English Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed Information

English Cocker Spaniel: What’s the difference between an English Cocker and a Cocker Spaniel, you say? Not very long ago, American and English Cockers were considered to be the same breed. The decision to classify them as separate breeds were made in the 1930s when it became evident that Cocker Spaniels in the U.S. were different than ones in England.

One difference is the size. The English Cocker Spaniel is larger than the American Cocker Spaniel. They also have different body types. And unlike the American Cocker, the English Cocker is likely to be found in the field alongside his cousins the Field Spaniel and the English and Welsh Springer Spaniels.

English Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed Information
English Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed Information

Engaging English Cocker is happy and affectionate. He’s a sturdy dog with a long, square muzzle, expressive eyes, long ears that reach the tip of his nose when pulled forward, and a docked tail. The English Cocker has a medium-length coat, although the English Cockers you see in the field have a shorter coat than those in the show ring. They are 14 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 26 and 34 pounds.

As sporting dogs, English Cockers have a lot of stamina and energy. They’re also curious dogs and like to investigate things. English Cocker Spaniels are excellent retrievers with delicate mouths who hunt well in difficult terrain.

While English Cockers are intelligent, they can be stubborn at times, especially if they don’t see a good reason for doing what you want them to do. Obedience training is a good idea with any dog, but with hunting dogs, in particular, you need to train them to come when called and to obey your commands.

Because they are so affectionate toward their people, it’s important to use gentle, consistent training that won’t break your dog’s spirit. Training also helps keep your English Cocker mentally stimulated. This is a dog that loves to learn. An English Cocker’s talents aren’t limited to the field. He can also do well in tracking, obedience trials, flyball, and agility.

Because English Cockers are very people-oriented, they thrive on being around their families and can become destructive if left alone frequently with no companionship or activity. They get along well with children and make good companions for people of all ages.

While they are alert and will bark at noises, don’t expect them to be effective guard dogs. They are far too friendly for that kind of work and most likely will end up licking the hands of any strangers they encounter, all the while wagging their tails.

English Cocker Spaniel Colors

Breed standards restrict all breeds of dogs to certain colors for the purposes of conformation showing (dependent on country). For example, the breed standard of the United Kingdom’s Kennel Club states that in solid colors, no white is allowed except for a small amount on the chest, and the American Kennel Club has standards for features including the expression, neck, topline, and body. In working Cockers, breeders value working ability over the color of the dog.

English Cocker Spaniel Colors
English Cocker Spaniel Colors

They come in solid (or “self”), particolored, and roan types of markings. Solid dogs have no or very little white. Parti-colored dogs have spots or patches of color on a white dog. Parti-colored dogs can have freckles of color on their nose and legs called “ticking.” Roan is an extreme version of ticking and consists of the white dog parts of a dog being speckled with the same color as the solid patches. Roan puppies are born white with colored patches and the white becomes roan as they grow up, similar to the spots on Dalmatians.

Solid English Cocker colors are can come in black, liver/brown, red/golden with black or brown pigmentation, and Parti-coloured cockers come in blue roan, liver roan, orange roan with black or brown pigmentation, lemon roan with black or brown pigmentation, black and white ticked, liver and white ticked, orange and white ticked with black or brown pigmentation, lemon, and white ticked with black or brown pigmentation, black and white, liver and white with brown pigmentation, orange and white with black or brown pigmentation, lemon and white with black or brown pigmentation. All of these colors can also have Tan-points, although you probably won’t see it on any red, gold, or lemon Cocker because it will blend in.

Of the solid colors, sable is considered rare and controversial and is classified by some countries as being a type of particular on account of its mixed hair shafts. While some have claimed this color is from a cross with a different breed, geneticists have discovered English Cocker sable is unique to this breed. In addition, a silver/ash color, usually associated with the Weimaraner breed of dog, is considered genetically possible but is yet to be recorded by the United Kingdom’s Kennel Club. Of the roan varieties, lemon roan with a light brown pigmentation is the most recessive of all the roans. Plain white Cockers are rarely born and are thought to be more prone to deafness than those with more pigmentation. As such they are generally not encouraged in the breed.

English Cocker Spaniel Puppies

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.

Beneath the EC’s physical beauty beats the heart of a tireless, eager-to-please hunter’s helper, famous the world over for his ability to flush and retrieve gamebirds. For those who prefer more domestic pursuits, there is no more charming and agreeable household companion.

The English Cocker should be fed a high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) and activity level. Some English Cockers are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high-fat content. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.

English Cocker Spaniel For Sale

English Cocker Spaniel Puppies
English Cocker Spaniel Puppies

The spaniel family of dogs is among the first groups of dogs created to aid in the capture of birds. As such, it is a large group with many breeds specializing in hunting different bird species amidst various terrains.

Those that specialized in land hunting were divided into larger and smaller spaniels, with the smaller spaniels specialized for hunting woodcock. No attempt was made to breed the two sizes separately, and both sizes were routinely present in the same litters. With the advent of dog shows, this presented some difficulties, and in 1892 the two sizes of land spaniels began to be designated as separate breeds, with the smaller size dubbed cocker spaniels.

When the cocker spaniel came to America, many breeders in the United States preferred and bred for a different look than what was traditional in the founding country of England. The two styles diverged until they were split into separate varieties in 1936. This meant they could be interbred but would be shown separately. Since almost nobody elected to interbreed the varieties, they were split into separate breeds in 1946. In America, the American version of the cocker spaniel became more popular, but in the rest of the world, the English cocker spaniel is more popular.

English Cocker Spaniel Colors Orange Roan

This moderately built dog is small enough to push through dense bushes (and fit on your lap) and large enough to retrieve game (and go jogging with you). English cocker spaniels are 14-17 inches tall, and they weigh 26-32 pounds (7 to 8 kilograms).

The head of the English cocker spaniel is long and somewhat narrow, compared to other spaniels. The ears are long and set low. Overall, the dog’s expression is soft, and the contours of the head are soft, with no abrupt angles.

The hair is of medium length and somewhat silky; it is long enough to protect the dog’s underside when in the field but never so long as to be a hindrance. The dog’s coat comes in a variety of colors and patterns.

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