Hi there, I am Tom, a lifelong dog lover. I have two dogs that shed their coats like crazy. One is a short-haired breed and the other a long hair.
It’s a miracle they have hair left at all!
Dog hair is an important consideration when choosing a dog. How much does dog hair annoy you?
Do Cocker Spaniels Shed?
Yes, they do, but probably less than many other breeds. According to the American Kennel Club, Cocker Spaniels shed less than average, so they are not the worst offenders.
About Cocker Spaniels
Cocker Spaniels were traditionally bred as gun dogs. Originally a Spanish breed, spaniels were used to help catch birds.
Before 1893 spaniels were lumped together as one breed, says the American Kennel Club. Until then, spaniels were loosely classified as either water spaniels or land spaniels. The classification was dependent on their work and their particular characteristics.
Cocker Spaniels were used to chase down woodcock, large night-loving wading birds. By design, Cockers were smaller but sturdily-built dogs, with hallmark happily wagging tails.
But Cocker Spaniels are further organized into two distinct breeds. Some kennel clubs consider there to be English Cocker Spaniels and American Cocker Spaniels, the former being taller than its counterpart.
Primarily a working dog, the breed shot to fame after Brucie won the 1940 and 1941 ‘best in show’ at the Westminster Dog Show. The breed got further worldwide exposure thanks to Disney’s 1955 animation, Lady and the Tramp.
Cocker Spaniel Colors
Like Fords, spaniels were only available in black traditionally. Today, though, there is an entire palette of approved color combinations. Their coats are silky and require some TLC to keep them looking their best. Regular brushing, bathing, and grooming will maintain their coat at peak condition.
Cocker Spaniel Shedding – How Much Hair They Shed?
Coat shedding will vary from dog to dog. Some Cockers seem to shed non-stop, others hardly at all. And there does not seem to be differences in coat shedding between the English and American breeds.
Anecdotal evidence from owners suggests that particular colors of Cockers shed more than others.
Black spaniels are big coat shedders, but blue roans not so much. Owners also believe that full-color dogs shed more hair than ‘parti-coloured’ dogs.
Of course, it could merely be that dark hair shows up more than lighter colored dog hair.
If you are purchasing from a breeder, enquire about the parents’ rate of shedding. Good breeders should not have a problem with you meeting the parents..
But even this is an inexact science. Just because mom and dad are not shedders, it does not necessarily follow that their offspring will be the same.
Age is also a factor in coat shedding. There are reports that puppies shed their coat but don’t when they are fully grown. But there are just as many owners reporting the opposite.
Like all breeds, skin conditions, allergies, and hormones all play a part in determining how much coat shedding will occur during a spaniel’s lifetime.
Getting expert veterinary advice for these conditions will help keep your dog comfortable and the vacuum in the closet a bit more.
If you notice your dog scratching or sudden variations in coat shedding, seek veterinary advice. The remedy may be as simple as switching to a non-allergy shampoo or adding supplements to your dog’s diet.
On balance, a healthy Cocker Spaniel will shed slightly less than other breeds. However, they are by no means hypoallergenic. There are no guarantees, so if shedding is an issue, maybe a spaniel is not the best choice.
How to Stop Cocker Spaniel Shedding?
Regular brushing and bathing are the best bets to stop shedding. You will prevent most coat shedding by brushing your dog a few times every week. You will need to do this in any case to avoid matting hair.
Regular bathing with a quality shampoo, after a thorough brushing, will also help prevent irritation and mitigate shedding.
Keeping your dog’s hair short will make their coat more manageable and alleviate shedding too. There are many ‘hairstyles’ to make your Cocker adorable – such as the puppy cut or the lamb cut.
All require a certain amount of upkeep, but your dog groomer should be able to advise you on keeping your Cocker’s coat in tip-top condition and minimizing shedding. They will also show you how to check for skin conditions properly.
Get A Glamorous Spaniel And Keep Stray Hair At Bay!
The secret weapon to obtain a top grade metal comb. A fine-to-medium toothed comb is suggested by the American Kennel Club to remove loose hair and tangles.
Once you have de-tangled and removed the worst, you can switch to a softer brush to finish off.
Be gentle and your dog will grow to enjoy its grooming sessions. Hurting your dog by pulling through matted hair is never a good idea, use your hands to help remove mats. Be particularly careful on the ears as the skin there is delicate and can tear.
Check out our comb and brush suggestions. Or our recommended clippers if you fancy trying your hand at home dog grooming.
Do Cocker Spaniels Shed Their Coats?
If you are not bothered by finding dog fur around your house, the Cocker Spaniel may be the perfect breed.
But bear in mind that the actual breed specification for a Cocker Spaniel is…to be merry! They are affectionate dogs and always delighted to see you return home.
If you are fortunate, you will get a lifelong companion that keeps their hair to themself. But maybe not.
Remember, too, that the usual lifespan of a spaniel is 15 years. And that’s a lot of dog hair.
By now, we have hopefully persuaded you that Cocker Spaniels shed, but maybe not as much as you feared.
Every dog is different. Some shed, others don’t. Just watch out for sudden changes.
This variation in shedding rate is natural and part and parcel of living with man’s best friend.