Most people know what a cocker spaniel looks like but everyone should be aware that there is an English Cocker Spaniel and an American Cocker Spaniel. These two may look the same but they are different in a lot of forms and are definitely separate breeds. Both breeds are being used as hunting companions and as conformation show competitors.


The English Cocker Spaniel is considered as a gun dog but has two varieties which are the working/field cocker and the show cocker. The working cocker is a companion during hunting but instead of retrieving the game, it actually flushes them towards the guns. The show cocker on the other hand joins conformation shows most often joining in agility and obedience competitions.

Because of its infinitely wagging tail that suggests a state of happiness, many have dubbed the English Cocker Spaniel as the “merry cocker”. This dog is also well-known for being stubborn and having a mind of its own although training this breed is not at all difficult. This breed also manifests characteristics of intelligence and alertness.

The English Cocker Spaniel is a sturdy, compact and well-balanced dog. It has dark eyes and floppy ears that should reach the nose tip when pulled forward. The tail is usually docked to give its body balance especially in hunting but docking is not allowed in other countries.

The coat colors of the English Cocker come in different varieties but some are acceptable only depending on the cocker’s variety. For the show cocker, there are only some colors that are allowed but for the working cocker, all colors and combinations are practically accepted. The color variety for this dog ranges from solid, tricolor and roan.

Examples of the solid colors are black, silver, tan, chocolate, blue, red, gold, copper red and white. Other color combinations are black and white, black and tan, blue tick, blue roan, chocolate and tan, lemon and white, orange and white, red and white, and a lot more! In hunting, hunters prefer that their field cockers have color white in their coats in able to see them properly in the woods.

The adorable English Cocker may also become domineering and stubborn but it is also extremely loyal to the family, does not like to be left alone, and loves to get close with only one person in the family. This breed is also loving, optimistic, intelligent and adaptable. This breed also ranks 18th in Stanley Cohen’s the Intelligence of Dog as a measure of the breed’s excellence in working, obedience and intelligence.

Interestingly, studies by the University of Cambridge have shown that the temperament of the cocker has a relevance to its coat color. The studies conclude that solid-colored cockers are more likely to be aggressive compared to the others. Additionally, findings have shown that Red/Golden colored cockers are the most aggressive towards humans when it is being disciplined or sometimes when there is no reason at all.


  • Energetic, Merry, Responsive
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 52 of 193
  • Height: 16-17 inches (male), 15-16 inches (female)
  • Weight: 28-34 pounds (male), 26-32 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Group: Sporting Group

English Cocker Spaniel Club of America Inc.

Club Website