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16 Of The Most Common Cocker Spaniel Traits

16 Of The Most Common Cocker Spaniel Traits

Are you thinking of getting a Cocker Spaniel puppy? Do you want to know more about their character, temperament and personality? Here’s everything you need to know about the most common Cocker Spaniel traits!

The 16 Most Common Cocker Spaniel Traits are:

  1. Cocker Spaniels are smart
  2. Cocker Spaniels are friendly
  3. Cocker Spaniels are gentle
  4. Cocker Spaniels are energetic
  5. Cocker Spaniels are playful
  6. Cocker Spaniels are cheeky
  7. Cocker Spaniels are happy
  8. Cocker Spaniels are loyal 
  9. Cocker Spaniels are sensitive
  10. Cocker Spaniels are greedy
  11. Cocker Spaniels are chasers
  12. Cocker Spaniels are barkers
  13. Cocker Spaniels are adaptable
  14. Cocker Spaniels are swimmers
  15. Cocker Spaniels are athletic
  16. Cocker Spaniels are kissers

Read on to find out everything you need to know about your Cocker Spaniel’s personality traits!

Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years. 

The 16 Most Common Cocker Spaniel Traits are:

1. Cocker Spaniels Are Smart

Cocker Spaniels are a brainy breed! So much so, they’re considered the 20th most intelligent of all the dog breeds!

Not only are they smart, but they’re keen to learn and eager to please, which helps make them easy to train too.

Because of their high intelligence levels, Cockers are a popular choice as detection, therapy and assistance dogs.

The first Cancer-Detection dog was a Cocker Spaniel called Tangle, who had an 80% success rate for detecting cancerous samples – how amazing is that!

Cocker Spaniels love to use their brains to solve puzzle toys and enrichment activities. Lickmats, snuffle mats, and hide and seek games are all favorites for Cockers!

Making sure your Cocker Spaniel is getting enough mental stimulation is essential, so make sure they’ve got plenty to keep their brain occupied. 

2. Cocker Spaniels Are Friendly

Cocker Spaniels are known for being a friendly and sociable breed.

They’ll often approach everyone as if they’re long-lost friends and enjoy getting lots of love and affection from anyone who’ll indulge them!

They can get on well with other dogs, other pets, children and adults, provided they’re introduced to them correctly.

Their friendly personalities and gentle natures make them popular as therapy dogs in schools, care homes, and hospitals. 

3. Cocker Spaniels Are Gentle

Cocker Spaniels are a gentle breed, which can explain why they’re so popular with families!

Bred for centuries as gundogs, they’re required to carry their prey back to the hunter carefully and softly.

If they’re not gentle with them, they can leave tooth marks and damage the bird they’re carrying, making them less valuable to the hunter.

This can work to your advantage when you’re teaching your Cocker Spaniel to take a treat gently, without grabbing it.  

4. Cocker Spaniels Are Energetic

Cocker Spaniels have a lot of energy!

Adult Cockers need at least one hour of daily exercise, although many need and want much more than this. They’ll love long walks and plenty of chances to run off leash.

If they’re not getting enough exercise, your Cocker Spaniel can quickly start to develop destructive behaviors.

They can begin barking, digging, chewing or trying to escape if their exercise needs aren’t being met.

They’re also likely to have lots of excess energy, which can make them boisterous and more challenging to manage. 

5. Cocker Spaniels Are Playful

Cocker Spaniels love to have fun! They’re a very playful breed who tend to keep their playful puppyish ways throughout their whole lives. 

Whether playing with other dogs, with their toys or running around with their humans, so long as it’s fun, they’ll be up for it! 

So, be sure to factor in plenty of time for playing throughout the day, alongside their physical exercise.

This helps to keep their body and mind happy and healthy and make your Cocker feel good in the process. 

Close up on the head of a Cocker Spaniel on a purple background with a speech bubble that says 'I'm smart, playful, fun and loyal!'
Cocker Spaniel Common Personality and Character Traits

6. Cocker Spaniels Are Cheeky

Cocker Spaniels are cheeky little dogs that are always getting up to mischief!

