American Cocker Spaniel review

Negative reviews


Cocker Spaniels have a distinctive doggy odor that some people find bothersome.

Neutral reviews


The American Cocker does need regular exercise, but daily walks and romps in the backyard or at a dog park will suffice.

When well socialized, American Cocker Spaniels are friendly and peaceful with strangers and other animals.


Some Cocker Spaniels, especially adolescents and young adults, are excessively submissive. These dogs might suddenly urinate (or dribble urine) when they get over-excited or feel intimidated. This might simply be someone's hand reaching to pet them, or your body looming over them during play. This is not a housebreaking issue! It's called excitable or submissive urination and it might go away with time as long as you don't punish the dog.


American Cocker Spaniels shed a LOT. Make sure you don't mind hair on your clothing and furnishings.


“I think that we have been brought up him very badly, so Gizmo became an aggressive, stubborn and owning dog. For example, we cannot pick up his ball when playing because he is bitten. I admit; we allowed him a lot when he was a puppy. Whoever is going in front of the house, he is barking length. When guests coming to us, he is jumping up. If the family has lunch, then he’s whining and barking around the table until he gets food. Apart from that, we love him.”


The American Cocker Spaniel is the smallest of the Sporting Breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. Although they are not large dogs, they are energetic, active and playful. They thoroughly enjoy going on hikes, swimming and participating in other activities with their human family-members. This is a highly adaptable breed that can live quite comfortably in apartments or condominiums, as long as their owners give them enough exercise. A long, brisk daily walk is often enough for an older Cocker Spaniel. However, younger animals will need more activity, either in the form of walks, romps at the dog park, playing in the yard with other companion animals or playing fetch with their owners. American Cocker Spaniels are natural retrievers and usually are more than willing to chase a ball and bring it back for as long as their owner cares to toss it. It is important for owners of this breed to keep their dogs active and engage. A Cocker that is left to his own devices is likely to become bored and eventually destructive, as he tries to find ways to entertain himself.


Some Cocker Spaniels shed constantly whilst others have peak sheds in spring and fall. The wise dog owner brushes their dog every day so that those shed hairs are trapped on the grooming tool rather than shared around the home.


My Copper, who was an American Cocker, was great with people and small children. If you decide to get a pup my only advice would be to socialize with other dogs asap! We didnt do that and as a result he wasnt aggressive towards other dogs but very wary and uninterested.

Stubborn. I think all cockers are fairly stubborn dogs, which can make training difficult. Start training them right away as to avoid any naughty behavior and I think you’ll find that the reward is great. Im not sure what the differences are between the english vs american breed (besides physically). I saw go for it though, especially if you’re a first time dog owner!

PS: The fact alone that you want to research more about the breed is very telling. You’ll be a great dog owner, whatever you decide!


My husband had a cocker when we met who was already getting up in years, so I don't have experience of her personality when she was younger. When I met her she was super sweet though. She loved our nieces but did not like most other dogs and other kids. When we got a cat she just pretended that he didn't exist... didn't hate him but wouldn't cuddle either.

I think they are a great breed personally but any dog is a reflection of its training and they are all going to be different.


I have a 9(?) year old American cocker spaniel, and my childhood dog was a field spaniel (basically a large cocker spaniel, breed originated as cocker spaniel).

The field spaniel was a GOODBOY. He loved exploring the backyard, protecting the house, long walks, tug of war, food, and learning new tricks. He was smart, determined, playful, thoughtful, loyal, and sweet. We were kids when we got him, so as a puppy he sometimes played a little rough with us (biting, etc), but as an adult would absolutely let babies tug on his ears and mouth. Patient, stoic dog. Excellent buddy!

My current dog is an American cocker spaniel. I rescued her from a puppy mill breeding situation so I don’t know her age, socialization, history, etc. She’s blind and has 8 teeth. Shes the sweetest dog in the whole world. I’ve never heard her bark, and she has growled exactly twice in the three years we’ve been together. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She’s silly, easily confused, kind, stubborn!!!, forgetful, and timid with new people. She has no dog manners since she grew up in a cage, and other dogs tend to ignore her. She doesn’t like or dislike kids, she pretty much is just afraid of loud noises and unpredictable movement (she’s blind). She would never lash out when scared, instead, she’d rather find a trusted human or dog sibling to sit near. She gets scared easily and has been very hard to house train. She’s also my heart and soul- she’s sleeping soundly on my lap right now since all she wants is to be near her favorite people. She’s perfect.

