Basics of Dog Breed: American Cocker Spaniel

Posted on December 03 2018

Basics of Dog Breed: American Cocker Spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel is a robust, solid and compact dog. Harmoniously built and balanced as a whole, it is the smallest of the hunting dogs. He is appreciated at work for his speed and endurance. The American Cocker Spaniel has a clear pace and a characteristic expression of cheerfulness.

Race history

The race of the American Cocker Spaniel is from that of the English Cocker . Its development began in 1881 with the arrival of a pregnant Cocker female in the United States. It is from the puppies of its range that the breed was started. Little by little, she distinguished herself from the English Cocker and went from a simple variety to a full-fledged breed. The American Cocker Spaniel was quickly met with success in the United States but was imported into France until 1950 the breed was recognized definitively by the International Kennel Federation on 1 st January 1965.

Physical characteristics

Its hair:  flat to slightly wavy, without being too abundant, silky texture. Short and thin on the head, medium length all over the body, associated with undercoat. The set gives it a good protection. The limbs, ears, abdomen and chest are generously fringed.
Its color:  jet black (with possibly fire ends), unicoloured (another solid color: from the lightest cream color to the darkest red, with fire ends), multicolored (colors, including white, well distributed).
Its head : finely chiseled, with pure lines, presenting an aspect of intelligence, awakening and sweetness. The skull is rounded without exaggeration, eyebrows well drawn, stop pronounced, nostrils well developed, muzzle wide and high, square jaws.
Its ears:  attached, at most, at the level of the lower part of the eye. Fine, long and well trimmed with fringes.
Its eyes are  slightly almond-shaped (the eyeball is round and occupies the orbit well), looking straight ahead and dark in color.
Its body : length (from the tip of the sternum to the tip of the buttock) slightly greater than the height of the withers. Neither long nor low on legs. The back is strong, the chest up and down at least to the elbows, the ribs are well bent.
Its tail:  wriggling when the dog is active. Never erect, or too low.

Behavior with others

The American Cocker Spaniel is not only an excellent hunting dog , but it is also the ideal pet dog for the whole family . He gets along well with children and his peers, is very attached to his master and is often friendly with everyone . His sweetness and his joie de vivre are communicative. Balanced, happy and active, he is never afraid. The American Cocker Spaniel is also a show dog and agility.


Education is  not a major problem . Her attachment to her master, her  intelligence  and her sweetness make her a lot easier. Just make sure it's both firm and soft. His socialization must be early and of quality.

Living conditions

The American Cocker Spaniel will always prefer the freedom of the big spaces, but it adapts perfectly to the life of flat as long as it can be spent sufficiently. He needs a master available and preferably, to enjoy a large fenced garden.


Predispositions to certain diseases are present in the race of the American Cocker Spaniel. These include ocular conditions (ectropion, retinal atrophy), ear infections , hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells), hip dysplasia , gum tumor , cardiac malformation risk  (persistence of the arterial duct) and incomplete ossification of the humeral condyle.

Maintenance and hygiene

The American Cocker Spaniel remains subject to moulting and moderate hair loss . It requires a lot of maintenance work , with frequent brushing and regular grooming. Its long, hanging ears should be inspected systematically to avoid debris deposits and infections

The brush must be frequent  (2 to 3 times per week)  and neat. It is advisable to have it groomed by a professional every 3 months.

Physical activity

He  needs to stay active . It is recommended to make him 2 good daily walks and offer him exercise. He is particularly good at agility tests.

Price and budget

The purchase price of an American Cocker Spaniel is between 700 € and 900 €.

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