Characteristics :

Classification: Gundog

Size:  Small

Daily Exercise Requirements: 1 – 2 Hours

Lifespan: 12 – 16 years

Coat Length: Long

Weight: 10-12Kg (24 – 28lbs)

Height:  35 – 38cm (14 – 15 inches)

General Information :

A Cocker Spaniel is a regarded as an almost perfect family dog. They love to join in with family activities and they are as happy to curl up on the sofa, whilst you watch TV, as they are to play in the garden with the children.

The Cocker Spaniel was bred as a hunting dog, they would assist a huntsman in the field to chase birds and other small animals. The dogs became very popular in America in the 1900s, hence why Lady from the classic Disney film, Lady and the Tramp, was chosen to be a Cocker Spaniel.

Unfortunately, due to their popularity, the Cocker Spaniel has been carelessly bred to make money fast. Therefore, you must take care to ensure that the dog you buy is coming from a trusted source to avoid serious health and temperament problems.

The dog is very affectionate, playful and alert, trustworthy and very cheerful. They have a good temperament, and are good therapy dogs, however are very emotionally sensitive which can lead them to be nervous around strangers if not well socialised.

The small dogs are great for apartment living, a garden is advised as daily exercise is necessary. They do require frequent human interaction, if left alone they will get bored and bark to keep themselves entertained in addition to chewing and digging (if outside).

Cocker Spaniels are best pleased when they are pleasing you, which makes them easy to persuade and assists training. A firm hand is required as despite being very obedient, the dogs can occasionally have a stubborn turn.

Harsh treatment in training will make them fearful as they have a very sensitive and soft personality, therefore positive encouragement is best. Be aware that if your dog becomes fearful, it may become snappy and may growl out of fear or pain.

A Cocker Spaniel loves all forms of exercise and will require 1-2 hours of exercise per day. This can consist of walks, runs and playtime with the family. During walks the dog should be kept on a leash if you are not in a closed field as it will chase other animals. Interactions with young children should be supervised in case the dog becomes fearful.

Grooming :

Cocker Spaniels have lots of hair, it is short on the head and back and long on the ears, belly and legs. The breed does shed hair, but it is not an enormous amount.

Frequent grooming is required which leads most owners seeking a professional every 6-8 weeks. This breed can be un-cooperative during grooming due to its sensitive nature, it is advised to start young to get them used to it!

Regular nail cutting, and ear cleaning is required. A tooth clean twice a week is required.

As always, as you groom your dog, examine it for any health problems, their big ears can pose a health risk and should be checked for dirt, red spots and infection weekly.