Breeding Cocker Spaniels [Facts]

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Cocker Spaniel is known for its friendliness.

To say the least, he’s cute and adorable.

However, they are not without flaws.

For one thing, they despise being left alone and require constant companionship.

Oh, and they also shed a lot!

The good news is that when it comes to spreading love and affection, these dogs are simply the best family pets.

The breed originated as a gun dog or a working dog, and it is thought to have been present for 500 years.

Breeding Cocker Spaniels
Breeding Cocker Spaniels

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Is it easy to breed cocker spaniels?

Cocker spaniels are bright, joyful, and gregarious dogs who prefer to be with other animals rather than be left alone.

These dogs are frequently seen with their tails wagging eagerly behind them.

Earning them a reputation as a generally happy and easy-going breed.

The History Of Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels, as we know them now, are thought to have originated in England.

They may have arrived in Britain during Caesar’s invasion.

It is said to have originated in Spain, based on their naming.

However, there is no conclusive proof of this.

As a result, the Cocker Spaniel thought to be one of two spaniel breeds:

  • The English Spaniel
  • The American Spaniel

Spaniels were originally hunting dogs, whilst Cockers were little play dogs.

Cocker Spaniel could be a cross between the two or a new breed of spaniel all together.

That is a question to which there is no final answer.

Ancestry of Cocker Spaniel

Years ago, cocker spaniels were classified into two types: land spaniels and water spaniels (now extinct).

The water spaniels were used to rescue birds that had been shot down and had fallen into water bodies.

The original spaniel, which lived about 500 years ago, were quite different from the ones we see now.

Cocker Spaniel as we know them now were only created in the mid-nineteenth century.

Cocker Spaniels were once thought to be a lineage of gun dogs, which meant they were sent into the woods to help chase wildlife towards their master’s gun.

Spaniels, their parent breed, are thought to have originated in Spain, but there is no clear proof.

Spaniel have two different origin theories: one claims they are of Roman-British heritage, while the other believes they have a long-lost relationship with the Chinese Pekinese dog.

With so many hypotheses circulating, it’s safe to conclude that the Cocker Spaniel’s origins are uncertain.

However, we do know that the parent breed Spaniel has spawned a slew of offspring, including Welsh Springer Spaniels, Sussex Spaniels, Devonshire Cockers, and a slew of other Cockers and Spaniels.

Variations in Breeding

While the Cocker Spaniel breed family includes many other similar dog breeds, there are two

recognized varieties: English and American Cocker Spaniels.

English Cocker Spaniel

The earliest gun dogs, English Cocker Spaniels, were used for hunting.

They are technically a variation of their American cousin because they were produced from the American Cocker Spaniel.

They were transported to England and have been there for so long that even members of the British royal family have them as pets (e.g. Kate Middleton and Prince William and their black Cocker named Lupo).

Cocker Spaniels in England are strong, medium-sized, and compact.

They shed a lot, yet their hair is shorter than in the United States.

Also, they have large puppy eyes and lengthy ears.

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Cocker Spaniels with no white marks on their solid-colored bodies are generally considered to have a strong pedigree.

This is, however, merely the usual in dog shows.

The color of most working Cocker Spaniels is less important than the dog’s actual working capacity.

American Cocker Spaniel

The appearance of American Cocker Spaniels differs significantly from that of English Cocker Spaniels.

They are enormous fluff balls with lengthy hair.

American Spaniels performed the same role and are now called sporting dogs.

Their ears drop down, long and low, but their nose is slightly raised, giving them a haughty countenance.

They are normally black or tab, but a third category was created to categorize American Cocker Spaniels that were neither black nor tan.

They can also have merle coats, which have a sprinkling of a marbled effect, although kennel clubs do not recognize merle Cocker Spaniels.

In comparison to their British counterparts, American Cockers have rounder eyes and a domed top to their heads, giving their faces a slightly triangular appearance.

Addition, unlike English Cockers, American Cockers have prominent eyebrows.

Common Culture

After Disney’s movie The Lady and the Tramp, Cocker Spaniels became popular.

They’ve since appeared in a number of films as the adorable, silly family pets that everyone enjoys snuggling and playing with.

Their long, floppy ears and wide, round puppy eyes further add to their appeal.

