cocker spaniel on peg

Cocker spaniels were originally bred for hunting woodcock

The working cocker spaniel has had a real resurgence out in the field since the 1960s. The breed is energetic – which makes them a real asset in the beating line. The little dogs were originally bred for hunting woodcock – hence the name ‘cocker’.

They can also retrieve pheasants and partridges and some will even try carrying a goose. They have stout hearts and are keen to please.

Working cocker spaniels are attractive dogs and come in a variety of colours. Their size also adds to their appeal, as they fit easily in a car and will live happily in a small house.

If you’re thinking about taking on a working cocker, then read through our guidance below which covers how to choose a cocker spaniel puppy, what’s behind their recent popularity, how to train a working cocker spaniel and the working cocker breed’s characteristics.

Three famous working cocker spaniel owners

  • Prince William
  • Guy Ritchie
  • David Beckham

Help! My young cocker spaniel won’t hunt away from me!

Q: My 10 month old cocker spaniel is coming along fine in training except for one thing. He won’t go more than a few yards from me before returning. How can I get him to hunt properly?

A: Cockers of this age tend to be far more affectionate than, say, a springer and love to have constant contact with their owner.

Don’t worry though, it’s a trait that will sort itself out in time when the dog’s hunting experience grows.  Cockers might be busy dogs but to get them hunting really well and take their mind off the owner you need to work them on ground where there’s lots of game scent.


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Was getting a cocker spaniel a mistake?

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Would a working cocker spaniel be right for you?

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Cocker spaniels come in almost any colour you can think of

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