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English Cocker Spaniel

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English Cocker Spaniel Puppies for Sale: Medium Bundle of Joy

Spaniels, like Retrievers, have a merry, personable, stable personality that is hard to resist for people looking for a family companion. The English Cocker Spaniel is attractive because of its small size and melting expression. Intelligent and full of joy for living and learning, the ECS can keep up with the most active families. The English Cocker Spaniels is friendly and an excellent fit for children and other dogs.

English Cocker Spaniel Puppies for Sale
English Cocker Spaniel Puppies for Sale

Overview of English Cocker Spaniel for Sale

The English Cocker Spaniel is a small sporting dog. It was developed to hunt wood cocks in England beginning around the 1800s although generic spaniels were in existence by the 1300s. The major job of the Cocker Spaniel is to locate and set birds and other game, flush them from the thick brush for the hunter and then retrieve them. Originally, English Cockers located birds and flushed them into the range of hunters with nets. They were only differentiated from the Field Spaniel and Springer Spaniel by size until 1901.

General Appearance

English Cocker Spaniels are 15 to 17 inches tall at the top of the shoulders and weigh 28 to 34 pounds. They are distinct for their compact frames. Unlike many other breeds, English Cocker Spaniels are slightly taller than their body length. The oval-shaped eyes contribute to a soft and soulful yet alert expression. They should be dark brown except liver dogs can have hazel eyes. The skull is slightly flattened with a strong muzzle of the same length. An ECS has clear chiseling under the eyes and low-set, long, hanging ears. The neck is long, graceful, and arched with no dewlaps. English Cockers have strong shoulders, and their topline slopes gradually to the croup which is rounded. The tail is high-set and held horizontally. Cockers usually have docked tails, especially field dogs. Cocker Spaniels should wag their tails constantly. The thighs are well-muscled with moderate angulation of the stifles. A Cocker has a deep chest that is moderate in width.

Field Bred English Cocker Spaniel

Field-bred Cockers loosely fit within the breed standard of the English Cocker Spaniel, but they will have important differences. Working dogs are larger than pets and show animals, standing an inch or two taller and weighing three to five more pounds. You will notice that the field Cocker Spaniel has a shorter and thinner coat than normal, but by no means does it qualify as a short hair English Cocker Spaniel. Field-bred dogs have higher-set ears, and their tails have a longer dock than show dogs.

Coat and Colors

Like their American cousins, English Cockers have short and fine hair on the face and legs and medium-length fur on the body. They usually have heavy feathering on the backs of the front and hind legs, chest, belly, tail, and ears. As with most Spaniels, English Cockers have silky fur that lies flat and is straight or wavy. Their coats can come in a wide range of colors.

Standard Coat Colors
  • Solid colors – black, red, liver
  • Parti-colors – black & white, red & white, liver & white
  • Roan – considered to be in the parti-color category; characterized by a solid color that is muted by the presence of intermingled white hairs; black roan (usually referred to as blue roan), red roan, liver roan
  • Ticking – another type of parti-color whereby you will see ticking or “freckles” in the white areas between the solid-colored patches; ticking can also occur on roan dogs
  • Tan-pointed – you will see tan in stereotypical areas(over each eye, on the muzzle, legs, chest, and under tail) on any color pattern; black & tan, red & tan, liver & tan, roan & tan, solid color & white with tan

Solid black English Cocker Spaniels can have a small patch of white on the chest or the toes. White feet are undesirable, but it takes more extensive white markings to make a particolored dog. Black, liver, or red dogs with tan points are also considered solid-colored dogs.

Red English Cocker Spaniel

A red English Cocker Spaniel can range from rich reddish-brown to orange to golden. It involves different coat color genes than liver, which is chocolate brown and involves the suppression of black. A red coat in the English Cocker Spaniel works on the same genes as those that create yellow in a Labrador Retriever. Lemon Cocker Spaniels represent dogs that have the recessive gene for red combined with the gene that creates liver. A solid lemon English Cocker is classified as a golden English Cocker Spaniel. Lemon & white is a nonstandard color for English Cocker Spaniels while golden is a standard color for the breed in the show ring.


An English Cocker Spaniels has the unflappable disposition typical of gundogs. English Cockers have other sporting dog qualities as well.

  • Loyal and devoted
  • Affectionate and loving
  • Playful
  • Friendly and outgoing
  • Intelligent and highly trainable

English Cocker Spaniel Puppies for Sale and Families

Like other sporting breeds, English Cocker Spaniels make excellent companions as well as field dogs. They bond readily to all family members, and their playful nature endears them to kids. Gentle as adults, English Cockers are suitable for children of all ages. Toddlers and any kids under five years old need constant supervision with these dogs. English Cocker Spaniels make questionable watchdogs and are not meant to guard your family or property. They tend to be quiet, friendly to strangers, and not prone to be alarmists.

