The Cocker Spaniel is part of the Gundog group who are often particularly affectionate dogs, having originally been bred to be co-operative and respond to human commands. First recognised as a distinct breed by the Kennel Club in 1893, it’s name is derived from it’s original function to hunt woodcock.
Today Cocker spaniels make great family pets as they are known for their happy temperament, and they are the third most popular pedigree breed registered with the Kennel Club, with over 23,000 puppies registered annually.
When searching for the perfect puppy, it is worth noting that two distinct strains for this breed exist – the ‘show’ type, and the ‘working’ type. They differ in both appearance and temperament, and it is important to match the characteristics with your requirements.
The Show Type
Appearance - Domed head with long, low set ears. Compact size with lots of feathering.
Bred to conform to the kennel club breed standard, these are the dogs you will see in the show ring. They are energetic and happy to go for long country walks but will likely be easier to tire out than the working type.
The Working Type
Appearance - Flatter head with shorter, higher set ears. Generally less feathering than show type and often larger in size.
Generally bred as working gundogs, capable of staying out all day in the shooting field, they are a high energy breed. They are becoming increasingly popular in active pet homes and you can see many of them participating in sports like agility and flyball. They need an outlet for their energy and like have a 'job' to do to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
Regardless of the type, most cocker spaniels have friendly, affectionate, happy natures, and make wonderful family pets due to their sociable natures and eagerness to be involved in all family activities. Good temperaments depend on good breeding practices so always buy a puppy from an experienced breeder - you can search on our website to find members of our club who are also breeders.