• Spaniels were developed at least by the 1300s to flush birds into nets or to waiting falcons.
  • Later, they were also used to find and point birds and were specialized by their size, terrain, and type of bird.
  • The Cocker Spaniel, which was used for woodcock, was first mentioned in 1790.
  • Cocker Spaniels were in America by the late 1800s.
  • The AKC recognized the Cocker Spaniel in 1878.
  • The Cocker Spaniel was the most popular breed in America from 1936 to 1952.
  • As the Cocker became known as a show dog, winning Cockers tended to be smaller, longer legged, and rounder headed than the original stock from England.
  • In 1946, the AKC split the breed into English Cocker Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels. Only in America are these names used; elsewhere they are known as Cocker Spaniels and American Cocker Spaniels, respectively.
  • Cockers were such a part of Americana that Cocker celebrities included Spot (of Dick and Jane "See Spot Run" fame), Cover Boy Butch (25 times a Saturday Evening Post cover model), Lady (Lady and the Tramp), and the Coppertone Cocker.
  • Cocker Spaniels were once again the top breed in America from 1983 to 1990.
  • The breed is divided into three varieties according to color: Black (solid black or black and tan); ASCOB (which stands for Any Solid Color Other than Black, and includes cream, red, brown, and brown and tan); and Particolor (spotted or roan).
American Cocker Spaniel Behavior Concerns
  • Makes an exuberant and entertaining companion.
  • Usually very good with children.
  • A happy dog, not easily bothered by things.
  • Eager to please and quick to learn, but can be so excitable that it has difficulty minding.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food.
  • Outgoing toward strangers.
  • Gets along well with other pets and dogs.
  • Enjoys retrieving.
  • Usually enjoys swimming.
  • Some bark a lot.
  • Some are overly submissive. Submissive urination is not uncommon.
American Cocker Spaniel Suggested Exercises
  • Makes a fairly calm housedog if given adequate exercise.
  • Requires daily exercise in the form of a long walk, jog, or energetic games.
  • A good candidate for dog parks.
  • Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.
American Cocker Spaniel Grooming
  • Coat is fairly long, silky, and either flat or wavy.
  • The coat needs brushing and combing two to three times a week to prevent mats.
  • Professional grooming and clipping is required once a month.
  • Special attention should be paid to keeping the eyes clean and clear of stray hairs.
  • The ears must be checked weekly for problems.
  • Shedding is average.
Suggested American Cocker Spaniel Nutritional Needs
  • Cockers have a tendency to become overweight.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
  • Puppies should be fed a balanced a puppy food.

American Cocker Spaniel

American Cocker Spaniel dog breed picture
12 - 15 years
14 - 16 inches
24 - 28 pounds
American Cocker Spaniel Traits
  • Jogging Partner
    3 out of 5
  • Lap Dog
    2 out of 5
  • Good With Children
    4 out of 5
  • Warm Weather
    3 out of 5
  • Cold Weather
    3 out of 5
  • Grooming Requirements
    5 out of 5
  • Shedding
    3 out of 5
  • Barking
    3 out of 5
  • Ease Of Training
    4 out of 5