The cocker spaniel is the smallest of Britain’s gundogs. Once owned primarily by rough shooters and trainers, it is now a popular companion in working homes. This high-energy hunter descends from ‘land’ spaniels, which were divided into ‘springing’ and ‘cocking’ spaniels based on the size of the pup. Cocking spaniels were used in dense cover to hunt and flush smaller game like woodcock.
Cockers come in an array of colours and markings, making them one of the most eye-pleasing and differentiated gundogs. They have a compact body, pendulous ears, silky coat and every-wagging tail. Active and affectionate, they also possess great stamina at work. With early socialisation they are friendly with people, children and other dogs, although their exuberance can be challenging for novice owners.
The working cocker is an ideal choice for sportsmen and women involved in multiple activities, like driven shooting, rough shooting, walked-up days, duck and pigeon shooting, picking up and working the beating line.