The American Cocker Spaniel is a breed of sporting dog that is closely related to the English Cocker Spaniel. The two breeds diverged during the 20th century because of differing breed standards in the US and the UK. In the United States, the breed is usually called a Cocker Spaniel, while elsewhere in the world it is called an American Cocker Spaniel to distinguish it from its older English cousin. The word cocker is commonly held to stem from their use to hunt woodcock in England, while spaniel is thought to be derived from the breed's origins in Spain.
The breed is the smallest of the sporting dogs recognized by the AKC, and its distinctly shaped head makes it immediately recognizable. In addition, there are some marked differences between it and its English relative. It is a happy breed with average working intelligence, although by being bred to a show standard it is no longer an ideal working dog.