American Cocker Spaniel

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American Cocker Spaniel

Canis lupus

Last updated: June 27, 2022
Verified by: IMP
Image Credit lkoimages/

Merry, outgoing, and eager to please!

American Cocker Spaniel Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

American Cocker Spaniel Conservation Status

American Cocker Spaniel Locations

American Cocker Spaniel Locations

American Cocker Spaniel Facts

Fun Fact
Merry, outgoing, and eager to please!
Distinctive Feature
Long, dropped ears and feathered feet
Friendly, happy and enthusiastic
Average Litter Size
Gun Dog
Common Name
American Cocker Spaniel
Merry, outgoing, and eager to please!

American Cocker Spaniel Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Grey
  • Fawn
  • Red
  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
Skin Type

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American Cocker Spaniel as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
25-30 lbs
Female weight
20-25 lbs

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View all of the American Cocker Spaniel images!

American Cocker Spaniels are very happy and affectionate dogs that make an excellent family pet.

They are the smallest sporting dog that has gained recognition by the American Kennel Club. These dogs feature a rounded skull, squared lips, and long, low ears. The breed is separated into three different groups based on their coats including black or black and tan, solid colors (aside from black), and parti-color. They have an average life expectancy of between 10 and 14 years.

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Owning an American Cocker Spaniel: 3 Pros and Cons

Pros! Cons!
Affectionate: These dogs are very loving and affectionate to their family members. Require frequent grooming: The coat of an American Cocker Spaniel will get tangled and matted if it is not brushed every day.
Easy to train: This breed aims to please its owners, which makes them relatively easy to train. Some bark a lot: Some American Cocker Spaniels may bark a lot.
Playful: American Cocker Spaniels can be very playful. Health concerns: When not purchased from a reputable breeder, these dogs can have a lot of potential health concerns.
american cocker spaniel dog running outdoors


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American Cocker Spaniel Size and Weight

These are small to medium breed dogs. They are actually the smallest sporting dog. Males are between 14.5 and 15.5 inches tall and typically weigh between 25 and 30 pounds. Females are just a little smaller standing between 13.5 and 14.5 inches tall and weighing between 20 and 25 pounds. Puppies typically weigh only 2 pounds when they are one month old. At four months, puppies weigh around 17 pounds. When the puppies are 12 months, they will reach their maximum height, and when they are 24 months, they will reach their full weight potential.

Height (Male) 14.5 inches to 15.5 inches
Height (Female) 13.5 inches to 14.5 inches
Weight (Male) 25 pounds to 30 pounds
Weight (Female) 20 pounds to 25 pounds

American Cocker Spaniel Common Health Issues

If you’re planning to adopt one of these dogs, it is important to be aware of some of the common health issues faced by this breed. While these health issues are not present in all dogs, knowing what to look for can help make sure you address any potential issues with your veterinarian right away.

Some of these dogs develop eye disorders as they age. These can include cataracts between the ages of 1 and 5, progressive retinal atrophy between the ages of 3 and 6, and glaucoma between the ages of 5 and 8. All three of these disorders may lead to blindness.

These dogs are also very prone to ear infections. They have a very narrow and long earn canal that can create a welcoming place for parasites and fungi, which can lead to ear infections.

Health and Entertainment for your American Cocker Spaniel

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Over 11% of these dogs also develop a luxating patella. This is a loose knee joint that can be very uncomfortable and may make it painful or difficult for the dog to walk. Often surgery is required to address this issue.

To review, some common health issues that these dogs face include:

  • Cataracts
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Glaucoma
  • Ear infections
  • Luxating patella

American Cocker Spaniel Temperament and Behavior

These dogs have a very happy and cheerful personality. This breed also aims to please its owners, which can make them easier to train than other dog breeds. Since they were bred to be sporting dogs, they also can possess very inquisitive behaviors and enjoy accompanying their family on walks and trips. Some of these dogs may bark frequently, while others have more submissive personality traits.

How to Take Care of an American Cocker Spaniel

Each dog breed is unique, so there will be special considerations to keep in mind as you prepare a care plan for your dog. Keep their temperament, dietary needs, grooming needs, common health issues, and other important information in mind as you plan to care for your dog.

The Best Dog Food for American Cocker Spaniels

Always select high-quality food for puppies and adults. Many of these dogs do well with chicken and rice-based food, but since each dog has specific needs and dietary concerns, consult with your veterinarian to select the ideal food for your dog. It is important not to overfeed these dogs as it can lead to obesity.

