The Cocker Spaniel was my dream breed, but I couldn’t help feeling a little apprehensive about their reputation for being hyperactive before I finally got one. I imagined my furry friend running wild around the house, doing laps around the coffee table and up and down the stairs, or barking incessantly through the night.

Getting a cocker spaniel has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned.

Cocker spaniels are known for their hyperactivity, which can overwhelm new owners. Despite their adorable and fluffy appearance, these dogs are not the ones to lounge around all day. Puppies and young adults, in particular, exhibit high levels of hyperactivity. This is especially true for those with a hunting background, who tend to be energetic – the cocker spaniel is no exception.

Their hyperactive nature will need physical and mental stimulation, which their owners must provide. Thus making them calmer, happy and generally beautiful, loyal companions to enjoy.

Cocker Spaniels are adorable dogs known for their cuteness, floppy ears and fluffing fur. Their big dog eyes are just gorgeous. They are great for kisses and cuddles! Altho, don’t be fooled. They are often very hyper and only suit a particular dog owner. Stimulation is vital to keep hyperactivity at bay.

Cocker Spaniels love all the affection they receive from their owners. They will undoubtedly lap up all that love from you and want more. However, stimulation is vital to making your relationship work with a Cocker Spaniel. Activities and daily routines its utmost importance.

Why are Cocker Spaniels so hyper?

If you’re wondering why they are so hyper, it’s all in their genetics. Cocker Spaniels are known and bred to assist farmers. In particular, bird retrieving. They need to be quick on their paws, on the go, continually collecting the birds for their human hunter companion.

How to calm a Cocker Spaniel?

  • Daily Exercise
  • Toys and playthings
  • Affection “only at the right time”.
  • Discipline “the right way” is firm but not overly firm. They are soft-natured dogs, which will only damage their sensitive personalities.

We know we can be soft on our dogs, especially with a Cocker Spaniels puppy dog’s eyes. If you have had no choice but to tell him off, ensure he knows that affection only comes when they are well-behaved. Try not to make eye contact when he has been naughty. Leave it briefly before you return, showing them any love or affection.

Don’t only train your dog, but your guests need training as well

Another good tip: When guests are over, get your visitors settled in before allowing your dog back into the room. Or letting guests provide them with love and smoothness, the excitement of new playmates entering the house might not be contained with a Cocker Spaniel resulting in the constant loop run around the coffee table. Lol.

How often should I walk a Cocker Spaniel?

Most Cocker Spaniels are satisfied with either twice a day for 30 minutes or once daily for an hour. This should be a sufficient exercise for the breed.

Information about walking a Cooker Spaniel

Why is my Cocker Spaniel so hyper even after exercise?

You may already have a Cocker Spaniel, and you’re wondering why yours is still so hyper. You go for daily walkies and give plenty of kisses and cuddles. But they are still hyperactive! Walking dogs is standard for all dogs to keep them healthy and happy. Age is a significant factor; the younger the Cocker Spaniel, the more hyper. Some suggestions below you might want to consider.

  • Try fitting in another walk or changing your path while walking. 
  • Trying home remedies, such as calm food or calming plugin solutions, might help.
  • Get in touch with an experienced dog trainer.

Don’t give up just yet. Owning a Cocker Spaniel comes with endless rewards, and it’s all about finding the right balance. It’s not about your dog’s personality or character but their breeding.

Cocker Spaniel Running in the long grass

When do cocker spaniels calm down?

Cocker Spaniels are always excitable, no matter how old they get. Even if a Cocker Spaniel is five months or sixteen, it will have this glimmer of excitement in its eyes and remain playful until the very end!

Cocker Spaniel History

We have already learned that they were originally hunting dogs and bred to help farmers search, retrieve the game, and bring them back to their owners. Their first ever existence recorded was in Spain in the 14th Century.

There are two breeds of Spaniel types: The English Cocker and the American Cocker Spaniel. Both are known as just Cocker Spaniels in their native homelands.

  1. The English Spaniels were bred and used to specifically catch Eurasian woodcock from the woods in the United Kingdom.
  2. Shortly after, the American Cocker Spaniel was bred specially to catch American woodcock in American woods.

Nowadays, both breeds are just family pets, and they can also be a popular choice of show dogs.

English Cocker Spaniel vs American Cocker Spaniel: What sets them apart?

They differ in their origins, with one being from England and the other from America, and also in the types of games they were bred to catch. The English Cocker is notably larger than the American Cocker Spaniel, but both breeds have similar coat colours and health concerns, albeit with some variations.

