5 Things Everyone Should Know About Cocker Spaniels

Updated: Mar 4, 2020


It just takes one glance from a Cocker Spaniel to fall head over heels. This beautiful and soulful breed makes a great family dog or companion for solo dog parents and couples. These dogs are more than just their elegant coats, doe-eyes, and button-noses. Cocker Spaniels have a great balance of spunky playfulness and affection. What else do we wish everyone knew about this winning breed?


1. Cocker Spaniels Have Their History Embedded in their Name

If you own a Cocker Spaniel, it may be difficult to imagine your four-legged friend as a bird dog, but it’s true. Cockers were originally bred and used as apt bird hunting dogs. In fact, the “cocker” segment of their name comes from their ability to hunt woodcocks. Unlike Labradors, Cocker Spaniels didn’t get their coats and feet wet when they hunted. They were trained to hunt on land. Which makes sense considering how much work it would be to dry and comb their marvelous coats.

As for the “spaniel” portion of Cocker Spaniel, this comes from their country of origin, Spain.


2. Sweet, Playful, and Spunky: Cockers Have Winning Personalities

While Cocker Spaniels may be one of the cutest breeds you’ll find, they’re also one of the best balanced in terms of their temperaments. They love to join in family fun and excitement, but they also mellow out and relax during downtime.

Have you heard that Cocker Spaniels can be snappy and nippy? This is usually only the case when a Cocker has had a rough upbringing without proper socialization. If you’re planning on adopting or rescuing a Cocker, be sure you use a reputable breeder or rescue and try to understand your potential pup’s history.


3. Cocker Spaniels Are the Perfect Size

Cocker parents appreciate the Cocker Spaniel’s small but not-too-small size. They’re small dogs with big dog personalities. As the smallest of the sporting dogs, they’re sturdy, tough, but petite. This means they’re not fragile, and they won’t knock you down.

They make great playmates for kids since they’re not too big. Plush toys make an ideal toy option for Cocker Spaniels since they’re pint-sized and playful.


4. Like the Outdoors? Bring a Cocker on Your Adventures

Most petite breeds struggle to keep up on hikes, especially in adverse weather conditions. But the Cocker Spaniel doesn’t have this problem. Cockers are built to cover some ground while staying on all-fours. Just be sure you keep your Cocker safe with a reflective vest on hikes.

What’s the secret to their stability? Cocker Spaniels have uniquely textured paw pads that provide a slip-resistant grip. This texture is so effective, it inspired the design of Sperry’s Top-Siders’ slip-proof sole that keeps fishermen and boaters upright on slippery decks.


5. Cockers Are Not Maintenance-Free

While Cocker Spaniels are tough, friendly, fun, and adventurous, they do need to be brushed and groomed regularly. That amazing coat—they don’t just wake up like that. Ungroomed Cocker Spaniels look like unruly Muppets, and they tend to develop mats if they don’t get brushed and groomed often enough.


Are Cocker Spaniels the Perfect Breed?

Many people think so, and we can see why. Cocker Spaniels have a ton to offer with their upbeat and snuggly personalities. They can also keep up with the best hunting breeds, large and small. If you’re thinking of adding a Cocker to your home or you already have one, we hope this article inspired a deeper understanding of these amazing canine companions.

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