitive as a breed that they need to be able to focus on various things.

You need to remember that they have an amazing sense of smell, so they will want to follow scents wherever possible.

Take them on a variety of walks so they are always encountering something different as this is going to be great fun for them.

It will also be very useful if you have a backyard that they can laze around in as well as letting off some steam.

They will love to play games with you and interact with you, so doing this on a regular basis as part of their exercise regime is essential.

Do note that you have to build up the level of exercise as they grow. A puppy cannot do too much, even though it may appear to have a lot of energy, as it could affect their growth and put undue pressure on their joints.

English Cocker Spaniel Health and Conditions

The English Cocker Spaniel does have a number of health conditions that they can be prone to, so being aware of them prior to buying your puppy is essential.

Also, a good breeder should inform you of any issues that the parents have had.

The key health conditions that you need to be aware of with this breed are as follows:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelial Dystrophy
  • Glaucoma
  • Eyelid Problems
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Heart Murmurs
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Familial Nephropathy

As you can see, their eyes are a particular cause for concern, but there are several tests that can be carried out on the parents to see if there is a chance of it being passed down the hereditary line.

A good breeder should provide you with evidence of this before you part with your cash.

My Final Thoughts on the English Cocker Spaniel

Finally, there can be little surprise that the English Cocker Spaniel is such a loved and adored breed of dog.

Not only are they exceptionally cute to look at, but their nature is really second to none.

They always want to please you, and it is such a nice sight to see them wagging their tail with pretty much everything that they do.

They are perfect for a family with children as they are not vicious, and nor will they cause any problems.

They do have issues with their eyes, so get this checked on a regular basis, and make sure that the breeder provides you with information about the parents.

This should really make a difference to the long-term health of your English Cocker Spaniel.

So, if you are searching for a dog that has a big personality, but is perhaps not as big in physical size, then this could be the perfect breed for you.

Just make sure that you always provide them with something to do as boredom can be a terrible thing.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

4.5
Cost to Buy
8.5
Cuteness Level
9
Family Safety
8
Friendliness
4.5
Health Concerns
6
Life Span
6
Exercise Required
5
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 6.4 / 10

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