A Cocker Spaniel is one of the most beloved dog breeds out there. People love these purebred canines.
However, with their long hair, a future owner can’t help but wonder if Cocker Spaniels shed and what they can do about this.
No matter your age, you are probably familiar with Disney’s version of Lady and the Tramp. The glorious Lady is no other breed than a Cocker Spaniel.
Still, when we think of her beautiful coat, we can’t stop thinking about dog hair getting everywhere.
So, do Cocker Spaniels Shed? What amount of shedding is there? Are they hypoallergenic?
If you want to know the answers, you’re in the right spot. We’ll give you a quick overview of this breed and explain how to take care of them. Let’s begin.
Do Cocker Spaniels Shed?
A Cocker Spaniel is a royal-looking dog breed that is the winner of many dog shows.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), this breed is easy to recognize by its long, lush ears, short stature, and cheerful personality. Their fur can range from white and golden to even parti-color.
This breed was created to be a helping hand during hunting. They would chase after gunned-down prey, usually birds such as woodcocks.
Today, however, this Spaniel dog breed is much more than just a gun dog. It is a loved pet of many nobles, and it also makes a great house dog.
But, do Cocker Spaniels shed?
These canines have a double coat that needs to be taken care of. Other than the long, golden fur, these dogs also have a thick undercoat, and because of this, some amount of loose hair will fly everywhere.
However, they are not as big of shedders as one would assume at first glance.
Most Cocker Spaniels shed moderately to very little. While all will experience some degree of shedding, it won’t be twice as bad as a Labrador shedding. Despite their long fur, they are far from being the worst shedder among dogs.
While the amount of shedding depends on the individual dog, overall, you shouldn’t expect to have to deal with too much dog hair getting on your furniture.
Of course, regular grooming is the precondition for this, but other than that, you won’t spend too much time taking care of a Cocker Spaniel’s coat.
Larger dogs also tend to shed more than little ones, so you can also look into Cocker Spaniel growth chart to get an idea about the amount of shedding you can expect.
The Difference Between the American and the English Cocker Spaniel
Both the English and the American Cocker Spaniel breeds shed to a certain amount. Considering that all dogs shed, this isn’t surprising.
However, they have a different fur type, and because of this, the amount of shedding will vary.
While all breeds of Cocker Spaniels are considered low-maintenance, there are a few things to consider.
The amount of shedding that an English Cocker Spaniel does is less than the amount of shedding that an American Cocker Spaniel does.
If you want to pick a good family pet that you won’t have to clean after all the time, then this is the breed you should choose.
Even if you don’t brush their long coat every day, you still won’t have big problems.
On the other hand, an American Cocker Spaniel has a much more delicate coat that will shed a bit more. His fine hair is also prone to matting, so you will have to take more care of it.
Not only that, but they are considered harder to groom overall. However, some owners would argue that this is the prettier breed of the two and that it is worth all the trouble.
Still, others prefer to have a professional groomer cut their hair short.
How do you Deal with a Cocker Spaniel Shedding?
The best way to deal with any amount of shedding is grooming. While regular grooming sessions with a professional should be a must, not everyone can afford this.
Luckily, you can take care of your Cocker Spaniel at home, especially if you own the easy-to-maintain English breed.
Grooming isn’t just for good looks – although Cocker Spaniels will look fabulous with a new hair trim and a silky coat.
Grooming is essential for preventing many health problems. Matted fur leads to skin infection and dander. Not to mention it can hide injuries as well.
If your pooch has a thorn stuck to him or a troublesome but small wound, you might miss it. This can endanger the well-being of your beloved family member.
How Often do You Need to Groom a Cocker Spaniel?
The long coat of a Cocker is delicate. Regular brushing is something that you have to devote your time to when you have this shedding breed. This can prevent many skin conditions, including dandruff.
If you are familiar with how much do Cocker Spaniels shed, you should also understand that brushing is one method to deal with dog hair. This is also the only way to prevent matting, which is common in these canines.
However, if your dog loves to walk around in nature, then you may have to brush him daily. His long fur will pick up burrs, grass seeds, and other debris. In fact, you may even have to brush him after every walk in the countryside.
Another reason why you might want to groom your Cocker Spaniel daily is because of too much loose hair. This can mean that your dog is shedding more, and you’ll need to deal with this in time.
On the other hand, if your brush doesn’t pick near to any hair after daily brushing, you are free to reduce the grooming frequency.
When it comes to washing, a similar rule of thumb applies here. While it would be best to bathe your canine once a month, you may need to wash him more regularly if the situation demands it.
If your Cocker Spaniel is dirty – bathe him. If it’s raining outside, expect to wash his paws after every walk. Use only the best-quality dog shampoo you can find. You don’t want to hurt his sensitive skin.
The typical shedding seasons for Cocker Spaniels are in the spring and the fall. This is typical with any shedding breed as fur tends to change together with the temperature and daylight hours.
It would be best to brush your Cocker daily during a shedding season. These dogs are especially prone to matting at this time, and this is never a good thing.
You should brush them every day to take out any loose hairs. This will keep your dog comfortable and healthy. Not to mention that this is also the best way to keep your furniture looking clean!
