The English Cocker Spaniel is a small-sized gun dog that is mainly used for hunting, dog sports and dog shows. The breed is divided into show and working lines that have distinct characteristics. In this article, we focus on English Cocker Spaniel breed data created by the MyDogDNA testing panel, focusing especially on genetic diversity.
The English Cocker Spaniel is an old British bird dog breed, whose origins are in land spaniels. The spaniels were quite a mixed population at that time: dogs were of different colors and sizes, and were used to drive game towards hunters’ nets, hawks and later towards their guns. Other spaniels and setters originate also from the same population. The first mention about Cocker Spaniel dates to early 19th century. It became a separate breed in 1892, when the Kennel Club made a separation between the Cocker Spaniel and the Field Spaniel.