American Cocker Spaniel
American Cocker Spaniel 0
American Cocker Spaniel 1
American Cocker Spaniel 0
American Cocker Spaniel 1

American Cocker Spaniel

Last updated: Aug 31 2023

The American Cocker Spaniel was, until recently, considered to be the same breed as their English cousin, the English Cocker Spaniel. These two distinct breeds started to diverge about a century ago, and the American version of the Cocker Spaniel developed into much smaller and more compact dogs.

The American Cocker was bred primarily to fill the role of a pet. The focus was on their looks and behavior in the sense that their hunting abilities were “bred out” of the breed. They are a gentle and happy breed that excels at the task it was bred for. The sad problem is that some of the bloodlines have a problem because of irresponsible breeding.

Breeders wanted to produce a large number of dogs because of the high demand in the US, and they haven’t taken proper care of the mental characteristics of the new dogs. These newly produced dogs have the same appearance as the rest of the American Cockers but have significant behavioral problems.

The American Cocker can clearly be distinguished from the English by the shape of its head, which is much more domed, and its eyes are more prominent. These dogs are really sensitive and can easily get stressed in an unknown environment. In these kinds of situations, they might resort to biting as a first response. It is very important to socialize your American Cocker as soon as possible.

American Cocker Spaniel


13.5-15.5 in (34-40 cm)

American Cocker Spaniel


20-30 lb (9-14 kg)

American Cocker Spaniel



American Cocker Spaniel

Life Expectancy:

10-14 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health


American Cocker Spaniels should be brushed daily to keep their coat healthy and in good shape. Grooming is extremely important for these dogs. Regular brushing is required to keep the coat looking good and to keep the hair under control.

Also, regular brushing will prevent the forming of tangles and mats that can be painful for your dog. Many owners decide to let professionals do the job, but you must know that you could easily spend a lot of money on grooming sessions for your dog.

American Cocker Spaniel coat colors:

  • Black/black and tan
  • Any solid color other than black (from dark cream to dark red)
  • Part color

american cocker running

Regular Care

Regularly check their ears for any sign of redness or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. You can wipe their ears with a cotton ball dipped into an ear cleaner. The key for your dog to get used to everything mentioned above is to start early with them. Make a positive experience for the dog, full of praises and rewards, and you can be sure that your dog will enjoy all these things when they grow up.

The key for your dog to get used to everything mentioned above is to start early with them. Make a positive experience for the dog, full of praises and rewards, and you can be sure your dog will enjoy all these things when they grow up.

American Cocker Spaniels are known as dogs that don’t cooperate during grooming sessions, so it is extremely important to expose your dog to those things from an early age to get used to them.


American Cocker Spaniels are not highly active dogs, and they only require a small number of activities to be happy and healthy. Retrieving balls or walking will do the trick and keep this dog healthy. If you have another dog in the house, Cocker will be more than happy and will enjoy playing with him.

American Cocker Spaniel


Training such an intelligent dog breed is essential for preventing the development of bad behavioral traits. Start training them as soon as they arrive at your house, and if you do not have time to work with such an active breed, maybe it is not the best choice for you. 

If you are interested in properly training your American Cocker Spaniel and are unsure where to start, you can always ask professionals for help. Many puppy training programs and doggy schools can significantly help you train an active shepherding breed.

Most dog breeds do not take harsh training methods and techniques well, and American Cocker Spaniel is one of them. You should make training sessions exciting, and you will start noticing great results in a matter of hours.


Like any other dog breed, the American Cocker Spaniel should start the socialization process immediately. Dogs that are not well socialized are prone to behavioral problems and might react badly to situations they are not familiar with. 

There are many ways you can socialize your American Cocker Spaniel, and the most important thing to do is to get your dog familiar with the different situations they can find themselves in. Take your dog to dog parks where they can meet other dogs and people.

They can learn to react accordingly and understand that they don’t need to be scared of strangers and other dogs.

American Cocker Spaniel


American Cocker Spaniels are excellent family dogs that will get along with every family member, including children. Note that kids need to be taught how to properly play and interact with a dog so Cocker can enjoy their company. If they are raised together from an early age, they will enjoy spending time together.

Other animals

American Cocker Spaniels get along with other dogs and animals, including cats and smaller animals.

Health problems

The American Cocker Spaniel is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 10-14 years. 

When getting any breed, the breeder must show you the health tests they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take.

Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to ensure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems.

Health problems associated with this breed are;

  • Hypothyroidism - A health problem caused by the hyperproduction of hormones from the thyroid gland.
  • Epilepsy - Brain problem causing mild to severe seizures.
  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Allergies - these dogs are prone to have allergic reactions to specific foods, products, or medications.
  • Patellar luxation
  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia - AIHA

American Cocker Spaniel breeders

Before you start searching for American Cocker Spaniel breeders, make sure you made an informed decision about this breed and whether or not it is a good fit your you and/or your family. When buying this breed you must find a good and reputable breeder taking care of their dog’s mental characteristics. Ask as many questions as possible about this breed and try and see the parents of the puppy you are interested in.

Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure you will get a healthy puppy. If you cannot buy a dog, we advise you to search for local animal shelters because there is a chance you can find an American Cocker Spaniel dog in it.


World Dog Finder team


Updated at31.08.2023.

Breed History

It is believed that these dogs originated in Spain. The word spaniel is translated to “Spanish dog.” The American version was derivated from the English version of the Cocker spaniel. It is not entirely clear how these dogs came to life but it is known that the English Cocker Spaniel was brought to America in the late 1800s. Because Americans preferred smaller dogs for hunting, a need arise to create a smaller version of English Cockers.

From the start, these two variants of Cockers were considered the same breed, but they were finally separated in 1935 by American Kennel Club. Cockers were extremely popular before they were divided but after the separations, these dogs gained even more popularity.