Puppies have a smaller stomach than adult dogs. This means they will require smaller more frequent meals throughout the day. eight-week-old puppies need to be fed four times a day. Once the puppies reach the age of four months, three feedings a day should be sufficient. And, once the puppies are eight months old, two feedings each day is fine.

With their elevated risk of glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal atrophy, plus patellar luxation, owners should find their American Cocker Spaniels a dog food tailored to the breed’s health needs.

A-Z Animals thinks American Cocker Spaniels will have a great shot at long-lasting health on Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Adult, Small Paws for Small Breed Dogs.

This small breed formula contains calcium that supports cartilage to keep joints in working order. The taurine, riboflavin, and vitamin A all help promote healthy, clear eyes.

Click below to try out Hill’s Science Diet Small Paws for yourself, available on amazon.


Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food, Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe, 15.5 lb. Bag

  • An adult dog food made with highly digestible ingredients that are easy on your small dog’s stomach
  • Nourishing omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin E help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Provides high quality protein to maintain lean muscle in small breed dogs
  • Uses an antioxidant blend specifically for lifelong immune support in toy and miniature dogs
  • Made with natural ingredients

American Cocker Spaniel Maintenance and Grooming

These are not low-maintenance dogs. They will need to be brushed each day to prevent their hair from getting matted or too tangled. Using a medium-spaced professional comb to brush through their hair and effectively remove knots. You may also want to get a slicker brush.

When you give your dog a bath, be sure to thoroughly rinse the shampoo residue away to prevent it from irritating their skin. Dry their coat with a warm, but not hot, blow-dryer. You’ll also want to be sure to properly clean and dry their ear canals. Since these dogs have such high grooming needs, many individuals opt to schedule regular appointments with a professional groomer.

American Cocker Spaniel Training

These dogs aim to please, which can make them easier to train than many other dog breeds. Most times they respond well to more gentle corrections and when they can tell that their owner is not pleased by their actions. They also enjoy agility and obedience competitions. Since they are so easy to train and have such an amiable personality, they also make good therapy dogs.

American Cocker Spaniel Exercise

These dogs are sporting dogs and need regular exercise to keep their muscles tones. They are not a very high energy dog, so they don’t need to run off energy, but they should still be given daily opportunities to play with their owners or go on a walk with them.

American Cocker Spaniel Puppies

If you’re bringing home a new puppy, be sure to puppy-proof your home first. Make sure there is mothering that the puppy could get into that could harm him or her. Also, be sure to move any belongings that you wouldn’t want to be damaged by a playful new pup.

Consider crate training your new puppy. Crate training can help your puppy see their crate as a safe place and help them feel more secure when they are left alone. Try developing a routine with your dog and getting them used to go into their crate after eating or playing.

Begin the process of training and potty training your puppy right away as well. This will help him learn expectations and begin responding to cues and commands. Socializing your puppy from a young age is also important to encourage proper interaction with children, adults, and other dogs in the future.

red and white american cocker spaniel puppy

American Cocker Spaniels and Children

These dogs make excellent family dogs. The dogs’ gentle temperament makes them a good choice for families with children. However, you’ll want to make sure that children are taught how to appropriately interact with a dog and how to be gentle to avoid injuring the dog. These dogs are also pretty sensitive dogs, so children, especially younger children, should always be closely supervised when they are with these dogs.

Dogs similar to American Cocker Spaniel

Three dog breeds that are similar to these dogs are English Springer Spaniels, American Water Spaniels, and Field Spaniels.

  • English Springer Spaniel: American Cocker Spaniels and English Springer Spaniels are both very intelligent and playful gun dogs. English Springer Spaniels are larger than American Cocker Spaniels. English Spring Spaniels weigh around 50 pounds, while American Cocker Spaniels weigh an average of 22 pounds.
  • American Water Spaniel: Both American Water Spaniels and American Cocker Spaniels are easy to train and affectionate. American Cocker Spaniels, however, are more intelligent and sensitive than American Water Spaniels.
  • Field Spaniel: Field Spaniels and American Cocker Spaniels are friendly and affectionate dogs that adapt easily to different situations. Field Spaniels have a dense and waterproof coat that is very easy to groom, whereas American Cocker Spaniels have a feathered coat that requires regular grooming by a professional.

