Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

English Cocker Spaniel

Spaniel (Cocker)

English Cocker Spaniel


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Great Britain.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
08.10.2012.
KC
December 2011

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Flushing dog.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 8Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs
Section 2Flushing Dogs
With working trial

KC
Gundog
UKC
Gun Dog

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
Cocker Spaniels were recognized as a separate breed from Field and Springer Spaniels soon after the formation of the Kennel Club in 1873. He originated as the ‘cocking spaniel’, and derived this name from flushing woodcock. As with a number of gundog breeds there is nowadays a difference between those used for work and those used for show the show Cocker is a sturdier, heavier version of his working counterpart.
UKC
The English Cocker Spaniel was developed from the field spaniels, a subcategory of the "land" spaniels developed to work the field (as opposed to the "water" spaniels that worked over water). Land spaniels were divided into "springing" and "field" spaniels. These were smaller spaniels, which worked the hedgerows and gorse of rural England to flush the woodcock for the hunters. The English Cocker Spaniel was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1914.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Merry, sturdy, sporting; well balanced; compact.
KC
Merry, sturdy, sporting; well balanced; compact; measuring approximately same from withers to ground as from withers to root of tail.
UKC
The English Cocker Spaniel is solidly-built, short-coupled and moderately angulated. It has as much bone and substance as possible without being cloddy or coarse. The height, measured at the withers, is slightly greater than the distance measured from the withers to the set-on of the tail.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
Measuring approximately the same from withers to ground as from withers to root of tail.
KC
Merry nature with ever-wagging tail shows a typical bustling movement, particularly when following scent, fearless of heavy cover.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Merry nature with ever-wagging tail shows a typical bustling movement, particularly when following scent, fearless of heavy cover. Gentle and affectionate, yet full of life and exuberance.
KC
Gentle and affectionate, yet full of life and exuberance.
UKC
The English Cocker Spaniel is merry, affectionate and even-tempered. They are easily-trained, are willing workers and excellent companions. They exhibit enthusiasm in the field, accompanied by an incessant action of the tail. Dogs exhibiting sluggish or hyper-active temperaments are to be faulted. They exhibit balance, both in motion and while standing. The head is especially characteristic of the breed, having a brainy appearance indicating high intelligence. The muzzle is also distinctive. The whole is always to be of primary consideration rather than any of the parts. Exaggeration of any of the parts is to be faulted.

HEAD

:
KC
Square muzzle, with distinct stop set midway between tip of nose and occiput. Skull well developed, cleanly chiselled, neither too fine nor too coarse. Cheek bones not prominent. Nose sufficiently wide for acute scenting power.
UKC
The head appears strong and free from coarseness, and softly contoured, without sharp angles. As a whole, the parts that make up the head combine to produce the distinctive expression of the breed, that being soft and melting, yet dignified, alert and intelligent. When viewed from either the front or the side, the skull is arched and slightly flattened. When viewed in profile, the brow appears to be not appreciably higher than the backskull. When viewed from above, the sides of the skull maintain the approximate planes of the muzzle. The length of the muzzle is equal to the length of the skull, but is narrower, as is consistent with a full eye placement. The head is in proportion to the body, and the muzzle is in proportion to to the head. The skull is cleanly chiseled under the eyes. The stop is not moderate, but is defined and slightly grooved. The jaws are strong, indicative that the dog is capable of carrying game.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Well developed, cleanly chiselled, neither too fine nor too coarse.

Stop

:
FCI
Distinct, set midway between tip of nose and occiput.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Sufficiently wide for acute scenting power.
UKC
The nostrils are wide, indicative of room for the proper development of olfactory nerve to ensure good scenting ability. Acceptable colors include: black; and brown in liver and liver parti-colored dogs. Red and red parti-colors may have brown noses, but black is preferred.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Square.
KC
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
UKC
A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Not prominent.

Eyes

:
FCI
Full, but not prominent. Dark brown or brown, never light, but in the case of liver, liver roan and liver and white, dark hazel to harmonize with coat; with expression of intelligence and gentleness but wide awake, bright and merry; rims tight.
KC
Full, but not prominent. Dark brown or brown, never light, but in the case of liver, liver roan and liver and white, dark hazel to harmonise with coat; with expression of intelligence and gentleness but wide awake, bright and merry; rims tight.
UKC
The eyes are essential to the overall characteristics of the head. The full, slightly oval-shaped eyes are of medium size and set well apart. The eyelids are tight. The haws are inconspicuous; may be pigmented or not pigmented. The eye color is dark brown, except in livers and liver parti-colors, where they are hazel, the darker hazel being preferred.

