Description & History

Spaniels, which are believed to have originated in Spain, are known to have been in existence in England and Wales since about 1000 AD.

For centuries the ancestors of today's spaniels were used to seek and flush game. The introduction of firearms gradually changed the style of hunting so that spaniels and other field dogs learnt to retrieve on command as well as to hunt, find and flush game.

The early nineteenth century brought distinction between the various types of spaniel and in 1893 the Cocker was recognised as a separate breed. It acquired its name due to its ability to 'cock' or flush game birds.

The Cocker the smallest of the working spaniels, is a happy, enthusiastic hunter whose tail never stops wagging! He will busy himself wherever his nose takes him, looking for pheasant and rabbit.

Cockers were champions in the show ring long before they were field trial champions. In Great Britain they have been highly successful show dogs: since the Best in Show at Crufts was first awarded in 1928, the Cocker has won more times than any other breed. Three dogs - Luckystar of Ware, Exquisite Model of Ware, and Tracey Witch of Ware - each won the Championship twice - a remarkable achievement for one owner and breeder, Mr H S Lloyd.

The breed adapts to most types of living but regular exercise is essential.

Rosamund Walters.

Copyright © 1997 The Complete MultiMedia Co. Ltd.