Cocker Spaniels are generally eager to please and with gentle handling (they respond poorly to harsh treatment), can be trained in any area. The dog’s food-motivated and intelligent nature makes training with treats and toys a good choice for it. Many Cockers like to do tricks and enjoy playing ball as well. Obedience training is necessary for this breed, which can tend to be stubborn and dominant.
The Cocker needs a moderate amount of exercise, mostly in the form of play to stay out of mischief and keep healthy.
Its long silky coat can get easily tangled and needs daily brushing out to keep it in glossy condition. In addition, the pendulous ears tend to trap dirt and moisture, thus making it prone to ear infections. Cocker puppies must be taught at an early age to have their ears handled, for they will need to be tied back to encourage air circulation, and cleaned if an infection does develop. The dogs should be fed in deep, narrow bowls that allow them to eat and drink without getting their ears into the food or water.
They tend to suffer from cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy and haemophilia. A healthy Cocker can live anywhere between 13 to 16 years.