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The Mini Cocker Spaniel: Everything You Need to Know

The Mini Cocker Spaniel: Everything You Need to Know

The Mini Cocker Spaniel…an adorable dog that will tug your heartstrings unlike any other.

They are not only affectionate, but are tiny, amplifying the cuteness to a whole other level. They are also fluffy and full of love and care towards their dog owners.

The Mini Cocker Spaniel is bred to be tinier than your average small Spaniel. For some, size plays a huge role in cuteness, so this version of the Spaniel can be quite in demand.

This is why it is important that when you decide to purchase this dog, you decide to do so from reputable breeds in the UK or the US, depending on where you live.

What is even more important is to keep in mind the most important things regarding their care, since they are so tiny.

Because of their size, the Mini Cocker Spaniel might prove to have bigger problems than your regular breed.

Here we will discuss all of the things you should know about these Mini Cocker Spaniel puppies, and the advantages and disadvantages of miniature dog breeds in general. There are different controversies regarding this special little pup!

Is There A Miniature Cocker Spaniel?

A Mini Cocker Spaniel is basically a smaller version of the typical Cocker Spaniel. Breeders have attempted to make this pup as small as possible—much smaller than the breed standard that you see out there.

There are other names for the Miniature Cocker Spaniel: Teacup Cocker Spaniels, Toy Cocker Spaniels, or even Micro Cocker Spaniels. As you can see, all these names refer to the tininess of this adorable breed.

However, there has been much debate about whether this pup is its own official breed, and the truth of the matter is that it is not. It is not officially accepted by the American Kennel Club (the AKC) or other institutions that recognize official breeds.

You might be wondering why such a dog would then be in high demand if it is not officially recognized as a breed of its own. Let’s get into some of the reasons below.

Why Is The Mini Cocker Spaniel In Demand?

Mini Cocker Spaniel sitting on the wall

You may be wondering why this small dog is in high demand—but have you seen them?

If you have ever looked at a picture of this adorable pup, you will understand the appeal. They look like mini stuffed animals with their eternal puppy faces and fluffiness! All you want to ever do is cuddle one.

These smaller dogs will melt your heart, bringing out the maternal instincts within you even if you aren’t a dog lover. It is natural to want to nurture and take care of something that eternally resembles a small puppy.

When this Mini grows into an adult, it keeps its puppy-like characteristics, so it is no wonder why people dote over them like they are puppies their whole lives. You will feel protective and caring over them forever, even when they are out of the cradles of puppyhood.

That’s Not All

These are not the only advantages of a smaller Cocker Spaniel dog. This little pup does not need much in terms of living space, food, or even exercise, considering it is a toy breed.

If you want a Mini Cocker Spaniel, the best thing to do is look at the bigger version in order to understand what the breed characteristics are in terms of appearance and personality.

There are two different kinds of the bigger version of the breed: the famous English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel.

The Cocker Spaniel

So what is the purebred Cocker Spaniel (not to be mistaken with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

The breed standard history has it that this pup is the tiniest of the Gundog family of dogs. The breed can be traced back earliest to fourteenth century Spain.

Unsurprisingly, the term “Spaniel” means “Spanish dog.”

The word “cocker” comes from why this dog was bred in the first place. Back in the day, there were woodcocks that needed to be flushed from the undergrowth by hunting dogs. There was also a need for hunting dogs used in water-like environments.

The Cocker Spaniel with its characteristics turned out to be the dog for the job, and quickly earned its name from the two words combined. The land Spaniel hunters were called cocker Spaniels and the water Spaniels were called springer Spaniels.

Nowadays, this breed is kept as a companion dog or family pets all over the world because of its cuteness that could easily match the adorable Poodle’s, but unlike the former, are not considered hypoallergenic.

It is not considered a big dog, and for proof, all you need to do is look at its growth chart. It is also not considered an expensive dog to keep, looking at the typical Cocker Spaniel cost and its feeding chart.

The Cocker Spaniel made its appearance in the States in the late 1800s, and by the 1930s, there was an official distinction between the English and American Cocker Spaniels.

Even though they look alike, they may be different in terms of weight, temperament, and physical appearance, but both make great family dogs.

How Are The American And English Cocker Spaniels Different?

American And English Cocker Spaniels


The American Cockers Spaniel is smaller than its cousin, the English Cocker Spaniel. The former is around twelve to thirteen inches tall and generally weighs around twenty-four and twenty-eight pounds.

The English Cocker Spaniel, however, stands to be around fifteen to seventeen inches tall, and generally weighs around twenty-six and thirty-four.

