Cocker Spaniels are descended from one of the oldest breed of dogs, Spaniels, which are believed to have originated in Spain. Over time they were transported to England and other parts of Europe where wealthy land owners utilized their hunting skills.

Spaniels have been recorded in art and literature for over 500 years, originally in works by Gaston de Foix, Chaucer and Edward Plantagenet, Second Duke of York's "The Master of Game".


                                                                               Image result for english cocker spaniels 17th  century art

 A bird dog (Spaniel) depicted on the 15th century Devonshire Hunting Tapestry


In England before the 17th century all types of Spaniels were categorised together, however by the late 1600's Spaniels had become specialised into two groups: Land and Water.

It wasn't until the mid 19th century that more specialised divisions were made amongst the types of Land Spaniels based on size and weight. It is these differentiations that have led to the breeds we have today. Springing Spaniels are the foundation of all modern day flushing spaniels.  In a single litter of Springer Spaniels, the larger pups became Springer Spaniels, the medim sized the Sussex Spaniels and the smaller pups the Cocker Spaniels. The names Springer Spaniel and Cocker or Woodcock Spaniel, naturally followed the skills of the developing breeds.

After the formation of The Kennel Club (England), Cocker Spaniels were recognised as a separate breed from Springer Spaniels in 1892 and "breed standards" were introduced.


                        Water (English Water Spaniel)


                                     Setting Spaniels (English Setter)

                   Land ⇒                               Large  (English Springer Spaniel) 

                                          Springing Spaniels 

                                                                                          Small (English Cocker Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel)

The American Cocker Spaniel was developed from the English Cocker Spaniel. In America however breeding was used to develop a slightly different type of cocker, resulting in the separtion of the English and American Cockers by The Kennel Club in 1940.




                Meden Agan Love Me Do (Merry)                               Meden Again Lift Me Up (Moby)

Both working in the field.  Photos courtesy of Sophie Simonelli.

A member of the Gundog family, they originated as the "cocking spaniel" and derived their name from flushing woodcock. (Hence the use of WOOD in my prefix.). 

An interesting article on Tricia Bentley's Web Page, Canigou Cockers, references the dog Ch Bob Bowdler whelped in 1901 by Mr Robert De Courcy Peele.



                                                                                Ch Bob Bowdler whelped in 1901

The charcoal sketch by Arthur Wardle is of the famous blue roan Champion.  Although somewhat different by today's standards, he was a very successful show dog winning 14CC. He was described as "a beautiful light blue colour" having one of the best head and ears seen on a cocker for many years.  

Ch Bob Bowdler is behind the pedigree of almost every cocker around today.  Behind Ch Bob Bowdler himself is Ch Obo, whelped in 1879 by breeder Mr James Farrow. Obo is said by historians of the breed to be the foundation Sire of Cockers.


                                                                                         Ch Obo whelped in 1879

Using the Cocker Spaniel Database, I have been able to trace all of my own dogs back to him through either their sire, dam or both. The number of genarations can vary within each pedigree. I have included one example for Cali below but there were many other possibilites.

                                                                                     Ch Glenbrook Good Vibrations

Ch Glenbrook The Great Gatsby (Sire) Ch Canigou Brigh Tan Beautiful (Dam)
Ch Lochranza Walkaround With Pencandy (S) Sh Ch Secon Tan Rose (D)
Sh Ch Lochranza For Your Eyes Only (S) Sh Ch Canigou Classic Rock (D)
Lochranza Strathisla (D) Sh Ch Canigou Classical (D)
Sh Ch Asquanne's Glenfiddich (S) Sh Ch Canyonn Classic Gold (S)
Sh Ch Asquanne's Gonzales (S) Sh Ch Quettedene Footsteps (S)
Sh Ch Asquanne's Ghia (D) Sh Ch Canigou Cambrai (S)
Sh Ch Quettadene Emblem (S) Crankwood Miss Happy (D)
Sh Ch Sorbrook Christmas Knight (S) Sh Ch Canigou Mr Happy (S)
Willowside Buffalo Bill (S) Sh Ch Quettadene Emblem (S)
Sorbrook Boomerang (S) Sh Ch Sorbrook Christmas Knight (S)
Sh Ch Lochdene Sorbrook Sundowner (S) Sorbrook Penny Royal (D)
Sunglint of Sorbrook(S) Sh Ch Sorbrook Beechnut (S)
Quettadene Bernadette (D) Sh Ch Janeacre Night Skipper of Helenwood (S)
Sixshot The Black Cockatoo (S) Sunglint of Sorbrook (S)
Sixshot Willy Wagtail (S) Quettadene Bernadette (D)
Sixshot Black Swan (S) Sh Ch Glencora Black Ace (S)
Treetops Terrific (S) Sixshot The Black Cockatoo (S)
Treetops Talkie (S) Sixshot Willy Wagtail (S)
Treetops Treasure Trove (D) Sixshot Black Swan (S)
Bazel Otto (S) Sixshot Brown Owl (D)
Jocker Of Padson (S) Sixshot Mavis (D)
Blackcock of Lightwater (S) Woodcock Ringleader (S)
Drysons Sunstar (S) Sunflower of Lightwater (D)
Drysons Mustard (D) Pimpernel of Lightwater (D)
Drysons Hector (S) Dyrons Sunstar (S)
Drysons Shiela (D) Dyrons Mustard (D)
Ch Evelyn Bowdler (D) Durban Dina (D)
Ch Dixon Bowdler (S) Wheildon Primula (D)
Ch Bob Bowdler (S) whelped in 1901 Ch Dixon Bowdler (S)
Judy Bowdler (D) Ch Bob Bowdler (S) whelped in 1901
Phillis Bowdler (D) Judy Bowdler (D)
Rose Bowdler (D) Phillis Bowdler (D)
Tim Obo (S) Rose Bowdler (D)
Ch Obo (S) whelped in 1879 Tim Obo (S)
35 Generations Ch Obo (S) whelped in 1879
  36 Generations


Contact Details

Meg Hardy
Camberwell, VIC, Australia
Phone : 0413 506 424
Email : [email protected]