Cocker Spaniel Glossary: What is a Field Cocker?

In the diverse world of Cocker Spaniels, a “Field Cocker” refers to a variant of the breed bred specifically for its prowess in fieldwork, particularly hunting. They are a subset of the working line dogs but are fine-tuned to excel in the hunting environment, showcasing abilities in flushing and retrieving game from dense terrains.


  • Field Cocker is a Cocker Spaniel bred primarily for hunting.
  • They specialize in flushing and retrieving game.
  • They possess physical and temperamental traits tailored to fieldwork.
  • A subset of the working line, they are optimized for the hunting environment.
what is a field cocker

A Deeper Look at the Field Cocker

The Cocker Spaniel, as a breed, has its origins deeply rooted in hunting. However, over the years, selective breeding has led to distinctions within the breed itself. While show lines have been developed to align with aesthetic breed standards, working lines have been cultivated for various tasks. Among these working lines, the Field Cocker stands out as the variant bred with a specific emphasis on hunting abilities.

Field Cockers, compared to their show counterparts, often have a more practical coat that’s easier to maintain, especially in outdoor settings. Their build is athletic, facilitating agility and stamina in the field. Behavioral traits, like a pronounced prey drive and keen senses, make them efficient at their primary roles of flushing out game and retrieving.

Distinguishing Field Cocker from Other Cocker Spaniels

A Field Cocker, when placed alongside a show line Cocker Spaniel, will often showcase noticeable differences. Beyond the practical coat, they might be leaner with a more muscular build. Their eyes often possess a keen, alert look, always ready for action. While both types can be incredibly affectionate, a Field Cocker might be more independent and have a higher energy level, needing more physical activity and mental stimulation.

Examples of Field Cocker Traits

  • Coat: Typically shorter and easier to maintain, designed to be practical for outdoor activities without matting.
  • Build: Athletic and lean, built for stamina and agility in the field.
  • Sense: A keen sense of smell and sharp eyesight, primed for spotting and chasing game.
  • Temperament: While affectionate, they often have a higher prey drive and independent streak, coupled with a zest for activity.

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