Cocker Spaniels

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For many years the #1 registered dog with the American Kennel Club, Cocker Spaniels are still one of the most popular breeds, well loved by anyone that wants a gentle and happy family dog. In many countries he is called "American" to distinguish him from his slightly larger and leaner English cousin, but in the U.S. he is simply called a Cocker. He is compact with hanging ears and a silky, flat or wavy coat. He can be black, black with tan points, parti-colored or any solid color other than black.

Cockers make delightful kid dogs but they require regular exercise. If left too much to their own devices, they may invent their own “exercise” (like re landscaping the backyard). A busy Cocker is a happy one. Their long side skirts also need to be either regularly trimmed or brushed.

Outside of the US, the tail is generally undocked.


One of the smallest members of the Spaniel family, they earned their name by “cocking” or sitting back on their haunches when pointing at game. They also primarily hunted woodcock. The instinct to hunt is still surprisingly present, as any surprised owner chasing after a determined Cocker Spaniel will tell you. They also take readily to water.

Cockers were bred to be more compact by American fanciers; in 1946 the American and English Cocker were declared separate breeds.

By the Numbers

Size: 13.5 to 15.5 inches at the shoulder.
Coat Care: 8 – high. Needs regular brushing to keep the tangles down.
Trainability: 6 – medium They love to please but are easy to distract 
Energy level: 8. They enjoy and need a daily walk and can keep up with the most high energy kids.

This is a black puppy from Australia.

Good with Children: 8 – Cockers do well with children and are eager to join in the fun.
Noise level: medium to high – 8: They can be noisy, especially when bored.
Low Shedding/hypoallergenic: – 8, high While the side skirt grows quite long there is plenty of undercoat which the breed sheds regularly.

To get more information or to find a puppy, contact the

Cocker Speniel Club of America. To figure out if a breeder is quality check out What Makes a Responsible Breeder. But to make sure that YOU have what it takes, look up What Makes a Responsible Pet Owner.

This is a portrait I did of a lovely Group-winning dog.

Tell Us About YOUR Dog!

People come to About Small Dogs to find a good dog, one that matches their lifestyle, their family and what they yearn for.

The best people to explain the finer points of what a breed is like are the people who own and are owned by them.

If you own this breed, this means YOU. What is your dog like? What stories can you tell? What would you like to say to someone who is considering your breed? What is your dog's sterling qualities? How about some of his or her not so great characteristics? Tell us a bit about the ideal owner for your breed as well.

People become good dog owners because they are educated. You know your breed better than any others. Share what you know!

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