Breed Organization English Cocker Spaniel Club of America Website: http://www.ecsca.info Native Country Great Britain Other Names Cocking Spaniel, Merry Cocker Life Expectancy Approximately 12-15 Years Litter Size Average 3-7 Puppies Breed Group AKC - Sporting
Breed Appearance The English Cocker Spaniel is a breed of gun
dog. The English Cocker Spaniel is an active, good-natured, sporting
dog standing well up at the withers and compactly built. There are
"field" or "working" cockers and "show" cockers. It is one of
several varieties of spaniel and somewhat resembles its American
cousin, the American Cocker Spaniel, although it is closer to the
working-dog form of the Field Spaniel and the English Springer
Breed Description Head: Long. Well-developed, chiseled
skull. Pronounced stop. Very angular muzzle. Strong jaws. Wide nose. Ears: Set on low, lobe-shaped, thin. Long, straight, silky
feathering. Eyes: Brown or hazel, depending on coat color. Body: Stocky, square build. Neck moderately long, muscular,
without dewlap. Well-developed chest. Well-sprung ribs. Short, broad
loin. Broad, well-muscled croup. Tail: Set on low, carried level to the ground, never raised.
Usually docked. Constant wagging of the tail in action is typical. Hair: Flat, silky, never wirehaired or wavy, not too thick and
never curly. Feathering on the legs and body. Coat: Various colors. In the whole-colored variety, white is
allowed only on the chest. Size: Dog: 39 to 41 cm (15.5-16 in).Bitch: 38 to 39 cm (15-15,5
in). Weight: 12 to 14.5 kg (26.5-32 lb).
History Initially, spaniels in England were divided
among land spaniels and water spaniels. The differentiation among
the spaniels that led to the breeds that we see today did not begin
until the mid-19th century. During this time, the land spaniels
became a bit more specialised and divisions among the types were
made based upon weight. According to the 1840 Encyclopedia of Rural
Sports, Cockers were 12–20 lb (5.5–9 kg). At this time it was not
uncommon for Cockers and Springers to come from the same litter.
Even a puppy from a “Toy” sized lineage could grow to be a springer.
There is no indication from these early sources that spaniels were
used to retrieve game. Rather they were used to drive the game
toward the guns.
During the 1850s and 1860s, other types
of Cockers were recorded. There were Welsh Cockers and Devonshire
Cockers. Additionally, small dogs from Sussex Spaniel litters were
called Cockers. In 1874 the first stud books were published by the
newly formed kennel club. Any spaniel under 25 lb (11 kg) was placed
in the Cocker breeding pool, however the Welsh Cocker was
reclassified as a Springer in 1903 due to its larger size and
The sport of conformation showing began in
earnest among spaniels after the Spaniel Club was formed in 1885.
When showing, the new Springer and Cocker, both were in the same
class until The Spaniel Club created breed standards for each of the
types. The Kennel Club separated the two types eight years later.
Since then, the Springer and Cocker enthusiasts have bred in the
separate traits that they desired. Today, the breed differ in more
ways than weight alone.
Behavior Vigorous, very active, tenacious, and lively,
the English Cocker is a great hunter of fowl and ground game on
rugged terrain. He does not fear brambles. With his very keen sense
of smell, he tracks ten or fifteen meters away from the hunter. His
search is hard-driving. After pointing, he snaps at any game and
uses his voice as he flushes it. He has been used widely on rabbit.
He is a good retriever but sometimes has difficulty carrying a duck
in his mouth in deep water. Merry, playful, exuberant, and bursting
with life, he is strong-willed and independent but also affectionate
and gentle. He is a charming pet.
Health Prone to ear infections. During the summer, the
ears should be checked often. Hanging close to the ground as they
do, they can become host to ticks or burrs, often the cause of
deafness. Gains weight easily; do not overfeed.
Advice He can live in an apartment, but long, daily
walks are necessary. He requires brushing and combing twice weekly
and grooming twice or three times per year. His ears must be checked
regularly. Hunting dog. Companion dog.