Breed Specific Guidelines


The purpose of these guidelines is to provide guidance and information to all Cocker Spaniel breeders, owners and purchasers of puppies, and is fully endorsed by all the Member Clubs of the Cocker Spaniel Breed Council.

  • Before breeding a litter, serious and equal consideration should be given to type, temperament, health, and soundness. In the choice of breeding stock, it should always be borne in mind that aggression and nervousness form no part of a cocker spaniel temperament and character.
  • No bitches should be mated at more than two out of three successive seasons and never without regard to the wellbeing of the bitch. No bitch should be mated before her second season and never before the age of fourteen months, nor after the age of seven years. All breeding should be aimed at the improvement of the breed. Members should do all in their power to discourage breeding from clearly inferior specimens and those members who own stud dogs should refuse stud service to such specimens.
  • No member should breed a litter unless he has the time and facilities to devote proper care and attention to the rearing of the puppies and to the wellbeing of the dam, and no member should provide stud service unless he has endeavoured to ensure that the owner of the bitch has such time and facilities.
  • No member should breed a litter unless he is reasonably sure of finding good homes for the puppies. No puppies should leave the breeder before the age of eight weeks.
  • No puppies should be exported before they are fully inoculated or before the age of three months. (Puppies/ Adults cannot be exported unless the Ministry of Agriculture guidelines have been followed regarding health regulations for the country of import and, where age is not specified, not before twelve weeks of age unless they are travelling in the personal care of the purchaser or his known representative). No Cockers should be sold to countries where they are not protected by anti-cruelty laws (if in doubt, consult the Ministry of Agriculture, R.S.P.C.A or The Kennel Club).
  • No cockers should be knowingly be sold to laboratories, pet shops or dealers in dogs or to persons known to sell stock to any of the above, nor should stud services be provided for such persons. (A dealer is defined as a person who regularly buys stock for sale at a profit, a person who buys a cocker, as an agent for known individual is not necessarily a dealer)
  • Prospective buyers should be screened for suitability and should be fully advised of the characteristics of the Cocker Spaniel as a breed, stressing the necessity for care, grooming and exercise, puppies/adult Cockers should not be sold where they will be left on their own all day.
  • No Cocker which has any physical defects, or which shows any definite departure from the breed standard should be sold without the buyer being made fully aware of such defects or departures and it’s possible consequences. Members should only sell puppies/Cockers Spaniels, which, to the best of their knowledge and belief, are in good health at the time of the sale.
  • When you purchase a Cocker Spaniel puppy/adult you should be provided at the time of sale, with a pedigree, diet sheet and information about training, worming, inoculation and details of the nearest Cocker Spaniel breed club. You should also be provided where applicable, either at the time of sale or as soon as possible thereafter, with any necessary documentation for Kennel Club registration. No puppy that is of unregistered or partly registered parentage should be sold without the buyer being made aware that he will be unable to register it with the Kennel Club.
  • It should be impressed on buyers that they should contact the breeder in the event of any problems with their Cocker Spaniel. Breeders should make every effort to be of assistance in these circumstances.
  • Advertising by members should be as factual as possible. Misleading exaggeration, or unfounded implications of superiority should not be used. Members should also refrain from making unfair or untrue statements about the dogs or practices of others.
  • Officers and Committee members of Cocker Spaniel Clubs should always be ready and willing to do their best to help members with any query or problem.
  • From time to time, it may become necessary for the Cocker Spaniel Breed Council and/or Breed Club Committees, supported by professional advice, to seek the assistance and co-operation of breeders in eradicating hereditary complaints/illnesses from the breed. It is expected that in such an event, breeders will co-operate with the Council/Committee by providing such support and/or information as may be required.