Cocker Spaniels appear in a slew of advertisements, the most of which are for family and home goods.


Cocker Spaniels are medium-sized canines with long ears and a fur coat.

More information about the Cocker Spaniel breed can be found here.


Their eyes are large and spherical, usually black or dark brown.

The American Cocker Spaniel, in particular, has exceptionally sharply formed brows.

Unfortunately, these large, lovely eyes are prone to vision difficulties.

Many of a Cocker Spaniel’s health problems are related to his eyes.


We can’t tell whether the ears or the eyes are cuter – they’re long, hairy, flappy, and reach all the way down the Cocker Spaniel’s neck.

However, when the ears are kept down, the ear canal is fully closed. If you’re breeding Cocker Spaniels, keep in mind that their ears should be checked for infections or dirt once a week.

Weight and Size

A Cocker Spaniel is a medium-sized breed that can adapt to any environment.

Because of their size, they adjust well.

Male Cocker Spaniels can reach a height of 1.5 feet, while females can reach a height of slightly more than 1 foot.

The American Cocker is a petite breed with a height of just over a foot.

It’s fascinating to note that, despite their differences in size, they weigh about the same.

Both reach a weight of roughly 15 kg.


Cocker Spaniels and colors are a whole new universe – there are as many color disagreements as there are breed variety of this gorgeous creature.

As a result, each country has its unique set of dog show rules.

Kennel clubs in the United Kingdom do not accept Cocker Spaniels that are not a solid color.

A scattering of white on the chest is acceptable, but if the color changes to white anyplace else on the body, the Cocker Spaniel is disqualified.

However, when it comes to the American Cocker Spaniel, the restrictions are a little more lenient.

Shape of the Body

The form of their bodies is the most significant and distinguishing feature between an English and an American Cocker Spaniel.

Despite the fact that they are both mid-sized canines and weigh nearly the same, their body forms are vastly different.

The English Cocker is more compact than the American Cocker.


The longer the coat, the more grooming time is required.

As a result, a Cocker Spaniel breeder must always be mindful of the breed’s maintenance requirements.

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They require constant brushing — at least twice a day – due to their long, curly hair.

If the hair becomes matted or dirty, it must be sorted out as soon as possible to avoid skin rashes and infections.

A monthly medicated wash is quite beneficial!

Because Cocker Spaniels have particularly wide ears that cover the ear canals, they need to have their ears cleaned at least once a week.

Aside from that, they aren’t a picky breed and may be a lot of fun.

Personality and Temperament

Cocker Spaniels have a delightful attitude; they are charming, energetic, and make excellent family dogs.

Because of their medium size, they may live in apartments as long as they get their daily dose of activity.

They are especially nice with youngsters and may be quite playful; parents with toddlers and young children can benefit much from having a Cocker Spaniel as a family pet.

They can play with youngsters indefinitely, exhausting them (which is exactly what you want!).

Cocker Spaniels are kind, clever, and simple to teach.

They are taught to be obedient from a young age, but they must be taught with positive reinforcement.

To get them to obey, you can use harsh training methods or brutality (e.g., e-collars).

Because Cocker Spaniels cannot live alone, they enjoy being near people, which is both a good and a drawback.

They cannot be left alone for lengthy periods of time and will require continual supervision.

If they are separated from their family for an extended period of time, they may develop separation anxiety.


The importance of mental and physical exercise in this breed’s temperament cannot be overstated.

If your dog doesn’t receive enough exercise, he or she may get cranky.

So, whether you’re a breeder or a dog owner, don’t blame your Cocker Spaniel for being grouchy. Perhaps it’s you.

Cocker Spaniels require at least an hour of exercise.

Take a look at agility training, for example.

Aside from that, youngsters must be occupied with a variety of games incorporating their favorite foods.

Because of their desire for attention, Cocker Spaniels are excellent therapy dogs as well as family pets.

They can occupy their owners’ attention and draw attention to themselves.

Health Concerns in Breeding Cocker Spaniels

Cocker is used as sports or gun dogs, so they were accustomed to being in the wild.

However, the genealogy of these Cocker Spaniels went through a lot of upheaval and instability over time.

So much so that there are so many different breeds over the world.

