The Cocker Spaniel is primarily a beloved companion dog breed, though he remains a capable bird dog at heart. Beautiful to look at (and labor-intensive to groom), the Cocker’s amenable, cheerful disposition also makes him a treat to have in the family. Never more pleased than when he’s pleasing you, he’s as happy to snuggle on the couch with his favorite adults as to romp in the yard with the kids.
Dog Breed Group:Sporting Dogs
Height:1 foot, 2 inches to 1 foot, 3 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight:24 to 28 pounds
Life Span:12 to 15 years
- Because Cockers are so popular, it is especially careful to research breeders and find one who is dedicated to improving the breed.
- The sensitive Cocker Spaniel can be a bit nervous, even when he’s from a good breeder and has been properly socialized. Don’t be surprised if your Cocker exhibits submissive urination (peeing when excited).
- Cockers can be barkers, so response to a “Quiet” command should always be part of this dog’s repertoire.
- The Cocker is eager to please and likes to be close to his family. But remember, he was bred to be a hunting dog. Don’t be surprised when he chases birds or other small animals when you’re out on a walk. Keep your Cocker on a leash whenever you aren’t in a fenced area.
- The Cocker has a “soft” personality. Harsh training methods will make him fearful, so be sure to use gentle, consistent training to get the best results.
- A Cocker Spaniel’s long ears are both a part of his beauty and a potential health problem. Be sure to check your Cocker’s ears every week for infections.
- Keeping the Cocker coat beautiful is expensive and a lot of work. Plan on paying a professional groomer and on brushing the coat every day.
- To get a healthy pet, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic health conditions and good temperaments.