Cocker Spaniel Life Span – Dog’s Average Life Expectancy

Cocker Spaniel is a dog breed common in Europe, many people who own this dog breed or would love to own it often wonder how long this dog breed lives. Well, here is detailed information about their lifespan. 

Find out more as you read along. We have also outlined ways to help your dog have a long and healthy life. 

Cocker Spaniel’s lifespan typically ranges from 10 to 14 years. On average, American Cocker Spaniel has a shorter life span compared to English Cocker Spaniel. 

English Cocker Spaniels have more tendency to reach the highest end of that range. Both Cocker Spaniel types (American and English) are known to often reach their early twenties and sometimes their late teens. 

How Long Is Cocker Spaniel Lifespan?

Many factors can influence and determine how long the Cocker Spaniel lives. But let us first find out the differences between both Cocker Spaniel types. 

American vs English Cocker Spaniel

Although their differences between both Cocker Spaniels fall behind their similarities, there are some significant similarities between them especially in terms of temperament and appearance. 

The English Cocker Spaniel is originally renowned for hunting feathered game. On the other hand, American Cocker Spaniel was developed by American dog fanciers as a companion dog in the early twentieth century. 

Both English and American Cocker Spaniel are cheerful and they have long lush ears and big soulful eyes. Additionally, both dog types are prized for their frolicsome and friendly personalities. 

However, English Cocker Spaniels are usually more energetic and generally have a higher prey drive because of their origins. While American Cocker Spaniels are usually more relaxed. 

The American Cocker Spaniel also tends to have a strong bond with their owners, so they can face separation anxiety if they are left alone for too long. 

Difference in Appearance

English Cocker Spaniels are bigger in terms of appearance. They weigh about 26 – 36 pounds and are usually 15 – 17 inches tall. 

The American Cocker Spaniel on the other hand is smaller and weighs about 20 – 30 pounds with a measurement of 13.5 – 15.5 inches. They also possess a larger coat that needs extra grooming as compared to the English Cocker Spaniel. 

The English Cocker Spaniel has a long head while the American Cocker Spaniel has a dome-shaped head. 

Now let’s talk about the lie span of these dog breeds, is there any difference?

What Is the Lifespan of Cocker Spaniels?

A survey carried out in the UK on 60 pets (American Cocker Spaniel) owned by 33 Americans reported that the median lifespan of the dog breed is 10.3 years. 

Typically, American Cocker Spaniels are expected to live 10 to 14 years. The oldest dog from the survey above lived for 17.3 years. 

On the other hand, English Cocker Spaniels have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. Also, the same survey mentioned above was carried out on 289 English Cocker Spaniels to determine their lifespan. 

The result of the survey showed that the English Cocker Spaniel has a median lifespan of 11.2 years while the oldest dog also survived for 17.3 years. 

A Cocker Spaniel may live above the average life expectancy age (14 years) as long as they have sufficient exercise, a nutritious diet, and good breeding. Although a little bit of luck sometimes comes into play. 

Longest Living Cocker Spaniel

There is no official record for the longest living Cocker Spaniel, however, Uno (a Cocker Spaniel) from Sherman Oaks in California was reported in an article by Los Angeles Daily News in 2010. 

Uno was believed to be 22 years at the time of the profiling. In human years, that is more than a century. 

Health Risks Associated with Cocker Spaniels

Owners of Cocker Spaniels must be proactive and take their dog to the vet for regular checkups while also keeping watch for any symptoms of health problems. 

Doing this judiciously can help to extend their pet’s life. Unfortunately, Cocker Spaniels like all other dogs are subject to some inherited conditions and traits. 

So dog owners cannot impact on the length of their dog’s life but only on the quality. Some of these inherited conditions include:

Heart Issues

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a heart problem characterized by the non-functionality of an enlarged heart. Symptoms of chronic heart disease are fainting, weakness, coughing, difficulty or rapid breathing, loss of appetite, and lethargy. 

Eye Disease

The Cocker Spaniel is prone to many eye diseases. Although this will not shorten their lifespan it often leads to blindness. 

Canine distichiasis is when a dog has an extra row of eyelashes on its eyelid margin. It leads to excessive tearing and chronic eye irritation. This can cause corneal ulcers if left untreated. 

Ectropion is another eye disease that affects Cocker Spaniels whereby the eyelids act abnormally as the lower eyelid droops. This could affect the dog’s eyesight. 

Lastly, Cataracts cause blindness both in humans and dogs, and Cocker Spaniels are at a high risk of getting it. 

Ear Problems

One outstanding feature of Cocker Spaniels in their droopy and long ears. Unfortunately, the air is unable to enter their ear carnal because their ear covers it. This creates a damp, warm breeding ground for bacteria.  

Also, Cocker Spaniels are prone to excessive scratching and other allergies that can lead to ear infections. Consult your vet to learn ways to clean and dry your dog’s ears. 

Ensure that you clean their hair regularly, especially after a swim or a bath. 

Another ear problem is Otitis extrema. Symptoms of this disease are scaly skin, increased discharge, scratching, swelling, redness, odor, and headshaking. 

Liver Diseases

Cocker Spaniels are prone to chronic liver diseases like liver cirrhosis and hepatitis. Liver diseases can be treated in most cases if diagnosed early, else they can result in hepatic encephalopathy, a serious brain issue. 

Signs of liver diseases are weakness, yellow gums or eyes, increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. 

Other inherited conditions include epilepsy, urinary stones, joint and bone problems, and hypothyroidism. 

Ways to Augment the Lifespan of Your Cocker Spaniel

Choosing a Good Breeder

Choose a reputable breeder for your dog who will give you proof that the puppies are well cared for and free from health issues or inherited genetic disorders. 

Preventive Health Care

Ensure to give your dog regular preventive care to ensure that they always stay healthy. You can prevent or treat many canine diseases if they are diagnosed in their early stages. Visit the vet regularly for checkups and physical examination. 

Dental problems can also increase the tendency of heart disease and cause infection. So you must take your dog’s oral health seriously especially as this breed is prone to serious teeth problems. It is recommended to brush their teeth at least thrice a week. 

Diet and Exercise

Just like in humans, the essence of a balanced diet and adequate exercise cannot be overemphasized. It helps to prevent and eradicate certain potential health risks. 

Exercise and balanced diet help to reduce the chances of obesity in your pup. Obesity is so common in dogs with studies showing that 69.4% of Cocker Spaniels are obese. As expected, the overweight has resultant effects on your dog’s longevity and health. 

Fat dogs have a high risk of having some health conditions like orthopedic diseases, cardiorespiratory disease, cancer, heart problems, urinary disorders, hypothyroidism, and diabetes. 

You have to modify your Cocker Spaniel’s caloric intake to reduce their weight while ensuring that they also exercise a lot. Cocker Spaniels enjoys being active, and they love to please people.

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