Cocker Spaniel personality traits
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Cocker Spaniel Personality: Why Are Cockers The Best?

Everyone says they have the best dog, and everyone is right. The Cocker Spaniel personality is free and merry, which is listed in the breed’s standard. 

Cocker Spaniels are the best dog for a variety of reasons. Ask anyone who shares life with a Cocker Spaniel why they love them. We asked members of the Facebook group Club Cockers: Wigglebutts Worldwide why they gravitate toward Cocker Spaniels.

Hundreds of Cocker lovers responded, and we’ve gathered their answers below. If you’ve ever wondered if a Cocker Spaniel is right for you, read on because we’re sharing tips, resources, and more information on the breed later in this post. 

What Is The Cocker Spaniel Personality Like?

Pet parents and breed aficionados describe the Cocker Spaniel as:

  • Sweet
  • Affectionate
  • Playful
  • Alert
  • Trainable
  • Loyal
  • Sweet-natured
  • Intelligent 
  • Happy
  • Clingy

A Cocker Spaniel’s personality may vary depending on the age, breeding, health issues, background, upbringing, and daily exposure to positive or negative things.

Like all breeds, each purebred dog is uniquely different, with inherent characteristics that apply to all. For example, most Cocker Spaniels are nicknamed ‘wigglebutts’ because they wag their tails and tushies with joy and exuberance.

Cocker Spaniels come in two kinds: English Cocker Spaniel and American Cocker Spaniel. Both are described as merry with a happy personality that wants to be close to their people. 

How I Became A Cocker Spaniel Expert

For the past 30+ years, I’ve shared life solely with Cocker Spaniels. I’ve devoted my life and career to the breed. In that time, I’ve traveled the country, interviewed hundreds of Cocker experts, covered dog shows, been on assignment for Cocker Spaniel-related events, and run one of the most successful Cocker Spaniel groups on Facebook. 

This blog is dedicated to the health and wellness of Cocker Spaniels and their canine friends. 

I read about Cocker Spaniels extensively, keep current on health and wellness, associated with veterinarians and veterinary nurses, host Cocker Spaniel rescue events through Wigglebutt Warriors, and am a pet product expert and ambassador for products and brands to serve Cocker Spaniels best. I am pro-Cocker Spaniel reputable breeder and pro-Cocker Spaniel reputable rescue.

I’ve both rescued Cocker Spaniels and purchased Cocker Spaniels from trusted breeders. 

american cocker spaniel is not hypoallergenic

Why Are Cocker Spaniels The Best Breed?

Here’s what Cocker moms and dads had to say when asked why they love Cocker Spaniel personality traits and gravitate toward them over any other breed:


They are fun characters and a mighty but small package! – Trudy Moffat

Their personality, long ears, wigglebutts, and devotion. – Debbie Hughes

I love their wigglebutts and their sad-looking face to get what they want. Plus the love they give. – Kimberlee Joy Perfetti

My girl is always so happy and shows it with that endless tail wag. – Jayne Pitney

All the luscious fluffiness and all of the shenanigans and unconditional love. – Stephanie Stephens Baker

They love you so hard. And that babyfaces with the dome head, sad eyes, and rubbery cheeks. They are my obsession. – Lynne Pearlman

Baby faces who love to please their pack. – Adam Cronertz

Smart dogs who require a lot of care but return the love for a lifetime. – Mary McMartin

A part of the family and never want to be alone. – David Arstel 

Clever dogs who love to please and use their charm and eyes to get their way. – Tina Darwin

A Cocker Spaniel personality is one you get immediately attached to because they are spunky, loving, attentive, and fun. – Rita Robertson


Their faces and curly ears – I can’t get enough. – Heather Davis Lewis

They are beautiful and just the right size. Those eyes can get them anything they want and their sweet temperament. – Rachel Goodson

Their big sad eyes and silly personalities. – Rebecca Tolbert

A Cocker Spaniel’s puppy dog looks that last a lifetime, and their hearts of pure gold have earned my devotion and loyalty to the breed since my first Cocker Spaniel in 1987. There’s no prettier dog out there. – Donna Abramson

They are just beautiful dogs to me. I have owned Cocker Spaniels for over 25 years now. When my last baby died, I said no more. But I am getting two more soon, and I cannot wait! I have owned four Cockers over the years and fostered many more into their forever homes. I love their beautiful faces, personalities, and playfulness (a blessing to me). – Deanne Hodges Bowen 

They look like pups ever after they grow up and so sociable. – Sandi Dornhecker

Cockers are soft, squishy, and wiggly. I love their ears, big feet, cute little butts, but most of all, their bouncy, goofy personalities. My first BFF at age one was a black Cocker. One cannot put hands on a Cocker without falling in love. – Cindy Preis

