English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel

isolated cocker spaniel
© Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

Written by August Croft

Published: April 18, 2022

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While you may not be able to tell the difference upon first glance, there are some key differences between an English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel. But what might some of these differences be, and which of these two distinct dog breeds are right for you? 

In this article, we will compare and contrast the English Springer Spaniel with the English Cocker Spaniel so that you can have a full understanding of both of these breeds. We will address their physical appearances as well as their ancestry and behavioral differences to determine which breed is right for you. Let’s get started and learn about these two dogs now! 

Comparing English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel
The English Springer Spaniel grows far larger in both height and weight compared to the English Cocker Spaniel.
English Springer SpanielEnglish Cocker Spaniel
Size19-20 inches tall; 40-50 pounds15-17 inches tall; 25-35 pounds
AppearanceMedium length and wavy fur found in a variety of colors, but primarily shades of brown, black, and white. Large, drooping ears and eyes.Curly or wavy coats found in numerous colors, including brown, black, red, white, and cream. Drooping ears and compact frame with a stubby tail.
AncestryOriginated in England during the 19th century. Bred for hunting birds and game, springing into the air.Originated in England during the 19th century. Bred for hunting birds and game, specifically woodcocks.
BehaviorExtremely loyal and easy to train; enjoys working and wants to be trained extensively. May have trouble relaxing and tends to stay focused too long.Very friendly and good with families, though can be wary of strangers. High intelligence makes them easy to train, but it can also make them stubborn. 
Lifespan10-12 years12-15 years

Key Differences Between English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel

The coat of the English Cocker Spaniel is more curly compared to the wavy coat of the English Springer Spaniel.

©iStock.com/Bigandt_Photography

There are many key differences between the English Springer Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel. For example, the English Springer Spaniel grows far larger in both height and weight compared to the English Cocker Spaniel. Additionally, the coat of the English Cocker Spaniel is more curly compared to the wavy coat of the English Springer Spaniel. Finally, the lifespan of the English Cocker Spaniel is slightly longer than the lifespan of the English Springer Spaniel.

Let’s discuss all of these differences in more detail now. 

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel: Size

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel

The lifespan of the English Cocker Spaniel is slightly longer than the lifespan of the English Springer Spaniel.

©Martin Christopher Parker/Shutterstock.com

One of the main differences between the English Springer Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel is their size. The English Springer Spaniel is far larger in both height and weight compared to the English Cocker Spaniel. But how much larger? Let’s take a look at these figures in more detail now.

The average Springer Spaniel reaches 19 to 20 inches tall, while the average Cocker Spaniel reaches 15 to 17 inches tall. Additionally, Cocker Spaniels weigh anywhere from 25 to 35 pounds on average, while the Springer Spaniel reaches 40 to 50 pounds depending on gender. 

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel: Appearance

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel

The average Springer Spaniel reaches 19 to 20 inches tall, while the average Cocker Spaniel reaches 15 to 17 inches tall.

©Aneta Jungerova/Shutterstock.com

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a Springer Spaniel and a Cocker Spaniel upon first glance. However, the Cocker Spaniel is found in far more colors compared to the Springer Spaniel. Additionally, the coat of the Cocker Spaniel is more curly compared to the coat of the Springer Spaniel. However, these differences can be extremely subtle, as both of these dog breeds have distinct drooping ears and large eyes. 

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel: Ancestry and Breeding

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel was bred to hunt birds and other wildlife, while the English Cocker Spaniel was bred to hunt woodcocks specifically.

©Ivanova N/Shutterstock.com

The ancestry and breeding of both of these dog breeds is extremely similar. As you could no doubt guess, both the English Springer Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel were bred in England sometime during the 19th century. They are both gun dogs and fantastic hunting breeds, but they were initially bred for slightly different purposes. 

The English Springer Spaniel was bred to hunt birds and other wildlife, while the English Cocker Spaniel was bred to hunt woodcocks specifically. The Springer Spaniel is named for its hunting style and ability to spring into the air to hunt birds, while the Cocker Spaniel is named for its original intention of hunting woodcocks only. However, both of these dog breeds are capable of hunting a variety of birds and enjoy working. 

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel: Behavior

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel

The English Springer Spaniel is extremely focused and dedicated, while the English Cocker Spaniel may exhibit more stubbornness in its behavior.

©iStock.com/Jess Wealleans

There are some key behavioral differences between the English Springer Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel. Overall, both of these dogs are highly intelligent and capable workers, often meshing well with a variety of family situations and age groups. However, the English Springer Spaniel is extremely focused and dedicated, while the English Cocker Spaniel may exhibit more stubbornness in its behavior. 

Despite this stubbornness, the English Cocker Spaniel is extremely friendly and loving, while the English Springer Spaniel may have trouble relaxing in the home due to its high energy and desire to please in the workplace. However, both of these breeds enjoy complicated tricks and training techniques, so don’t hold back when training either of them! 

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel: Lifespan

English Springer Spaniel vs English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel lives an average of 10 to 12 years, while the English Cocker Spaniel lives an average of 12 to 15 years.

©zoyas2222/Shutterstock.com

The final difference between the English Springer Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel is their lifespans. The English Cocker Spaniel lives slightly longer than the English Springer Spaniel, likely due to its smaller size and compact body. However, it always depends on the individual health of each dog. Let’s take a look at the numbers in more detail now. 

The English Cocker Spaniel lives an average of 10 to 12 years, while the English Cocker Spaniel lives an average of 12 to 15 years. This is a significant difference between the two breeds, though both are fairly healthy and can live long and healthy lives if properly cared for!

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About the Author

August Croft is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on astrology, symbolism, and gardening. August has been writing a variety of content for over 4 years and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theater from Southern Oregon University, which they earned in 2014. They are currently working toward a professional certification in astrology and chart reading. A resident of Oregon, August enjoys playwriting, craft beer, and cooking seasonal recipes for their friends and high school sweetheart.

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