Both dogs were excellent with kids and had hearts of gold. Both had quirks that run deep, but are endearing due to their sweet natures. Cocker spaniels in general need a lot of socaization, and can be extremely sweet when properly socialized. They need socialization more than other breeds.

Socialization is FUN. Once your dog is fully vaccinated, take him out in public where people can pet him, make him do tricks, and fuss over how cute he is.


One of my girls howls with separation anxiety when left alone, and is very aware of her small size so she doesn't like cuddles, but is otherwise a really sweet and loving thing.

The other was both very submissive and sweet, and bratty. She was the one who would let you pick her up and hug her, and always fall asleep in your arms. She was a real pain to groom or give pills to though.

The last was dumb as a post, and very happy. He was achingly handsome. The other girls really loved him. He was the only dog who could read me and give affection when I felt low.

They could all be bad with house accidents though. One would spot, the others would follow suit. It could get exasperating. Grooming and bathing was also an ordeal. I did them myself. I always had to block out an afternoon to do them. They all required ear care, and grew wart-like growths as they aged. Paying for their removal was smart, at least once before they became too elderly to stand surgery.

Overall 8/10 dogs would highly recommend.


My Loki isn't too bright, but he loves to cuddle on the couch and likes nothing more than to give kisses and be the center of attention.


Cockers are adorable! I've had two. My first Cocker was healthy until the day he died at about 15. He was incredibly smart. I currently have my second Cocker. I got him out of a pound when he was 10 and it's been almost two years. He's dumb (or really smart and plays dumb) but so loving and a lot of fun. When I got him he had hypothyroidism and now has a very mild case of heart disease that's being treated by his vet. He gets along with other dogs and is a lot of fun to have around.

Positive reviews


The Cocker Spaniel is primarily a beloved companion dog breed, though he remains a capable bird dog at heart. Beautiful to look at (and labor-intensive to groom), the Cocker’s amenable, cheerful disposition also makes him a treat to have in the family. Never more pleased than when he’s pleasing you, he’s as happy to snuggle on the couch with his favorite adults as to romp in the yard with the kids.


Outgoing, sociable and almost uniformly happy, the American Cocker Spaniel is an extremely popular family pet. These are charming, sturdy little dogs that originally were bred to flush and retrieve birds on land. Many of them are still used for that purpose. However, their best role is that of a beloved family member. This sweet, easygoing breed loves children and usually gets along quite well with other dogs and even cats, provided that proper socialization takes place. Because American Cocker Spaniels tend to welcome friends, family and foe in the same fashion, they do not typically make good watchdogs. However, they are loyal, endearing companions that crave - and thrive on - human attention. They also are quite portable, given their modest size, which makes them great travel partners.


My cocker is just over 7 years old. Each spaniel I've had has had their own unique personality. As stated by others, if it's a puppy, socialize them as much as you can. I've found them to be easy to train provided you are not too firm (cockers are extra sensitive to discipline so be firm but gentle - find a good balance). In general, they are a loving devoted companion that will hardly leave your side.


I've had two cockers, one a female American and one a male English. Katie, our American, was incredibly energetic and would play fetch for hours. She could be a little bit aggressive towards others and if you touched her in certain areas. Amazing dog though, nonetheless. She lived till she was 16, so make sure you're ready for that kind of commitment. Our English, Coalton, is SUPER mellow. He has addison's disease that contributes to that, but he's naturally a very sweet and loving dog. He's very vocal, meaning he'll whine when he wants food/attention/etc, and he does bark in our backyard quite a bit. He gets along fine with other people and children, but he tends to shy away from other dogs.

I hope you have the best of luck adopting a dog! I really do hope you choose to go with a cocker, because they really are amazing pups!!


I love cockers, they were what I always wanted as a dog when I was a kid :) I think they're a good choice for people who want a lab/golden but maybe don't want the size or the potential derp.