"Two cocker spaniels came from the fireside to greet us"
A 3-year old English Cocker Spaniel
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA 3-year old English Cocker Spaniel - Credit: Joeltaylor
English Cocker Spaniel
GNU Free Documentation LicenseEnglish Cocker Spaniel - Credit: Gergely Vass, modified by Miyagawa

Like other breeds of spaniel, the English Cocker Spaniel is a gundog, a type of dog specially bred to find and retrieve wild game, particularly birds.

Although the English Cocker Spaniel has a transatlantic cousin known as the American Cocker Spaniel, it is actually much closer in appearance to another kind of spaniel known as the English Springer Spaniel.

The Cocker Spaniel is renowned for its good nature and its continuously wagging tail (which is no doubt why the tail of Jasper, one of the Manderley cocker spaniels, is described several times as being a-thump!).