Want a medium sized to small dog that has long luxurious hair? You would probably like a Cocker Spaniel. It is good for more than just looking beautiful though.


The American Cocker Spaniel, which we are talking about here, is originally of the English Spaniel breed. If you looked at an English Spaniel you would notice many differences. For one, the American was bred to be a smaller dog with a shorter muzzle.

Both Spaniels are gun dogs. They are known for flushing out game on a hunt and bringing it back to its owner. It is named after the woodcock, a bird that it was commonly known to flush out. Traditionally they are not only retrievers, but watchdogs and trackers known for their obedience and agility. They were first recognized by the AKC in the 1870s.

english cocker spaniel walking outside
Image Credit: Katrina S, Pixabay


This dog is great as a gun dog and also a household pet. As long as they are socialized well and trained from an early age they are good with children. They have average intelligence and are very trustworthy and charming to be around.

This dog loves to work. As they are used to being outside, this dog can perform tasks on dry or wet ground with ease. If not socialized well they are likely to become shy.

Some people have problems with Cocker Spaniels. They are thought to be discipline problems. That is usually the case when the pack order has not been established in the family. It is where most owners go wrong.

Avoid the small dog syndrome. This is the belief that small dogs are cute and do not need the same rules as bigger dogs. It is important for all dogs to establish a pack order. The human family is the dog’s new pack. They must know that all humans in the house are higher in the order than they are to avoid any type of discipline problems.

Temperament will stay social and gentle as long as you give your dog what he needs. That includes a daily long walk. This burns off nervous energy and satisfies their mental need to migrate. You don’t need a large yard. A small one will do or access to a park where you can properly exercise your dog each day.

When pack leadership is not established, your dog may engage in various unsavory behaviors. These include:

  • Viciousness brought on by fear and dominant behavior
  • Submissive urinating
  • Obsessive barking
black and tan american cocker spaniel dog
Image Credit: Ksenia Raykova, Shutterstock


This dog has a medium length coat that is flat and wavy. It is shorter on the head. The ears, abdomen and legs have feathering. Some will cut the coat short so that it is better managed on a daily basis. He will need regular brushing, being careful not to pull out the silky hairs underneath. For showing, they can have any solid color coat.

Cocker Spaniels are prone to many different health problems. Regular visits to the vet can head off any issues that could be a problem. Regular feedings of highly nutritious foods can avoid weight problems.


These dogs are relatively easy to train but can become a problem when pack order is not established. Housebreaking will be more of a challenge. With a gentle positive feedback system, they will learn and become good dogs for your home and outdoor life.

The Cocker Spaniel is pretty, intelligent, and trustworthy. For the total package, think about bringing home a Cocker Spaniel.

Featured Image Credit: Inge Marije de Boer, Unsplash