At Akuna Pets we know that Cocker Spaniels are one of the most intelligent breeds around, and don’t they love to show it! The only thing that gets in the way of a Cocker Spaniel and showing off their talents is toys! And here at Akuna, we have tonnes of toys for our Cocker guests to choose from. Ever seen a Cocker Spaniel fill its mouth full of toys because they can’t decide which one to play with first? We have!!

Smart, loving, affectionate & playful! Not to mention loyal & great with children. With so many fantastic personality traits, it’s a no wonder they are considered a perfect canine companion.

  • Nicknames Cocker, Merry Cocker
  • Lifespan 12 to 15 years
  • Country of Origin Spain
  • Weight Male11 to 14kg (26 to 32lb)
  • Weight Female11 to 14kg (26 to 32lb)
  • Height Male 38 to 43cm (15 to 17in)
  • Height Female 35 to 40cm (14 to 16in)
  • CoatThick, straight or wavy and long
  • Litter Size1 to 7
  • Colour Red, black, gold, liver, roan and parti colours




Famous people who own Cocker Spaniels past & present 

Prince William & Kate – Lupo

Richard Nixon – Checker

Bill Clinton – Zeke

Oprah Winfrey – has owned 4 Cocker Spaniels, Solomon, Sophie, Sunny & Lauren

Elton John – Arthur

Charlize Theron – Delilah & Denver

Martin Clunes – Mary & Tina

Websites with fun information, stories & Organisations that help Cocker Spaniels

Fun Facts

‘Lady’ from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp movie was an American Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels have been the pets of choice for several U.S. presidents over the years!

Some people say that Cockers have such a great love of toys that they will do anything to get more, commonly hiding or destroying an old toy just to get a new one!

In the 1930’s the Cocker Spaniel was the most popular breed of dog in England and it stayed in this number one position for another 20 years.

The Cocker tail was typically docked or cut short when puppies are three or four days old. This is now controversial because it is purely a cosmetic procedure. Tail docking is now banned in all states of Australia.

The Cocker Spaniels were so named because their original purpose was to hunt Woodcock in the field.

The general term Cocker Spaniel refers to two separately recognized dog breeds, the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel.

These facts are all amazing but the things we love most about Cocker Spaniels are how fun and loving they are. That’s why we get so excited when one comes in for a holiday stay.

“Spanyells”, originating from Spain, have been around since before the fourteenth century and were used by hunters to hunt game. Eventually the hunters noticed that the larger spaniels were better at springing game and the smaller spaniels were better at flushing out game. From there they were named accordingly for their skills, the Springer Spaniel and the Cocker Spaniel (Cocker – because they were good at flushing out Woodcock)

In 1892 the Kennel Club of England officially recognised them as separate breeds, however both were still found in the same litters even after the official separation. Size was the only way the Springer and the Cocker were distinguished in the litters.

Over the late nineteenth century, the Springer and Cocker were crossed with other spaniel breeds and developed into the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel that we know today.

After the Disney movie “Lady and the Tramp” in 1955 the Cocker Spaniel’s popularity boomed and became the most popular breed registered by the American Kennel Club. Even today the Cocker Spaniel ranks a respectable 29th out of over 177 breeds!

No matter if it’s an American Cocker Spaniel or an English Cocker Spaniel, we love them all the same here at Akuna!


The Cocker Spaniel is a kind, compassionate, intelligent and resilient breed. They are known for their affection and loyalty which makes them excellent family pets with children of all ages. They have been given the nickname “Merry Cocker” because of their constantly wagging tail and happy personality!

If socialised at an early age Cockers are friendly and playful with people, other dogs and pets. Cockers are not suited to being in the backyard alone as they are very social and prefer the company of people or another dog. The Cocker is often referred to as a “Velcro dog” because they like to be right beside you at every waking moment. Hence, they stick to you like Velcro!

With the Cockers happy personality, playful nature and sociability they love being able to sniff noses and say hi to their neighbours from their grass yard section of their hotel room. They also love that our carer’s are always around for a good cuddle and some liver treats, just in case they get a bit bored with their neighbours!


Cocker Spaniels are very energetic, but are a sensitive breed and do not respond well to harsh words or punishment. So with kind hands, soft words and positive rewards, the Cocker is willing to learn anything you wish to teach them!

It is no surprise that the Cocker ranks 20th in Stanley Coren’s book The Intelligence of Dogs, as they are very smart and excels at both obedience and agility. A treat bag, a clicker and patience is all you will need to have a well behaved, obedient Cocker!

At Akuna Pets we don’t offer specific training programs but we do understand how important dog manners are and as such follow basic rules of training such as making dogs sit before their dinner and for treats, making sure we go through gates and doors first. We also deter jumping and biting by saying no firmly and rewarding good behaviour with liver treats.

Behavioural issues

Cocker Spaniels can develop some bad behavioural problems if they are not trained from a young age or are left alone for long periods of time. Excessive barking and destructiveness are common in Cockers that are left alone frequently. Excitable/submissive urination is also common, especially when they are young.

