|Size:||Medium, 38cm – 42cm|
|Coat:||Needs daily grooming and regular trips to professional groomers|
|Exercise:||Up to an hour a day for adult dogs|
|Life span:||12+ years|
|Breed group:||Gundogs were bred to flush out, locate or retrieve game shot down by hunters. They are highly trainable, keen to please and have a balanced, pleasant temperament.|
A Cocker Spaniel’s temperament is lively, adaptable and friendly, and they can live very happily in all types of households.
Kind and gentle, they make excellent dogs for first-time owners. Originally bred as gundogs, Cocker Spaniels’ natural instincts to ‘work’ mean they’re intelligent, loyal and willing to please. They’re also sociable, quickly form strong bonds and enjoy being around other people and pets.
With a real love for food, and a tendency to form a close bond with the person who feeds them, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on a Cocker Spaniel’s weight. Vets recommend a nutritious, high-quality pet food diet. Stick to their food packaging guidelines when determining portion sizes, and keep your pet’s age, size and activity level in mind.
If your Cocker Spaniel is a working dog, ask your vet about an appropriate high-protein diet to ensure they’re getting the extra energy they need.
Vets recommend that Cocker Spaniels exercise for up to an hour a day. Clever and inquisitive, the best activities for this breed involve mental stimulation. They love interactive games like fetch, as well as walks with lots of smells to explore and they appreciate time to roam free. To make sure your pet is kept safe while off the leash, consider starting recall training from when they are six months old, along with other puppy training tips that will help encourage good behaviour.
For the first six months, Cocker Spaniel puppies should be exercised gently but after this period you can add brisk walks and longer playtimes to your daily routine. Start off slowly, introducing extra activity in small, manageable steps.
Cocker Spaniel training is highly enjoyable, as the breed is very willing to learn, and they respond well to obedience training and positive reinforcement. They can be sensitive to loud noises and heavy handling, but good socialisation from three months onwards will help to ensure they are used to unexpected events, such as busy environments and attention from young children.
A Cocker Spaniel’s coat is flat, silky and comes in a variety of colours, including chocolate, tan, black, and white. As they are a longhaired breed, regular grooming is part of life with a Cocker Spaniel. Gentle daily brushing from very young will help your pet to form positive associations with being groomed, and can also ensure they’re happy to be handled by professional groomers when necessary.
Learning how to groom a Cocker Spaniel at home can help to keep their coat clean, shiny and manageable. Daily grooming with a bristle brush can help to prevent tangles and matting of the long ‘feathered’ fur on their undersides. Cocker Spaniels are prone to ear infections, as their long, heavy ears can prevent air from properly circulating the ear canal. Use your grooming sessions to check your pet’s ears for signs of infection, such a strange smell or black or brown wax, as well as their body for any lumps or signs of parasites.
As gundogs, Cocker Spaniels are naturally drawn to water – and with water comes mud! Bath your pet as often as necessary, making sure to use an appropriate dog shampoo to help limit skin allergies. It’s also important to regularly brush your pet’s teeth, as this can help to prevent plaque and tartar from building up and will keep their gums healthy. Find out more dog health tips to help your pet stay in the best condition.