Because of how gentle a Cocker Spaniel’s hair is, you need to know how to brush it adequately. Here are some tips that any professional groomer would give you:
• Start by gently teasing out any mats with your fingers. Don’t use a brush for this step as it may hurt your pooch.
• With a slicker brush, go over your dog’s entire body.
• Work in minor sections at a time, and brush in the direction of the hair growth.
• Once you’re done with the slicker brush, use a detangling rake and go over the entire dog. Start from the head and work your way over his whole body. Don’t forget to go down his legs!
• If you walk your Cocker with a harness, he may have more matting in the areas where the harness touches his fur.
• Don’t leave any mat on your pup’s fur. Otherwise, you may miss some grass seeds or a foreign object stuck in the hair.
• To finish everything up, use a good quality soft-bristled brush to pick up any loose hairs.
• Use this opportunity to trim his nails as well. Just make sure you have good nail clippers that are meant for dogs. You can purchase some excellent nail-trimming products on online sites such as Amazon.
Grooming a Cocker Spaniel’s Ears
When you have a Cocker Spaniel, it isn’t enough to just take care of your dog’s coat. Not only do Cocker Spaniels shed, but they also have very sensitive ears that require regular cleaning.
You need to dedicate special attention to this body part!
Cockers have long and glorious ears that trail across the ground. They’ll often get into your pooch’s dinner bowl as well. This is a paradise for ear infections.
Clean your Cocker Spaniel’s ears with a wet Q-tip, but don’t let any water get inside his ears. This can cause him pain and even damage his hearing. Also, don’t go too deep. Despite the length of the ears themselves, a Cocker’s ear lobe is well protected.
If you, for any reason, suspect that something has fallen inside its ear, it’s better to take him to the vet than to risk hurting him.
Cocker Spaniel Haircuts
While some owners shave their Cocker Spaniels, this isn’t the right choice to make. A shaved Cocker Spaniel might not shed for the first few weeks, but the fur that grows out might be of bad quality.
In fact, most Cockers will shed way more after shaving!
Also, shaving isn’t a way to keep your pooch cool. A canine’s coat is meant to keep him comfortable at any temperature. Think of a dog’s fur as natural insulation and weather element protection.
It will keep both the cold and the heat out. Once you’ve clipped all of the hair away, your Cocker will be in shock. Suddenly, he’ll become vulnerable to chills and heatstroke, which can damage his health.
However, what you should cut are the tufty bits of hair that you can see between the fingers of his paws. You may notice them on a Cocker’s head and ear leathers as well.
Trimming out this excess fur can prevent matting. Not to mention it will make your dog look neat and taken care of. Of course, you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. Many dog owners love when their dogs look hairy and fluffy.
Another reason why you might desire to trim these tufts is that they tend to fade over time. Sometimes, they’re lighter than the rest of the fur from the beginning, which can make your dog look older.
On the other hand, you may like this look on your dog. He’ll look like he got himself expensive highlights.
Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic?
When you know how little Cocker Spaniels shed, you’ll probably imagine that they won’t cause any allergies.
Unfortunately, no dog is entirely hypoallergenic, but what does hypoallergenic even mean? Most people think that dogs that don’t shed won’t cause allergic reactions.
Some hypoallergenic dogs that don’t cause too many breathing problems are Poodles, Maltese, Bichon Frise, and, according to some, Cocker Spaniels. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t have allergies.
You can find allergens on many parts of a dog’s body, not just the fur. In fact, it’s not the hair itself that causes you issues, but what’s on it. What’s causing allergic reactions are actually proteins located in a canine’s dander, urine, and saliva.
These proteins get on a dog’s hair, from which they spread all around your house. Because of this, many people assume that dogs that don’t shed won’t cause allergies, but this isn’t the case.
Is There a Way to Prove This?
Breeders advertise many dogs as being hypoallergenic, but don’t let this fool you. Science has proven that the amount of shedding won’t influence the chances of getting allergies.
In 2011, researchers conducted a study that included collecting dust samples from homes of both hypoallergenic and non-hypoallergenic dog owners.
They concluded that there isn’t a big difference in the number of allergens in these two categories. In fact, a study in the following year proved that there are more specific allergens in hair samples of dogs that are considered hypoallergenic!
In other words, it doesn’t really matter how much Cocker Spaniels shed. If you’re allergic to dogs, chances are you’ll have an allergic reaction to a Cocker Spaniel as well.
However, this isn’t a reason to give up on becoming a dog owner.
All dogs are unique, with different body chemistry. Your body could become triggered by many different allergens. If you had a severe allergic reaction to one dog, you might not even sneeze after spending time with another one.
We all have individual immune systems that work in their own ways.
Photo from: @tarcullahh
It would be helpful to consult your doctor before getting yourself a new four-legged family member if you fear you’re allergic to dogs. A professional will evaluate your body and give you the best advice.
Now you know the answer to the question, do Cocker Spaniels shed? This breed requires little maintenance and cleaning after, but you should still give them regular grooming sessions to prevent matting.
While the sub-breed influences the shedding amount a bit, neither the American nor the English Cocker Spaniel will cause you any headaches – unless you’re allergic to dogs.
No matter what the breeders might tell you, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog.
If you notice any change in the amount of shedding, don’t hesitate to visit a local vet. You don’t want to risk having some health problems, such as hypothyroidism, go unnoticed.
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