Cocker Spaniel

Updated 03 November 2023
Read time: 3 mins
article author
Written by Elle Padgham

The Cocker Spaniel is a compactly built, good natured gun dog that is known to make an excellent companion.

Breed History

The English Cocker Spaniel is descended from the Spaniel dog breed which is thought to have originated in Spain. The Cocker Spaniel was a small Land Spaniel that was used to hunt woodcocks. The English Cocker Spaniel as we know it today was bred as a gun dog to help hunt birds.

General Appearance

The English Cocker Spaniel is a medium-sized dog breed that has a medium length wavy coat that is silky to the touch. Their chest, legs and stomach are covered with longer hair that is known as ‘feathering’. Standing at up to 43cm tall and weighing in at up to 15kg, the English Cocker Spaniel is slightly larger than it’s American cousin.


The Cocker Spaniel is a friendly, affable and easy to train gun dog. This breed makes an excellent companion and working dog. They do very well with children due to their gentle nature, but care should always be taken when introducing dogs to small children.

Health Considerations:

Hip Dysplasia: Due to their active nature, Cocker Spaniels may suffer with chronic joint pain, arthritis and hip dysplasia in their senior years. Sadly, this can really impact their quality of life. Those looking to bring a Cocker puppy home should aim to buy from reputable breeders who disclose the hip scores of the parents. Diseases of the joints can usually be managed with a combination of pain relief, anti-inflammatories, joint supportive diets, like Pooch & Mutts’ Joint Care Dry Food and joint supplements such as Pooch & Mutts’ Joint Daily Care Supplement.

Ear Problems: Cocker Spaniels are prone to ear infections. This is due to the poor ventilation of the ears and the fact that the ear canals tend to become moist and humid. This is the ideal environment for yeast and bacteria to proliferate. We can help to prevent infections by drying ears thoroughly after swims and baths and cleaning ear canals regularly.

Atopy: Canine atopic dermatitis (allergic dermatitis, canine atopy) is a hereditary condition affecting the skin. Much like allergies in humans, otherwise harmless substances can present as an allergen to some dogs. The most common age range to find your dog has skin allergies is between 1 and 3. A supplement to help target skin & coat may be useful for dogs suffering with Atopy. It’s may be worth trying a daily care supplement like Pooch & Mutts’ Bionic Biotic


Cocker Spaniels are highly trainable and respond well to positive reinforcements. Their easy-going nature can help during training sessions and trying new tricks as they are less likely than say, the fiercely independent Husky, to be disobedient.


Cocker Spaniels are not the easiest of breeds to groom due to their feathered coats and abundance of hair which can get easily matted. 


This breed requires a minimum of 1 hours exercise a day. Due to their hunting nature, Cocker Spaniels love a good sniff around so we should ideally spread their exercise across 2-3 shorter walks a day, taking different routes to keep our Cocker Spaniels happy.  They'll also require off-lead exercise in a secure area so they can burn off any excess energy.

Feeding Considerations

We need to feed our Cocker Spaniels a premium, well-balanced food with an appropriate protein source. Pooch & Mutts’ Calm & Relaxed can be ideal for dogs that are easily excitable, which may apply to your Cocker. 

You’ll find a handy feeding calculator on every Pooch & Mutt dry and wet dog food product page to help you understand exactly how much to feed your Cocker Spaniel to keep them at their optimum weight. Simply enter the age, size and weight of your dog.

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