Cocker Spaniel - As far back as the 14th Century there is mention of the Spanyell, which came to be divided into water and land spaniels. "Cockers" are the smallest of the spaniels and the Sporting Group. The American Cocker has evolved somewhat differently in appearance from the breed now recognized as the English Cocker Spaniel. His desire to hunt renders him a capable gun dog; he covers territory speedily, flushing game and retrieving only when under command. He takes to water readily.