Two sitting up white American Cocker Spaniels
American Cocker Spaniel
Two English Cocker Spaniels one sitting and the other laying down
English Cocker Spaniel

Can a Cocker Spaniel be even more hyper due to an illness?

Yes, A Cocker Spaniel can be excessively hyper-caused by an illness. However, it’s not because of the breed itself. Some dogs, in general, can have a nervous disorder.

If your dog suddenly becomes hyper and uncontrollable, not due to their environment, you must contact your vet immediately for assessment. Since dogs are unable to talk to us, they often show their communication of injury or sickness through their behaviour, which could explain why your dog is still hyper even after exercise and stimulation. We often put this just down to lousy behaviour. Getting to know your dog and spotting any dangers like this is vital.

What does hyperactive mean in a dog?

The proper medical term is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Hyperactive, or “hyperkinesis,” is when dogs show frantic behaviour. They have short abnormal attention spam and show consistent extreme attention-seeking behaviour. Yes, ADHD affects us not only humans but also our pet dogs.

The good news is the Cocker Spaniel is generally a hyper dog if left to its means. This doesn’t mean that they have ADHD. Like any other dog, thankfully, this is fixable. They need good training and a loving, supporting owner. You will get your relaxed and calm Cocker Spaniel eventually.

Will Training a Cocker Spaniel help to reduce hyperactivity?

If you are considering getting a Cocker Spaniel as a family pet, put this at the top of your list. Do your research on how to train a Cocker Spaniel effectively. Or, there are plenty of dog training professionals out there. If they are professionally trained and socialised from an early age, they won’t pick up any bad habits in the future. They will know what they can and can’t do.

It’s not just about training the dog, it’s also about training for you, the owner. I try to stick to the three p’s below, even in adulthood when they continue to learn our expectations each day.

  1. Persistent
  2. Patient
  3. Positive

You will soon reap the awards of a Cocker Spaniel pet dog.

What else can I use or give to help with a hyper Cocker Spaniel?

The regular training and love. Toys! They love playing, and their natural character is very playful. If you have kids, they make great playmates for a Cocker Spaniel. Be sure always to supervise younger children with dogs. Natural Remedies for Hyperactive Dogs can also help with hyper dogs. 

Any good dog parent will tell you to have a positive mindset, which can go a long way when dealing with a hyper Cocker Spaniel.

Is age a factor in Cocker Spaniel’s hyperactivity?

Yes, age can undoubtedly play a role in hyperactivity. Puppies generally have higher energy than young adults, and they both require extra mental and physical stimulation to aid with being less hyper.

Older Cocker Spaniels require less physical exercise than humans when we get older. However, mentally, they still need comfort toys. 

As you can see, the Cocker Spaniel can be complex throughout each age group, but don’t let this put you off. They are incredibly rewarding as a family pets.

A Boy Cocker spaniel sitting up
Cocker Spaniel

Are Cocker Spaniel boys more hyper than Cocker Spaniel girls?

Generally, both sexes are no more or no less hyper than the other. However, individual dogs, regardless of gender, will have different personalities and behaviour traits, which can increase or decrease their hyperactiveness.

Cocker Spaniel’s Top Six Characteristics

  1. Hyper
  2. Playful
  3. Cuddly
  4. Soft-natured & Friendly
  5. Good with children
  6. Trainable

Cocker Spaniel Extra Details

These may help you decide if they are suitable pets for you and your family.

  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years
  • Colours: Black, Blue Roan, Black & Tan, Orange Roan
  • Weight: Female: 12–15 kg, Male: 13–16 kg
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Playful, Friendly, Faithful, Quiet, Trainable
  • Height: Female: 36–41 cm, Male: 38–43 cm
  • Minimum exercise (per day): 1 hour
  • Minimum cost (per month): £80
  • Average weight: 13-14.5 kg
  • Average lifespan: Over ten years

After reading this, I hope you can now answer these questions with a proper understanding of the breed. Would a Cocker Spaniel suit your family home? Can you give them the attention that they need and deserve?


The Cocker Spaniel needs love, attention, and training. Get this wrong, and you could be in for tough, stressful times ahead with your new arrival. However, I’m sure you won’t have any trouble with everything we have discussed. Understandably, any dog breed can be a struggle at first. Remember the three p’s—persistent, Patient and Positive.

Cocker Spaniels make beautiful pets and make any owner fall in love with them.

References and Further Reading

  1. American Kennel Club – “Cocker Spaniel”
  2. The Cocker Spaniel Club (UK) – “Temperament and Behaviour”
  3. PetMD – “Cocker Spaniels

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