Dogs, cats and their owners » Dog Breeds » American Cocker Spaniel

American Cocker Spaniel

American Cocker Spaniel
Other names: American cocker , cocker

The American Cocker Spaniel is the closest relative of the English Cocker Spaniel, differing from its European "cousin" by a more petite build and elegant long coat.

Brief information

  • Breed Name: American Cocker Spaniel
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Weight: 7-14 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): males 36.8-39.4 cm, females 34.3-36.8 cm
  • Life expectancy: 13-14 years


  • American Cocker spaniels are quite vulnerable. To be seriously and permanently offended, it is enough for the animal to raise the tone or dissatisfied intonation of the owner.
  • All adult dogs are proficient in the art of manipulation. Give in to the "American" one and only time, and he will not get tired of demanding indulgences until the end of his days.
  • Due to its hunting qualifications, the breed is considered very active and energetic. Accordingly, for people with disabilities and pensioners, the American Cocker Spaniel will become more of a burden than a real friend.
  • The soft, silky coat of the dog is the subject of constant care of the owner. If you are not ready to devote at least a few minutes a day to the image of your pet, make a choice in favor of another, more "convenient" breed.
  • American cockers do not like silence and love to communicate through ringing barking, but with proper training they are able to curb their own desires.
  • The ideal habitat for an "American" will be a house or apartment in which a caring owner or at least someone from the household is waiting for him. Loneliness these long-haired cute bear with difficulty.
  • American Cocker spaniels have a keen nose and are willing to learn new useful skills, so they work with equal success both in the circus arena and in rescue work.

American Cocker Spaniels - shaggy clumps of positivity that have an amazing ability to please everyone who has spent at least a few minutes in their company. Inquisitive and easy-going, they will subscribe to any adventure proposed by the owner without looking back and will gladly rush into the most incredible journey. At the same time, the "Americans" are quite manageable and, despite their slightly flighty nature, they are easily trained, so even the owner who does not have enough experience will be able to raise a helpful gentleman from a fluffy fidget.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Above Average ( Rating 4/5)
Activity ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Training ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Molt ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Need for care ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Friendliness ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Health ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Attitude to Loneliness ?
Moderate time ( Rating 3/5)
Intelligence ?
Smart ( Rating 4/5)
Noise ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Security qualities ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
*Characteristics of the American Cocker Spaniel breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of dog owners.

History of the American Cocker Spaniel breed

American Cocker Spaniel

It is believed that the ancestors of American Cocker spaniels emigrated to the New World from England together with the first settlers. For several centuries, the animals roamed freely on the continent, until at the end of the XIX century, professional breeders paid attention to them. Well, then on the roll: experimental mating, the selection of the most successful individuals in the exterior plan – and already at the New Hampshire dog show of 1883, the first American-bottled cocker shines. The specimen presented by the breeders was noticeably smaller and shaggier than its European counterpart, the English Cocker spaniel, but at the same time retained most of its hunting qualities.

In 1921, their own standard of appearance was developed for the "Americans", and in 1946, overseas spaniels finally separated from their ancestors from the Foggy Albion, becoming an independent breed. In Russia, "made in USA" cockers appeared in the 70s, but at first they did not arouse much interest among either specialists or amateurs. The demand for frisky shaggy dogs began to grow only in the late 80s, with the appearance in the USSR of breeding kennels in charge of breeding and selling American cockers.

Video: American Cocker Spaniel

Appearance of an American Cocker spaniel

American Cocker Spaniel Puppy

American Cocker spaniels are the smallest hunters among their "colleagues" in the friendship group. They are not much smaller than English cockers (average height – 34.3-34.9 cm), but their muzzles are much shorter. Among other things, the "Americans" have a more glamorous look, which they owe to their satin fur. However, the dogs had to pay for this beauty with a hunting instinct, which they manifest in a somewhat muted form. As for the weight of American Cocker spaniels, most cynological associations overlook this parameter. Both eight- and fifteen-kilogram individuals are able to win the championship title.


American Cocker Spaniels have a moderately rounded skull with pronounced brow arches, an underbelly and a foot. The muzzle of dogs is wide, of sufficient depth, turning into flat cheekbones. The reference is a square-shaped muzzle with a pronounced vertical edge.


Long, shaped like blades, covered with abundant toilet wool. The ear cloth is thin, but dense.


A medium-sized lobe with well-opened nostrils, allowing the dog to catch even the faintest odors. The color of the nose corresponds to the shade of the eyelids of the "American". So, in animals of black-and-tan, black, and black-and-white colors, the lobe is black. Individuals with hair of lighter shades have a brown nose.

Jaws and teeth

Overgrown American Cocker Spaniel

The shape of the jaws of the American Cocker spaniel is close to a square. The teeth of dogs of this breed are strong, medium–sized, the bite is "scissors".


