There is evidence of the existence of spaniel type dogs in the Mediterranean countries about 3000 years ago.  Ancient Greek ceramics depict these dogs.  There is further mention in Roman literature of the long-eared Spanish rabbit dogs observed when the Romans were fighting the Punic Wars (Spain 285-202BC).  It is believed that these dogs were taken to northern Europe by the Romans and to England after the Roman Conquest (43AD) of that country.

Spaniels have been recorded in art and literature for over 500 years, originally in the works by Gaston de Foix, Chaucer and Edward Plantagenet, Second Duke of York's "the Master of Game"

They also featured prominently both as working dogs and pets through the reigns of Henry VIII and the Stuart Kings and there is evidence that Henry VIII, a great sportsman, kept a kennel of Spaniels.  Popularity grew during the reigns of the Stuart Kings and the dogs featured prominently in royal portraits of the age. 

                                  A 16th-century drawing of a hawking party with spaniels


During the 18th and 19th Centuries three types of Spaniels emerged: Firstly was the toy spaniel (pet), secondly the springer spaniel and thirdly the wood cocking spaniel (both working dogs).  The wood cocking (Cocker) spaniel was very popular as they could go through the undergrowth to flush out the wood cock.  At this time there was great diversity of type and colour and in the latter part of the 19th century a Spaniel Club was formed and the dogs were classified by weight, the dogs over 25 pounds being classed as field spaniels and those under 25 pounds as Cockers.

The beginning of last century saw the formation of the Cocker Spaniel Club of England and they drew up the early standard of the breed for shooters who needed a small, active, strong dog, sturdy enough to work cheerfully and tirelessly all day flushing or driving out the game.

                                                      Cocker Spaniel Flushing Woodcock, limited edition print by John Trickett |  Spaniel art, Cocker spaniel, Spaniel

                                                                    Source : pinterest.co.uk

Over the years the Breed Standard has been revised and the Cocker of today is a far sturdier dog but still capable of performing the tasks for which it was designed.


Contact Details

Secretary: Gillian Robinson

Phone: 0421 304 285

email: [email protected]