Cocker Spaniel Overview

Profile of the American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel

Did you know there are two different distinct breeds of Cocker Spaniels? While some of their appearance is similar, the American and English Cocker Spaniels differ in some ways. We will discuss the two breeds and the similarities as well as the differences among both of the breed profiles.

Profile of the English Cocker Spaniel

First we will talk about the English Cocker Spaniel breed profile. The following characteristics describe this breed:

  • Height: Males are 15-17 inches and females are 14-16 inches
  • Weight: Males are 28-34 pounds and female are 26-32 pounds
  • Build: Medium compact dog with arched head. Muzzle is the same length as the head with a defined stop. From the side, the head appears to be flattened. Eyes are either brown or hazel color. Long low set ears that have a feathered appearance. Coat is smooth and long with some feathering.
  • Coloring: Solid colors such as black, liver or red. Parti coloring, sometimes called roan are red, liver or black parti that is white mixed with solid color ticking.
  • Temperament: These dogs are playful and gentle. Great with children and are average barkers who listen well to owners when they are firm. Bred for either show or field (hunting) and both need plenty of exercise to keep from developing behavior problems. Dogs given firm boundaries and taken on daily walks where they are required to heel and obey often have the best behavior.

Profile of the American Cocker Spaniel

The second Cocker Spaniel breed is the American Cocker Spaniel. These dogs are great for a family as well. These are the following attributes of the American Cocker Spaniel:

  • Height: Males are 15 ½” and females are 14 ½”
  • Weight: Both males and females range between 15-30 pounds
  • Build: Medium size sturdy dog. The head is rounded with a pronounced stop. Muzzle is broad and they have deep square jaws. Eyes are dark and very round with a slight almond shaped rim. Long low set and well feathered ears. Coat is full and feathered down the legs.
  • Coloring: Any solid color as well as black with tan points, merle, solid with tan points and parti colored.
  • Temperament: These dogs are bold and ready to work. Eager to have a job and to please their owners. Respectful of their owners but need firmness and direction to avoid dominance by the animal. Daily exercise is strongly encouraged to prevent behavior problems. Proper socialization is needed at a young age to avoid shyness.

Differences Between the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel

There are a few differences in the dog’s appearance. While their temperaments are generally similar, their appearance is a bit different. For example, the English Cocker Spaniels do not have as much feathering on the ears and the bottom part of their coat. English Cocker Spaniels have a longer snout and the eyes are set a bit further back than the American. The American Cocker Spaniels have eyes that look more straight ahead, the lips hang a bit more loosely and the snout is shorter. The American Cocker Spaniels also have a more dome shaped head and more well defined eyebrows. The American Cocker Spaniel has a much more profuse coat than the English Cocker Spaniel. Depending on your personal preference for appearance, you can choose a dog that both fits your desire for temperament and looks. Either way, both English Cocker Spaniels and American Cocker Spaniels can make great pets.

What’s your favorite type of Cocker Spaniel? Tell us if you own an American Cocker Spaniel or an English Cocker Spaniel (or perhaps a mixed breed – which can be adorable, too!)


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