Rounded-almond-shaped, normally planted, without bulge. The color of the iris should be a rich dark color. Most often it is dark brown.


Long, gracefully curved, smoothly tapering towards the head. It bends easily, which allows the animal to tilt its head low and touch the ground with its nose.

The muzzle of an American Cocker spaniel


Running American Cocker Spaniel

Compact body with a strong, sloping back, as well as a deep and moderately wide chest.


Both the front and hind legs of the American Cocker Spaniel are distinguished by their muscularity and good mobility. The shoulder blades of the representatives of this breed are sufficiently developed and strongly retracted, which makes their movements freer and faster. Massive hips, strong knees with normal articulation angles, as well as low-lying hock joints provide a good impetus to the animal in running. The paws of the "Americans" are large, but compactly assembled, with elastic pads.


The tail of American Cocker spaniels is subject to mandatory cupping. It is usually held at the level of the back or slightly raised, but it never assumes an upright position and does not shrink. The tail hidden between the hind limbs indicates the timidity and uncertainty of the dog.


The coat is soft, silky, straight or slightly wavy type with abundant, dense undercoat. The part of the body with the shortest hair is the dog's head. On the body, legs and ears, the hair is longer and thicker.


American cockers can have black, black and tan and mixed (white in combination with some other shade) colors. In addition, all types of mono-colors are acceptable for this breed: from light fawn to brown (plain or with tan markings). As for the markings of the tan, they should be located in the parts of the body specified by the standard. These are, as a rule, areas above the eyes, zygomatic areas, the inside of the ears, legs, chest and the area under the tail.

American cocker spaniel of white color with root markings
American cocker spaniel of black and tan color

Disqualifying vices

The most frequent reasons for disqualification are insufficient / excessive growth (deviation from the standard by more than 1.5 cm), atypical colors, as well as non–standard location of the markings. For example, American Cocker spaniels with white spots in any parts of the body except the throat and chest, as well as with a tan covering more than 10% of the area of the main color, will be banned from participating in competitions at the selection stage. The same fate will befall dogs with behavior disorders that demonstrate excessive aggression, cowardice or nervousness.

Photo of an American cocker spaniel

Character of the American Cocker Spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel is an affectionate fidget, ready to follow its own owner even to the ends of the world. These long-eared "hairy" easily find a common language with cats and other dogs, not to mention the owner, who for the animal is a being of the highest order. But American cockers do not get along with representatives of the feathered family, periodically encroaching on their life and health (the hunting instincts of English ancestors affect). If your pet has not passed the training course and you are not sure of his endurance, it is better to let parrots and other birds out of the cage in his presence.

American Cocker spaniel puppy with kitten

In relationships with children, American Cocker spaniels are quite friendly, but alas, they do not always control themselves. Carried away by catching up and fighting, dogs can attack babies, slightly biting them. In general, "Americans" are characterized by some infantile character. As the breeders themselves say, this is one of the few hunting breeds whose representatives, even at a very respectable age, retain puppy habits.

American cockers are hyperactive, emotional and so dependent on human society that it sometimes turns into a manic attachment. However, despite the successful exploitation of the image of naive simpletons, these glamorous beauties do not take tricks, and to make sure of this, it is enough for the owner to simply give up and stop educating his ward. Having felt freedom, the cocker will very quickly turn into a charming, but completely uncontrollable bully who does not recognize any restrictions.

The American Cocker Spaniel is not a breed for careerists and workaholics who disappear at work for days. Loneliness is a burden for dogs and not good, especially since the flighty temperament of animals requires regular energy output, which a busy owner simply cannot provide. Putting a pet under lock and key and going to work, do not be indignant if you find on your return that your four-legged friend entertained himself as best he could, gnawing shoes and tearing wallpaper from the walls.

Who looks like a rabbit here?

Education and training

Even if you are indifferent to handling and are not going to take your pet hunting, it is still necessary to educate it and train teams, at least for the sake of your own comfort and peace of mind. Poorly socialized and not obeying the elementary rules of behavior, the American Cocker Spaniel is still a limitless one. Representatives of this breed are well amenable to training, but due to their natural restlessness, they better assimilate educational material if it is served in a playful way. The method of positive reinforcement will also not be superfluous – no "American" can resist an appetizing treat.

American Cocker spaniel on a leash

It is necessary to start education with elementary commands like "You can't!" and "Sit!". From the first weeks of staying in the house, the puppy should be able to recognize his own nickname, as well as understand the meaning of the command "Place!". Do not be lazy to accustom the animal to the hands. The dog should not shy away from your touch or panic from being lifted. And of course, no psychological or, even worse, physical violence against the pet! American cockers are dogs with a gentle psyche, they absolutely do not need extra phobias.

