Country of origin

The Cocker Spaniel was originally bred hundreds of years ago in Spain as a bird-hunting dog. It resulted from a cross of spaniels and setters. The first Cocker in America is said to have arrived with the Pilgrim Fathers on the Mayflower in 1620. American Cockers were developed from the English Cocker in the 19th century, to retrieve quail and woodcock. Originally they were divided from the English Cocker solely on the basis of size, but over the years they were bred for specific traits and the differences grew greater. By the 1940s the American Cocker differed so much in type from the English Cocker that it became impossible to judge them together and in 1945 the two breeds were separated and each officially recognised with their own standards.

They were bred as hunting dogs and still retain some of their hunting instincts. Some are still kept as working dogs but most are now commonly found in the show ring or as companions. American Cocker Spaniel is one of America’s most popular breeds.