You might now wonder where the Mini Cocker Spaniel stands in terms of weight and size. Because it is a miniature breed, you can expect it to be smaller than both the English and American Cockers Spaniel in every way.

Physical Appearance

In terms of coat, the American Cocker Spaniel’s fur is considered lengthier and glossier when compared to the English Cocker Spaniel. The latter generally has a coat with medium-long hair that might be either straight or a bit curly.

In terms of color, both come in many different colors, including parti-colors. These colors include: sable, golden, ash, tan, blue, orange, liver, lemon, white, roan, silver, red, and the black Cocker Spaniel.

If you look at the head shape, you will realize that the American Cocker Spaniel’s is a rounder when compared to its English cousin, which generally has a flatter head.

Both have beautiful and memorable floppy ears that people adore in both breeds.

General Grooming

Some people might be wondering whether Cocker Spaniels shed.

In terms of the differences between the English and American, you can expect the latter to shed more. They need to be groomed often in order for their fur to look sleek and healthy, and they need to be clipped every six to eight weeks, depending on the dog.

You also need to brush their teeth in order to maintain general hygiene. Their ears need to be cleansed about once a week to prevent any infections. Black gunk in dog found in ear canals can be an issue if not dealt with!

You will need to trim their nails on a monthly basis.

Energy Levels

The English Cocker Spaniel still drags the hunting dog characteristics from the old days. It is considered a sporting breed, and just like its predecessors, enjoys chasing smaller game.

As such, you can expect its energy levels to be much higher than the American Cocker Spaniel’s, which has not inherited the hunting instincts of its ancestors. However, this breed still requires exercise in order to remain healthy.

A good run in a safe area such as a dog park or longer walks should do the trick.


Both of these breeds are known to be extremely agreeable. They are very loving, caring, and sweet dogs who live to please their dog owners or other family members.

This, however, does not mean that you should neglect these animals or that they do not need proper dog training.

Because they are such loving and socialized creatures, they can develop behavioral problems if they are left to their own devices for a long period of time. They require much attention and love.

They are very outgoing and enjoy partaking in many family activities.

You can expect early socialization to benefit all dogs, since gaining such training will help them develop the flexibility of an adult dog that can adjust to almost any situation.

Health Issues

In terms of lifespan, both of these pups live around ten to fifteen years.

Because they are very similar in terms of genetics, it will not come as a surprise that they have similar health conditions.

When it comes to the parent breeds of the Mini Cocker Spaniel in particular, these health problems may be:

• luxating patella

• ear infections

• eye and skin issues

• hearing issues, such as deafness

• specific kinds of cancer

dilated cardiomyopathy

• hip dysplasia

You always want to address any health concerns with a vet in order to receive proper care, no matter what dog you have.

How Is The Miniature Cocker Spaniel Created?

Miniature Cocker Spaniel sitting on the grass

Photo from: @k.golden.17

So what does all of this mean for the Mini Cocker Spaniel?

Everyone is fascinated by its tininess and adorable-ness combined with the characteristics of its parent breeds.

What do we need to know about how this dog has been bred and what characteristics it has?

It turns out that the answer to this question is not as simple as it first seems to be. There are many ways to achieve the miniature dog appearance, and there are cons with each manner of breeding.

We will take a look at some of the ways the Mini Cocker Spaniel is bred.

Using Undersized Pups

What most breeders do is select the runts of the litter for the breeding of the Mini Cocker Spaniel for several generations in order to create a pup that is unusually small.

Inbreeding is often a normal occurrence when breeding for the Mini Cocker Spaniel, as the mother Cocker Spaniels that are smaller cannot have many puppies at once, and having runts becomes rarer with each generation.

Oftentimes, because the mothers are so small, there may be health problems related to giving birth to such puppies.

Using A Cocker Spaniel With A Smaller Breed

Cocker Spaniel Dachshund Mix plays with a toy

Photo from: @sweetsophielou

Another way that breeders try to create the Mini Cocker Spaniel is by mixing a standard Cocker Spaniel with a smaller designer dog. However, this method is not full-proof. It does not always work.

Sometimes, puppies inherit more characteristics from a single parent. Sometimes they inherit the best or worst characteristics, so you never really know what to expect and whether you will get the Mini Cocker Spaniel from crossbreeding.

Sometimes you get a pup that looks like the Mini, but it is bigger in size, and can’t be considered a Mini.

