Where Do Cocker Spaniels Come From

The Cocker Spaniel was developed in England as a bird hunting dog. Its name “Cocker” was derived from the Eurasian woodcock, a bird it frequently hunted. The Cocker Spaniel and the English Springer Spaniel are closely related and for a while, both breeds came from the same litter. The only distinction was in size, the smaller dogs became Cockers and were used to hunt woodcocks. The larger dogs became Springers and were used to flush or “spring” gamebirds into the air.

Obo II is the founding dog of the American Cocker Spaniel breed. He looked considerably different from the American Cocker Spaniels of today due to selective breeding over the years. His father was Obo I and his mother was Chloe II.

American Cocker Spaniels trace their beginning back to Obo II, who was sired in England by Obo I. However, his mother emigrated to the United States before his birth, so he was born on American soil in 1882. (The first Spaniel to arrive in America came aboard the Mayflower in 1620).

Over the years, the American and English Cocker Spaniels have become recognized as separate breeds. For many years during the mid-20th century, the Cocker Spaniel was the most popular dog breed in the United States. My family adopted two Cocker Spaniels during the 1950s.

The most noticeable difference between the American and English Cocker Spaniels is that the American variety is smaller and has a shorter muzzle.

English Cocker Spaniel

American Cocker Spaniel

Are Cocker Spaniels Good Family Pets

Cocker Spaniels were the most popular breed in the United States for many years which gives testament to suitability as a family pet. They are affectionate, friendly, and have a happy nature with a tail that always seems to be wagging. They love playing with kids.

Their coat can be a variety of colors including black, brown, silver, red, roan, sable, and cream. Some have solid color coats while others are parti-colored or have markings of white, black, tan, and other colors.

They need regular brushing to keep their coats for tangling. As they do shed some, they are not a hypoallergenic breed so may not be a good choice for people who are allergic to dogs.

Like most dogs that were bred to be hunters, the Cocker Spaniel is intelligent and relatively easy to train. Cockers rank 20th in Stanley Coren‘s book “The Intelligence of Dogs”.

Cockers are small to medium-sized dogs. The American Cocker averages between 13 to 16 inches tall and weighs between 20 to 30 pounds. The English variety is a bit larger, about an inch taller, and weighs around 5 more pounds. Both varieties are relatively happy and have a lifespan of up to 14 years.

Where Can I Get a Cocker Spaniel

The AKC parent club for the American Cocker Spaniel is the American Spaniel Club. You will find a list of breeders on their website.

For information on the English Cocker Spaniel, visit the English Cocker Spaniel Club of America.

According to Next Day Pets, the average price of a Cocker Spaniels is around $700. Dogs with an impressive pedigree may go for much more and some may cost as much as $10,000.

If you want a rescue dog, consult your local pet shelter. You can also search for pets in your area by using websites such as Adopt-a-Pet.com.