Ears

:
FCI
Lobular, set low on level with eyes. Fine leathers extending to nose tip. Well clothed with long, straight silky hair.
KC
Lobular, set low on a level with eyes. Fine leathers extending to nose tip. Well clothed with long, straight silky hair.
UKC
The ear leather is fine and extends to the nose. The ears are covered with long, silky, straight or slightly wavy hair. They are set low and lie close to the head.

NECK

:
FCI
Moderate in length, muscular. Set neatly into fine sloping shoulders. Clean throat.
KC
Moderate in length, muscular. Set neatly into fine sloping shoulders. Clean throat.
UKC
The neck is graceful and muscular. It arches toward the head and blends cleanly into sloping shoulders. It is moderate in length and is in balance with the length and height of the dog.

BODY

:
FCI
Strong, compact.
KC
Strong, compact. Chest well developed and brisket deep; neither too wide nor too narrow in front. Ribs well sprung. Loin short, wide with firm, level topline gently sloping downwards to tail from end of loin to set on of tail.
UKC
The compact, well-knit body gives the impression of strength without heaviness. The neckline blends into the shoulder and backline in a smooth curve. The backline slopes very slightly toward the gently rounded croup. The back is short and strong. The short, broad loin is very slightly arched, not enough to significantly affect the topline. The croup is gently rounded, without the tendency to fall away sharply. The chest is deep, but not so wide as to interfere with foreleg action nor so narrow as to cause the front to appear narrow or pinched. The brisket reaches to the elbow, sloping gradually to a moderate tuck-up. The forechest is well developed, the prosternum projecting moderately beyond the point of the shoulder. The well-sprung ribs spring gradually to mid-body tapering to the back ribs, which are of good depth and extend well back.

Topline

:
FCI
Firm, level, gently sloping downwards to tail from end of loin to set on of tail.

Loin

:
FCI
Short, wide.

Chest

:
FCI
Well developed and brisket deep; neither too wide nor too narrow in front. Ribs well sprung.

TAIL

:
FCI
Set on slightly lower than line of back. Must be merry in action and carried level, never cocked up. Previously customarily docked.
Docked: Never too short to hide, nor too long to interfere with, the incessant merry action when working.
Undocked: Slightly curved, of moderate length, proportionate to size of body giving an overall balanced appearance; ideally not reaching below the hock. Strong at the root and tapering to a fine tip; well feathered in keeping with the coat. Lively in action, carried on a plane not higher than level of back and never so low as to indicate timidity.
KC
Set on slightly lower than line of back. Must be merry in action and carried level, never cocked up. Previously customarily docked. Docked: Never too short to hide, nor too long to interfere with, the incessant merry action when working. Undocked: Slightly curved, of moderate length, proportionate to size of body giving an overall balanced appearance; ideally not reaching below the hock. Strong at the root and tapering to a fine tip; well feathered in keeping with the coat. Lively in action, carried on a plane not higher than level of back and never so low as to indicate timidity.
UKC
The tail may be docked or natural, and is set on to conform to the croup. While the dog is in motion, the tail is carried horizontally, an extension of the croup, and is in constant motion. When the dog is excited, the tail may be carried somewhat higher, but not gaily.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
Legs well boned, straight, sufficiently short for concentrated power. Not too short to interfere with tremendous exertions expected from this grand, sporting dog.
KC
Shoulders sloping and fine. Legs well boned, straight, sufficiently short for concentrated power. Not too short to interfere with tremendous exertions expected from this grand, sporting dog.
UKC
The shoulders are sloping, with the blades flat and smoothly fitting. The shoulder blade and upper arm are approximately equal in length.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Sloping and fine.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The forelegs are straight, with bone that is nearly uniform in size from the elbow to the heel. The elbows are set close to the body. The upper arm is set well back and joins the shoulder with sufficient angulation so that the elbow is placed beneath the highest point of the shoulder blade when the dog is in a natural stance. The pasterns are nearly straight, with some flexibility.

FEET

:
KC
Firm, thickly padded, cat-like.
UKC
The feet are proportionate in size to the legs. They are firm, round and catlike. The toes are arched and tight. The pads are thick.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Firm, thickly padded, cat-like.

Hind feet

:
FCI
As Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Wide, well rounded, very muscular; legs well boned.
KC
Wide, well rounded, very muscular. Legs well boned, good bend of stifle, short below hock allowing for plenty of drive.
UKC
The angulation of the hindquarters is in balance with that of the forequarters. The hips are relatively broad and well rounded.

