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English Cocker Spaniel Breed Guide

English Cocker Spaniel Breed Guide

Despite their melancholy gaze, English Cocker Spaniels are affectionate and full of life. They’re also naturally cheerful dogs that keep their owners on their toes!

Cocker Spaniel breed history

The English Cocker Spaniel breed that we know and love today dates all the way back to 14th century England. Bred as a ‘flushing dog’, English Cocker Spaniels historically worked closely with hunters to find and flush out game birds.

The English Cocker Spaniel was recognised as an official breed in England in 1892.

Medium-sized dog Medium-sized dog
Adultweight: 13-14kg Adult weight Adultweight: 13-14kg
12-14 years Average life expectancy 12-14 years
Needs a lot of grooming Needs a lot of grooming
Enjoys training Enjoys training
A great family dog A great family dog
Common Cocker Spaniel health issues 

Common Cocker Spaniel health issues 

As a breed, the English Cocker Spaniel’s health problems generally relate to things like their sensitive skin, delicate ears and voracious appetites.

The English Cocker Spaniel’s skin and coat require regular care, including regular grooming and making sure they get the right nutrients to help nourish and support skin and coat health.

Thanks to their roots as highly active gundogs, English Cocker Spaniels tend to have quite large appetites, and they’ll happily snaffle up anything in front of them, given the chance! That’s why it’s important for Cocker Spaniels to maintain a healthy body weight to avoid excessive weight gain.

Though the Cocker Spaniel’s ears are big and beautiful, they are also very delicate. Because they hang low, Cocker Spaniels can be more susceptible to external otitis (redness and swelling of the ear canal).

Nutrition: What is the best food for a Cocker Spaniel

To keep English Cocker Spaniels strong and
healthy, they need a well-balanced diet that’s packed with essential nutrients, such as:

  • High-quality proteins to help maintain muscle mass.
  • Highly digestible nutrients to support healthy digestion.
  • Antioxidants to support a strong immune system.
  • Essential fatty acids to support skin and coat health.

Lifelong nutrition

A dog’s nutritional needs change throughout their life – a Cocker Spaniel puppy’s needs are different from those of an adult or ageing Cocker Spaniel.

ROYAL CANIN® Cocker Spaniel diets are specifically designed to support the nutritional needs of Cocker Spaniels and to help keep your dog healthy at every stage of life, from puppyhood right through to adulthood. 



English Cocker Spaniels are gentle and affectionate dogs, particularly towards those they know. They tend to maintain a cheerful and well-balanced disposition, making them excellent companions and family dogs.



Strong and compact with a well-developed chest.


Medium length and slightly curved.


Chiselled skull with a well-defined stop.


Set low and covered in long, silky fur.

Common Questions

English Cocker Spaniels are, in most cases, fully grown somewhere around the age of 9 months-1

The average weight for an adult Cocker Spaniel of either gender is 13-14kg.

Cocker Spaniels should be groomed frequently to help keep their beautiful coat healthy and nourished. It’s recommended that Cocker Spaniels are groomed on a weekly basis.

The average life span of a Cocker Spaniel is 12-14 years, this is above
average for canines.

Although their days as flushing dogs are pretty much behind them, Cocker Spaniels are still used as working dogs today – most notably by the police and the military as sniffer dogs.

A happy life with your English Cocker Spaniel


Cocker Spaniels are friendly, fun-loving dogs that enjoy plenty of attention from their owners. Their loyalty to their families is sweet, though some can be more demanding of attention than others.


Cocker Spaniels adapt well to their environment, settling into their family homes and their families with little to no issues. What’s more, they make excellent companions for active owners.


Though they are domesticated, Cocker Spaniels are still a sporting breed by nature, making regular exercise essential. They enjoy hikes in the great outdoors and plenty of playtime in the garden.


It’s important to groom your English Cocker Spaniel’s fine and glossy coat regularly to help keep it nourished and healthy. A weekly brush is recommended to keep their coat on form; be sure to include those hard-to-reach areas around their face, neck and feet where the fur is longer.


As a hunting breed, Cocker Spaniels are used to being outdoors. They love romps in the garden with their family (the English Cocker Spaniel is very child-friendly) and they enjoy playtime tremendously, no matter what form it comes in.


English Cocker Spaniels tend to have quite wilful natures, so they can be easily distracted during training sessions. Training them early to teach them who the alpha is will go a long way toward their education in obedience. Treats are a good way help to keep your Cocker Spaniel’s eyes on the prize during training.

Find the right food for your dog

At Maltby’s, we offer a wide range of high-quality Royal Canin wet and dry dog food, specifically formulated to suit your beloved companion’s needs.

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