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Cocker Spaniel

Friendly and energetic, the Cocker Spaniel makes a lovely family member. 

The Cocker Spaniel is classified as two separate breeds under American and English types. For the purposes of this article, both will be referred to as Cocker Spaniel. Thought to originate in Spain in the 14th century, the Cocker Spaniel was bred to assist with hunting and retrieving.


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Dog Breed Facts & Characteristics


Spain 14th century 

Bred for

Gun dogs – hunting and retrieving 


Height 37 to 41cm, Weight 13 to 15kgs

Weight Range

13 to 15kgs


Black, liver, red, golden and combinations of colours

Life expectancy

9 to 14 years 


Long wavy coat 


Sweet, loving, gentle

Exercise requirements

Medium, needs daily exercise

Best suited for 

Families, couples, retirees

Apartment Friendly

Yes, provided they get plenty of exercise and companionship


Cocker Spaniels are popular with families with children due to their gentle and friendly disposition. They enjoy being around people and may suffer from loneliness and separation anxiety in a busy household where people are out for long periods of time. Daily exercise is essential for Cocker Spaniels as they tend to be energetic and playful. Socialising Cocker Spaniel puppies from an early age means getting them used to other dogs, animals, people and different environments. This helps them grow up to be well adjusted adults. 


Their coats are long, soft and wavy. Generally, brushing the coat two to three times a week will keep the hair lustrous and matt free. Regular visits to the groomers for a trim will also help keep the coat more manageable and tidier. Prevent parasites by ensuring your Cocker Spaniel is on flea and tick control all year round. With floppy, hairy ears, regular ear care including ear cleaning is needed to help avoid ear infections.


When choosing a food for your Cocker Spaniel, select a premium food appropriate to your dog’s age and life stage. As Cocker Spaniels can become overweight quite easily, ensure that you follow the recommended feeding guides on the food appropriate to your pet's size. A calorie restricted diet could be a good choice if your Cocker Spaniel is overweight. Make sure your Cocker Spaniel always has a supply of fresh, clean water available. 

Common health concerns 

The five most common reasons for a Cocker Spaniel to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data in 2019 were:



Average cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)

Highest cost for single treatment
(highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)


Ear condition (infections, allergy)




Skin conditions (infection, allergies)








Gastrointestinal Condition (vomiting, diarrhoea etc)




Eye conditions (conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers etc)



Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

As ear and skin problems are common, grooming is a very important routine to help keep the coat, skin and ears clean and healthy. This also gives you an opportunity to observe the skin and ears daily and catch any signs of infection early. Also ensure your flea protection is up to date.

Cocker Spaniel eye problems can range from allergic conjunctivitis (which may be seen in conjunction with allergic skin disease), to glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). As the eyes are a very sensitive and important body part, seek prompt veterinary attention if your pet has abnormalities with his or her eyes. 

Most popular Cocker Spaniel names

In 2019 the most popular Cocker Spaniel names according to PetSure data were:

  1. Rosie
  2. Poppy
  3. Willow
  4. Lucy
  5. Teddy
  6. Winnie
  7. Alfie
  8. Archie
  9. Ralph
  10. Baxter

Most popular female names  

  1. Rosie
  2. Poppy 
  3. Willow
  4. Lucy
  5. Winnie
  6. Daisy
  7. Pippa
  8. Billie
  9. Maggie
  10. Sadie

Most popular male names

  1. Teddy
  2. Alfie
  3. Archie
  4. Ralph
  5. Baxter
  6. Chester
  7. Billy
  8. Cooper
  9. Leo
  10. Louie

Did you know?

The 1955 animated film “Lady and the Tramp” features an American Cocker Spaniel as the lead character, Lady. 

Where can I get a Cocker Spaniel?

Check out your local breed specific rescue organisation. Also be sure to visit your local pet rescue shelters where you might just find your new best friend! 


  1. American Kennel Club, Cocker Spaniel, Accessed on 04/11/20
  2. Wikipedia, CockerSpaniel, Accessed on 04/11/20
  3. Wikipedia, Lady and the Tramp, Accessed on 04/11/20

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Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie's pets

Bei Bei
Bei Bei