With their soulful eyes it’s easy to see where the phrase “spaniel eyes” (as in “Don’t look at me with those spaniel eyes!”) came from.
The spaniel is widely assumed to have originated in Spain, with the word “spaniel” thought to be derived from the old French word “Espaignol” meaning “Spanish”. However another theory suggests that the name “spaniel” may come from the French verb “espanir” meaning “to crouch or flatten” (which describes a style of hunting involving crouching and springing).
Cockers and Springers are closely related. Originally these were just different names given to pups of the same litter — the smaller ones called Cockers and the larger ones, Springers. Cocker Spaniels were recognised as a distinct breed by the Kennel Club in 1885.
Immortalised as Lady (in the 1955 film Lady and the Tramp) Cocker Spaniels are no strangers to celebrity status. Famous owners include George Clooney, The Kennedy family, Elton John, Oprah Winfrey, Prince William & Kate Middleton and President Nixon.