English Cocker Spaniel Breed Standard

  • FCI-Standard N° 5 / 28.10.2009
  • Utilization: - Flushing Dog.
  • Classification F.C.I.
  • Group 8
  • Retrievers, Flushing Dogs, Water Dogs.
  • Section2
  • Flushing dogs.
  • With working trial.

General Appearance

Merry, sturdy, sporting; well balanced; compact.

Important Proportions

Measuring approximately the same from withers to ground as from withers to root of tail.


Merry nature with ever-wagging tail shows a typical bustling movement, particularly when following scent, fearless of heavy cover. Gentle and affectionate, yet full of life and exuberance.


Cranial Region

Skull: - Well developed, cleanly chiselled, neither too fine nor too coarse.

Stop: - Distinct, set midway between tip of nose and occiput.

Facial Region

Nose: - Sufficiently wide for acute scenting power.

Muzzle: - Square.

Jaws/Teeth: - Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Cheek: - Not Prominent.


Full, but not prominent. Dark brown or brown, never light, but in the case of liver, liver roan and liver and white, dark hazel to harmonize with coat; with expression of intelligence and gentleness but wide awake, bright and merry; rims tight.


Lobular, set low on level with eyes. Fine leathers extending to nose tip. Well clothed with long, straight silky hair.


Moderate in length, muscular. Set neatly into fine sloping shoulders. Clean throat.


Strong, compact.

Topline: - Firm, level, gently sloping downwards to tail from end of loin to set on of tail.

Loin: - Short, wide.

Chest: - Well developed and brisket deep; neither too wide nor too narrow in front. Ribs well sprung.


Set on slightly lower than line of back. Must be merry in action and carried level, never cocked up. Previously customarily docked.

Docked: - Never too short to hide, nor too long to interfere with, the incessant merry action when working.

Undocked: - Slightly curved, of moderate length, proportionate to size of body giving an overall balanced appearance; ideally not reaching below the hock. Strong at the root and tapering to a fine tip; well feathered in keeping with the coat. Lively in action, carried on a plane not higher than level of back and never so low as to indicate timidity.


Forequarters: - Legs well boned, straight, sufficiently short for concentrated power. Not too short to interfere with tremendous exertions expected from this grand, sporting dog.

Shoulders: - Sloping and fine.

Fore Feet: - Firm, thickly padded, cat-like.

Hindquarters: - Wide, well rounded, very muscular; legs well boned.

Stifle: - Good bend.

Hock: - Short below the hock joint, allowing plenty of drive.

Hind Feet: - Firm, thickly padded, cat-like.


True through action with great drive covering ground well.


Hair: - Flat, silky in texture, never wiry or wavy, not too profuse and never curly. Well feathered forelegs, body and hind legs above hocks.

Colour: - Various. In self colours no white allowed except on chest.

Size and Weight

Height approximately: dogs: 39-41 cms; bitches: 38-39 cms. Weight approximately: 12.5-14.5 kgs.

Disqualifying Faults

Agressive or overly shy.

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

Note Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Issued by

Fédération Cynologique Internationale - The World Canine Organisation


Founded in 1929. The parent Club of the English Cocker Spaniel breed in Ireland.

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