The Cocker Spaniel is actually two different spaniel breeds; the American Cocker Spaniel and the European Cocker Spaniel. The difference comes in their breed standards. The American Spaniel was bred to hunt the American Woodcock and the European was bred to hunt the Eurasian Woodcock. These birds are where the word "cocker" in their name comes from. They are one of the most popular family pets on either continent and the smallest of the sporting breeds!