cocker-spanielCocker Spaniels are first mentioned in books and texts that date back to around the 14th or 15th Century. It is thought that these dogs originated from Spain. They were bred as gundogs used by bird hunters to flush the game from the heavy briar. Cocker Spaniels would use their keen sense of smell to find birds, flush them out and then retrieve the birds with an ever wagging tail.

The Cocker Spaniel has become a much-loved family pet and consistently rates in Australia’s top 20 favorite breeds.

Cocker Spaniels are a wonderful family pet with a lovely temperament giving them the name of ‘The Merry Cocker


Cocker Spaniels are adorable to look at. They have a long, flat and silky coat, a melting expression, long ears and a very waggy tail giving them plenty of ‘X Factor’. Cocker Spaniels make wonderful family pets and are warm, affectionate and playful dogs that enjoy family life.

The Cocker Spaniel is an active but adaptable dog – it is not considered a major ‘digger’ or a ‘barker’ so are very easy to live with both indoors and out. They make reasonable watchdogs because they are alert and very loyal, but do not have a tendency to be aggressive.

The Cocker Spaniel is a Gundog and as bred to work in the fields. They are very intelligent and easy to train. It is a misconception that the Cocker Spaniel is scatty.


The long coat needs regular washing and trimming and, like most long-coated dogs, they mildly shed. Their long ears require regular cleaning which will assist in preventing ear problems.

A regular daily walk is recommended but Spaniels don’t necessarily need a large backyard – they are quite happy indoors. Exercise and diet are extremely important or these dogs can become overweight very easily.

Like all dogs, Cocker Spaniels require regular tick, flea, intestinal worms and heartworm treatments. Consult your veterinarian on treatment options. Desexing and vaccination against diseases, such as the deadly parvo virus and highly infectious canine cough, are also important to discuss with your vet.


With a warm and loving temperament, Cocker Spaniels make great pets for anyone. In particular, they are great with children and the elderly.

Because the Cocker Spaniel need exercise, they can be suitable for apartment living as long as they go out for daily walks.

Fact file

Breed classification Gundog
Size Medium
Origin Spain
Lifespan 12-15 years
Colors Black, liver, red, golden in solid or combination colors
Cost $900 – $1200
Common hereditary problems Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and minor skin problems.