They’ll steal your things like shoes and slippers and parade around the house with them. This links back to their gundog heritage.

Some Cockers do this as a game though, especially if you chase them – so watch out for that!

They may start doing this more often to get attention if you’re not meeting their needs. 

7. Cocker Spaniels Are Happy

Cocker Spaniels are renowned for their happy, merry personalities.

So much so, they’ve earned themselves the nickname of ‘Merry Cockers’ because they’re always so jolly and upbeat!

Their happiness is infectious, so it’s hard to feel sad with a Cocker Spaniel around!

8. Cocker Spaniels Are Loyal 

Cocker Spaniels are a loyal and loving breed who form strong bonds with their owners.

They love to snuggle up on your knee, even if they’re a bit too big to curl up there comfortably!

They’ll follow you from room to room and want to be involved in whatever you are doing.

In fact, Cockers will do anything to try and please you and get your praise and affection. 

9. Cocker Spaniels Are Sensitive

Cocker Spaniels respond well to positive reinforcement and not harsh handling.

They can quickly become shut down and frightened if they’re being shouted at and scolded instead of praised and rewarded. 

They can even resort to snapping, growling and biting if they feel threatened, so this should always be avoided.

Because of their sensitive natures, Cockers can be prone to developing separation anxiety, so that’s something to be aware of. 

10. Cocker Spaniels Are Greedy

Cocker Spaniels love their food and will easily overeat if you let them!

They’ll try to steal unattended food or even food from your plate if you don’t teach them not to.

So, it’s best not to leave food down for them to graze from because they won’t be able to control themselves!

An overweight Cocker isn’t a happy or healthy one, so it’s essential you don’t let them gain too much weight. 

Close up on the head of a Cocker Spaniel holding their food bowl in their mouth with a speech bubble that says 'I'm greedy!'
Cocker Spaniel Common Personality Traits

11. Cocker Spaniels Are Chasers

Originally bred to flush out woodcock for hunters, Cocker Spaniels are well known for chasing birds and other small animals when out on walks.

Ensure they’ve got a reliable recall before you let them off their leash.

Never have your Cocker off leash near a road or somewhere where they can easily become lost or disorientated. 

12. Cocker Spaniels Are Barkers

Cockers can be quite noisy dogs. However, there’s usually a reason behind their barking.

It could be due to boredom or frustration, to alert you, to scare something off, to get attention, or because they’re lonely.

It’s rare for a Cocker to bark without reason, so it’s up to you to work out the cause to get a handle on it. 

13. Cocker Spaniels Are Adaptable

Cockers can adapt to suit whatever environment they find themselves in.

They can be just as happy living in a big family as they are living with only one person.

Provided they’re getting plenty of attention and exercise, they should be happy just about anywhere! 

14. Cocker Spaniels Are Swimmers

Cocker Spaniels are naturally strong in the water. Their compact size and muscular physique make them excellent at swimming!

In fact, many Cockers will head straight for lakes and rivers when they’re out on a walk. They won’t care if it’s muddy either, they’ll still dive straight in!

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for your Cocker Spaniel, but you always need to make sure it’s safe for them. 

15. Cocker Spaniels Are Athletic

Cocker Spaniels are agile, fast and have lots of stamina, which means they’re very athletic. This combination makes them a fantastic breed for dog sports too!

Cockers can enjoy agility, flyball, flying disc, hoopers, obedience, rally, and dock diving, to name a few.

Their eagerness to please and high trainability can quickly turn them into little athletes with the proper training. 

16. Cocker Spaniels Are Kissers

Cocker Spaniels love to give you kisses, which is hardly surprising for such a loving breed.

They’ll want to lick your face and hands and be as close to you as they can be!

Not everyone is up for getting lots of doggy kisses, though, so you’ll need to teach your Cocker how to control themselves.

They just want to show everyone how much they love them! 

So there you have it! Cocker Spaniels are smart, friendly, gentle, playful and energetic. They love being the centre of attention, and make wonderfully loyal and happy dogs. They bring endless fun to all the family!

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