Despite the fact that the FCI considers American Cocker Spaniels to be a group of friendly dogs, in their homeland the breed is better known as sports. In the USA, cockers are regular participants of all kinds of dog shows and agility competitions, so if you are planning an exhibition career for your pet, take a ring training course with him and teach him the right stance. For example, to develop the correct posture, it is useful to walk a dog on the so-called "ring", which is a short ribbon, the ends of which are closed in loops. This type of leash allows you to tighten the animal's head, fixing it in a slightly elevated position. It is necessary to use this unpleasant accessory for a dog very carefully and dosed. The "American" should not have the impression that they are being pushed around. Walking around the ring on the command of an American Cocker spaniel is taught using treats. At first, the animal follows the owner to grab a treat from his hands, but later gets used to doing without it, reacting only to the command "To me!".

Useful tip: if an overplayed American Cocker Spaniel behaves extremely emotionally and bites you or other family members during training, it must be stopped. Slip your ward a favorite toy or distract him with a treat. Dogs that have gone too far in their own attacks and have fallen out of reality are not prohibited from being lightly spanked.

American cocker spaniel of light fawn color

Hunting with an American Cocker spaniel

Despite the fact that theoretically American Cocker spaniels are able to work "by pen", it is not often possible to see them in this role. In Europe, representatives of this breed are not used in hunting at all, preferring to them more obedient and focused English cockers. And yet, to train a pet to search for a bird is quite a feasible task. It is better to start classes from an early age. At first, the owner simply brings the game home and gives it to the dog to smell – this is how the animal gets acquainted with the smell of future prey. Gradually, the lessons are transferred to the natural environment, for example, to the forest or to the fields.

A properly trained cocker spaniel should not just look for the shot game and make a stand, but also show restraint, patiently waiting for the arrival of the owner. However, many "Americans" are not able to concentrate on one object for too long and switch to other external stimuli like butterflies and lizards. An ultrasonic whistle (Galton's whistle), which can be used not only in the field, but also on the training ground, helps to partially solve the problem and adjust the pet to a working mood.

Care and maintenance

Since the American Cocker Spaniel is more of a decorative companion than a hunter, its main habitat remains a house or apartment. The animal is taken outside mainly to the toilet or for a walk and only after vaccination. In addition, for the first six months the puppy is not allowed to go down the stairs on his own, so that the supply of limbs does not deteriorate.

Running American Cocker Spaniel

You should start caring for the dog with equipment for her separate corner with a couch, toys, bowls for food and water. It is necessary to place a litter or a puppy basket in the quietest place in the apartment, where drafts do not reach and where it is not too hot (a place near the heating battery is frankly an unsuccessful option). In the early days, the American Cocker Spaniel, of course, will try to ignore your efforts and settle down in some more cozy place, for example, on the couch, so it needs to be monitored. In no case do not indulge the whims of the baby and do not take him to bed with you, no matter how much he wants it, otherwise in the future this cunning cute guy will sit on your neck.

American Cocker spaniels like to take a walk, so you need to take them outside two, preferably three times a day. During the walk, let the dog warm up properly by running a race with her. At the same time, you can practice maintaining the correct posture. To do this, let the pet walking on a leash pull you forward (you can learn the command "Pull!"). But it is better to minimize communication with other dogs, especially homeless ones, since Cocker spaniels are very susceptible to various kinds of infections.

American cocker spaniel of black and tan color


The American Cocker Spaniel is not a breed for the lazy. Of course, you can take your pet to a grooming salon several times a week, where a specialist will work with him while you are leafing through magazines and sipping coffee. But in this case, the maintenance of the dog will result in a significant amount for the budget. If such expenses do not suit you, learn to take care of the fur of a four-legged friend at home.

Well-groomed beauty

The first thing to do is to get a fluffer, brushes, combs and a hair cutter, because you will have to comb the satin hair of the American Cocker spaniel every day. And do not flatter yourself that puppies have a rarer coat. It will pass with age. In general, the procedure of combing for dogs is extremely tedious, so the sooner you teach your puppy to it, the better for you.

No matter how well-mannered your dog is, during walks she will still, to one degree or another, stain the "fur coat" by putting garbage and road dust on it. American cockers are supposed to be washed more often than other decorative breeds: on average, once every two weeks. For bathing, it is better to choose sets of pet shampoo and rinse aid designed for long-haired dogs. After washing, to facilitate combing, it is recommended to rinse the pet's fur in a slightly concentrated solution of acetic acid (can be replaced with citric acid). This will give the hair a noble shine and protect the animal's skin from parasites.

The coat of American Cocker spaniels often gets tangled, and it does not depend on the quality of dog care. The most susceptible places to this phenomenon are the areas of the armpits, hock joints and inguinal zones. Before each bathing of the dog, arm yourself with a hair cutter and remove the matted areas of hair.