Other Pets

An English Cocker’s friendly and accepting personality makes it a good fit with other dogs and most will also get along with cats. On the other hand, smaller animals such as birds, rabbits, and rodents may look like prey to your Cocker which has a strong heritage of hunting. English Cocker Spaniels do well at dog parks and other social gatherings with other dogs if they receive appropriate socialization as puppies. You should exercise caution with large-breed dogs as your English Cocker Spaniel’s small size can leave her vulnerable to injuries.

English Cocker Spaniel Puppies for Sale Near Me

You may have to search a little harder for English Cocker Spaniel puppies than the American breed. However, English Cockers are prevalent enough that litter should be available near you. If you decide to go local rather than import an English Cocker Spaniel, visit the facility and try to familiarize yourself with the breeder or obtain a recommendation. Look around the site where the puppies are and check for cleanliness and the mental state of any dogs that are present. Make sure the English Cocker Spaniel puppies for sale are active, curious, and free from discharge from the eyes or nose. A breeder should be able to at least give you a health guarantee on any puppy you choose. Ideally, a seller will also disclose recommended evaluations on the parents and full disclosure about potential problems and the pedigree. The AKC advises minimal health screenings for English Cockers.

  • PRA – rod and cone degeneration in the retina; inherited in many dog breeds
  • Hip dysplasia – several tests now available to screen for canine hip dysplasia in adults

Breeders who go above and beyond also screen for additional problems that can affect Cocker Spaniels.

  • Autoimmune thyroiditis (hypothyroidism) – common in dogs; can run a thyroid screen testing several hormones
  • Familial nephropathy, Cocker Spaniel type – causes kidney failure
  • Congenital deafness – BAER test on puppies as early as 35 days old
  • Exercise induced collapse – affects several breeds of gundogs
  • Adult onset neuropathy – a progressive neurologic disease that starts in the hind limbs and will lead to paralysis

Some genetic tests are advanced, and breeders may only perform one or two depending on the risks they think are present in their lines.


Basic grooming requirements include a monthly nail trim, daily face wipe, and bimonthly bath. You should brush your English Cocker’s fur three or four times a week to keep it clean and mat-free. However, many owners utilize a Cocker trim to make coat maintenance much easier. Two commonplace cuts include a close shave of the face under the eyes, along the cheeks, and the top of the head and back. Both styles call for a longer clip on the sides of the body. One leaves a skirt of varying lengths while the other removes all belly hair. Finally, the cuts leave somewhat longer fur on the legs to give them a soft, round appearance. By contrast, a show cut will leave all your dog’s fur intact. You simply scissor your dog’s feathers to showcase her form.


English Cocker Spaniels live an average of 12 to 15 years. A few can live even longer.

Food Requirements

English Cocker Spaniels require a protein-based diet with fatty acids and possibly a select few carbohydrates. They need 1.5 to 2.5 cups of kibble, or 0.5 to 0.9 pounds of raw food, daily divided over two meals. Field bred Cocker Spaniels that work or compete in hunting trials need significantly more food as do puppies and nursing mothers.


English Cocker Spaniels are not unlike other breeds in that they require positive reinforcement and reward-based methods for effective training. Also, you should start training as early as possible, usually soon after your pup arrives home. English Cocker Spaniels are intelligent and cooperative but exceedingly sensitive. Your approach should be gentle, patient, and encouraging. Cockers can become bored with the repetition necessary for proper learning, so creativity in your training methods is a must.

Exercise Requirements

An English Cocker Spaniel should get two 30-minute exercise sessions every day. A field bred English Cocker Spaniel requires even more exercise. You will need to give your dog strenuous activities, mental stimulation, and training in your exercise sessions. Puppies need socialization as well. You should limit their exercises to the exertion that fits their maturity level. Allow young puppies to dictate how much physical activities they can handle. You may have to intervene to slow down adolescent puppies that may overexert themselves.

English vs American Cocker Spaniel

A separate type of the Cocker Spaniel eventually emerged once the breed arrived in the US in the early 1800s. The AKC recognized two separate breeds of the Cocker Spaniel in 1946. First, the American Cocker Spaniel is smaller, usually not topping 25 pounds. It originally was founded because of the smaller American game animals and thicker underbrush. American Cocker Spaniels also have longer and more luxurious fur with more elaborate feathers than the English Cocker. English Cockers are relatively square compared to the American Cocker as the ECS is taller than she is long. The ACS is slightly longer than tall. Finally, the ACS has a shorter muzzle, rounder eyes, a domed skull, and a deep, pronounced stop. Outside of the US, the ECS is known simply as a Cocker Spaniel. In America, the ACS is a Cocker Spaniel while fanciers designate the ECS as the English Cocker Spaniel.