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Cocker Spaniel Dog Breeds


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Height at the withers: Males 39 – 41 cm, Females 38 – 38 cm

Average Weight: Males 13 – 14.5 kg, Females 13 – 14.5 kg

One thing about Cocker Spaniels that is so endearing to many is their happy and kind personalities, always ready to wag their tail and ultra-eager to please. They are sturdy, compact looking little dogs that are never happier than when they are being kept busy. There is a distinct difference in the appearance of a working Cocker Spaniel and a Show Cocker with working dogs being lighter, they have finer coats and far less feathering than show dogs.

Cocker Spaniels have charmingly square muzzles with well-developed skulls which are nicely proportioned, giving them their unique and endearing looks. Their eyes are typically dark or brown in colour and nicely rounded, not protruded at all. Dogs with liver or liver roan coats as well as liver and white dogs have hazel coloured eyes that blend in well with their colouring which is totally acceptable as a breed standard. Cockers are considered to have an intelligent look in their eyes, gentle yet always very alert.

Ears are long and lobular, always lying close to a dog’s head. A Cocker’s jaw is strong with a perfect bite, a physical trait these dogs needed when carrying and retrieving game. Cockers, as previously mentioned are well-proportioned, compact little dogs with strong legs and nicely formed toplines that slope gently from the wither to the tail.

Chests are well developed being neither too narrow or too wide. Their hindquarters are nicely rounded and muscular. They have very cat-like feet being well padded. Cockers always carry their tails level to their bodies. One of their endearing traits is the eagerness with which they are willing to wag their tails not only when happy, but when they are tracking down a scent too.

Under their breed standard, Cocker Spaniels should have “flat, silky coats to the touch that should never be wiry or wavy, nor should their coat be too curly or profuse” and their front and back legs as well as their bodies should be well-feathered. Some Cockers have a slight wave in their coats and although very rare, dogs can have very curly coats too which is thought to be a throwback to their water spaniel lineage.

Show Cockers boast lovely flat and silky coats with lots of feathering on legs and trim. One of the most attractive physical traits the Cocker Spaniel boasts, is their amazing variety of acceptable colours under the Kennel Club Breed Standard being as follows:

  • Black
  • Black & Tan
  • Black & White
  • Black & White Ticked
  • Black White & Tan
  • Blue Roan
  • Blue Roan & Tan
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate & Tan
  • Chocolate & White
  • Chocolate Roan
  • Chocolate Roan & Tan
  • Chocolate White & Tan
  • Golden
  • Lemon & White
  • Lemon Roan
  • Liver
  • Liver & White
  • Liver & White Ticked
  • Liver Roan
  • Liver Roan & Tan
  • Liver White & Tan
  • Orange & White
  • Orange & White Ticked
  • Orange Roan
  • Red

It is worth noting that sable coloured Cocker Spaniels cannot be registered with the Kennel Club.

Dogs with solid colours can have white marks on their chests which can be varying in size and when puppies with solid colours are first born, they can have white marks around the tip of their muzzles and/or toes which usually start disappearing once they start growing often vanishing altogether. Black Cockers can have varying shades of black, but the genetically pure black Cocker Spaniels have coats that are typically raven black


Cockers move with true drive and they cover a lot of ground always looking keen and alert when they do.


The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from a Cocker Spaniel’s breed standard. The more exaggerated a trait is, the more it is regarded as being a fault because it could affect the overall wellbeing and health of a dog as well as their ability to work.

Male Cockers should also have two normal testicles fully descended in their scrotums.

It is also worth noting that the Kennel Club offers guidelines for the size and weight of a Cocker Spaniel. As such, some Cockers may be a little larger or smaller and they can also weigh a little less or a bit more than stated in their KC breed standard.

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