brown cocker spaniel in field

The Cocker Spaniel: thinking about getting a Cocker Spaniel? reading-time-icon 2 min read

Cocker Spaniels have been beloved household pets for ages and with their loving and faithful temperament, it’s easy to see why.

They’re usually good with other dogs and children, making them suitable for active families who want their dog to join them on all sorts of outdoor adventures!

Place of origin: United Kingdom, although it’s believed the Spaniel family originated in Spain

How big do Cocker Spaniels get? 36 – 43cm

How heavy are Cocker Spaniels? 12 – 16kg

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Colour: Black, Black and Tan, Liver Roan, Black and White, Dark Blue Roan, Orange and White, Tan


Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.


How much exercise does a Cocker Spaniel need?

Cocker Spaniels, working (shorthaired) Cocker Spaniels in particular, need lots of exercise. They’re naturally energetic dogs that can become bored if not suitably exercised.

If you and your family are keen on outdoor adventures and want your furry friend to come along, a Cocker Spaniel may be the breed for you. They’ll happily go along on hikes and jogs. Cocker spaniels are also strong swimmers and have a natural inclination to jump in rivers, lakes or ponds – so be prepared to get wet!

Training: how to train a Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are highly intelligent. They’re willing to learn, eager to please and easy to be trained. Their curious, inquisitive nature means they need plenty of mental stimulation, which you can add into their daily life using challenges and games.

Cocker Spaniels are happiest when they’re given clear boundaries and rules, and when they know what’s expected of them. They’re fast learners and owners tend to find accidents in the home to be very rare.

longhaired cocker spaniel sitting by water

Grooming: do Cocker Spaniels shed?

The length of their coats (particularly Show Cocker Spaniels) coupled with their adventurous nature and enthusiasm for swimming makes Cocker Spaniels quite high maintenance when it comes to grooming. Owners will need to brush their coat daily – briefly, with a thorough brush once per week. You can get them used to this by starting the process when they’re young and working it into their daily routine.

You’ll also need to bathe your Cocker Spaniel regularly, especially after they’ve been swimming. Remember to use the correct bath products on your dog. Your vet can advise further.

Complete your Cocker Spaniel’s grooming routine with regular tooth brushingnail clips and ear checks – pay close attention to the latter as their long, floppy ears make Cocker Spaniels susceptible to infection.

Cocker Spaniel temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Thriving on human company, Cockers love cuddles and are never happier than when they’re around their owners. They are high-energy dogs that rarely bark, making them well suited to a spacious environment, preferably with a garden.

They typically love children and other pets but can sometimes get overexcited, so take care around small children or smaller pets.

If you and your family are seeking a fun-loving and active companion and you have lots of space readily available, a Cocker Spaniel may be the breed for you!

Cost of owning a Cocker Spaniel

When you’re considering the lifetime cost of owning a Cocker Spaniel, remember to take into account:

As a rough guide, allow between £80 and £90 a month for the ongoing costs of owning a Cocker Spaniel.

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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