The health of Cocker Spaniels has been jeopardized by excessive low-quality breeding and inbreeding that occurred as the breed’s popularity soared.


Cataract affects a large number of older dogs, and the cause could be hereditary or due to another health problem.

Unfortunately, due to their mixed ancestry, Cocker Spaniels are more likely to get cataracts.

The good news is that cataracts in dogs seldom necessitate surgery and may usually be treated with medicines.

However, this is only true for milder forms of cataract; for others, surgery is unavoidable.

They may occasionally get a traumatic cataract, which will impair their eyesight.

Keeping a watch on your dog’s eyes after the age of six – when old age begins to set in in dogs – is a smart method to tell if they have cataracts or not.

Any irregularity should be reported to the veterinarian, but be aware that it could potentially be a false alarm.

Atrophy of the Renal System

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is quite common in both English and American Cocker Spaniels.

The cause could be inbreeding or overbreeding, but the point is that it can quickly escalate into a lethal condition.

In dogs beyond the age of three, PRA can produce symptoms such as night blindness or, even worse, complete blindness.

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Breeders of Cocker Spaniels should be aware of these issues and issue severe warnings to prospective adoptive families.


Canine glaucoma in Cocker Spaniels might result in irreversible blindness in the animals. It’s a disorder that affects the optic nerve directly and causes the death of retinal ganglion cells.

Glaucoma, if left untreated, can cause a great deal of pain and suffering in the dog, as well as lifelong blindness if there is no cure.

As a result, it is critical to detect and treat Canine Glaucoma in Cocker Spaniels as soon as possible.

If your dog’s eye appears red or swollen, or if they continue to rub it, take them to the doctor for a thorough examination. This disease too is of a genetic predisposition.

Abnormalities of the Eye

It can trigger you a mini-heart attack if you notice boogers in your dog’s eyes or observe them scratching their eyes with their razor nails paws. However, this is a symptom of a much more serious illness. Any of the following symptoms, as well as conjunctivitis, could be present in your dog. Another gruesome and painful illness that afflict Cocker Spaniels is distichiasis.

Anemia Autoimmune Hemolytic

It is a disorder in which the Cocker’s body mistakenly attacks its blood cells, causing them to suffer greatly.

Anemia is loss or lack of red blood cells in dogs, which is the leading cause of tiredness and a variety of other health problems.


Most commonly associated with large dogs, but it can also affect medium-sized dogs.

An overactive thyroid gland can have a significant impact on Cocker Spaniels, eventually causing the gland to shrink.

Simple thyroid-normalizing medications can aid in the management of the condition.

It is critical for Cocker Spaniel breeders to have their mating dogs tested before to whelping.

This also guarantees that the puppies are healthy.

Taking care of a hypothyroid Cocker Spaniel is difficult since they will require more grooming than necessary and will need to have their blood tested on a regular basis.


The main cause of this condition is excessive grease on the coat or improper hygiene.

Cocker Spaniels require more frequent bathing and clipping due to their longer coat.

Failure to do so for an extended period of time will cause Primary Seborhea, a condition in which the dog develops flaky scales – similar to dandruff – all over their body.

Cocker Spaniel Breeding

Their charming demeanor and family-oriented conduct, breeding Cocker Spaniels is not only profitable but also simple.

What is critical to the entire breeding process, however, is that Cocker Spaniel breeders use extreme vigilance when it comes to the health of both the dam and sire.

It is critical to screen their bones and blood samples to rule out any diseases or congenital disorders.

Before you proceed, conduct a thorough analysis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When can you breed a cocker spaniel?

Cocker Spaniels are good mates once they reach the age of 24 months. While they mature much earlier (males at 8 months), it is still preferable to wait until they are at least 2 years old to assess how healthy they are once they reach adulthood.

How many puppies do cocker spaniels have?

The word “cocker” is thought to come from the fact that they were used to hunt woodcock. Litters of 3–12 puppies are common in this breed.

Is a Cocker Spaniel a good family dog?

Is it true that Cocker Spaniels make good family pets? Yes, these adorable puppies are gentle, kind, and loving companions who are ideal for families with young children. They are well-known for their cheerful, sound, and trustworthy demeanor.

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