English Cocker Spaniels

An Online Owners Guide



English Cocker Colors

Looking at a show ring full of English Cockers at a large show 
is a delightful visual experience.



What a treat for the eye, since a veritable rainbow of colors is possible in this breed. Several colors can be found even in the same litter. 

Solid (or self) colors include black, red and liver. The red can vary in depth of color from a light sandy gold to a deep almost Irish setter red.

Black and liver can both have tan "points" (eyebrows, muzzle, front of legs, on all four feet and beneath the tail). These are called 'black and tan' and  'liver and tan.' 



Parti (multi) color English cockers come in a kaleidoscope of colors, the most common of which is blue roan. If you have a hard time picturing what "roan" means, imagine a spoonful of cinnamon and sugar mixed together (very close to the color of an 'orange roan' English cocker) or salt and pepper
(very close to the 'blue roan' coloring). 

You may also hear someone say that a particular dog has "heavy ticking." No,
they don't mean he's a time bomb or a clock ticking off the minutes, nor do they mean he's "ticked off" about something :-) Ticking in English cockers
refers to the tiny speckles or freckles that appear on many open marked
(lots of white showing amidst larger patches of color) dogs. 

Parti colors come either open marked, ticked, or roaned with white appearing
in a lovely combination with any of the solid colors mentioned above: red, black or liver.   It's very confusing, but in solid colors, the "red" is called just that. Red. If it's combined with white, it's called "orange" or "lemon" depending upon the depth of the red shade.   Red roan is an AKC accepted color, but few dogs are registered as such.   It becomes a breeder's option to decide as to what color their dog will be registered: orange roan, lemon roan or red roan.   They're all very much alike, the main difference being the color of pigmentation around the eyes and nose. . .in a lemon roan the pigment is liver instead of black.   In orange roan and red roan, the pigment stays very dark and black.

There is no standard or preferred marking for parti color English Cockers which allows for a wide range of unique appearances.

Our standard only suggests that body markings be broken and distributed somewhat evenly with white, and also states that absence of markings is acceptable as well. Some
markings can unfortunately make the difference between a "pet" and a "show
dog" to some breeders, which is indeed the prospective pet owners good fortune. 

'Jiggs' - Land


Different colors of coat tend to have different texture, although there is no steadfast rule. Most breeders agree that solid blacks have a more profuse coat than most other colors, although it is usually of good texture which
makes it easy to groom. 

Dark roans will have coats more similar to solids
than do parti colors with a predominance of white in their markings. The
white coats tend to be silkier and less profuse.

Click on each link to view photos of each color.


Solid Black  <>  Black & Tan  <>  Solid  Red  -  



Black & White  <>   Blue Roan  <>  Blue Roan with Tan  -  <>    Liver Roan

Orange Roan    <>    Orange & White    <>    Tri