Family Life


Household Pets


Are Cocker Spaniels Good With Kids? What Parents Need To Know

1 Year old cocker spaniel dog playing in the Bluebells in a Wooded area surrounded by trees in springtime

Are Cocker Spaniels Good With Kids? What Parents Need To Know

Are Cocker Spaniels good with kids? The short answer is yes. These gentle souls can make great family dogs. If you’re considering this breed for your next family pet, check out some of the traits that make the Cocker Spaniel so great. They are playful and fit for both indoor and outdoor forms of family fun. Cocker Spaniels were bred as hunting dogs, so while they may look cute and cuddly with their long and curly ears, they are surprisingly fast and agile. They have a cheery and affectionate disposition, though they can be sensitive dogs (via Dog Time). Keep on reading to learn what it takes to own, take care of, and train one of these beautiful and intelligent Cocker Spaniels.

Cocker Spaniel Personality And Physical Traits

Cocker Spaniels are the perfect combination of laid-back yet active. They thrive with agility and sports training. Cocker Spaniels are the smallest breed of dog included in the American Kennel Club’s Sporting group. According to Be Chewy, this breed is great for small kids and other pets. They can even train to be therapy dogs. This is very dependent on your individual dog’s temperament as service training is rigorous and intensive. They bark when prompted or startled, but do not get alarmed around strangers and get aggressive. They are affectionate with their owners and enjoy stimulating mental and physical activities.


Physically, Cocker Spaniels are beautiful dogs that require a fair amount of grooming. They have a thick and glossy coat with a feathering pattern. Their coat ranges in color from black, red, brown, and white to a more creamy shade or combination of those colors. They have long curly ears and their tails can either be docked when they’re young or if left to grow they can be long and naturally curly. Be Chewy recommends using a comb to dislodge any matting and a slicker brush to help with the shedding. Frequent shampoos will also help to keep your Cocker Spaniel looking its absolute best.

Why The Age Of Your Child Is Important

As with most dogs, socialization is key. Exposure and training from a young age will be the best way to ensure that your dog will be happy around most people. The same goes for young children. Ensure your child knows how to interact with a dog before you decide to get one. That being said, Cocker Spaniels are known for their gentle demeanor and patience. They can be sensitive dogs when overstimulated. Sometimes Cocker Spaniels may be more comfortable around older children who aren’t prone to poking or prodding. However, they do love to play and this breed is a huge people-pleaser. Including and encouraging your child to participate in the training of your Cocker Spaniel can help to forge a bond between your child and their new pet. Cocker Spaniels are easy to train and fast learners, so even if you get a slightly older dog they are still likely to be happy around your child in a family setting (via About Cocker Spaniels).

Full length portrait of an attractive young woman and her Cocker Spaniel puppy outside
Cocker Spaniels are patient and sweet pets. They do well with children who are kind to them.


What If My Child Is Allergic?

Cocker Spaniels are the definition of heavy shedders. This means they are not the best type of dog for people who suffer from dog allergies. People are often allergic to the dander, or dead skin, released by dogs when they shed. Cocker Spaniels have a double coat which means they shed both a layer of a soft undercoat and a rougher outer coat they use for warmth. They require frequent grooming and that will result in lots of flyaway fur in your space. If you or anyone in your family suffers from dog allergies this breed may not be the dog for you (via A-Z Animals).

How Big Do Cocker Spaniels Get?

Cocker Spaniels are a small breed of dog. Both males and females grow between 24-28 pounds. In terms of height, they reach about 14-15 inches, so just a little over a foot. Their size is part of why Cocker Spaniels can do so well in apartment living (via Dog Time).

Energy Levels of Cocker Spaniels 

Cocker Spaniels are active and agile dogs despite their lowkey demeanor. They are dogs that will enjoy guided sports, training, and outdoor time but can also happily lounge around. Be Chewy recommends at least two walks a day and some mental stimulation. Food puzzles with Kongs or lick pads can be a good way to get some mental energy out for your Cocker Spaniel.

How Much Does It Cost To Own A Cocker Spaniel?

According to A-Z Animals, because Cocker Spaniels are purebreds, the cost can depend a lot on your choice of breeder. Breeders will charge anywhere from $800 to $2,000. That doesn’t include the cost of feeding, clothing, and housing your new pup. And be sure to include medical expenses for vaccinations and unforeseen circumstances. Adoption is a great route if you can find a Cocker Spaniel for consideration. Canine rescue centers provide a lower price for this breed but you may not be guaranteed the same level of pedigree for a shelter dog versus buying a Cocker Spaniel directly from a breeder. 

Cocker Spaniel standing in profile on grass
Cocker Spaniels can be found through most major dog breeders but are also sometimes adopted at shelters.


What To Know About Cocker Spaniels 

Cocker Spaniels are great family dogs. They are loving and playful, intelligent and active. They are easy with kids especially if trained and socialized from a young age. This breed of small dog will adapt comfortably to apartment or house-style living and can enjoy their fair share of outdoor active time as well as time spent indoors, relaxing with loved ones. Cocker Spaniels are known for their beautiful coat which requires lots of in-depth grooming and care. There's a good reason this breed is in so many dogs showing its grace, sweetness, and agility.

To top