Buddy Breed Guide

The Ultimutt Dog Breed Guide - Cocker Spaniel

Fiona Eldridge
Cute English Cocker Spaniel Indoors. Pet Friendly Hotel
Did you know that Cocker Spaniels and their crosses are one of the most beloved and desired breeds in the UK?

These adorable fluffy-eared pups were originally bred as gundogs, and their strong sense of smell makes them amazing at flushing out birds for hunting.

There are two types of Cocker Spaniel: the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel.

The English Cocker Spaniel has two main types - show and working, and this breed has won Best in Show at Crufts a total of seven times!

These lively dogs make great companions in a family home and absolutely adore being around people.

hey are adaptable to both city and country life, as long as they get enough time to run around and burn off their energy.

So if you're looking for a faithful and fun-loving furry friend, a Cocker Spaniel might just be the perfect choice for you!



As far as health is concerned, Cockers don't have a long list of common ailments.

However, they can suffer from hip dysplasia, which is an inherited orthopedic condition affecting the hip joint.

Over time, this can lead to osteoarthritis, and in severe cases, it may require surgical intervention.

Eye and ear problems can also occur, with the long floppy ears being a breeding ground for heat, yeast, and bacteria.

Regular cleaning with an ear care solution can help to prevent issues, but sometimes veterinary treatment may be necessary.

Different types of eye diseases can occur in dogs, and it is always a good idea to check if the parents of a Cocker pup have taken part in any of the Kennel Club eye screenings.

You can find a list of available screenings on the BVA - Hereditary Eye Disease Scheme for dogs.

Kennel club screening schemes


You should always check out your local dog rescues or shelters first, if you're thinking of becoming a dog owner.

There are plenty of perfectly behaved, pre-loved pets out there looking for their forever families.

Whether you choose to use a breeder or adopt is up to you. But it is always best to know your dogs history before you commit.

Always ask if your potential new pup has had any BVA or Kennel Club screenings for congenital diseases in the parents.

For Cockers, the main test would be the hip dysplasia scheme, which grades the quality and health of the hip joint.

Once your pup is old enough, you can also get them screened for any issues and take any necessary course of action to prevent osteoarthritis and keep them comfortable at home.

Coat colours and size  


The most popular ones are black, red, golden, and chocolate.

There are also various mixed colours, such as black and white or tan, orange and white, chocolate and white or tan, blue/lemon/liver/orange roan.

The Cocker is considered a medium-sized dog with a weight of around 12-15kg.



Cocker Spaniels have a velvety, thick, and dense coat that is great for stress-relieving strokes.

Depending on the coat type of your pup, regular grooming every 4-8 weeks is recommended.

Some Cockers have less hair on their bodies and legs, while others have a lot of thickness and length.

If your dog has a lot of hair, then grooming every 4 weeks is recommended. It's a personal choice to keep your dog's coat long or short.

Keeping the coat short can be much cooler for the dog in summer, while having a longer coat can be better for winter walks in muddy fields and puddles.

Cockers are prone to grass seeds due to their thick hair, which can cause infection and pain.

A quick check and brush after every walk can help to remove these before they become a problem.



Cocker Spaniels have boundless energy and love to have fun. They enjoy being around people and crave attention, which can sometimes result in separation anxiety.

If you are dealing with separation anxiety, Buddy Calmcare can help you. Keeping their minds active and avoiding boredom can also work wonders.

As Gundogs, Cockers are very intelligent and respond well to positive reinforcement training.

Weight management


Cocker Spaniels are very active, so it is rare to see an overweight dog. However, if you have a very active Cocker that runs miles per day, you may struggle to keep weight on your pup.

Our vet nurses can discuss this with you and tailor a nutrition plan that is perfect for you and your dog.

A high-quality diet is always recommended. When Cockers slow down and get a little older, they may tend to gain weight.

It's important to keep this under control to protect the joints and help keep them as active as possible in their retirement.



Cocker Spaniels require over an hour of exercise per day.

They benefit from both the physical side of running, walking, and tiring themselves out with their family, as well as the mental stimulation from using their gundog noses to sniff out their favorite smells.

A good recall is advised with your Cocker for when they take off on a sniff trail. It's best to positively train your recall from a very early age.

Diet and supplements


We recommend a high-quality diet for your dog. If you need advice on what to feed, please ask our vet nurses for impartial advice tailored to suit your requirements.

It's always great to keep a vet-approved ear cleaning solution in the pet cupboard for your Cocker too!

Routine cleaning of those big floppy ears can keep bacteria, yeast, and wax at bay and help prevent larger problems.

Cocker Spaniel life span


Cocker Spaniels have lower health problems, so their life span is generally 12-15 years.

Taking care of your pet's health is essential, and there are many preventative measures that you can take to give your pup the best healthy life you can provide.

Please chat with our vet nurses online about any preventative measures that would be worth considering for your Cocker.

How much does a Cocker Spaniel cost?


According to Pets4homes, the average price of a Cocker Spaniel is around £700-1200, depending on whether they are Kennel Club registered, and if the parents have had genetic testing by the BVA or Kennel Club.

Other costs you will need to consider are monthly bills for food, dog insurance, toys, day care or care when you are on holiday, and healthcare including vaccinations, flea, and worm treatments.

So, is a Cocker Spaniel right for you?


Cocker Spaniels are energetic and love to play.

They can live well in apartments or houses with gardens, are good-natured and friendly with children, good with other dogs and pets.

But this makes them prone to separation anxiety when left alone.

They require lots of grooming and can moult all year.

Ask a Registered Vet Nurse

Got a concern about your pet, need help picking the right product or just looking for expert advice to be the best pet parent ever? Our qualified vet nurses are here to use their decades of experience to support you for free!

Fiona Eldridge
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Fiona Eldridge
Hi! I'm Fiona, Buddycare's lead Veterinary Nurse and I'm here to answer all of your pet related questions dog and cat emoji
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