It is easy to mistake the Cocker Spaniel for a Springer Spaniel because of their close similarity in appearance.
However, if you take a closer look, each of these popular Spaniel breeds has subtle differences, from their history and looks to their temperament and exercise needs.
Cocker Spaniel vs. Springer Spaniel: Purpose
Both the Cocker Spaniel and the Springer Spaniel were developed during the 19th century as hunting dogs. However, they specialise in different types of hunting.
English working Cocker Spaniels are primarily bred to flush a native game bird in the UK called woodcock, which they were named after.
English working Springer Spaniels, on the other hand, work as an all-rounder when it comes to hunting. They are adept at catching birds and ground games. Their name was inspired by their unique hunting ability to spring into the air to flush birds.
In modern times, hunters have been using the Springer and Cocker Spaniels as hunting and shooting dogs. They are commonly seen working together with other gun dogs.
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Cocker Spaniel vs Springer Spaniel: Size
Which is bigger, a Cocker or Springer Spaniel? Springer Spaniels are larger dogs compared to Cocker Spaniels. They weigh around 19–25 kilos (44–55 pounds) and may stand around 43–51 centimetres (14–20 inches) tall.
The Cocker Spaniel is the smallest of the 2 Spaniel breeds. His weight is approximately 12–16 kilos (26–35 pounds), and he measures about 36–43 centimetres (13–17 inches) at the withers.
Springer Spaniels are a better fit for dog owners with larger homes and spacious back gardens. Cocker Spaniels can thrive in smaller homes and apartments since they do not need big spaces.
Cocker Spaniel vs. Springer Spaniel: Appearance
What is the difference between an English Springer Spaniel and an English Cocker Spaniel? Size is not the only difference between the Springer and Cocker. They have small distinctions in their appearance that set them apart.
Cocker Spaniels have shorter muzzles and fluffier ears compared to Springer Spaniels. They also have thick tails that taper at the end, whilst their Springer counterparts possess longer tails.
The 2 working Spaniel breeds own wavy silky coats, but the Cocker has longer hair length than the Springer. His fur also tends to be fluffier and fuller. Springer Spaniel possesses a shorter coat, and his legs and chest have feathered hair.
The coat colours of both working Spaniels come in many variations. However, only the Cocker Spaniel has solid colours, from solid black, browns, and gold to blue and lemon roans.
Cocker Spaniel vs. Springer Spaniel: Grooming
Which has higher maintenance, a Cocker Spaniel or a Springer Spaniel? The Cocker Spaniel needs more grooming maintenance than the Springer Spaniel.
He has a longer coat, which makes it prone to mats and tangles. Brushing his coat should be done daily.
The Cocker Spaniel also needs to have baths weekly along with thorough blow-dries. He also requires regular trips to the groomer for proper trimming.
Grooming a Springer Spaniel consumes less time as his coat is shorter and has less feathering. Brushing him at least three times a week helps prevent mats from forming on his hair.
He only needs to bathe once every 2–3 months, but trimming his coat must be carried out regularly.
Cocker Spaniel vs. Springer Spaniel: Temperament
Should you get a Cocker or Springer Spaniel as a family pet? Cocker Spaniels and Springer Spaniels are loving family pets with friendly and outgoing personalities.
They enjoy being around their human companions and do not shy away from receiving affection.
Both Spaniel dog breeds are playful and energetic; thus, they get along well with children.
Cocker Spaniels and Springer Spaniels can be friends with other pets but keep them away from smaller ones. Due to their hunting dog background may give in to the urge to chase down small animals.
The 2 Spaniel dog breeds are susceptible to separation anxiety because they love being around their family.
Springer Spaniels especially do not do well if left alone for extended hours compared to Cocker Spaniels. Dog owners who spend more time indoors are a more suitable match for them.
Cocker Spaniel vs. Springer Spaniel: Training
The Cocker Spaniel and the Springer Spaniel are highly intelligent working dogs with people-pleasing personalities. Both breeds are easy to train, but Cockers tend to be more headstrong and sensitive to corrections when training.
Thus, dog owners need to be patient and understanding during training sessions. Be firm but not abrasive when correcting mistakes. Avoid shouting and harsh punishments since it may cause Cocker Spaniels to lose motivation.
The same technique should be applied when training Springer Spaniels.
Use positive reinforcement when training these Spaniel breeds as it bolsters their confidence and increases their willingness to learn.
Since they crave human attention, make sure to reward them with praises for every good result. Feeding them with treats is also a good idea.
Cocker Spaniel vs. Springer Spaniel: Exercise Needs
Which Spaniel is the calmest, the Springer or Cocker Spaniel? The Cocker Spaniel is the calmest of the 2. He has lower energy levels than his Springer counterpart. Thus, providing him with at least an hour of exercise will do.
The high energy levels of the Springer Spaniel require dog owners to put more time into exercising him. He should have at least 2 hours of exercise daily.
Tire out Cocker Spaniels and Springer Spaniels by giving them recreational activities that engage their hunting dog abilities.
Classic games such as hide and seek and fetch are good choices. Taking them to the lake for dock diving or swimming helps expend their energy too.
What Is the Best Spaniel to Get?
What is better, Cocker Spaniel or Springer Spaniel? It depends on what you are looking for in a canine companion.
The Cocker Spaniel is a great fit for you if you live in a small home or apartment because of his smaller stature. However, be sure to keep up with his grooming needs.
If you have an active lifestyle, the Springer Spaniel breed is a great exercise partner due to his high energy levels. He makes a suitable pet for those living in rural areas or suburbs too, as there is enough space where he can run around.