American Cocker Spaniel

Sporting Group

Three American Cocker Spaniel dogs posing indoors on a white background

Height at Shoulders

Females 13-15 in, Males 14-16 in

Weight

Females 20-25 lbs, Males 25-30 lbs

Life Expectancy

10-14 yrs

History

The American Cocker Spaniel's history starts in the United Kingdom during the 19th century. During this time, spaniels were divided by type, not breed, and it was common for a large springer spaniel and a small "cocking" spaniel to be born to the same litter. The smaller cocking spaniels were used to hunt Eurasian woodcock, hence the name. Spaniels were not separated by breed until the mid-19th century. The English Cocker Spaniel was eventually brought to the United States where it was bred to a slightly different standard, tailoring it to hunt American woodcock. This became the American Cocker Spaniel, where the UK breed is known as the English Cocker Spaniel.

Breed Characteristics

While not all American Cocker Spaniels will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★★☆☆

★★★★☆

★★★☆☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆

★★★★★

★☆

★★

★☆

Intelligence

★★★★☆


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★☆☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★☆


Exercise Needs

★★★☆☆


Energy Level

★☆


Sensitivity

★★★★★


Noise Level

★☆


Prey Drive

★★


Shedding

★☆

Common Traits

Happy, playful, and affectionate

Big-time chasers that will go after anything that moves

Eager to please and enjoy the company of their family

Tend to be sensitive and don't respond well to harsh training or scolding

Many display "submissive urination" (peeing when excited) and can be generally nervous