Cocker Spaniel

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Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel Overview

The Cocker Spaniel brings a bit of everything to the table, which is probably why they’re one of the most popular breeds in North America. This breed is compact and portable, but also active and sturdy. Known as the smallest of sporting dogs, they move quickly and with ease. With long, velvety ears, short legs and a stocky body, these dogs are both attractive and sporty. Cockers come in a range of solid colours, like black, liver/brown or red/golden, and patterns like roan and piebald. They are keen on making new friends and love being a playmate for children and other pets. Cockers love to be exercised, whether its playing fetch, an agility course or a long walk. 

The Cocker Spaniel’s timeline goes way back, and is said to have originated in Spain. They were originally bred to help retrieve birds during a hunt, before rifles were invented. For centuries, the different spaniels were grouped based on whether they roamed the land or water, but were later classified as specific breeds. Cockers are smaller than English Springer Spaniels but larger than English Toy Spaniels.

Cocker Spaniels have made a mark in popular culture. Lady from Lady and the Tramp was based on the breed, while Vice President Richard Nixon’s name-checked his dog Checkers, during his infamous Checkers speech.

Did you know?

The Cocker Spaniel is known as the smallest member of the sporting-dog family.

Cocker Spaniel Stats

  • Kid-Friendly Kid-Friendly

  • Good with other animals Good with other animals

  • Intelligent Intelligent

  • Easy to train Easy to train

  • Therapy dog Therapy dog

Popularity ranking**
13.5-15.5 in / 20-30 lbs (S)
Average lifespan
10-14 years
Activity level
When necessary
Barking level
When necessary
Coat length

Caring for your breed

Daily serving

Daily kibble serving

1-2 cups

Daily exercise

Daily exercise

2 hours


Grooming frequency

Brushed Regularly

Dog Food

Feeding your Cocker Spaniel

A Cocker Spaniel should be fed a high-quality dog food appropriate to its age, whether puppy, adult or senior. Sometimes the process of finding the right diet can be a matter of trial and error. It’s important to talk to your vet when choosing coming up with your dog’s menu.  Be careful of your Cocker Spaniel’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be great incentive in training, but be aware of how many you feed them, as too many can lead to obesity. Refrain from sharing table scraps and especially avoid cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn more about what human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. It’s important to talk to your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Always make sure your Cocker Spaniel has fresh, clean water available.


*Contrary to popular belief, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. There are breeds, however, that have non-shedding coats and are suited well to allergy sufferers.
**The breed popularity ranking is based on the most current ranking of the American Kennel Club (AKC)

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