They were one and the same until...
The American and English Cocker Spaniel was considered to be the same breed until the 1930s, when their rather apparent differences led to them being classified as two separate breeds.
The American and English Cocker Spaniels bear a passing resemblance with each other, but that's where most of the similarity ends. These two breeds are quite distinct, both in the manner of their appearance, as well as their personality.
Spaniels have had a long history, which mainly speaks of their evolution as reputable sporting dogs. Both breeds, the English and the American retain a common thread that binds them―immense popularity in their native nations.
For now, let's take a look at some stand-out points of difference between the American and English Cocker Spaniel.
American vs. English Cocker Spaniel
English Cocker Spaniels are larger and taller compared to their American counterparts.
American Cockers have a longer and more lustrous coat.
SHAPE OF THE HEAD
The American's skull is quite distinctly dome-shaped as against the English Cocker's flatter one.
Both breeds have a different kind of eye placement. The American Cocker's eyes are a bit wider and set more forward than the English Cocker's. The English Cocker has a longer muzzle, while the American's is shorter, with a droopy mouth. English Cockers also sport longer ears that reach the tip of his nose when pulled forward.
PROCLIVITY TO HUNT
The American breed has long been used as a companion dog, unlike the English, which is still seen as a sporting breed. Therefore, English Cockers tend to be more active when they find themselves outdoors―they love to chase birds and other game. The American Cockers, though excellent sporting dogs themselves, have not been known to retain their hunting skill over the period.
Staying close to their primary purpose, English Cocker Spaniels tend to be more active and have more intensive exercise routines than the Americans. The English enjoy running and frolicking in a yard or a park, whereas the Americans will love to give you company on long walks.
Although this point is highly debatable, it has been observed that the American tends to be a tad too sensitive as compared to the English. Both breeds have several similarities regarding their temperament―they're cheerful, family-oriented, and affectionate. But the American is known to be a bit prone to displaying mood swings―although it is definitely unfair to generalize this point.
Be it English or American, Cocker Spaniels have always been a popular breed, especially with families. Their cute looks are highly attractive, and their pleasing and gentle mannerisms make it a pleasure to have them around.