English vs American Cocker Spaniel: Difference and Comparison

Cocker Spaniels are one of the finest, most charming dog breeds in regards to being working dogs and family pets because they are intelligent, faithful, and lively canines to have around, for they’d make excellent friends for youngsters to play and grow with. Cocker spaniels, however, are of two different breeds: the English and American cocker spaniel.

Recently, English and American Cocker Spaniels were constantly mistaken for one another and were eventually regarded as the same breed who shared a mutual inheritance. Regarding this issue, the resolution of categorizing them as two different species were later formed when it became apparent that American Cocker Spaniels weren’t similar to the Cocker Spaniels in England and had quite a few primary differences in their temperaments.

Key Takeaways

  1. English Cockers are larger and have longer, leaner heads; American Cockers are smaller and have rounder heads
  2. English Cockers excel in hunting and field work; American Cockers are more companion-focused
  3. English Cockers have a less abundant coat; American Cockers have a more luxurious coat.

English Cocker Spaniel vs. American Cocker Spaniel

The difference between the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel is that the English Cocker Spaniels is an adorable breed that has a life expectancy of over 15 years, doesn’t need much grooming, needs to be put on a leash when outdoors because it is energetic and has a high hunting drive. In contrast, American Cocker Spaniels are also lovable breeds with a life expectancy of over 11 years, need more grooming with frequent baths and everyday fur brushing, are more of a gentle indoor family companion, and do not have a high hunting drive.

English cocker spaniel vs American cocker spaniel


Comparison Table

Parameter of comparisonEnglish cocker spanielAmerican cocker spaniel
Height and weightAn English cocker spaniel is around 15-17 inches tall and weighs approximately 26-34 pounds.An American cocker spaniel is about 13.5-15.5 inches and weighs approximately 20-30 pounds.
The shape of the headAn English cocker spaniel has a substantially flatter skull.An American cocker spaniel has a dome-shaped skull.
Facial featuresAn English cocker spaniel has wider eyes, longer muzzles, and ears that are more extended.An American cocker spaniel has narrowed eyes and a shorter muzzle, and ears are more diminutive.
AppearanceThe coat of an English cocker spaniel is shorter and silkier in texture.The coat of an American cocker spaniel is longer, and the texture is thicker and denser.
Activities and exercisesEnglish cocker spaniels are more energetic for hunting.American cocker spaniels are not as energetic and are good gentle companions.


What is English Cocker Spaniel?

An English cocker spaniel belongs to the breed of gun dogs. English cocker spaniels are considered determined, faithful, compassionate, athletic, well-balanced, and great family pets with intelligence and alertness.

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The eyes of the English cocker spaniel are dark and have close-lying and lush ears. The English cocker spaniel can be a field dog or a show dog.

The tail of the English cocker spaniel can be docked in North America. Field-bred English cocker spaniel’s tail is docked to about 4-5 inches, and for show dogs, the bottom is anchored practically closer to the English cocker spaniel’s body.

Docking is also made legal in South Africa and Australia. The male English cocker spaniel is about 15.5 to 16 inches, and the female is about 15 to 15.5 inches.

The English cocker spaniel weighs 13-14.5 kgs and is considered a balance, temperament, and movement dog. English cocker spaniels can come in numerous hues like brown, black, red-golden, and partly colored like orange with lack of pigmentation, brown and white ticked, white with black pigmentation, etc.

The English cocker spaniel is said to have a merry and cheerful nature. English cocker spaniels may face health problems like skin allergies, deafness, heart murmurs, and benign tumors.

The English cocker spaniel may also face an issue called rage syndrome which means a canine may attack viciously without any warning. English cocker spaniels have a life expectancy of about 11-12 years.

english cocker spaniel

What is American Cocker Spaniel?

An American cocker spaniel belongs to a breed of sports dogs. This breed is considered to be the smallest of sporting dogs.

It is a canine covered with silky fur at the ears and the body that extends to its legs. The ears of the American cocker spaniel hang down, and they have an upturned nose.

The male American cocker spaniel is 15.5 inches tall, while the female is 14.5 inches tall. They weigh over 11 to 14 kg.

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American cocker spaniels come in numerous hues, such as black, tan, and many partial colors. American cocker spaniels can likewise go in their color called the merle (which is a genetic pattern).

The first-ever American cocker spaniel was a brown and white dog called Captain in 1878. Presently, American cocker spaniels are considered to be the oldest breed of dogs in the USA.

American cocker spaniels are considered to be gentle, friendly-natured pets that get along pretty well with family and kids. It is not considered a working dog but a merry and intelligent breed.

These canines were once hunting dogs; now, most are considered show dogs. American cocker spaniels also face health issues like deafness, glaucoma, dilated cardiomyopathy, ear infections, and sometimes eye infections.

They are also prone to rage syndrome, cataracts, or canine epilepsy. American cocker spaniels also have a life expectancy of over 10 to 11 years.

american cocker spaniel

Main Differences Between English Cocker Spaniel and American Cocker Spaniel

  1. An English cocker spaniel is a giant breed weighing around 26 to 34 pounds and about 15 to 17 inches tall. An American cocker spaniel is more petite, weighs 20 to 30 pounds, and is about 13.5 to 15.5 inches tall.
  2. The shape of the head of an English cocker spaniel is flatter. The form of the head of an American cocker spaniel is dome-shaped.
  3. The eyes of an English cocker spaniel are more comprehensive, have a comparatively longer muzzle, and their ears are so long that they touch the feet of the English cocker spaniel. An American cocker spaniel’s eyes are narrower, have a smaller muzzle, and their ears are comparatively shorter.
  4. An English cocker spaniel coat is shorter and silkier in texture. An American cocker spaniel coat is longer and denser in texture.
  5. English cocker spaniels are more active and energetic and are suitable for camping and hiking. American cocker spaniels are good-companion dogs, and they love being indoors more.
Difference Between English Cocker Spaniel and American Cocker Spaniel

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0168159195010122
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1748-5827.1977.tb05831.x

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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22 thoughts on “English vs American Cocker Spaniel: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This piece offers a wealth of valuable information for prospective dog owners, shedding light on the diverse qualities of English and American Cocker Spaniels.

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    • The article offers a captivating glimpse into the unique traits of each Cocker Spaniel breed, presenting a well-rounded view of their characteristics.

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  6. While English Cocker Spaniels seem to be more ideal for hunting and field work, it’s heartwarming to know that American Cocker Spaniels are more focused on companionship.

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