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English Cocker Spaniels: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about English Cocker Spaniel temperament, personality, and behavior.

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English Cocker Spaniel dog breed

English Cocker Spaniel Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

English Cocker Spaniel Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

The AKC Standard says, "His enthusiasm in the field and the incessant action of his tail while at work indicate how much he enjoys the hunting for which he was bred."

With more sporting instincts than the American Cocker Spaniel, the lively English Cocker Spaniel likes more exercise.

When well socialized, the English Cocker Spaniel has a merry tail-wagging nature and is sweet and gentle with everyone. Some are on the reserved side, and there is timidity and excessive submissiveness in some lines.

This equable dog is responsive to persuasive obedience training that includes praise and food rewards.

Unless taught to be independent, some individuals are so persistently affectionate that they become clingy and demanding of attention.


If you want a dog who...

  • Is conveniently sized and athletic
  • Has a pretty feathered coat in a variety of colors
  • Is lively and playful, with a tail-wagging nature
  • Is usually polite with everyone
  • Is peaceful with other pets

An English Cocker Spaniel may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
  • Frequent brushing, combing, and clipping of the silky coat
  • Considerable shedding
  • Potential for excessive barking
  • Excitable or submissive urination (tendency to dribble urine when excited or nervous)

An English Cocker Spaniel may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy


More traits and characteristics of the English Cocker Spaniel

If I was considering an English Cocker Spaniel, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Providing enough exercise. The English Cocker Spaniel is a hunting dog who needs more exercise than you might think. Just because he's small doesn't mean he will be happy living in an apartment with no yard and a couple of walks around the block. This breed needs some outside space (fenced) to romp and play.

  2. Separation anxiety. More than most other breeds, English Cocker Spaniels need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They tend to express their unhappiness through destructive chewing and barking. If you work all day, this is not the breed for you.

  3. Grooming. To keep their silky coat free of mats, English Cocker Spaniels require regular brushing, and also clipping and trimming every couple of months.

  4. Shedding. English Cocker Spaniels shed quite a bit. Their hairs come off on your hands when you pet them, stick to your upholstery and clothing, and hide under the furniture.

  5. Barking. English Cocker Spaniels are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them.



book cover To learn more about training English Cocker Spaniels to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your English Cocker Spaniel the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.



book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy English Cocker Spaniel. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.


If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the English Cocker Spaniel might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.


book cover Once you have your English Cocker Spaniel home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.



Please consider adopting an ADULT English Cocker Spaniel...

When you're acquiring an English Cocker Spaniel PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult English Cocker Spaniels who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter

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