American Cocker Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel

American Cocker Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels both have shared ancestors. Smaller hunting dogs developed into Cocker Spaniels that were experts at flushing birds out from where they were hiding. Starting in the mid-1800s, Cocker Spaniels were brought to the United States. American breeders aimed to create Cockers with solid colors like black or tan. British breeders aimed to create roan or parti-colored Cocker Spaniels. American Cocker Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels are both recognized by the American Kennel Club as two distinct breeds.

English Cocker Spaniels are a bit taller than American Cocker Spaniels and have a bit more of a square-shaped build. The tan, black, brown, or white coat of an American Cocker Spaniel is typically longer than the coat of an English Cocker Spaniel.

Famous American Cocker Spaniels

These dogs are the 30th most popular dog breed, so it shouldn’t be surprising that many are owned by celebrities. Here are a few famous ones:

  • Einstein was George Clooney’s dog.
  • Solomon was Oprah Winfrey’s dog.
  • Arthur was Elton John’s dog.
  • Lady, the animated dog in Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, is an American Cocker Spaniel.

If you’re looking for the perfect name for your new dog, look for some inspiration in the list below:

  • Archie
  • Dexter
  • Leo
  • Murphy
  • Chester
  • Cassie
  • Annie
  • Lexie
  • Bella
  • Phoebe

Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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American Cocker Spaniel FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are American Cocker Spaniels herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

American Cocker Spaniels are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do American Cocker Spaniels belong to?

American Cocker Spaniels belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do American Cocker Spaniels belong to?

American Cocker Spaniels belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to American Cocker Spaniels belong to?

American Cocker Spaniels belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do American Cocker Spaniels belong to?

American Cocker Spaniels belong to the family Canidae.

What order do American Cocker Spaniels belong to?

American Cocker Spaniels belong to the order Carnivora.

What type of covering do American Cocker Spaniels have?

American Cocker Spaniels are covered in Hair.

What genus do American Cocker Spaniels belong to?

American Cocker Spaniels belong to the genus Canis.

What are some distinguishing features of American Cocker Spaniels?

American Cocker Spaniels have long, dropped ears and feathered feet.

How many babies do American Cocker Spaniels have?

The average number of babies an American Cocker Spaniel has is 4.

What is an interesting fact about American Cocker Spaniels?

American Cocker Spaniels are merry, outgoing, and eager to please!

How much does American Cocker Spaniel cost to own?

The cost to purchase an American Cocker Spaniel puppy from a breeder can vary, but you should expect to spend at least $800 and possibly as much as about $1,500. Adopting an American Cocker Spaniel from a rescue organization will cost significantly less and should be a few hundred dollars.

In addition to the price you’ll pay for the puppy, don’t forget about the other costs associated with owning a dog, such as food, veterinary care, grooming, and supplies. Your first year owning the dog will likely be the most expensive, and you should budget between $1,000 and $1,500. For the subsequent years, budget between $500 and $1,000 to cover expenses.

Are Cocker Spaniels good family pets?

Yes, American Cocker Spaniels can make an amazing family dog. They are very gentle and happy dogs who enjoy the company of children. They also can be playful and a good companion for a child.

What is the life expectancy of an American Cocker Spaniel?

The average life expectancy of an American Cocker Spaniel is between 10 and 14 years.

What is the difference between the American Cocker Spaniel vs English cocker spaniel?

While English Cocker Spaniels and American Cocker Spaniels look very similar, there are a few key differences between the breeds. English Cocker Spaniels are a bit taller than American Cocker Spaniels and typically have a roan-colored coat compared to the solid colors, such as tan, brown, black, or white, typically seen on an American Cocker Spaniels. The coat on an American Cocker Spaniel is generally longer than that of an English Cocker Spaniel.

Do American Cocker Spaniels bark a lot?

Some American Cocker Spaniels may bark quite a bit. Others are very submissive and rarely bark.

What is the scientific name for the American Cocker Spaniel?

The scientific name for the American Cocker Spaniel is Canis lupus.

  1. American Kennel Club, Available here:
  2. Wikipedia, Available here:
  3. Petfinder, Available here:
  4. Dogtime, Available here:
  5. Cuttin Blue Farms, Available here:
  6. Embora Pets, Available here:
  7. The Nest, Available here:
  8. About Cocker Spaniels, Available here:
  9. Dogell, Available here:
  10. Your Pure Bred Puppy, Available here:

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