Although they may look similar at first glance, the American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel are two distinct breeds; however, both breeds are in the spaniel family of breeds. While these two breeds may look similar at a glance, there are very distinct differences among the breed.
The English Cocker Spaniel (ECS) is a larger dog, 16-17 inches tall and 28-35 lbs for males and 15-17 inches tall and 26-32 lb for females. The ECS has a long muzzle and a leggier build, with floppier ears that sit closer to their head. They are also one of the few remaining spaniel breeds that still retain their original hunting instincts and can be trained as working dogs/gundogs. This breed has a sweet, playful, and loyal disposition. They are often describes as “merry.” They are known for being an excellent family dog, including families with young children and other dogs. The ECS comes in over 20 standard and non-standard markings and colors. Their coat is less prominent than the American Cocker, so it is easier to manage grooming. The ECS does generally shed less than it’s American cousin.
The American Cocker Spaniel (ACS) is quite a bit smaller in size than the English Cocker. Males grow 14.5-15.5 inches tall and 25-30 lbs and 13.5-14.5 inches and 20-25 lbs for females. The American Cocker has a shorter muzzle and smaller ears. They also have a more prominent “stop” – the point where the muzzle meets the forehead – which gives their face a more squared-off appearance. The ACS has a more prominent coat that requires grooming every 1-2 days. They also tend to shed more than the ECS.