A beloved family dog, the popular Cocker Spaniel is a cheerful and merry breed. The Cocker Spaniel derives from the Spaniel family, originating in Spain with references dating back to the 14th century. By the 1800s, Spaniels were split between toy dogs and large hunting dogs. The Cocker Spaniel was named after its excellence in hunting woodcock. Although Spaniels were located in England for hundreds of years, they were not considered an individual breed until 1892 when the English Kennel Club recognized the Cocker Spaniel as an official breed. However, before this, English Cockers were being imported to America and were recognized by the AKC as an official breed in 1887. It was not until 1936 that they gained recognition by the AKC as English Cocker Spaniels, which were bigger than the American-type Cocker Spaniels. In 1938, a motion was passed not to breed the two types of Spaniels, which finally led to the distinction of Cocker Spaniels as their own breed.
It may come as a surprise the Cocker Spaniels are sporting dogs, whose ability to adapt to household living may deceive you of their impressive agility and obedience skills. They are strong performers in conformation shows, while also capable of field work, portraying their well-rounded nature. The Cocker Spaniel is a soft and affectionate breed, that appreciates time and attention with the family. It should be noted that although they thrive on human interaction, the Cocker Spaniel’s hunting instincts can kick in when out exercising so remember to keep them on a leash in a non-enclosed area. Due to their soft and gentle nature, a Cocker Spaniel can easily become nervous in unknown scenarios or with harsher training methods which can result in barking and sometimes submissive urination (be prepared!). The Cocker Spaniel is a visually impressive breed, whose thick and heavy coat requires constant grooming to prevent knots and tangles developing. It is common for Cocker Spaniels to seek professional assistance in keeping their pooch well groomed. This beloved family dog ranks as the 30th most popular breed.
A Cocker Spaniel named Lupo is the pet of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, also known as Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Explore some Embark dogs that share Cocker Spaniel ancestry.