VCA Ashford Animal Hospital

American Cocker Spaniel

American Cocker Spaniel

Basic American Cocker Spaniel Information

  • Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
  • Height: 14 - 16 inches
  • Weight: 24 - 28 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in American Cocker Spaniels

American Cocker Spaniel Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

American Cocker Spaniel History

  • Spaniels were developed at least by the 1300s to flush birds into nets or to waiting falcons.
  • Later, they were also used to find and point birds and were specialized by their size, terrain, and type of bird.
  • The Cocker Spaniel, which was used for woodcock, was first mentioned in 1790.
  • Cocker Spaniels were in America by the late 1800s.
  • The AKC recognized the Cocker Spaniel in 1878.
  • The Cocker Spaniel was the most popular breed in America from 1936 to 1952.
  • As the Cocker became known as a show dog, winning Cockers tended to be smaller, longer legged, and rounder headed than the original stock from England.
  • In 1946, the AKC split the breed into English Cocker Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels. Only in America are these names used; elsewhere they are known as Cocker Spaniels and American Cocker Spaniels, respectively.
  • Cockers were such a part of Americana that Cocker celebrities included Spot (of Dick and Jane "See Spot Run" fame), Cover Boy Butch (25 times a Saturday Evening Post cover model), Lady (Lady and the Tramp), and the Coppertone Cocker.
  • Cocker Spaniels were once again the top breed in America from 1983 to 1990.
  • The breed is divided into three varieties according to color: Black (solid black or black and tan); ASCOB (which stands for Any Solid Color Other than Black, and includes cream, red, brown, and brown and tan); and Particolor (spotted or roan).

American Cocker Spaniel Behavior Concerns

  • Makes an exuberant and entertaining companion.
  • Usually very good with children.
  • A happy dog, not easily bothered by things.
  • Eager to please and quick to learn, but can be so excitable that it has difficulty minding.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food.
  • Outgoing toward strangers.
  • Gets along well with other pets and dogs.
  • Enjoys retrieving.
  • Usually enjoys swimming.
  • Some bark a lot.
  • Some are overly submissive. Submissive urination is not uncommon.

American Cocker Spaniel Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a fairly calm housedog if given adequate exercise.
  • Requires daily exercise in the form of a long walk, jog, or energetic games.
  • A good candidate for dog parks.
  • Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.

American Cocker Spaniel Grooming

  • Coat is fairly long, silky, and either flat or wavy.
  • The coat needs brushing and combing two to three times a week to prevent mats.
  • Professional grooming and clipping is required once a month.
  • Special attention should be paid to keeping the eyes clean and clear of stray hairs.
  • The ears must be checked weekly for problems.
  • Shedding is average.

Suggested American Cocker Spaniel Nutritional Needs

  • Cockers have a tendency to become overweight.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
  • Puppies should be fed a balanced a puppy food.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.