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American Cocker: Discovering the Charms of this Beloved Breed

Cocker Americano: Descubriendo los Encantos de esta amada raza

Lobo Azul |

The American Cocker is one of those breeds that have now become perfect pets , but that for many years have accompanied hunters in the field, specifically hunting quail and partridges.

  • Weight : around 11 kilos
  • Hair type: silky and straight
  • Character : happy and balanced
  • Health : strong
  • Life expectancy : 12-14 years


As with most breeds of the new continent, the American Cocker has its origins in old Europe. Specifically, it comes from the United Kingdom . Several Cocker Spaniels arrived from this country around 1800.

The breed spread throughout the continent and at the end of the century, in 1881, the first club of the breed was created, which was already called the American Cocker Spaniel Club.

During those 80 years, the American specimens began to be distinguished from the English ones, since American breeders immediately began to work on other lines that took this animal away from its main purpose, hunting.

It seems something linked to the North Americans, who have already done this with several breeds until separating them from the main trunk, generating new breeding lines.

There was a lot of controversy at the time.

This decision, to release a cocker line for exhibitions, was not free from disputes from its origin, as there were people who wanted the breed to continue being a perfect hunting dog.

In fact, as a result of this controversy, both variants are beginning to be definitively differentiated, and this is something that was seen in the phenotype of the dogs as the American ones are smaller in size and have more abundant hair.

Already in 1935, crossing between both breeds was prohibited and in 1946 the American Kennel Club surrendered to the evidence, recognizing that the American Cocker and the English Cocker were two different breeds.

It is in those years when the Cocker reached its greatest popularity, and is now in decline, but not in danger of extinction.

Main features

The breed is within the group of “sporting hunting dogs” of the FCI, despite the fact that it has not been on the field for many years. In this group, with a weight ranging from 10 to 15 kilos and a height of 33 to 39 cm, it is the smallest.

Its head is very characteristic, since it is very round and is accompanied by a wide and elongated muzzle, flatter than that of the English Cocker, which is one of its differences.

The coat is longer than that of the breed that gives it origin. It can be straight or wavy, with an inner layer that protects it from the cold and humidity, which is the result of its days as a hunter.

It has fringes on its legs, ears and chest area, which contributes to giving it a friendly appearance, far from aggressive.

Regarding the tone of the coat, solid black, with tan markings or white spots, cream, dark red, brown and brown with tan markings are accepted. In turn, it can have two solid colors, as long as one is white.

We cannot forget his ears, which seem to be set very far back on his head and hang visibly . They look huge, but the truth is that this is an optical illusion caused by the hair, and especially the fringes.


We are looking at a very affectionate and friendly dog, just as it seems when we see it for the first time. It is one of the best pets we can have, as it is very sweet and loyal to its loved ones.

The plush appearance helps us always want to pet him, something he won't reject. In addition, he gets along very well with children, whom he treats very delicately so as not to hurt them.

Something similar happens with other animals, which is why it is the ideal dog if we live with more pets such as cats.

Unlike its English relative, which has character problems resulting from unresponsible upbringing, the American Cocker is very balanced and calm.

That does not mean that he spends the day sleeping, since he is active and loves to play. It is also happy exercising, especially if it simulates hunting.

They like to move, which does not mean that they have problems adapting to life at home , and hence the success they had from the beginning as companion animals.

American Cocker Care

Like any dog ​​with this coat, what is going to give us the most work is going to be the hair . Thus, in order for it to look in all its splendor, you have to brush it once a day.

Baths have to be regular, as this ensures a clean coat with which we will be able to work better. Furthermore, if we want it to have the appearance of the breed, we must take it to the hairdresser.

You will need to schedule frequent visits to have your hair detangled, cut, shaped, etc., but this does not have to be done every month.

We should not see this as an expense, since in addition to making our pet look better, we will prevent parasites from developing. These find a perfect place in the knots of the hair, so they must be avoided at all costs.

The ears will also demand a lot of attention , both on the outside and especially on the inside, because due to the type of ear you have, ear infections are not uncommon.

How do we clean his ears?

You have to check his ears regularly, better if we do it every day when coming from the street.

We start with the external part, where dirt tends to stick. All types of vegetation can get tangled there, which we will remove so that no knots or nuclei of dirt are created.

We also avoid wounds on the outside, which can occur if the spikes dig deep into the hair and touch the skin.

After looking at the external part we go to the internal part, the most important part. Again, we check that it does not have spikes or foreign bodies, because if they are present and we do not remove them, it will develop otitis .

When it comes to preventing it, it helps a lot to eliminate excess wax. It can be done with gauze or saline solution, although there are already specific products on the market for dogs that we can use.

If we have doubts, we will always consult with the veterinarian, who will explain how to clean our American Cocker's ears in the best possible way, without causing any harm.

It is better to do it daily, so it is advisable to accustom the animal from a young age , manipulating its ears, cleaning the inner ear area, etc.


Regarding feeding the American Cocker, the first thing we should know is that we are dealing with a fairly gluttonous breed. He eats very quickly and if we let him he will do so in much higher quantities than necessary.

This means that we must be careful with how much feed we put in the bowl , while avoiding giving him extras in the form of sweets or homemade food, as that will only help him gain more weight.

Thus, the main thing is to choose a quality feed , especially when the American Cocker is a fairly active dog that needs food that provides a good amount of energy, but without going overboard.

Therefore, what we are going to do is buy quality feed, one of those called premium. The main characteristic of this type of dog food is its composition.

Proteins stand out in it, almost always in the form of meat, although there are also fish . The normal thing is that the main protein source is chicken or lamb and there is already duck, cow, etc. feed.

At the same time, and even more knowing that it tends to put on weight, what we will look for will be a feed without grains of any kind. That means that it is better not to have wheat or barley, which provide too many carbohydrates.

It may seem that choosing a feed will be very complicated, but nothing could be further from the truth. We will look for those that advertise on the bag that they are “ grain free ” and among those, we will choose those that have a higher proportion of protein in their composition.

If, despite this, we notice that our American Cocker is gaining weight, we can always talk to the veterinarian to see if a light feed is necessary, with less fat and carbohydrates.


The American Cocker is not a delicate dog, one of those that requires going to the vet every week, but like all pure breeds it has its associated health problems.

One of the main ones is deafness. In fact, around 7% of dogs of this breed are already born deaf , something they can live with and so can we, as long as we follow a series of guidelines in order to adapt to it.

Furthermore, deafness can be acquired throughout life if we are not careful. Like all dogs with long, drooping ears, ear infections are not uncommon and if left untreated they can cause ear damage.

Therefore, we must be attentive and check the inside of the ear frequently, especially after walks.

The eyes are another of his weak points

You also have to be careful with your eyes, as the breed is prone to problems such as cataracts or glaucoma. Therefore, it is good for the veterinarian to look at his eyes from time to time.

These check-ups should be more frequent as the animal gets older, since that is when it is most at risk of suffering from these pathologies.

There are more diseases specific to the breed

If we talk about American cockers , we must not forget autoimmune hemolytic anemia, since it affects the breed .

It is a liver disease that comes from several causes, and fortunately it has treatment in the vast majority of cases, with solutions such as blood transfusion, antiparasitics or corticosteroids.

Seen this way it seems that the American Cocker is a delicate animal, but nothing could be further from the truth. Deafness is a disease that affects them more and the rest may suffer from it, but it is not very common.

However, glaucoma or cataracts are something that any dog ​​suffers from, as is anemia. It occurs more in this breed than in others, but we should not become obsessed with it. Of course, we should not stop buying a specimen of this breed if we like it.

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