Thinking about adding a new member to your family, an English Cocker Spaniel is a loving breed that will enjoy good health and be a wonderful addition to your family for many years.

You should probably first educate yourself about what conscientious breeders that care deeply for this breed are doing to ensure their puppies are as healthy as possible.

Not all English Cockers are bred the same. Ask our members or any breeders you speak with about a puppy, the questions below about the sire and dam’s health clearances to help you find a happy, healthy puppy that is the result of planning and knowledge. If they do not have these clearances move on to a reputable breeder whose mission is to breed better healthy dogs that are raised correctly.

We are not here to sell you but rather inform and help you.


Understanding Health Clearances

Health clearances reccomended for an English Cocker Spaniel

The tests we recommend you ask about are:

DNA Tests
There are three DNA tests recommended for both types of ECS (show bred and field bred), and an additional two DNA tests for field bred lines. .

1. PRA/prcd – Progressive Rod/Cone Dystrophy – this is an eye disease test recommended for both types of breeding ECS.
2. FN – Familial Nephropathy – Kidney disease test, recommended for EC’s
3. AON – Adult Onset Neuropathy – A neurological disease, recommended for ECs
4. AMS – Acral Mutilation Syndrome – A neurodegenerative sensory disorder, recommended for field bred type.
5. EIC – Exercise Induced Collapse – Recommended for field bred type.

The rest of the recommended tests use either blood tests, physical exams/x-rays or electro- diagnostic tests for which there is no DNA test.

6. BAER – Hearing – Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response deaf (both ears are deaf).
7. Eyes – CAER (Companion Animal Eye Registry) or CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation) This is an eye exam done by a member of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) annually.
8. Autoimmune Thyroiditis - OFA Thyroid Certification can be done at 12 months and older.
9. Hip Dysplasia – OFA Certification – At 2 years of age, a hip x-ray can be done at a vet’s office and sent into OFA to be.
10. Patellar Luxation (knee caps) – OFA Certification – At 12 months or older, a veterinarian can check for patellar luxation. The vet will fill out an OFA form and it is submitted for entry into the database and issuance of an OFA certificate


Recognition Program Celebrates & Rewards Dedicated Breeders

The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) announced today the launch of the Breeder of Merit program, a new initiative designed to recognize AKC’s core breeders.

“The Breeder of Merit program allows the American Kennel Club to celebrate our dedicated, passionate breeders who truly are the backbone of the sport and the foundation of our organization,” said AKC’s Chief Operating Officer John Lyons. “Our Breeders of Merit are committed to both improving their breed through health testing and selective breeding programs, and proving their breed through achievements in the show ring. They are special and will be emulated by new breeders entering the sport. Being a successful breeder in the Fancy does not come easy. Years of hard work, vision, and a willingness to do the right thing are required to be successful. Our Breeders of Merit have these qualities and deserve to be recognized.”

To learn more or apply for the Breeder of Merit program, visit


As the English Cocker is still a comparatively rare breed in the United States, you may not find precisely the dog you have in mind at a given time, with respect to color, age, sex and convenience of location.

English Cocker puppies may be purchased from a knowledgeable breeder of English Cocker Spaniels. Occasionally adults are available from breeders as well. The ECSCA Rescue Organization also rehomes adults.


The ECSCA can assist in helping you locate an English Cocker Spaniel puppy or adult. Please forward inquiries to:

Mindy Bartholomew (East Coast)

Jane Zank (Midwest)

Deborah McClelland (West Coast)

Please contact either of our 2 designated referral people, or contact the individuals listed as breeders in the listing by states (and many of these members are listed also for Breed Information).

If you are interested in adopting an adult, please contact the corresponding secretary or ECSCA Rescue. The adults pictured below are English Cockers successfully rescued and placed in new homes by the ECSCA Rescue Organization.