American Cocker Spaniel
Other names: American Spaniel
American Cocker Spaniels are happy and playful dogs, with lots of energy, just like all Spaniels. Affectionate and playful, they are very good playmates for children. They are sociable dogs and they generally get on well with other animals. Born as hunting dogs, they are now mainly bred as pets.
Key facts about the American Cocker Spaniel
Life expectancy :
Temperament :Affectionate Playful Intelligent Hunter
Origins and history
The American Cocker Spaniel descends directly from the English Cocker Spaniel who was ‘readapted’ in America to suit their tastes and were made much more conspicuous than their British cousins. The first female Cocker Spaniel arrived in America in 1882. Gradually, the American Cocker Spaniel became a breed in its own right and was no longer a variety of the English Cocker Spaniel. The breed was officially recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1946. The World Canine Organisation officially recognised the breed in 1965.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 8 - Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs
Section 2 : Flushing Dogs
Physical characteristics of the American Cocker Spaniel
Female : Between 13 and 14 in
Male : Between 15 and 15 in
Female : Between 15 and 31 lb
Male : Between 15 and 31 lb
Their coat can be jet black or any other solid colour, ranging from light cream to dark red. Their coats can also be two-coloured and multi-coloured (black and red, black and white, brown and white etc.)
Type of coat
Their coat is mid-length.
Their coat is short on their heads, mid-length on their bodies, and the hair itself can be silky, flat or slightly wavy.
Their eyes are dark brown.
They resemble an English Cocker Spaniel that has been “pushed to the extreme”, with accentuated characteristics yet smaller in size. Their bodies are short and compact. Their heads are well proportioned and very chiselled, with a pronounced stop. Their muzzle is short and straight. They have big eyes and droopy ears. Their tails are in the middle of their backs and it wags when they’re active.
Good to know
They are one of the most common breeds in America, and they are easy to identify as they are truly spectacular dogs. Some even have coats that go all the way down to the ground, which is almost never seen in their European counterparts.
American Cocker Spaniels, (named after where they originate from), are particularly friendly dogs who are always happy and cheerful. They have a lovely backstory and origins, which makes them very good family dogs.
They are very playful dogs who like to let off steam through playing, which allow them to spend time with humans and therefore strengthen these relationships.
They are sweet and affectionate and know how to be calm, nevertheless some dogs are more nervous than others.
American Cocker Spaniels are mentally and physically gifted, although they don’t often make the most of these abilities, they are definitely there! They excel in multiple disciplines and are not just there to stand on the podium at beauty pageants!
Behind their elegant, almost precious look, they are actually great working dogs. They are very good at hunting although they are much more commonly treated as pets these days.
Fearful / wary of strangers
These dogs are never timid or aggressive without reason. If they’re properly socialised they will have no problem when faced with strangers. The problem is that they will not be phased by potentially malicious intruders.
Although American Cocker Spaniels are good hunters, they are still real pet dogs in the sense that a lack of human interaction can make them unhappy.
Behaviour of the American Cocker Spaniel
The American Cocker Spaniel does not like it when their master is not present. They are at their happiest when all of members of their social group are present.
Easy to train / obedience
They have a docile nature and therefore you must make the most of when the puppy first arrives home, by starting training early and setting clear rules and limits.
They are rather sensitive dogs and don’t respond well to any form of brutality and can quickly become stubborn and difficult if they sense any type of violence, whether physical or psychological.
Nervous dogs can bark quite frequently, particularly those that are not used to being left alone or those that didn’t hear lots of different noises during their early development.
Tendency to run away
These dogs can run away if they’re following a trail, but given their dependence and strong attachment to their social group, they usually return quickly.