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Do cocker spaniels shed hair?

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Cocker Spaniels are some of the cutest pups with their long curly ears and silky smooth fur. If you're thinking of adopting one, you might ask how much they've dropped and if you can keep up with them!

Cocker Spaniels are moderately shed, which means they shed as much as the average dog. However, their fur is long and requires frequent maintenance to prevent tangles and mats. Unlike some long-haired puppies, Cocker Spaniels are not hypoallergenic.

Read on to learn more about these wonderful dogs and their sleek, luxurious coats!

Cocker Spaniel fur characteristics

Cocker Spaniel sitting in the woods with wet ears
Cocker Spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs.

©iStock.com/Jess Wealleans

coat length long
Shedding frequency ease
beauty needs Thoroughly grooming the fur every few days
Fur or hair? fur
Hypoallergenic? No

How serious is the cocker spaniel's hair loss?

The Cocker Spaniel has a long, silky double coat that sheds moderately. You may notice their coat more because it is longer than many other breeds. You're also more likely to see shed fur if your spaniel has black or white fur, as these colors tend to stand out on furniture and clothing.

Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic?

A good way to keep your Cocker Spaniel cool is to continue to groom them regularly.

© otsphoto/Shutterstock.com

Cocker spaniels are not hypoallergenic because their coat sheds continuously, rather than the infrequent hair shed like humans.

It's important to note that if you are allergic to dogs, you can react to dogs of any breed, including those labeled hypoallergenic. However, dogs that shed less will cause fewer allergy symptoms.

Do Cocker Spaniels Need a Haircut?

Never shave a Cocker Spaniel unless it is medically or otherwise necessary, such as before surgery or when the dog is badly tangled.

©Aneta Jungerova/Shutterstock.com

The Cocker Spaniel's coat is long and easy to maintain. If you don't like grooming your puppy, or they don't, trimming them is an option. However, this is not required.

Never shave a Cocker Spaniel unless it is medically or otherwise necessary, such as before surgery or when the dog is badly tangled. Even when trimmed, their fur should be kept more than an inch to prevent damage to the fur.

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A double coat helps protect against sunburn, bug bites, and both cold and hot weather. According to the American Kennel Club, some people want their dogs to shave to help keep them cool, but this actually increases their risk of heat stroke.

Instead, a good way to keep your Cocker Spaniel cool is to continue to groom them regularly, which will remove shed fur and allow more airflow through the coat.

Do cocker spaniels have a smell?

running english cocker spaniel
If your Cocker Spaniel has a bad smell, the first thing to do is give them a bath.

©Aneta Jungerova/Shutterstock.com

All dogs smell, especially if it's been a while since their last bath. However, Cocker Spaniels don't smell any more than any other dog.

If your Cocker Spaniel has a bad smell, the first thing to do is give them a bath. If they still have the smell after that, a visit to the vet may be necessary to determine if they have any infections or other health issues that are causing the smell.

How to Groom a Cocker Spaniel

There are several steps when grooming any dog. These include:

  • brush or comb
  • bathe your dog
  • cut nails
  • clean ears
  • brush teeth

grooming the fur every few days

English cocker spaniel on the grass
The American Kennel Club recommends using two combs or a medium-spaced double-sided comb for your Cocker Spaniel.

© Labrador Photo Video/Shutterstock.com

Every few days, your cocker spaniel must be groomed thoroughly, down to the skin.

Cocker Spaniels have such a long coat that their undercoat gets tangled up in all the fur as it sheds. Just a few missed groomings can leave your dog with painful mats on its coat.

Brush your cocker spaniel with a metal dog comb. The American Kennel Club recommends using two combs or a medium-spaced double-sided comb.

Divide the fur into sections so you can see and groom it to the skin. Then, use a comb to gently brush the pup's fur so as not to pull their fur.

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If you get tangles, use your fingers to gently break them apart instead of trying to comb, as this can hurt your dog and may cause them to fear the comb.

If your cocker spaniel has a mat, brush the fur under the mat so the brushes are in the way of the skin. Then, use scissors to carefully remove the mat so you don't accidentally cut the dog's skin.

The Cocker Spaniel's ears must also be groomed, but they are very delicate and could tear if not careful. It's especially important to follow the directions above for your dog's ears and not try to pull the brush out of the tangle or mat.

Bathe your cocker spaniel as needed

Try a waterless dog shampoo to keep your cocker spaniel smelling better between baths.

©Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock.com

You will usually know when to bathe your Cocker Spaniel. Maybe they just walked through a muddy puddle in the rain, their fur feels greasy, or they smell worse than usual.

Just like brushing your Cocker Spaniel, it's important to clean them down to the skin. Rub them well with dog shampoo and rinse them thoroughly, checking for hidden suds under the long coat.

Try a waterless dog shampoo to keep your cocker spaniel smelling better between baths. It will leave your dog's coat looking shiny and smooth and reduce any odors.

trim nails once a month

The Cocker Spaniel's nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent them from painfully tangling in the paws, getting caught in various objects, or breaking off.

Depending on your dog's behavior, you can trim all nails at once, or spend a week trimming one or two paws at a time. Especially while your dog is still learning, trimming only a few nails at a time can help them get used to it without overwhelming them or you trying to get the whole paw done!

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Cleaning Your Puppy's Ears Regularly

English cocker spaniel sitting and panting, isolated image
If you notice excess wax in the ears, take your dog to the veterinarian for a professional cleaning.

© GPPets/Shutterstock.com

The Cocker Spaniel's long, curly ears make it easy to catch debris. It is important to clean them regularly with an ear cleaner provided by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can also teach you how to properly clean your ears.

I recommend using a cotton pad soaked in ear cleaner to wipe the entire outer ear. Your dog might love the process — what dog doesn't love ear rubbing?

While you're cleaning your ears, take the opportunity to check the inside of your ears for any redness, swelling, or discoloration. These may be symptoms of an ear infection.

You can also use cotton swabs, cotton balls, or paper towels. However, it's best never to clean the inside of a dog's ear, as you can push the wax further inside and even injure the dog's eardrum.

If you notice excess wax in the ears, take your dog to the veterinarian for a professional cleaning. Your veterinarian can also check to make sure it's not an ear infection causing the buildup.

brush teeth regularly

Dogs develop plaque on their teeth from eating, leading to cavities and cavities over time.

©O_Lypa/Shutterstock.com

Ideally, your cocker spaniel's teeth should be brushed daily. Like us, dogs develop plaque on their teeth from eating, which can lead to cavities and cavities over time.

If you can't, brushing your dog's teeth once a week can still help with the problem.

I recommend taking your dog to the vet every year for a dental checkup and professional cleaning if your veterinarian recommends it.

Next:

  • English Cocker Spaniel vs American Cocker Spaniel: What's the Difference?
  • american cocker spaniel
  • english cocker spaniel
  • Cocker Spaniel Lifespan: How Long Do Cocker Spaniels Live?

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cocker spaniel walking in the snow
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© SincereFox/Shutterstock.com


about the author


I'm an animal writer for four years with a focus on educational pet content. I wish our furry, feathered and scaly friends the best care! In my free time, I'm usually outside gardening or spending time with my nine rescue pets.

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source
  1. Guilford-Jamestown Veterinary Hospital, available here: https://www.guilfordjamestownvet.com/site/blog-greensboro-vet/2020/11/30/bacterial-fungal-skin-infections-dogs
  2. VCA Animal Hospitals, available here: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/ear-infections-in-dogs-otitis-externa