American Cocker Spaniel | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

American Cocker Spaniel

The American Cocker Spaniel is a direct descendant of the English Cocker Spaniel, which was taken to the United States in the 19th century.

With a royal and elegant appearance, thanks to which it looks truly majestic, combined with an extremely soft and balanced character, the American Cocker won the hearts of thousands of owners all over the world, with its tender gaze in thousandths of a second. This dog is the ideal companion for all those who want to give him their love.

Dog sheet American Cocker Spaniel

American Cocker Spaniel photos

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Physical characteristics

The American Cocker Spaniel is the smallest breed in the FCI “Games and Bushmen” category, weighing between 10 and 12 kg in females and 12-15 kg in males, and a height between 33-36 centimeters and 36-39 cm. The distance between the highest point of the cross and the ground should be a little shorter than that between the point of the sternum and the point of the buttock, never being the animal with the long and short body.


Distinctive features

  • Head: The skull is moderately rounded, with pronounced arches above the eyebrows, part under the eyes and a stop. The muzzle is wide, quite deep, smoothly blends into the flat cheekbones. The square-shaped muzzle with a pronounced vertical cut is the breed standard.
  • Eyes: Normal set, without bulges, round almond shape. The iris should be a rich dark color (most often dark brown).
  • Ears: Long, lobed. Abundantly covered with wool. The ear tissue is thin, but dense enough.
  • Jaws/Teeth: The jaws are square in shape. Strong teeth of medium size, scissor bite.
  • Legs: Muscular, mobile. Well-developed, strongly retracted shoulder blades, thanks to which movements are free and rapid. During the run, the animals are well repelled by massive hips. The knees are strong, the hocks are low. The paws are large, with elastic pads.
  • Body: The body is compact in size with a strong back, deep and moderately broad chest.
  • Coat: Soft, silky, straight or slightly wavy with a dense undercoat. On the head is the shortest hair. On the body, ears and legs, the hair is thicker and longer.
  • Color: Available in black, black and tan and mixed colors. Mono-colors are also acceptable: from light fawn to brown (plain or tan). The markings should be placed above the eyes, inside the ears, on the legs, on the chest, under the tail and on the cheekbones.

Character and behavior

American cocker spaniels are very sweet and friendly dogs with heightened emotional sensitivity. They are very attached to the owners and just try to make them happy. With improper upbringing, such sensitivity can lead to various inadequate states of the dog, including neuroses, nervousness and aggression towards strangers. And sometimes even in relation to the members of his family.

The American Cocker Spaniel is active, loves to play and go for walks, likes to spend time in the park and in nature. It is perfect for keeping in a city apartment, also due to its small size – such living conditions do not constrain either the dog or its owner.

This breed of dog is good with children, expresses a lot of affection and love, however, it is advisable to accustom the dog to the presence of a child in the house from childhood. Other pets, especially cats, should also be introduced into the social circle as early as possible.


The American Cocker Spaniel is predisposed to the following diseases:

  • Dysplasia of the elbow and hip joints
  • Seborrhea
  • Eye diseases
  • Hepatitis
  • Hereditary atopy
  • Epilepsy
  • Urolithiasis disease

Life expectancy

With proper care, the American Cocker Spaniel can live 13 to 16 years.


These dogs have a fairly long coat and need weekly brushing. Also, you should definitely check their ears for infections and dirt once or twice a week, and after a walk in nature, as mites and other insects can be found there.

Don’t forget to trim nails, clean eyes if needed, and bathe your dog at least once a week.


The American cocker spaniel preferably needs about two hours a day to exercise his body and his mind. Enjoy playing to collect items and swim in safe waters. Examine the fur and ears after a walk to remove any seeds from the field, twigs or other remains that may have been taken with it.

Fun facts

  • The ACP is the smallest hunting dog in the world. It was originally created to hunt, track and chase small birds, such as quail and woodcock, from their hiding places. The American Cocker Spaniel has a soft mouth that does not damage dead birds (killed during the hunt) when it takes them away for its owner.
  • This dog is well known as a cheerful and playful dog. He is very cooperative and eager to please his owner.
  • The American Spaniel is an affectionate dog. It is suitable for families with children and other animals.
  • The American Spaniel is a friendly, happy and agile dog. It is an intelligent dog that can be easily trained. Regular but gentle training gives the best results for this breed.
  • The American Cocker Spaniel can be stored both in small apartments and in houses with a garden. It belongs to the group of active dogs that require daily walks of at least 30 minutes to stay in shape. This dog likes to participate in daily family activities, but also to run, swim and recover and play with various toys. He hates being left alone.
  • The American Cocker Spaniel is a popular show dog. He often participates in competitions that assess obedience, skill monitoring and dog agility.
  • The American Cocker is often used as a therapy dog ​​due to its soft, warm and cheerful nature.
  • The thick fur of the American cocker spaniel should be cleaned daily to avoid tangling and matting.
  • The American Cocker Spaniel generally gives birth to 4 puppies.

History of the breed

In the 19th century, the first copies of the English Cocker Spaniel arrived in North America, and during the last decades of this same century, the breed spread throughout the United States until the foundation of the first official club in 1881, called the American Cocker Spaniel Club.

However, it should be borne in mind that the American cocker spaniel and the English cocker spaniel are not the same breed, because the Americans emerged thanks to the work of various breeders who sought a standard closer to their interests. In this way, new lines of work have been established in breeding and cocker spaniel specimens more oriented to be show animals rather than hunting dogs.

This decision raised a lot of controversy between those who wanted the cocker spaniel as a hunting animal and those who sought an animal for canyoning competitions, which is why they began to differentiate the two variants. In 1935, it was forbidden to cross dogs of both breeds, and that same year, the first American Cocker Spaniel club in the world was created. Thus, in 1946, the American Kennel Club officially accepted the existence of two different breeds, recognizing the American cocker spaniel as a breed differentiated from the English cocker spaniel.

Since then, the American cocker has earned world renown and deserved recognition, becoming famous in the rest of the world and being the pet of well-known celebrities, as well as families from all locations and all cultures.


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