Do Cocker Spaniels Shed? Yes, Cocker Spaniels shed, although the amount varies depending on the dog.
Cocker Spaniels are petite, calm, and charming canines that are popular as family pets in the United States. But they are more than just gorgeous faces. Spaniels were designed for hunting and retrieving game birds, so they are naturally active and alert sporting dogs as well.
Do they shed much?
Cocker Spaniels have double coats that shed somewhat all year and more during seasonal shedding periods once or twice a year. They also have high-maintenance coats that require brushing regularly to prevent matting and help manage to shed.
Let’s take a deeper look at the Cocker’s coat, how much they shed, and how they groom to give you a better picture of what to expect.
Overview of the Cocker Spaniel Coat
Cocker Spaniels have a double coat, which means they have two layers of hair instead of one – an exterior coat and an undercoat.
The outer coat is fine and short around the head but longer elsewhere on the body, especially over their breast and underbelly and around their ears. The coat’s texture is silky and either flat or somewhat wavy, and the colors vary widely.
The undercoat is short and dense, and it serves to keep Cockers from becoming too cold or too hot; in other words, it acts as an insulator. This is beneficial for sporting dogs such as the Cocker Spaniel, but it can increase shedding and the amount of effort required to groom them.
However, the coat type will vary depending on which Cocker Spaniel you purchase because there are two types: American Cocker Spaniels and English Cocker Spaniels.
What’s the difference between English and American Cockers?
Both were considered the same breed until the 1940s; hence they share many characteristics. Because the American Cocker Spaniel is simply referred to as a “Cocker Spaniel” in the United States, there has been some confusion over the differences. There are, nevertheless, some distinctions.
The English, for example, are taller, whereas the Americans are slightly longer and have a more rounded skull. Furthermore, American has more hair on their coat in general, and the hair is longer and more feathered.
Do Cocker Spaniels have hair or fur?
There is a recurring discussion about whether or not there is a distinction between hair and fur in dogdom. And the quick answer is no, and there is no distinction. If you looked at “hair” and “fur” under a microscope, you’d notice that they’re both formed of a protein called keratin.
However, some scientists argue that “hair” is distinct in that it grows at a slower rate. Or, to be more specific, it has a longer growth cycle. This, in turn, is often connected with dogs that shed less. And it is for this reason, some dog owners would proudly state that their pets do not shed “because they have hair.”
Are they hypoallergenic?
Cocker Spaniels are not regarded as hypoallergenic dog breeds. So, if you want a dog that won’t aggravate your allergies, the Cocker might not be the ideal choice.
However, no dog, including hairless breeds, is completely hypoallergenic. It’s only that some are regarded to be more appropriate for allergy sufferers than others. Mostly because their coat does not produce many allergies, and they do not shed much.
What to Expect When Your Cocker Spaniel Shedding?
Cocker Spaniels have a low level of shedding.
To put this in context, they shed roughly the same quantity of hair as a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and an English Springer Spaniel.
As a result, you’ll notice some hair in the house, especially if you don’t keep up with brushing. You may also see an increase in molting during seasonal changes, such as spring and fall, for a few weeks.
But nothing too outlandish. When compared to hefty shedders like Saint Bernard or Labrador Retriever, you’ll find that it’s not like as apparent.
Having said that, they do molt more than low shedding breeds like the Irish Water Spaniel. So, if you want a dog that is as close to “non-shedding” as possible, the Cocker Spaniel isn’t it.
Grooming Your Cocker Spaniel
Cockers are fairly high maintenance when it comes to grooming. They must be groomed on a regular and comprehensive basis.
The primary reason for this is the length of their coat, particularly the feathered parts. These are prone to mats, knots, and tangles that must be eliminated since they might cause your dog pain and discomfort.
But it’s also because they have enormous, sensitive ears that need to be brushed carefully, and their coat needs regular clipping in spots to keep them at an acceptable length.
The amount of time and effort, or money spent on grooming services, is determined by how particular you are about keeping the coat shiny and whether or not you trim him.
Most owners simply get him professionally cut every couple of months to make life easier. Because it will save you time brushing and will help you avoid mats and knots, this is frequently accompanied by a full wash and other activities such as nail trimming.
As a result, this solution saves time. Remember that having someone groom your Cocker Spaniel will not be inexpensive; it will most likely cost you hundreds of dollars per year.
Cockers, in any case, require brushing a few times per week, if not daily, to maintain their coat and to manage to shed. And if you do bathe him yourself, remember always to use a high-quality dog shampoo that does not dry out or hurt his skin, as this can cause issues and increase the amount of shedding.
What brush is best for brushing a Cocker?
A metal comb is probably the best brush to use because it is highly good at helping you work out any mats and knots carefully over the coat. And we frequently follow up with a slicker brush, which works wonderfully at eliminating loose hair and finishing the job.
Although this is optional, you could also use a de-shedding tool to simplify removing old hair during shedding season. If you do decide to use this sort of brush, avoid using it too frequently as it may cause skin irritation.
How Do You Reduce Shedding?
The best strategy to prevent shedding in your Cocker Spaniel is to ensure that his food is ideal, which your vet should be able to assist you with, and to maintain frequent, thorough grooming.
A proper diet is important since it can help your dog stay healthy. As a result, the probability of excessive shedding induced by poor diet is reduced. At the same time, assist in the improvement of his coat. A better coat frequently leads to stronger hair follicles, which might result in less shedding.
Brushing also helps since it spreads the natural oils of his skin, which can improve the quality of his coat. Brushing eliminates old, dead hairs before they fall off and into your floors, furniture, and upholstery.
These two factors (appropriate diet and regular brushing) can make a huge difference in how much he sheds and how much time you spend vacuuming. And they’re actually quite straightforward. It’s a matter of sticking to a regular regimen.
There are other techniques to reduce shedding, such as bathing your dog with a suitable dog shampoo before brushing, which can help you win the battle against shedding.
That being said, if you’re noticing an unusual quantity of shedding and don’t think it’s “normal,” it’s worth contacting your veterinarian because this can be caused by a variety of factors such as stress, fleas, or allergies, among others.
Molting occurs in cockers, but it is not as obvious as it is in large, heavy shedding dogs. And it’s not difficult to handle with good grooming. There are, however, low-shedding, easy-to-groom dogs available. For example, the Basenji.
While Cocker Spaniels are a wonderful breed, there are some better alternatives to consider if you can’t take seeing hair floating around and want a dog that rarely requires brushing.