Cockers need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to keep them out of trouble. Some owners find their Cocker suffering from Separation Anxiety, where they will use their tracking skills to try and find their owner after they have gone off to work. This means a fully fenced yard is a must! With time they learn that you do return at the end of the day and that all is good with the world.

Cocker Spaniels can definitely be destructive with toys and bedding etc if they don’t have a positive outlet for their exuberance. Here at Akuna Pets we don’t get much destructive behaviour due to the fact that our guests have plenty of other things to focus their attention on, like our super fun water play park!

We also have lots and lots of toys for your dog to play with when they have play time out in one of our big grass play yards. We have spent some years finding the best toys possible that are fun but durable. You know what though – The most favourite toy is still the good old fashioned tennis ball!

So the good news is that behavioural problems due to pent up energy levels or lack of stimulus or company is not going to be a problem for your Cockers when he/she comes for a holiday at Akuna Pet Resort!

If your Cocker suffers separation anxiety you will be comforted to know that an Akuna Carer pops in and out of your furry ones room on and off all throughout the day to make sure everything is ok.

Energy Level

The Cocker Spaniel is adaptable and will fit into most households as long as they get plenty of attention and outings! They are a very energetic breed as they were originally bred to hunt. A good game of fetch and 30 min walk or run morning and night is enough to sustain the Cocker and curb their boredom.

“Energy Busting” is what we do best at Akuna, with the option of bush walks, play yard fun, loving cuddle times and swims in our water play park. In addition your dog has its own grass yard that they have access to from 7am to 7pm every day. If your Cocker is a senior citizen he/she will not have the same high exercise needs but will still love having one to one cuddles and loving belly rubs during play time, or a bush walk stroll through our beautiful 10 acre country property.

So whether it is for energy busting or loving company, your Cockers activity needs are well catered for at Akuna Pet Resort!

Health issues

The Cocker Spaniel is generally speaking a healthy breed however they do have a few health problems to be mindful of.

Cockers can be susceptible to a number of eye conditions such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Glaucoma, Cataracts and Distichiasis. Most of these conditions can be managed with assistance from a Vet however it is a good idea to always buy your puppy from a reputable breeder who has had their puppies screened and tested.

Hip Dysplasia is also commonly found in Cockers and again this is a condition that can be screened for so make sure the breeder has had their puppies Hip Scored. A healthy weighted Cocker that gets plenty of exercise is less likely to develop hip and joint problems. This also helps with Obesity which Cockers are known to develop, so make sure your Cocker gets at least 60mins of exercise per day and the recommended amount of food to help prevent these conditions.

Because of the Cockers droopy long ears, they are quite prone to Ear Infections. This can be avoided by regularly wiping out the ears with a cleansing solution like Epi-Otic to avoid bacteria and waxy build-up. Also make sure that no water gets in the ears when bathing, you can place a cotton ball in each ear to prevent this from happening.

At Akuna Pets we do daily health checks to quickly pick up on any health issues that might arise during your Cockers holiday at Akuna, such as skin rashes, ear infections etc. We also monitor and care for any current or previous conditions/injuries that your Cocker may have and give them that extra little bit of attention they need during their holiday!

Our dysplasia and vision impaired guest’s benefit greatly from the design of our Pet Resort facility as it has been built to have NO STEPS. We intentionally designed our complex this way so that pet guests with mobility and sight problems would be able to easily move around without stress.

We use a fantastic local vet practise called “Cessnock Vet” They specialise in many areas of canine health care so if vet care is required for your Cocker whilst they are holidaying with us you can be sure he or she will be in the very best of hands & receive the best care available.

Weight Issues

Cocker Spaniels are quite likely to have weight issues, especially later in life when they are less active because they are always ready to eat, no matter what time of day it is!

Feeding a controlled and nutritious diet is key but keep in mind that treats also count as food, so if you are feeding treats for training you need to reduce the amount of food they are getting in their meals.

At Akuna Pets we are aware of the Cocker’s love of food and their inclination to easily put on weight so we pay close attention to this. Firstly we feed a premium graded vet recommended dry food called “Royal Canin” (which our guests love!). We match the amount we feed to your pet’s age, breed & weight. We weigh your pet upon arrival to establish how much they should be fed and then weigh weekly throughout their holiday stay to make sure a healthy weight is maintained. In addition we keep records on how much food your pet is eating and what if any is left on a daily basis. So if your pet is gaining or losing weight we know whether to increase or decrease their portion of food. If you would prefer your Cocker to lose a little bit of weight we can even help with that, so just let us know when you book your dog’s holiday stay!


Cockers need quite a lot of time spent on grooming to keep their gorgeous feathered coats from matting and knotting.

Brushing should be started from an early age to get your Cocker used to the routine as they require brushing 3 to 4 times per week. Bathing should also be done fortnightly with a good quality shampoo so that you do not do any damage the coat or skin.

Ear cleaning should be done regularly to avoid infection and nails should be trimmed when needed.

At Akuna we recommend that you try and keep your routine from home as much as you can while your pet is on holiday, which includes grooming! So if you usually groom your Cocker 3 times a week, you can purchase 3 brushes to ensure that your Cocker keeps his/her gorgeous coat intact.