Cocker Characteristics

Cocker Spaniels are a breed that are very much “in your face” and would not suit owners who want a dog to sit in the kitchen on their bed all day.  They will want to be close to you all the time, following you around from room to room and some can be quite lively, bouncy and exuberant due to their zest for life.

Cockers are also a breed which can be manipulative due to their intelligence and the fact that they are ‘in tune’ with their owners & need firm (clear rules and boundaries) but kind and gentle handling. Their soulful eyes and sweet demeanour can mean that they look sad and owners may be tempted to excuse any unacceptable behaviour that occasionally arises which can result in an unruly and disobedient dog.

The very house proud should consider whether a cocker is suitable for their lifestyle. As a breed they shed significantly if left in full coat and due to their long coats, big paws and love of rooting about in the undergrowth they can bring a lot of dirt, moisture & debris into the home.

Cockers are generally very friendly towards other animals including other dogs, cats & small pets. Early socialisation around other animals is important though as like many dogs they will chase other animals (to play with them as opposed to hurt them) if not trained appropriately from a young age.

Cockers can also be a noisy breed. My own dogs are quiet as “church mice” most of the time, very little disturbs the peace! However, many cockers can become over excited or over stimulated (by activities around the home & various sights and sounds) and this is likely to trigger a barking session! Training away from noisy responses to events is the key!


Cocker Spaniels are known for their fun, lively & kind natures. They are happy little dogs with ever wagging tails whose enjoy life to the full.

They are also friendly & busy little dogs who thrive on human company and really prefer to be around people most of the time. A Cocker likes to be with the family and if allowed will follow you from room to room. They are merry and happy dogs, they are happy to work, happy to play and above all, they are happy to be cuddled and fussed!

Cockers have very gentle & soft personalities and do not like to feel as if they have displeased their owners, their feelings can be easily wounded and they respond badly to overly strict handling by becoming withdrawn and miserable.

Cockers are generally very tolerant of children and owners should ensure that children behave appropriately towards them as a well socialised and trained cocker is very unlikely to retaliate should he get hurt or frightened.

Cocker Spaniels make brilliant family pets due to their wonderful temperament. The Cocker’s reputation goes before him as a friendly, happy and well-mannered dog. They are easy to train (with patience & consistency), eager to please and make devoted companions.


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