Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel: What’s The Difference?

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
Updated on 20 September 2022

Do you know the difference between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Cocker Spaniel?

These are two popular breeds seeing as they can make excellent companion animals and fun family pets for dog lovers.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are known for being an affectionate, gentle and graceful dog breed.

They’re ranked as the 15th most popular dog breed in the world which should come as no surprise considering their affable personalities.

Cocker Spaniels are rather more energetic than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel but they’re an example of a happy and smart breed.

While Cocker Spaniels are popular dogs, they’re ranked 14 places lower than the Cavalier in the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dog breeds in 2021.

With the introduction over, let’s take a closer look at the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel vs Cocker Spaniel, examining some of their differences and similarities.

What Is A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a member of the Toy Group after they were first recognised as a breed by the AKC in 1995. The organization explains why the breed are generally considered such a special breed:

Cavaliers are the best of two worlds, combining the gentle attentiveness of a toy breed with the verve and athleticism of a sporting spaniel.

What Is A Cocker Spaniel?

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Cocker Spaniel is part of the Sporting Group after the AKC granted the lively breed status in 1946. The AKC explain on their website that they’re one of the world’s most-loved breeds thanks to their beautiful appearance and quirky personality.

Those big, dark eyes; that sweet expression; those long, lush ears that practically demand to be touched, it’s no wonder the Cocker spent years as America’s most popular breed.

Where Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Come From?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can trace their history back to British royalty. As their name suggests, King Charles I and his son Charles II took a particular interest in the Cavalier. The father-and-son monarchy duo were particularly enthused with the black and tan variety.

The Marlborough family are accredited with breeding a line of red-and-whites at Blenheim Palace. Queen Victoria is believed to have impacted the Cavalier breed by importing the Japanese Chin and Pug to England and breeding them with her Spaniels. The result was a transformation in their appearance.

However, a rich American businessman Roswell Eldridge offered a cash prize to British breeders who could produce “Bleinheim Spaniels of the Old World type” in the 1920s as he sought to return to the traditional appearance. The AKC explains that “the prospect of prize money drove breeders to revive the old style”.

Where Do Cocker Spaniel Come From?

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Cocker Spaniel can trace its ancestry back to Spain as their name suggests. They’ve traditionally been used as land and water Spaniels. When dogs started to be classified by breeds, there were a lot of Spaniel varieties in England. The Cocker Spaniel was one such variety. They got their name from the fact that they were specialists in hunting woodcock. While there is only one variety of Cocker Spaniel in the United Kingdom, it’s important to note that there are two varieties in the USA: the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel: Size

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is technically considered a toy breed so as you can imagine they’re not a big dogs. The Cavalier breed will usually grow to a height of 12 to 13 inches (30-33 cm) and they’ll weigh between 13 and 18 pounds (6-8 kg).

The Cocker Spaniel is the smallest of all the sporting Spaniel breeds – but they’re a little bit bigger than the Cavalier. Cocker Spaniels will usually have a height range of 13.5 to 15.5 inches (33-38 cm) and weigh from 20 to 30 pounds (9 to 13.5 kg).

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel: Appearance

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel have big brown eyes, a black nose and a tapered muzzle. They’ll have ears with long, flowing hair and a domed head. Cavaliers come in four color varieties: Blenheim (chestnut marking on a white coat), Ruby (chestnut red), Prince Charles or tricolor (black, tan and white markings) and King Charles (black with tan markings).

Cocker Spaniels have long ears with lots of feathering and a silky appearance. They’ve got beautiful, big brown eyes with long eyelashes resulting in a soft and soulful gaze. They’ve got a medium-length coat that has feathering on belly, legs, ears and tail. Cocker Spaniels can have solid coats or roan coats. Possible coat colors include sable, black, pied, gray, silver, red and brown.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel: Temperament

The Cavalier are normally friendly, non-aggressive dogs with no tendency towards nervousness or shyness. They’re fearless and sporting in character, according to their breed standard. However, the Cavalier breed can make perfect companion pets as they’re affectionate and gentle. They’re perfect lap dogs!

The Cocker Spaniel is traditionally a free and merry dog that has a sound temperament. They should have well-balanced personalities but these active canines will relish the chance to put their energy and IQ to good use. The AKC add that Cocker Spaniels are eager playmates for kids and are easily trained as companions and athletes.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel: Exercise

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Cavalier breed have relatively moderate exercise requirements as a toy breed. In fact, Cavalier owners should be careful to not over exercise their dogs as it could result in health issues. Dog walking website WAG recommend around 30 minutes a day so that could be two short walks around the neighborhood.

Cocker Spaniels are an active breed that require a lot of mental and physical stimulation. They’ll need around 60 minutes of exercise a day. They’ll excel at a wide variety of different activities and sports as they’re a versatile dog breed. The AKC offer the following suggestion:

Cockers often enjoy getting their exercise by means of retrieving a ball or other toy, or accompanying their people on a walk. They very much enjoy spending time with their people, so walking is a good exercise option. If the Cocker has a canine companion, they can play to exercise each other.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel: Hypoallergenic

Neither the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel nor the Cocker Spaniel are hypoallergenic. So they’ve got this trait (or lack thereof in common). If you’re looking for a low-shedding dog breed with hypoallergenic qualities, you won’t want to consider the Cavalier or Cocker.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel: Shedding

Cavalier King Charle Spaniels are moderate-to-high shedders. They’ll require a daily brushing to maintain the appearance, condition and health of their coat. Cavalier owners need to commit to a regularly grooming schedule to prevent their coat from becoming matted or tangled. You’ll need to keep a close eye on their ears because they can be breeding grounds for infection.

Cocker Spaniels have a beautiful, lush, silky coat that requires maintenance. However, Cocker Spaniel owners will likely get away with a weekly brushing rather than a daily routine. Seeing as they’ve got feathering on their ears and legs, you’ll need to remove any dirt or debris caught in their hair. Like the Cavalier, Cocker Spaniels need to have their ears regularly checked because they can be susceptible to infections.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel: Price

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have an average price of around $1,500 to $2,500 (£1,300 to £2,300) but you could easily spend up to $5,000 (£4,300) on a member of this breed depending on their lineage and breeder.

Cocker Spaniels, on the other hand, could set you back around $1,000 to $2,000 (£800 to £1730) but some Cocker Spaniel puppies can cost as much as $3,000 (£2,600).

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel: Life expectancy

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has an average lifespan of around 12 to 15 years. Cocker Spaniels, on the other hand, can live between 10 and 14 years.

The Difference Between Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is a more active dog breed than the Cavalier. The Cocker Spaniel will require significantly more mental and physical stimulation. These smart dogs will love to challenge themselves with brain and scent games or different activities. They’re suited for life with an active family. Cavaliers, meanwhile, will be happy to chill and relax with their owners as a more laidback breed.

The Similarities Between Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Cocker Spaniel are dog breeds that shed quite a bit. So they’re not hypoallergenic. You’ll need to be prepared to regularly groom both of these Spaniel breeds to maintain their coat. Owners will need to regularly check their ears, teeth and feet.

Both breeds can make excellent family pets as they’re affectionate, friendly and outgoing dogs that like to be around people. Playfulness is a key characteristic for both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel – In Conclusion

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Cocker Spaniel (Photo: Adobe Stock)

We’ve reached the end of our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Vs Cocker Spaniel feature.

The Cavalier and the Cocker are both types of Spaniels that have some similarities and differences.

The Cavalier is a slightly less active breed but they can make excellent companion pets.

Cocker Spaniels are likely to be active and energetic with an underlying desire to please their owners.

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