The spaniel breed is believed to have originated in Spain, tracing its history back to the Middle Ages. Over the centuries, these early ancestors were used as companions for bird hunters, commonly being grouped as land or water spaniels in England and other parts of Europe. By the 19th century, these various types of spaniels became classified as separate breeds such as the English Springer Spaniel, Field Spaniel, and many other English-bred specimens. Among them was the Cocker, named after the woodcock that they were commonly seen hunting. Once their ancestors arrived in America, the breed diverged into two distinct varieties: the smaller American Cocker and the taller English Cocker. Today, the English Cocker Spaniel is actually more closely related to the English Springer Spaniel and Field Spaniel than they are to their American counterpart.
English Cocker Spaniels are compact, small breed that are part of the sporting group. The coat of the breed is short and fine on the head and medium-long length of flat, silky or slightly wavy hair on the rest of the body. Their eyes are medium-sixed, oval-shaped, and dark brown in color. The ears are low-set and lie close to the head. The muzzle is a moderate length and the nose matches the primary color of the coat.
The Cocker Spaniel breed is characterized as merry, outgoing, and very willing to please their owners. They are also considered one of the "softer" breeds because they generally do not respond well to tough training. Their small size makes them a great addition for owners living in small homes, condos, or apartments. The breed are also known for making excellent therapy dogs due to their gentle and affectionate nature that also makes them good for owners with children and other pets.