This practice is generally the way most Miniature Cocker Spaniels are bred, but like we said before, you never know what the end result will be. A breeder can have multiple puppies with different characteristics, as they can’t ever really tell what the final product will be.

In order for this breeding method to be considered a success, the puppies will have to take after the standard Cocker Spaniel in terms of personality and characteristics, but will have to inherit the size from the other smaller breed.

Generally, breeders tend to use English Toy Spaniels, Toy Poodles, and the Dachshund as the smaller breed to mix with the Cocker Spaniel.

1. Cocker Spaniel Dachshund Mix

This adorable mix is generally known as the Docker Dog.

The Cocker Spaniel Dachshund Mix generally grows to be around twelve inches tall. It usually weighs an average of eighteen pounds.

This mix will not resemble the Cocker Spaniel in its appearance entirely, and they will oftentimes be hard-headed, taking after the Dachsund’s stubborn nature.

However, they still make adorable and friendly dogs in general.

2. Cocker Toy Poodle Mix

The Cockapoo is quite adorable. It is usually very friendly, taking after both the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle in terms of agreeableness.

As such, it has a wonderful personality and loves to please their owners. It enjoys socializing and can be quite lively.

The good thing about this mix is that it could potentially take after the Poodle in terms of shedding.

Learn more in our: Is The Mini Cockapoo Puppy A Right Fit For You?

3. Cocker Spaniel English Toy Spaniel Mix

Out of the three mixes, this kind generally resembles the Cocker Spaniel the most, since the English Toy Spaniel resembles the Cocker Spaniel the most—after all, both have “Spaniel” in the name.

This hybrid typically weighs around fourteen pounds on average. They usually stand to be only about nine inches tall.

If you crossbreed a healthy Cocker Spaniel and English Toy Spaniel, the product will be puppies of the highest quality in terms of good health and attractive appearance.

However, it is important to note that even though they are both Spaniels, this is still a mix and will not be considered a standard Cocker Spaniel.

Using The Dwarfism Gene

Some breeders will breed litters from two parents they know to have a dwarfism gene.

You might or might not have heard of a condition called achondroplasia, which is the unusual development of the skeletal system of a dog. It causes certain deformities and smaller growth in dogs compared to others of a similar age and breed.

There is also a condition called pituitary dwarfism, which causes abnormalities of the growth hormone in the pituitary gland.

The Cocker Spaniel may have either type of dwarfism. However, producing such puppies may be regarded as unethical because they can have growth or other extreme health issues associated with the gene.

Unethical Breeding

You must pay attention to unethical breeding practices generally, but this is particularly the case in terms of miniature dog breeds.

Some backyard breeders will try to create a supposed Mini Cocker Spaniel through malnourishment of puppies. We all know that you can stunt a puppy’s growth by not feeding it properly, but that is a highly immoral practice. No reputable breeder will ever do it.

Some unethical breeders will lie about a pup’s age or state that a runt Cocker Spaniel is actually a Mini.

Make sure you do your research in terms of breeders, as unethical breeding can lead to all sorts of health problems in your dog in the long run.

The Controversy Of The Mini Cocker Spaniel

a black Mini Cocker Spaniel is standing on the grass

Photo from: @lunathecockerspaniel101

It is no wonder that so many people are interested in buying these little pups, considering the interest that celebrities have in them. They keep buying them all the time!

Sometimes, however, this can be a moral dilemma, since people start treating the Mini Cocker Spaniel as a commodity instead of a dog with actual needs. They begin buying them like one would buy some product at the store.

These pups can cost anywhere around and above $2000 dollars.

Many reputable breeders will not wish to breed teacup Cocker Spaniels. This leaves room for many backyard breeders to take advantage of the demand in the market for these cute puppies, leaving room for unethical breeding practices to make money.

Because it is difficult to produce a miniature puppy that does not have severe health issues, many organizations concerned with the welfare of animals speak out against the purchasing of these animals.

Some of these health problems can be so severe that Minis tolerate immense amounts of pain.

Additionally, some Minis sold under these conditions do not even make it to adulthood because their conditions are so severe. It just is not good practice to encourage the purchasing of these puppies.

What Are The Health Concerns Of The Mini Cocker Spaniel?

You can expect the Miniature Cocker Spaniel to tend towards inheriting the same diseases or conditions as its parents, especially the standard Cocker Spaniel.

Additionally, because it is a miniature pup, it will be prone towards other additional conditions. It is not prone to living as long as its parents, and it might even go blind.

The reason for this is that their organs are not as developed as their parents’. For instance, you can expect their lungs to not develop properly, so they may have breathing issues. They also might have other issues with their digestive tracts and weaker bones.

