American Cocker Spaniel

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 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 about 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 their 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 Height


13.5-15.5 in (34-40 cm)

American Cocker Spaniel Weight


20-30 lb (9-14 kg)

American Cocker Spaniel Origin



American Cocker Spaniel Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy:

10-14 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

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

FCI standard

This breed has a standard in place by the biggest cynology union in the world. The Federation Cynologique Internationale or the FCI has 98 member states that agreed upon and adapted the original American Cocker Spaniel standard. This standard describes these dogs as being the smallest member of the sporting group. They have a sturdy, compact body that is in perfect balance.

The FCI placed these dogs in Group 8 (Retrievers, Flushing Dogs, Water Dogs), Section 2 (Flushing Dogs). The American Cocker Spaniel isn’t required to undergo a working trial.

This standard describes a required size for this breed and it is 14,5 - 15,5 in (37 - 40 cm) for male dogs and 13,5 - 14,5 in (34 - 37 cm) for the female dogs.

This breed was registered by the DCI on the 1st of January 1965.

AKC standard

The American Cocker Spaniel is a breed that was developed in its modern version in the United States of America so it is not a surprise that they are registered and accepted by the governing American cynology association - the American Kennel Club. This breed is registered under the name “Cocker Spaniel” and its cousin is registered by the name “English Cocker Spaniel”.

The AKC has a standard in place for this breed and it describes them as being capable of impressive speed and should be keen and marry. The required size was defined by this association and is 14,5 - 15,5 in (37 - 40 cm) for male Cockers and 13,5 - 14,5 in (34 - 37 cm) for females.

They have been registered by the AKC in 1878.

american cocker running

American Cocker Spaniel breeders

Before you start searching for American Cocker Spaniel breeders, make sure you made an informed decision about this breed an whether or not it is a good fit your you and/or your family. When buying this breed it is extremely important that you find a good and reputable breeder that is 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.


World Dog Finder team