Dog Breed

Cocker Spaniel

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Primary image of Cocker Spaniel dog breed
Full Name
Cocker Spaniel
Alternate Names
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Life Span
12 - 15 years years
20 - 30 pounds

Cocker Spaniels make excellent playmates for children and are easy to teach as both friends and athletes. They're big enough to be sporty, but not too huge to be bulky. A full-coated Cocker compensates extra grooming time by becoming the most beautiful dog on the street. Playtime and quick walks are two of these lively sporting canines' favorite pastimes.
Satisfying you and making you happy is that makes them feel the happiest. They're as at peace snuggling on the couch with their favorite people as they are romping in the yard with the kids. The Cocker is a highly trainable and very adaptable, whether you live in an apartment or a large home with a back yard.
Cocker Spaniel coats occur in a variety of colors, including black, liver, red, and golden in solids. Also, black and tan, and sometimes liver and tan are known, as well as a variety of color mixtures of those solid colors including roans, roan and tans, tricolors, and those solid colors with additional white markings.

Bred For
Bird flushing, retrieving
Family Considerations
Child Friendly

Is the Cocker Spaniel good with children? Nearly all dogs enjoy playing with small children, but some can play too rough, or be a bit careless. In some cases dogs can get jealous of small children, or try and "herd" them due to their natural instincts.

Stranger Friendly

Is the Cocker Spaniel friendly with strangers? Getting a dog that is friendly with people really depends on what your lifestyle is. Dogs who are more cautious with strangers oftentimes make good guard dogs, which can be a great fit for some owners. If you are social, live in the city, or frequently have guests over, you may want to consider getting a stranger friendly dog.

Dog Friendly

Is the Cocker Spaniel friendly with other dogs? Of course this is particularly important if you already have another dog at home. However, it's an important factor to consider as well if you plan on frequently going to the dog park. Otherwise, even a dog who is not automatically friendly with other dogs can be an excellent fit, as they can still be affectionate with their human family.

Likes to Cuddle

Does the Cocker Spaniel like to cuddle? All dogs want love, but they have different boundaries when it comes to physical affection. If you plan on frequently having a dog on your lap or pushed up against you, then you should consider whether this breed enjoys that.


Does the Cocker Spaniel like to play? All puppies are playful, but as adults certain dogs are more playful. If you have children, or otherwise want to keep your dog active with plenty of play, there are plenty of options of breeds who will be happy to play all day.

Service Dog Ability

Does the Cocker Spaniel make a good service dog? When looking to train a service dog it's important to consider how they were historically bred, and if their personality makes a good fit. A service dog must be smart, patient, and obsessed with pleasing their owner. Working dogs are a good fits since service dog 'work' gives them a feeling of accomplishment from doing a job.

Overall Ease of Breed
Ease for Novice

Is the Cocker Spaniel good for first time owners? Dogs that are good for first time owners are ones who are easy to train, and are eager to please their owner. Very large dogs, or dogs with very high energy may also not be the best for first time owners since it adds a layer of complexity.

Training Potential

How well can the Cocker Spaniel be trained? This rating is about the training potential of the Cocker Spaniel. Dogs with high training potential oftentimes are good service dogs, police dogs, and dog show competition dogs. This does not necessarily mean they are the easiest to train, since many will be very intelligent and demanding.

Amount of Shedding

Does the Cocker Spaniel shed a lot?

Ease of Grooming

Is the Cocker Spaniel easy to groom?

Exercise Need

Does the Cocker Spaniel need a lot of exercise?


How smart is the Cocker Spaniel?

Amount of Barking

How much does the Cocker Spaniel bark? Does the Cocker Spaniel bark too much? It depends on your lifestyle, and where you live. Dogs use barking to communicate, keep guard, and alert. A strong bark can be a good characteristic for guard dogs, or flock guardian dogs who need to be vocal.In apartment living you should consider getting a dog who is less vocal.

Guard Dog Ability

Is the Cocker Spaniel a good guard dog?

Tolerates Being Alone

Is the Cocker Spaniel good at staying alone? Is the Cocker Spaniel independent?

Home and Environment Considerations
Good for Apartment Living

Is the Cocker Spaniel a good apartment dog? Can the Cocker Spaniel live in an apartment without becoming frustrated or destructive? Typically people immediately consider the size of the dog, but energy level and historical habitat are also factors.


How big is the Cocker Spaniel?

Tolerates Heat

How much does the Cocker Spaniel tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Cocker Spaniel?

Tolerates Cold

How much does the Cocker Spaniel tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Cocker Spaniel?

Potential to Run Away

Does the Cocker Spaniel try to run away? Some dogs have natural wanderlust and are escape artists... they will do everything to get out and explore.

Physical Characteristics
General Health

Is the Cocker Spaniel a healthy dog? The general health of a Cocker Spaniel should be measured not just by how many years they live, but how often they have health issues during their lives. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

Energy Level

How energetic is the Cocker Spaniel? Is the Cocker Spaniel too energetic for your lifestyle?

Amount of Drooling

How much does the Cocker Spaniel drool?

Prey Drive

Does the Cocker Spaniel have a large prey drive? Does the Cocker Spaniel like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals? Prey drive can be bothersome at the park, but really an issue at home if you have small animals, since this comes as a natural instinct for dogs with high prey drive, to chase cats, birds, etc.


Is the Cocker Spaniel atheltic? Is the Cocker Spaniel fast and strong?

Breed Variations

The Cocker Spaniel is a purebred dog that falls within the larger Sporting dog breed group.
Sporting group: Sporting dogs are the natural athletes of the dog world. They have high energy, and always look to be stimulated with some activity or challenge. These dogs thrive in the outdoors- particularly the woods and the water. Sporting dogs include the best swimming dogs, retrieving dogs, and other field activities. They have traditionally been bred to assist hunters find and retrieve birds and other smaller hunting game. Sporting dogs are not known as guard dogs, but because of their alertness and loyalty to their family, with proper training they can be good home protectors as well. Over the years they have become extremely well-rounded, so with plenty of exercise can make excellent home companions. They are willing to please their owners, so if you put the time into training and exercise you will be rewarded with an amazing dog.

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