Miniature breeds are also very prone to a condition called hypoglycemia, which means that they have low blood levels. It can be deadly for them to miss even one meal, as they can develop severe seizures if not fed regularly.

This is why dog owners that properly care for their miniature breed dogs will make sure to feed their dog several times throughout the day, ensuring that their blood sugar stays consistent.

You also may expect your Mini to have other problems with the liver—which prevents the ability to rid the body of toxins properly—water on the brain, plus other heart conditions.

The Mini Cocker Spaniel, therefore, can be very high-maintenance, which means that you will have to prepare yourself for higher medical expenses if you decide to purchase this puppy.

Can The Mini Cocker Spaniel Have Psychological Problems?

Every dog needs proper mental stimulation to remain happy, but a miniature breed needs additional care in terms of psychology.

For instance, you should never leave a Mini alone for too long, especially if it is prone to stress. Their weaker hearts cannot handle stress very well, so they must be supervised.

Additionally, they might have incontinence problems as well, which can create challenges in terms of training.

You will have to begin training your dog early in terms of socialization, especially if they will be present around bigger dogs.

What Are Some Other Dangers I Should Keep In Mind?

Mini Cocker Spaniel on a leash

Photo from: @beau.and.beans

Because these dogs are so tiny, there might be other obvious dangers that you have to keep in mind regarding having them around.

For instance, you have to make sure not to drop these dogs because they are so fragile. You also have to make sure they don’t jump off of chairs and other furniture that might be around the house for the same reason.

You probably also should keep in mind that younger children could hurt them. Children are very energetic and playful, and keeping a miniature dog around them could be dangerous for them if they are not taught how to treat it carefully.

A Mini may also have issues retaining body warmth during the winter, so you should be prepared to buy additional wear like sweaters to keep it warm. You also should make sure it does not get overheated during the summer.

Because of their fragility, you can see how a miniature pup might present many issues, so you have to be very prepared if you are planning to have one.

What Is The Mini Cocker Spaniel’s Personality?

These dogs have very similar personalities to their parents. They are clever and affectionate, giving their owners much love and cuddles!

However, since the standard Cocker Spaniel has a bit of a prey drive, it might pass that characteristic to the Mini as well.

Hunting dogs generally have an urge to…well, hunt. You might see one going around trying to catch a stray cat or little squirrel. They might even have an urge to chase little children riding on bikes. Because of this, early training is vital.

Additionally, the Mini Cocker Spaniel is very social, and will be extremely unhappy if left alone to its own devices for too long.

Once you get this dog, you will have to immediately start training it to learn how to behave itself in a variety of situations so that it feels safe and that others feel happy to have it around. They can be incredibly well-adjusted if they start training as puppies.

You can expect your Mini Cocker Spaniel to be quite energetic too, so you will have to stimulate them, but do not have them exert themselves too much, as this might do more harm than good.

Extreme anything, as we have insinuated before, is not good for this pup. You also might discover that they like being vocal—maybe a little bit too much.

What Are The Best Home Environments For Mini Cocker Spaniels?

Due to their personality and small sizes, the best home environment would consist of a responsible dog owner who loves and cares for the Mini immensely.

Such a dog owner will also have to spend a lot of time at home in order to make sure that this pup has everything it needs to thrive.

You will not have to spend much time having this dog exercising, but they will still need to release their energy on a daily basis to stay healthy.

Like every dog (and human), they can become overweight if they eat too much for their own size. Make sure that you feed them consistently, but not too much at once.

You will have to be careful when it comes to what you feed them because they are so sensitive. Avoid sugary foods and other unhealthy alternatives from spiking their blood sugar.

If their blood sugar is too high, it can actually cause damage in their nerves, which is something you want to avoid.

In terms of grooming, they will need as much as your regular Cocker Spaniel.

Conclusion: Mini Cocker Spaniel

The Mini Cocker Spaniel can prove to be a wonderful pet if you make sure that you purchase one from a reputable breeder that cares primarily for the dog’s health.

You also have to make sure that you tend to this dog’s needs regularly, as this is a high-maintenance breed that will take up much of your time and energy.

This is not a breed you will want to purchase if you are looking for a dog as a running companion, as they are a fragile breed that needs a lot of attention.

If you do purchase this adorable pup, make sure that you stay in regular touch with your vet to be up-to-date with everything that your puppy needs in order to thrive. Going on regular check-ups may prevent a lot of developing health issues from progressing if caught on time.

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