There is no escaping the fuss with the long ears of the American Cocker Spaniel. Firstly, during each feeding, they must be lifted and fixed with an elastic band over the dog's head so that she does not dip them into the bowl. Secondly, the ear funnels of the "Americans" accumulate sulfur and dirt very quickly, and ticks just love to settle in them. Accordingly, the examination of the auditory canal and cleaning of the ear cloth for representatives of this family should be carried out every few days. You can remove the accumulated dirt in the ear by dropping a little heated vegetable oil inside and wiping the skin with a sponge soaked in hydrogen peroxide or an alcoholic solution of boric acid (boric alcohol).

There are fewer problems with the eyes of the American Cocker spaniel, but in some individuals the eyelid may not cover the eyeball tightly, which is why dust and debris fall on the mucous membrane. In such cases, the inflammation is removed with a chilled infusion of chamomile or albumin. The teeth of "Americans" are cleaned 1-2 times a week if the animal eats natural food. For dogs sitting on the "drying", the procedure is carried out less often, since the solid particles of the feed do a very good job with plaque. Some owners of Cocker spaniels, instead of standard cleaning with paste, offer the dog to gnaw a bone. The method is, of course, effective, but it should not be abused, since the teeth of American cockers gnawing bones are quickly worn off.

American Cocker Spaniel training

American Cocker Spaniel haircut

Black American Cocker spaniel trimmed for exhibition

American cocker spaniels are supposed to be cut from the age of 1.5-2 months, and if you are late with this case, the strongest stress is provided for the dog. For domestic individuals who are not aiming for the championship, a hygienic haircut, which is carried out twice a month, will be enough. In this case, the tangles and the area around the anal area are cut off for the animal, the hairs in the ear canal are plucked, and the fur on the paws and between the fingers is removed to keep them clean. Once every three months or before the exhibition, the animal should be reduced to a groomer who, with the help of a machine, will shorten the fur on the muzzle and back of the head, profile the shoulder and chest area, trim the fur on the sides and "ennoble" the paws.

Important: The hair on the back of the American Cocker Spaniel is never cut with a typewriter or scissors. To process this part of the body, it is best to use a pukhoderka.


Waiting for a tasty morsel

The basis of the dog's diet should be meat, fermented dairy products, cereals, seasonal vegetables and fruits, as well as sea fish (occasionally and only in the form of fillets). Meat is usually given in the morning, leaving vegetables and fermented milk products for the evening. Once a week, the cocker spaniel is given a belly feast, treating him to rye crackers (not from the store), egg yolk or dried fruits (raisins, dried apricots, prunes). As for the brain bones, it is better to leave them for puppies who need a lot of calcium. For adult "Americans" this product is no longer so useful. A couple of times a month, the digestive system of the American Cocker spaniel is "unloaded" by putting a little less than half of the usual daily portion in its bowl.

Health and diseases of American Cocker Spaniels

The most frequent reasons for the owners of "Americans" to go to veterinary clinics are food allergies and ear infections, which often lead to complete deafness of the animal. There are also such ailments among American cockers:

  • seborrhea;
  • hereditary atopy;
  • hepatitis;
  • eye diseases;
  • epilepsy;
  • hip dysplasia.
Handsome spaniel

How to choose a puppy

To begin with, decide on the class of the animal and sensibly assess your own financial capabilities. Puppies of the American Cocker spaniel of the show category will cost more not only when buying, but also in maintenance (remember about salon grooming and constant traveling to exhibitions). The sex of the dog is also an important selection criterion. Girls are usually softer and kinder. They get used to their new place of residence and household faster, whereas boys can demonstrate leadership habits. However, if we are talking about buying a bitch with the right of breeding, get ready for her behavioral tricks during estrus and regular spending on mating.

Take seriously the verification of such items as the reputation of the kennel, the pedigree of the puppy and the conditions of his residence. Visually assess the appearance of a potential pet: how much it meets the breed standard. A normally developing American Cocker Spaniel puppy is neat, well-fed and cheerful. He has a cold and wet nose, pink gums and is always clean under the tail. Refuse to buy if you are persistently offered the smallest cocker from the litter. Almost certainly the animal will be characterized by poor immunity and soreness. Babies who have not had their thumbs removed and their tails docked are also not the most valuable acquisition.

Photos of American Cocker spaniel puppies

How much does an American Cocker spaniel cost

A pet-class American cocker spaniel puppy (pet) with a stamp and RKF documents will cost $200 - $250 The prices for potential champions start from $300. If you really want to get a pet with a rare color from parents with international diplomas, you will have to fork out seriously, since the minimum price tag for such individuals is $500.

Add cuteness to your feed. Share photo collections and send photos of your favorite pets
2023 © «». Made with for animals. Copying materials with a link to the source.