For The American Cocker Spaniel
(Effective June 30, 1992)
The Cocker Spaniel is the
smallest member of the Sporting Group. He has
compact body and a cleanly chiseled and refined
head, with the overall dog in complete balance
and of ideal size. He stands well up at the
shoulder on straight forelegs with a topline
sloping slightly toward strong, moderately bent,
muscular quarters. He is a dog capable of
considerable speed, combined with
endurance. Above all, he must be free and merry,
sound, well balanced throughout and in
action show a keen inclination to work. A dog
well balanced in all parts is more desirable
than a dog with strongly contrasting good points
ideal height at the withers for an adult dog is
15 inches and for an adult bitch, 14 inches.
Height may vary one half inch above or below
A dog whose height exceeds 15½ inches or a bitch
whose height exceeds 14½
inches shall be disqualified. An adult
dog whose height is less than14½
inches and an adult bitch whose height is less
than 13½ inches
shall be penalized.
determined by a line perpendicular to the ground
from the top of the shoulder blades, the dog
standing naturally with its forelegs and lower
hind legs parallel to the line of
measurement from the breast bone to back of
thigh is slightly
longer than the measurement from the highest
point of withers to the
body must be of sufficient length to permit a
straight and free stride; the dog never
appears long and low.
To attain a well proportioned head, which must
be in balance with the rest
of the dog, it embodies the
expression is intelligent, alert, soft and
are round and full and look directly forward.
The shape of the eye rims gives a slightly
almond shaped appearance; the eye is not weak or
goggled. The color of the iris is dark brown and
in general the darker the better.
long, of fine leather, well feathered, and
placed no higher than
a line to the lower part of the eye.
but not exaggerated with no tendency toward
flatness; the eyebrows are clearly defined with
a pronounced stop. The bony structure beneath
the eyes is well chiseled with no prominence in
the cheeks. The muzzle is broad and deep, with
square even jaws. To be in correct balance, the
from the stop to the tip of the nose is one half
the distance from the stop up over the
crown to the base of the skull.
sufficient size to balance the muzzle and
foreface, with well
developed nostrils typical of a sporting dog. It
is black in color in the blacks, black and tans,
and black and whites; in other colors, it may be
brown, liver or black, the darker the better.
The color of nose harmonizes with the color of
the eye rim.
upper lip is full and of sufficient depth to
cover the lower jaw.
and sound, not too small and meet in a scissors
neck is sufficiently long to allow the nose to
reach the ground
easily, muscular and free from pendulous
"throatiness". It rises strongly from the
shoulders and arches slightly as it tapers to
join the head.
slightly toward muscular quarters..
chest is deep, its lowest point no higher than
the elbows, its
sufficiently wide for adequate heart and lung
space, yet not so wide as to
The shoulders are well laid back forming an
angle with the upper arm of
approximately 90 degrees
which permits the dog to move his forelegs in an
with forward reach. Shoulders are clean cut and
sloping without protrusion and so set that the
upper points of the withers are at an angle
which permits a wide spring of rib. When
viewed from the side with the forelegs vertical,
the elbow is directly below the highest point of
the shoulder blade.
parallel, straight, strongly boned and muscular
and set close
to the body well under the scapulae. The
pasterns are short and strong. Dewclaws
on forelegs may be removed.
large, round and firm with horny pads; they turn
neither in nor out.
Hips are wide and quarters well rounded and
muscular. When viewed from
behind, the hind legs are parallel when in
motion and at rest. The hind legs are
strongly boned, and muscled with moderate
angulation at the stifle and powerful,
clearly defined thighs. The stifle is strong and
there is no slippage of it in motion
or when standing. The hocks
are strong and well let down. Dewclaws on hind
legs may be removed.
On the head, short and fine; on the body, medium
length, with enough
undercoating to give protection. The ears,
chest, abdomen and legs are well feathered, but
not so excessively as to hide the Cocker
Spaniel's true lines and
affect his appearance and function as a
moderately coated sporting dog. The
texture is most important. The coat is silky,
flat or slightly wavy and
of a texture
which permits easy care. Excessive coat or curly
or cottony textured coat shall be severely
penalized. Use of electric clippers on the back
coat is not desirable. Trimming to
enhance the dog's true lines should be done to
appear as natural as possible.
Color and Markings
color black to include black with tan points.
The black should be jet; shadings of brown or
liver in the coat are not desirable. A small
amount of white on the chest and/or throat is
allowed; white in any other location shall
Any Solid Color Other than
solid color other than black, ranging from
lightest cream to darkest red, including brown
with tan points. The color shall be of a uniform
shade, but lighter color of the
feathering is permissible. A small amount of
white on the chest and/or throat is allowed;
white in any other location shall disqualify.
or more solid, well-broken colors, one of which
must be white; black and white, red and white
(the red may range from lightest cream to
darkest red), brown and white, and roans, to
include any such color
combination with tan points.
It is preferable that the tan markings be
located in the same pattern as for the tan
points in the Black and ASCOB varieties. Roans
are classified as parti-colors and may be of any
of the usual roaning patterns. Primary color
which is ninety percent (90%) or more shall
color of the tan may be from the lightest cream
to the darkest red and is restricted to ten
percent (10%) or less of the color of the
specimen; tan markings in excess of that amount
In the case of tan points in
the Black or ASCOB variety, the markings shall
be located as follows:
A clear tan
spot over each eye;
On the sides of
the muzzle and on the cheeks;
underside of the ears;
On all feet
Under the tail;
On the chest, optional; presence or
absence shall not be penalized.
which are not readily visible or which amount
only to traces, shall be penalized. Tan on the
muzzle which extends upward, over and joins
The Cocker Spaniel, though
the smallest of the sporting dogs, possesses a
sporting dog gait. Prerequisite to good movement
is balance between the front and rear
assemblies. He drives with strong, powerful rear
quarters and is properly constructed in the
shoulders and forelegs so that he can reach
forward without constriction in a full stride to
counterbalance the driving force from the rear.
Above all, his gait is coordinated, smooth and
effortless. The dog must cover ground with his
action; excessive animation should not be
mistaken for proper gait.
Equable in temperament with
no suggestion of timidity.
inches; females over 14½
Color and Markings—The
aforementioned colors are the only acceptable
colors or combination of
colors. Any other colors or combination of
colors to disqualify.
markings except on chest and throat.
Any Solid Color Other Than Black Variety-
White markings except on chest
color ninety percent (90%) or more.
Tan markings in excess of ten percent (10%); (2)
locations in an otherwise tan
(As published in the
March, 1992, issue of the
AKC Gazette and approved
by the Board of Directors of the AKC)