Penny Hamman

Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniels are a common sight in Hexham, Stocksfield and Bellingham. With roaming fields and plenty of working opportunities, they are a lively and playful breed of dog. They are gun dogs “by trade” but Cocker Spaniels are also popular family pets. They’re known for being ‘happy’ dogs because their tails are always wagging!

Cocker Spaniels are very loyal and generally love people to have company with them all day.  They are highly trainable, adaptable and whilst the countryside would be their preference, they are good town and city dogs too. As long as they have a safe and secure area to let off steam, they’ll be fine!

Breed-related health problems:

Owners are understandably upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have and how to keep those health conditions which could be avoided at bay. The potential health problems that Cocker Spaniels are prone to include:

  • Hip dysplasia – where the hip joint doesn’t fit together perfectly, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
  • Atopy – allergies causing itchy skin and ear infections.
  • Ear problems.
  • Eye problems.
  • Some auto-immune conditions.
  • Inherited conditions, including familial nephropathy, adult onset neuropathy and acral mutilation syndrome.

Health checks

It sounds a bit obvious to say, but yes, at least one health check each year is highly advisable. We recommend two health checks a year, 6 months apart. Many problems can be detected during a health check and early detection can be of vital importance to your pet. Our veterinary surgeons in Hexham, Stocksfield and Bellingham are here to help, but why not make two health checks a year part of your pet’s routine? Our Well Pet Club is a veterinary health plan which spreads the cost of your pet’s preventative treatment, booster vaccination and allows you exclusive discounts on other services and treatment. Starting at just £9.00 a month you will receive reminders and keeping on top of your pet’s health has never been as easy!

Other Cocker Spaniel tips

Cocker Spaniels are lively dogs and suit fairly active families with plenty of time for playing. Like most dogs, your Cocker will prefer to have company all the time. Without the right amount of stimulation and company, your Cocker Spaniel will likely try to entertain themselves – which might involve some of your furniture and belongings falling victim to nibbling and chewing. They’re clever dogs who love to please and so can be easy to train in the right hands. They’re known for being friendly if properly socialised with other dogs and people. Cocker Spaniels are a popular choice of breed for first time owners because of their gentle natures. Our branches in Hexham, Stocksfield and Bellingham see many first time pet owners with Cocker Spaniels, and they really are a great choice as long as you do your research and understand the need of the breed!


We would recommend 1-2 hours of exercise and stimulation every day for Cocker Spaniels. They will walk forever with you but little exercise can be a real problem for them!


Cocker Spaniels are highly trainable and very intelligent. We would recommend a dog trainer to help you and we are blessed with many great dog trainers in Northumberland.


As Cocker Spaniels have medium length hair, it is important to keep on top of grooming. Though not often talked about, lack of grooming can lead to discomfort and even health issues.


Pet insurance is very important and should be a priority for all pet owners. To give an idea of costs, something awful like a leg break may require specialist veterinary referral work and this can cost £3,000+. Pet insurance gives you peace of mind should the worst happen. We have a handy guide to pet insurance which explains the difference in policies to aid you in your decision.


So, you are taking the decision to welcome a Cocker Spaniel into your life? We are jealous! But now that you have done your “homework”, the next step is to know what will be coming up for you and your puppy. We look forward to seeing you at our Vets in Hexham, Stocksfield or Bellingham very soon, but in the meantime, why not download our Orchard House Vets puppy guide.