The Cocker Spaniel derives his name from the expression "to cock", meaning to drive game from cover. In fact, the Cocker Spaniel's original purpose in life was to flush out woodcock from the thick hedgerows, gorse and undergrowth of England. Being a good swimmer, he was also utilised for retrieving game from the water in marshland areas.
One of the smallest members of the gun dog family, the merry Cocker is today primarily a very handsome and much-loved household pet. However, we should not forget his sporting ancestry, and must ensure that he gets plenty of outdoor exercise. He adores country walks and is never happier that when foraging around. If this is not possible, an energetic game of ball or fetching a stick in the backyard will help satisfy his instinct to work, and keep him fit. Sensitive, highly intelligent and always anxious to please, the Cocker Spaniel is an affectionate and fun-loving dog. He adores children, and very much enjoys being included in family activities.
A hardy, long-lived, sturdily built little dog, the Cocker Spaniel is not susceptible to illness, although his long ears require ongoing care and attention, particularly in the grass seed season. His fine silky coat needs regular grooming and occasional trimming.