Cocker Spaniel | PetFirst
Breed Spotlights

Cocker Spaniel

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
5 years ago

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years
Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
Weight: 24 – 48 lbs.
Height: 14 – 15 inches

Where Does the Cocker Spaniel Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.


9 out of 10 rankingThe Cocker Spaniel desires to please you which makes them a relatively easy-to-train breed. Be certain not to hurt their feelings. The Cocker Spaniel is an extremely sensitive dog breed so it is particularly important to utilize only gentle methods throughout training this breed.

Shedding Friendliness

The Cocker Spaniel is not a heavy shedder compared to other breeds; although, you may notice fur around the house on occasion.

Ease of Grooming

Your Cocker Spaniel should be brushed daily to prevent his fur from tangling and/or matting. Your Cocker Spaniel is an extremely demanding dog breed as it pertains to grooming requirements. Groom your dog every six to eight weeks to keep a beautiful, healthy coat.


Cocker Spaniels are prone to skin issues like primary seborrhea, as well as allergies, hip dysplasia, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, and hypothyroidism.

Exercise Needs

4 out of 10 rankingYour Chihuahua does not require a significant amount of exercise; however, they do enjoy following you around where ever you may go.

Good with Children

The Chihuahua may become snappy under stressful conditions. They are also not recommended in homes with children due to their potential to become easily injured.

Barking Restraint

Barking is unique to each dog in this breed; some dogs may bark excessively whereas others may not have a barking problem.


What You Need to Know About Cocker Spaniel Dogs


The Cocker Spaniel is an extremely affectionate, gentle breed. Their trusting personality makes them a great fit for families who have small children, other pets or elderly individuals. When properly socialized, this breed is an excellent family dog. If not properly socialized, this dog can be extremely sensitive and possess a fear of strangers.

The Cocker Spaniel was bred to be a hunter, so do not be surprised if he is particularly interested in birds and other small animals around your home. Due to the hunting instinct, you must also carefully watch him to ensure he does not ‘escape’ chasing after a bird, squirrel or other small mammals.

Cocker Spaniels do often exhibit submissive urination so do not be surprised if this occurs. Cocker Spaniels may also become excessive barkers so training your dog when to and when not to bark may be essential.


Cocker Spaniels are extremely intelligent and eager to please their pet parent. This results in successful and relatively easy training.


The Cocker Spaniel has quite an intense grooming requirement. Due to their demanding coat, many pet parents choose to hire a professional groomer every six to eight weeks. Daily brushing at home is also necessary to avoid matting and tangles.

Health Problems

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) – AIHA is a condition in which your dog’s immune system attacks its own blood cells. Symptoms of AIHA include pale gums, fatigue and jaundice. Your dog’s stomach may also be swollen due to an enlarged liver.

Hypothyroidism – Symptoms of hypothyroidism include obesity, lethargy, epilepsy and/ or skin conditions.

Primary seborrhea – This is a skin problem caused by the overproduction of skin cells. Symptoms include greasy, scaly skin and foul odor.

Allergies – Cocker Spaniels often have food allergies. How will you know if your Cocker Spaniel is allergic to an ingredient in his food? If you notice him licking his paws excessively or rubbing his face excessively, this is a good sign he is having an allergic reaction.

Hip dysplasia – Hip dysplasia is common in this breed. Hip dysplasia is essentially a malformation which results in pain and lameness.

Top 10 Most Common Health Issues for Cocker Spaniel

  1. Otitis – middle ear infection
  2. Colitis – inflammatory reaction in the colon
  3. Pyoderma – bacterial infection of the skin
  4. Allergies
  5. Conjunctivitis – pink eye
  6. Dermatitis
  7. Mass Removal
  8. UTI – urinary tract infection
  9. Gastritis – inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the stomach lining
  10. Back Pain

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