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English Cocker Spaniel

At first glance, this spaniel may look like his cousin, the American Cocker Spaniel. But a closer look clearly identifies these dogs as two distinct breeds…The English Cocker Spaniel has a larger head and longer muzzle than the American Cocker. He lacks the ridge over his eyes that stands out on the American. His fluffy coat can be many colors, from solid tan and black to particolored including a beautiful sable black and tan not found in American Cockers.

In temperament, this is an extremely affectionate dog who is devoted to his family, gets along well with children, other dogs and pets, and is not wary of strangers. His sharp bark may sound the alarm as a watchdog, but his amiable nature prevents him from being a protection dog.

The English Cocker has retained more of his hunting skills than his American cousin. He is still used in the UK and Australia as a hardy spaniel who can adeptly flush woodcocks, pheasants, quail and rabbits from their nests in dense grass and brush. His long coat protects him from cold weather, thorns and brambles.

The English Cocker is cheerful, loyal and sensitive, always ready for a romp with the kids or a day in the field. However, he is the only AKC breed known to suffer from a “rage syndrome,” a form of canine psychosis. This very rare, but disturbing condition makes some English Cockers aggressive, unpredictable and unsuitable as a companion dog. Potential buyers should always ask the breeder if a puppy has any family history of this virtually untreatable and unfortunate condition.

Being clever and easy to please, the English Cocker is very easily trained to perfect his hunting skills and basic to advanced obedience skills. His energy level is moderate and he likes long, brisk walks but is rarely seen in agility trials. He’s a very social dog even for apartment and city dwellers. He enjoys having his long coat brushed, but dislikes being handled roughly by groomers.

As a devoted companion dog and a skilled hunter, the handsome English Cocker Spaniel is ideal. The next time you encounter a “funny-looking Cocker,” you’re looking at the the striking, distinct English Cocker!

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