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Breed Profile: Cocker Spaniel (American)


American Cocker Spaniel dog breed buff color angel the dog

American Cocker Spaniel

Photo © RL Johnson on flickr




The American Cocker Spaniel originates from a dog once known as the "Spanyell" over 700 years ago. Over time, the Cocker Spaniel was developed in England and eventually brought to the US in the late 1800s, where the breed gradually evolved into today's American Cocker. Though the two are similar, this is a separate breed from the English Cocker Spaniel.

Like most spaniels, the American Cocker has been known as a diligent gun dog that was named for its skill in hunting the woodcock. The American Cocker was once ranked the most popular breed in the US. Though it no longer tops the list, it is still much beloved.


15-30 pounds


Cocker Spaniels are seen in a multitude of colors, including, but not limited to black, tan, brown, buff and red. Many are parti-colored (more than one color).

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

About the Breed:

The American Cocker Spaniel is a sturdy, robust small-to-medium-sized dog with a hard-working, independent spirit. This is the smallest of the sporting dogs and a completely separate breed from the English Cocker Spaniel.

The lovely, long and curly coat of the American Cocker Spaniel is found in many different colors. This breed should be brushed out every day or two in order to maintain its beauty and keep it tangle-free. A basic grooming routine should be implemented, and routine haircuts are essential. Because of their long, floppy ears, Cocker Spaniels are especially prone to ear issues, so close attention should be placed on keeping the ears clean and dry.

As with any dog, the American Cocker Spaniel should receive daily exercise. This will help the dog focus and stay in optimum condition.

The American Cocker Spaniel is an intelligent and motivated dog that should respond well to training. As with all dogs, be sure to practice training on a routine basis. This breed should be very receptive and quick to learn. Though it may come across as shy or stand-offish to some, the American Cocker Spaniel can be quite friendly and affectionate. Proper socialization will help this breed to get along quite well with other dogs as well as children.

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