Stifle

:
FCI
Good bend.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The muscular upper thigh is broad and well rounded, providing adequate propelling power. The muscular lower thigh is broad and thick, approximately equal in length to the upper thigh. The stifle is strong and well bent. The hocks are well let down.

Hock joint

:
FCI
Short below the hock joint, allowing for plenty of drive.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
True through action with great drive covering ground well.
KC
True through action with great drive covering ground well.
UKC
The English Cocker Spaniel’s gait is characterized by drive and the appearance of power, rather than speed, indicative of the breed’s use as a hunter in dense cover and upland terrain. Correct angulation enables the dog to cover the ground effortlessly with extension in the front and rear. The head is carried proudly while in motion. The topline remains much the same whether in motion or standing still. They move in a straight line with width between the front and rear legs that is appropriate to build and gait.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Flat, silky in texture, never wiry or wavy, not too profuse and never curly. Well feathered forelegs, body and hind legs above hocks.
KC
Flat, silky in texture, never wiry or wavy, not too profuse and never curly. Well feathered forelegs, body and hindlegs above hocks.
UKC
The coat is short and fine on the head, and of medium length on the body, where it may be flat or slightly wavy and is silky in texture, with enough undercoat to provide protection. It is well feathered but not so much as to interfere with field work. Trimming is permitted only to remove overabundant hair. The dog should always appear as natural as possible.

COLOUR

:
FCI

Solid colours Black; red; golden; liver (chocolate); black-and-tan; liver-and-tan; No white allowed except a small amount on chest.
Particolours Bicolours; Black and white; orange and white; liver and white; lemon and white. All with or without ticking.
Tricolours Black, white and tan; liver, white and tan.
Roans Blue roan; orange roan; lemon roan; liver roan; blue roan and tan; liver roan and tan.
Any colour or marking other than the above is undesirable.
KC
Solid colours Black; red; golden; liver (chocolate); black and tan; liver and tan. No white allowed except a small amount on chest. Particolours Bicolours: Black and white; orange and white; liver and white; lemon and white. All with or without ticking. Tricolours: Black, white and tan; liver, white and tan. Roans: Blue roan; orange roan; lemon roan; liver roan; blue roan and tan; liver roan and tan. Any colour or marking other than the above is undesirable.
UKC
Various colors, which include black, liver and shades of red, are acceptable. PARTI-COLORS - Parti-colors may be clearly marked, ticked or roaned. The white appears in combination with the black, liver or shades of red (roaned). It is preferable that, on the body, the solid markings are broken and more or less evenly distributed. The absence of body markings is acceptable. SOLID COLORS - Solid-colored (also known as self-colored) dogs (black, liver or shades of red) may have a little white on the throat, but white feet are undesirable. These white markings do not make the dog a parti-color. TAN MARKINGS - Clearly defined, richly shaded tan markings may appear on solid colored or parti-colored dogs. Tan markings are found over the eyes, on the sides of the muzzle, on the throat, on the chest, on the forelegs from the knees to the toes, on the hind legs, on the inside of the legs and on the stifle extending from the hock to the toes. Black and Tans and Liver and Tans are considered Solid Colors.

SIZE

:
KC
Height approximately: dogs: 39-41 cms (151/2-16 ins); bitches: 38-39 cms (15-151/2 ins). Weight approximately: 13-14.5 kgs (28-32 lbs).
UKC
Height, at the withers, for males: 16 to 17 inches. Height, at the withers, for females: 15 to 16 inches. Desirable weights for males: 28 to 34 pounds. Desirable weights for females: 26 to 32 pounds. Quality is not to be sacrificed in favor of weight.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Height approximately Males 39 - 41 cms
Females 38 - 39 cms.

Weight

:
FCI
Weight approximately 13 - 14, 5 kgs

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on its ability to perform its traditional work.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Teeth: Even (level) bite.
Ears: Ears set or carried too high. Too wide at the top. Insufficient feathering.
Neck: Short, thick, with dewlap or excessive throatiness.
Forelegs: Straight shoulders. Loaded shoulders. Loose shoulders. Elbows turned in or out. Knees knuckled over. Bowed legs. Light bone.
Body: Insufficient spring of rib. Barrel ribbed. Withers too low. Flat or narrow loin. Exaggerated tuck-up.
Hind Legs: Excessive angulation. Short stifle. Hocks too long. Cowhocks. Weak hocks.
Feet: Feet too large or too small. Splayed feet.
Tail: Tail set too low. Carried habitually too high.
Coat: Coat too soft, wiry or curly. Lack of coat.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC

Teeth: Overshot or undershot bites.
Body: Sway back. Roach back.
Size: Any deviations from the height.
Gait: Crabbing. Rolling.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.