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American Cocker Spaniel

Compact sturdy American spaniel with English ancestors

The American Cocker Spaniel breed traces back to the same roots as the Cocker Spaniel in the blood of the famous black dog Obo, when his son Obo II was born in Canada in the late 19th century and became a prolific sire. Although the breed started in the USA as a continuation of English type, by the 1920’s there was a marked divergence with some American breeders selecting more domed heads, shorter muzzles and a more profuse coat. In 1936, the American Kennel Club provided classes for English type Cockers as a separate variety and in 1945 the AKC gave separate breed status to the two breeds – the ‘Cocker Spaniel’ as it is known in USA and the ‘English Cocker Spaniel’, the original basis of the breed before separation.

Those big, dark eyes; that sweet expression; those long, lush ears that practically demand to be touched, no wonder the American Cocker Spaniel spent years as The USA’s most popular breed! The well-balanced body is sturdy and solid, and these quick, durable gundogs move with a smooth, easy gait. Regarding training the American Cocker Spaniel, the good news is that in general this is a people-pleasing breed. They want to be “good” in order to please their people, and they are generally sensitive and responsive to correction and a disapproving tone in their owner’s voice. They are big enough to be sporty, but compact enough to be portable. An American Cocker Spaniel in full coat rewards extra grooming time by being the prettiest dog on the block and their coat comes in enough colours and patterns to please any taste. They are somewhat laid back and will be just as happy to lay on the couch watching television with you as well as running around in the yard. However, they need plenty of exercise to prevent obesity, which can cause many health problems. The American Cocker Spaniel loves to be in the thick of things and will gaily accompany the family on a walk at every opportunity. Friendly to others, both human and animal alike, this breed will enjoy daily trips to the dog park where socialisation can help with any timidity that may develop.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKGundog
Bred ForHunting, Companion
Rare BreedNo
Country of OriginUSA
TemperamentHappy, Friendly, Intelligent
Exercise NeededMore than 2 hours a day
Size of Home NeededSmall
Height at Withers – Females34 – 37 cm / 13½ – 14½ in
Height at Withers – Males37 – 39 cm / 14½ – 15½ in
CoatMedium and silky
ColourMany – see photos and breed standards
Life Span10 – 14 years
  • These small spaniels were originally bred to hunt birds. They were especially skilled at hunting a type of bird called the woodcock. This is where the Cocker Spaniel’s name comes from.
  • The American and English versions are similar, the main differences are in the head. American Cocker Spaniels have rounder heads and more pronounced eyebrows. English Cocker Spaniels have longer snouts.
  • They were bred to be hunters and should not be trusted around birds such as chickens and ducks or even with pets like hamsters, mice, or guinea pigs.
  • American Cocker Spaniels require regular, thorough grooming. Sessions missed are not easily made up and may result in tangles or mats in the Cocker’s coat.
  • Cocker spaniels can adapt to living just about anywhere, as long as they are given daily walks on a leash or are allowed to have play sessions in a fenced yard. Remember, they are primarily an active sporting breed.


Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about American Cocker Spaniels.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about American Cocker Spaniels, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the American Cocker Spaniel breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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