English Cocker Spaniels have sturdy, medium-sized frames covered in long, silky, feathered coats. Their contoured heads have medium-length muzzles and strong jaws. Their ears are long and feathered, their oval-shaped eyes are dark brown and their noses are either black or brown depending on the coat. They have long necks, deep chests and (usually) docked tails that are carried horizontally. They come in solid black, liver, dark red, or combinations of these colors with or without white markings. Overall, they have a beautiful and zestful look.
The English Cocker Spaniel makes for a wonderful companion. Sweet, loyal and happy, it adapts easily to quiet evenings on the couch or long hikes in the wilderness. Playful and protective with children, it also treats guests with consideration and respect. The English Cocker Spaniel is also easy to train, intelligent and trusting.
English Cocker Spaniels can live as long as 15 years. Generally healthy, some Cockers can develop tumors, skin allergies and cataracts. When they spend a lot of time outdoors, their coats can get tangled with twigs and burs. Be sure to brush them often and clean their ears out regularly to prevent infection.
For many centuries, Cocker and Springer Spaniels were considered the same breed. Eventually, a smaller land spaniel emerged that showed great proficiency hunting woodcocks in the English countryside—hence the name “cocker.” In 1946, the AKC recognized the English Cocker Spaniel as a separate breed from the American Cocker Spaniel, which has a slightly different look.