Eyes of melted chocolate. – Anonymous

The Whole Package

I have been loved and owned by cockers for almost 40 years. As a breed, their size, expression, and loving merry temperament make them the perfect best friend. Eager to please, they are great in the show ring, excel in agility and obedience, and make the very best cuddle bugs ever. I couldn’t imagine my life without one (or more!) – Lisa Gaertner, Pinecliff Cocker

They are intelligent, loyal, loving, absolutely stunning, gorgeous babies who actually respond like humans. They cry, smile, get upset, and get sad, but they are so loyal, loving, and caring. And they never lose their puppy looks! – Margie Owen

They are forever puppies until they get much older and in poor health. They are loyal, loving, affectionate, sweet, and beautiful. Even before Lady from Lady and the Tramp, Cockers have been my favorite breed. – J.E. Isman

Want to cuddle and give complete adoration to our family. – Ivy Gardner

Their beauty and how deeply they love, their cuddliness and interest in couch lounging…their sweetness and gentleness, devotion, soulful howls, sweet barks, and intelligence. How they enjoy a leash walk and look so stylish doing so. – Fayth Kelly

They are absolutely stunning in every way. There is just something inside me (I don’t know what) that makes me just love them. – Nadine Barnhart

Wigglebutts, love their temperament, very much lap dogs, and are big love sponges. – Kathy Fleckenstein

Easy-going and affectionate yet ready to play and have fun. – Marianne Solter

cocker spaniel ears

What Makes Cocker Spaniels Lovers Do Dedicated? 

There is an indescribable sweetness of nature I’ve never seen in other breeds. Their joy and attitude just bubble over. – Diane McLaughlin

Their ability to cheer you up and be there for you when you need them most. Plus, their ability to love you for who you are. –Cindy Zegers

Their eagerness to please. Their looks, and let’s face it – nothing is cuter than a Cocker puppy. Their size is perfect as well – not too small and not too big. – Nicole Tehranchi







See what I did there? Cockers! – Jan Stewart

Sensitive wigglebutt devotion temperament. Clued into your every move and thoughts. – Diana Weza

Their loyalty, loving yet protective personality. Cleverness, always happy, their size, and of course, those wigglebutts! – Liz Marie

Their merry personality. My girl has been wagging her little tail since the minute I met her almost seven years ago. And my boy has his full tail, a lovely wave for five years now. – Christine Gomes

Playfulness, love us so much, clowns, and smart! – Cheri Brown

They are perfect in every way. Little children to me. Best kids ever. – Eleisa Bailey

Their souls really connect with humans. Plus a billion other things! – Kathy Korab

Kindness… spontaneity… sweetness… The attachment they share with me and between them… vitality and …. beauty – Michele Riviere

They just have the best personalities. Whether one month or 13 years old, they’re just a puppy! – Gretchen Ziegler

They need and have so much love to give! – Ciarra Charlesworth

One of my favorite answers as to why Cocker Spaniels over any other breed comes from Teri Hellrung who says, “How much time ya got?!”

Heart shapers, love keepers, food beggars, ballplayers, life changers, wigglebutts who wrap themselves around your soul and never let go. – Carol Bryant

One Word To Describe Cocker Spaniels

In a separate survey, close to 4,000 Cocker Spaniel parents were asked to describe Cocker Spaniels in one word. Here’s what they said:

  • Affectionate
  • Bed warmer
  • Bossy
  • Bright
  • Busy
  • Clowns
  • Comical
  • Energetic
  • Entertaining
  • Excited
  • Foodie
  • Fun
  • Gentle
  • Goofy
  • Jolly
  • Joy
  • Loving
  • Loyal
  • Merry
  • Persistent 
  • Quirky
  • Sassy
  • Shadow
  • Silly
  • Snuggly
  • Spunky
  • Stubborn
  • Sweet
  • Velcro dogs
  • Wigglebutt

Is A Cocker Spaniel The Best Dog For You?

Despite all of the amazing qualities of the Cocker Spaniel, they are a high-maintenance dog with a host of potential health problems. 

Before you decide on bringing a Cocker Spaniel into your life, read: Is a Cocker Spaniel the Right Breed For You?

More Information on Cocker Spaniels

Now that you know what Cocker Spaniels are like, here are some more articles we authored to help in your decision:

How Can I Find a Reputable Cocker Spaniel Breeder?

Cocker Spaniel Rescue Groups 

Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic?

Cocker Spaniel personality traiots

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