Back to top

English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed

Aliases: Cocker Spaniel, Cocker, Merry Cocker

Life Span: 12-15 years. This breed is very healthy. Most Cocker Spaniels die of old age (40%) and cancer in old age (22%).
Litter Size: 1-4 puppies.
Group: Gun Dog/ AKC Sporting
Color: There are various colors of Cocker Spaniel. Many hunters have favored white cocker spaniels because they are easier to see in the field. However, white spaniels are not used in the show ring. There are also parti-colors, which are either ticked or roaned. These are white with black, liver, or red.
Hair Length: Medium, Short
Size: Medium
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Male Height: 15-17 inches
Male Weight: 28-34 pounds
Female Height: 14-16 inches
Female Weight: 26-32 pounds
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - High Risk

The English Cocker Spaniel ranks #26 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. There is a high risk of obtaining a dog that will develop thyroid disease. For this reason you should make sure you, or your breeder, are testing all dogs before breeding.  It may even be a good idea to test dogs that you don't plan on breeding so that any instance of disease can be traced back to breeding pairs and eliminated.

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #26  562  11.7%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

Overall, Cocker Spaniels are a very healthy breed of dog.

Cocker Spaniels are prone to ear infections, and should be routinely checked for this problem. Once infections are detected, simple drops from the veterinarian should do the trick but left untreated, they can cause deafness.

They can also develop skin allergies, which will require special treatment and shampoos. They also often develop cataracts in their old age.