Male vs Female Cocker Spaniel: Is there a Difference?

August 28, 2022

Trying to decide if you want a male or female Cocker Spaniel?

Well, by picking a Cocker Spaniel you have already won the dog lottery as this affectionate and playful breed makes brilliant family pets.

I may be slightly biased though, of course!

There are a few key differences that are worth knowing about before you take home your new canine companion though and settle on if you want a male or female Cocker Spaniel.

It is best to do a lot of research upfront about the type of dog you are adding to your family to make sure it is the best fit possible for what you are looking for.

No matter if you are just curious about the differences or looking for help making that choice, this is the article for you.

Physical Differences

For the most part, both male and female Cocker Spaniels look the same. They both have long floppy ears and are incredibly cute. From a distance, you would be easily forgiven for not being able to tell them apart.

Coat colours are another area where female or male Cockers don't differ at all. Both genders of Cocker Spaniel come in nearly two dozen colours.

That said, there are a few physical differences though that will help you identify which you are looking at. Read on to learn what to look out for.


Male Cocker Spaniels are usually larger than their female counterparts. They measure 15 to 17 inches tall while females are only 14 to 16 inches tall.

This is pretty common across all dog breeds and will be in part due to male dogs having a more muscular physique.


Just like with size, male and female Cocker Spaniels differ by weight. Males are again the heavier or the two with a weight range of 13 to 16kg while females are generally between 11 to 15kg. There is a bit of crossover here, so you will get little males and bigger female Cockers.


Another area where Cocker Spaniels differ is physical features. You will notice that female Cocker Spaniels have far softer features, more notably around their head and muzzle, while males have more prominent features in these areas.

Female Cocker Spaniels also have their ears a bit higher on their head than males do.


First, let's look at what both types of Cocker Spaniels have in common. Both are affectionate, intelligent dogs who make great family members and build incredibly strong bonds with their owners.

But what quirks do these Cocker Spaniels have that separate them from each other?

Female Cocker Spaniel Key Personality Traits

While both dogs are very affectionate, a female Cocker Spaniel will be more loving and better with kids and other dogs, providing they are introduced early. Overall, I'd say that females make better family dogs.

They are also more amenable and far less stubborn than male Cocker Spaniels, though you better believe they have their moment!

Females also have very little interest in who is the pack leader. It's unlikely you will have problems with your dog trying to be dominant in the future.

Female Cockers are also typically calmer dogs, at times even a little shy. They will still get excited as you would expect a Spaniel to do, but it won't be at quite the same level as a male Cocker.

I would be very surprised if you had a story of a female Cocker Spaniel being violent or fighting another dog unless they were pregnant and felt threatened.

Male Cocker Spaniel Key Personality Traits

Male Cocker Spaniels are very energetic and can be a bit more stubborn than their female counterparts.

You'll also find that a male Cocker will be more territorial and have a higher chance of having behavioural issues associated with that such as resource guarding. This may be related to testosterone as aggressive behaviour does dip in neutered males.

The plus side of this is that male Cocker Spaniels make great guard dogs. As long as nobody sees them or comes in, they may get licked or cuddled, probably not much more.

Males are also more active of the two and it may feel like they have more energy to burn off.

They are great as family dogs but tend to be a little rougher when playing so keep that in mind if you have small children.


Both male and female Cocker Spaniels are relatively easy to train, this is thanks to the fact Cockers are very smart dogs.

From basic obedience training to more complicated commands you'll have no trouble getting your Cocker trained up.

That said, female Cocker Spaniels are far easier to train with their less stubborn natures. Males can also become distracted far easier. They are also the smarter of the two genders.

This means if you are going to be a first-time pup parent a female Cocker Spaniel will be the better choice for you.


Both male and female Cockers are susceptible to a wide range of health conditions. It's just a breed thing.

The main areas it affects are their eyes, ears, joints, and heart. There are health conditions that affect one gender more than the other. Ear infections are something all owners will encounter at some point.

Males are known for being more likely to be affected by some of the eye conditions such as entropion.

For female Cocker Spaniels, this is mammary tumours, but only if you do not spay your dog before her first season. If you do then the chance of it occurring is completely gone. Females are at higher risk of getting canine liver disease.

It is worth saying that I've had a Cocker Spaniel for several years and never experienced most of these conditions, so even though there is a chance of it you can get a Cocker without constantly worrying they will have these problems.

Why Should I get a Male Cocker Spaniel?

A male Cocker Spaniel will be the best fit for your family if you are looking for a high-energy furry friend who will bring a sense of adventure to your life.

They are a little better for families with older children as they can play a little rougher.

Why Should I get a Female Cocker Spaniel?

A female Cocker Spaniel will be the best pet for you if you are looking for a more relaxed, cuddly companion.

They are known for being easier to train, far less stubborn, and a bit more gentle when playing with children, though you should never leave dogs and children unsupervised.


Everything here comes down to personal preference, and to a degree, which puppies are available if you are looking to add a new member to your family.

Both male and female Cocker Spaniels come with their advantages as well as sharing a wide range of traits that you would look for in a dog. It is really difficult to go wrong when getting a Cocker Spaniel puppy, no matter if it's male or female.

This advice will apply no matter if you are considering an American or English Cocker Spaniel.

Good luck if you are looking to get a Cocker Spaniel, you are making a brilliant decision.

Allan  Noble
Hi, my name is Allan! I am the owner of Spaniel Advisor and I've got over seven years experience of owning Spaniels.  
I hope this article was helpful for you! 
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