The English Cocker is no doubt one of the oldest types of land spaniel. Their origins can be traced back to 14th century Spain. Prior to the 1600's all types of spaniels were categorised together; the larger ones being used to spring game and the smaller ones to flush out woodcock. Hence the names Springer and Cocker were derived. In 1892, the Kennel Club of Great Britain differentiated the two breeds separately. In the 1930's, the Cocker was the most popular breed of dog in Britain and there he stayed for almost 20 years! On the other side of the Atlantic, Americans were using the same breeding stock to develop a slightly different Cocker. In 1940, the Kennel Club then split these Spaniels into American and English.
Merry, sturdy, sporting; well balanced; compact; measuring approximately same from withers to ground as from withers to root of tail.
Merry nature with ever-wagging tail shows a typical bustling movement,
particularly when following scent, fearless of heavy cover.
Gentle and affectionate, yet full of life and exuberance.
Head & Skull
Square muzzle, with distinct stop set midway between tip of nose
and occiput. Skull well developed, cleanly chiselled, neither too
fine nor too coarse. Cheek bones not prominent. Nose sufficiently
wide for acute scenting power.
Full, but not prominent. Dark brown or brown, never light, but
in the case of liver, liver roan and liver and white, dark hazel
to harmonise with coat; with expression of intelligence and gentleness
but wide awake, bright and merry; rims tight.
Lobular, set low on a level with eyes. Fine leathers extending
to nose tip. Well clothed with long, straight silky hair.
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite,
i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square
to the jaws.
Moderate in length, muscular. Set neatly into fine sloping shoulders.
Shoulders sloping and fine. Legs well boned, straight, sufficiently
short for concentrated power. Not too short to interfere with tremendous
exertions expected from this grand, sporting dog.
Strong, compact. Chest well developed and brisket deep; neither
too wide nor too narrow in front. Ribs well sprung. Loin short,
wide with firm, level topline gently sloping downwards to tail from
end of loin to set on of tail.
Wide, well rounded, very muscular. Legs well boned, good bend of
stifle, short below hock allowing for plenty of drive.
Firm, thickly padded, cat-like.
Set on slightly lower than line of back. Must be merry in action and carried level, never cocked up. Previously customarily docked.
Docked: Never too short to hide, nor too long to interfere with, the incessant merry action when working.
Undocked: Slightly curved, of moderate length, proportionate to
size of body giving an overall balanced appearance; ideally not
reaching below the hock. Strong at the root and tapering to a fine
tip; well feathered in keeping with the coat. Lively in action,
carried on a plane not higher than level of back and never so low
as to indicate timidity.
True through action with great drive covering ground well.
Flat, silky in texture, never wiry or wavy, not too profuse and
never curly. Well feathered forelegs, body and hindlegs above hocks.
Black; red; golden; liver (chocolate); black and tan; liver and tan; No white allowed except a small amount on chest.
Black and white; orange and white; liver and white; lemon and white; All with or without ticking.
Black, white and tan; liver, white and tan.
Blue roan; orange roan; lemon roan; liver roan; blue roan and tan; liver roan and tan.
Any colour or marking other than the above is undesirable.
Height approximately: dogs: 39-41 cms (15.5-16 ins); bitches: 38-39
cms (15-15.5 ins). Weight approximately: 13-14.5 kgs (28-32 lbs).
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
Their coats must be brushed regularly. The excess hair around the ear passages and beneath the ears must be removed to ensure the ears are adequately ventilated and that no infections set in. The hair around their feet and that between their pads also needs regular attention. They should be stripped out 3 or 4 times a year by a professional groomer. It is possible, however, to learn how to do this yourself.