Owning a pup means dealing with fur all year round. This is even more relatable to those who own a Cocker Spaniel.
Cocker Spaniels have thick, wavy coats that are short on the head and back area and long on other points like the ears, chest, belly, and legs.
Because of this, you can expect an average amount of shedding, so you better get those grooming tools ready!
If you’re planning to get a Cocker Spaniel soon, I’m here to tell you how you can manage their beautiful fur. It may be discouraging at first, but knowing this aspect about your dog can help you become the best parent for them.
How Much Do Cocker Spaniels Really Shed?
Generally, Cocker Spaniels are considered medium shedders. They all shed their coats to some degree, but the amount differs for each dog. English and American Cocker Spaniels can be expected to have the same amount of shedding, but their grooming requirements will vary due to coat length.
Let’s further discuss the differences between the two Cocker Spaniel types as these affect their shedding tendencies.
In terms of coat length, you might want to consider getting an English Cocker Spaniel. This dog’s hair is a little bit shorter and thus, more manageable.
On the other hand, American Cocker Spaniels have longer coats which means they are more high maintenance. However, both types have a double coat with fine hair that feels smoother and less dense than fur.
The undercoat provides this dog breed protection from harsh wind, water, and cold temperatures.
Their topcoat or guard coat is normally longer than the undercoat, often described as “feathery” or “silky” in texture. This layer catches dirt and debris from outside.
Whether they have a smooth or rough coat, Cocker Spaniels will shed more if they spend a lot of time outdoors or experience stress.
In addition, Cocker Spaniel puppies are more likely to shed when they reach four to seven months old.
During this period, they will lose most of their puppy coats and grow their adult coats. This is the reason why an adult dog sheds less than a Cocker Spaniel puppy.
Cocker Spaniel Shedding Season: Do Cocker Spaniels Shed All Year Round?
Cocker Spaniels have a double coat that “blows out” or sheds heavily during spring and autumn. They shed in the spring to keep themselves cool when hot summer days arrive.
They also shed when fall comes so that more hair can grow to serve as their thick winter coats.
The increase in the degree of shedding during spring and autumn results from the shift in daylight hours. This causes hormonal changes in the Cocker Spaniel, leading to heavier shedding.
Even though most dogs shed more during these two seasons, Cocker Spaniels will still get rid of dead or loose hair throughout the year in smaller amounts.
Despite their shedding, it’s hard to resist the cuteness of a Cocker Spaniel.
Here’s a video of one trying to apologize for shedding too much:
How to Reduce Shedding in Cocker Spaniels
Dealing with your Cocker Spaniel’s shedding can be troublesome, especially if you’re a first-time owner.
Although they are only moderate shedders, there are ways you can further reduce shedding, whether you own an English Cocker or an American Cocker Spaniel.
After gathering data from owners and seeking veterinary advice, I put together some effective tips for minimizing shedding in Cocker Spaniels:
- Set a grooming routine. To remove dead hair and keep shedding at a low level, pet parents should set a regular grooming routine. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), you should keep your dog’s hair brushed every day. Regular brushing doesn’t only get rid of loose dog hair, but it also removes any tangles or mats.
- Use the correct brush and grooming tool. Choosing the right brush in grooming your Cocker Spaniel is also essential. A metal comb is the best option for managing your dog’s hair, followed by a slicker brush for more sensitive areas like the ears. During heavy shedding periods, you can use a de-shedding tool for the easier removal of loose hair.
- Use vet-recommended products. Bathing is also an effective way to lessen shedding. During bath time, make sure to use a de-shedding shampoo and conditioner that contains moisturizers and omega fatty acids. These products will help keep your dog’s skin hydrated and maintain stronger and healthier hair follicles.
- Provide healthy food. Your dog’s fur is also a reflection of their diet. Giving them a well-balanced diet contributes to healthier hair growth. Some owners even incorporate supplements like omega-3 fatty acids to prevent hair breakage. Always ask a licensed veterinarian what diet and food supplement will benefit your Cocker Spaniel the most.
- Check their water intake. Skin dehydration is prevalent in dog breeds like the Cocker Spaniel. This can lead to increased shedding and significant hair loss. Monitor your dog’s water intake every day and increase it when necessary.
- Rinse and dry their hair thoroughly. During bath time, make sure that you rinse your dog’s coat meticulously to remove any residue from the hair products you use. After rinsing, dry your pooch using a soft towel and blow-dry at medium heat.
The ways mentioned above are proven by many Cocker Spaniel owners. By simply following these steps, you’ll notice a huge difference in your Cocker’s coat.
Aside from being shinier and stronger, your dog’s coat is also less inclined to shed excessively.
Dealing With Shedding in the House
When your Cocker Spaniel sheds, you are left to deal with a house full of dog hair. Your couch, bed, pillows, and even clothes are not safe from the fur fest your dog leaves behind. Thankfully, there are techniques you can do to keep their hair out of the way.
As mentioned, Cockers shed moderately. In this case, vacuuming alone won’t be enough to eliminate all the hair around the house. Rather than picking up the hair, they will simply be blown around.
For this dilemma, you can use an electrostatic or microfiber dry mop to trap the particles successfully.
If this is not available, you can install a vacuum attachment with small bristles that can loosen the hairs stuck in the carpet or fabric.
Aside from keeping hair out of your clothes, you can also use a lint roller to remove dog hair from your couch and chairs.
If you think this is not enough, use a damp cloth and run over your sofa, bed, and other surfaces where your Cocker Spaniel usually stays.
If your floor is made of tiles or hardwood, consider mopping or wiping the floor with a wet cloth after sweeping or vacuuming. This is also effective in stairs and hallways.
Spotting Abnormal Shedding
Both English Cocker Spaniels and American Cockers can experience abnormal or sometimes, excessive shedding.
If you observe bald spots or patches on your dog’s coat, this might be a result of an underlying health condition.
The first step is to recognize if your Cocker is only shedding or experiencing hair loss. Like I said, when you notice uneven hair loss or thinning of hair in the neck, chest, and stomach area, you might want to know the actual cause of this abnormal shedding.
If your pet is also suffering from fever, skin irritation, and redness in a particular area, it might be suffering from an allergic reaction.
Excessive scratching and licking of the paws are also red flags that may indicate a skin infection.
You should also lookout for signs of lethargy, loss of appetite, increased thirst, and frequent urination. These symptoms are usually related to hair loss, as well.
Before your Cocker Spaniel’s condition gets any worse, you should take it to a vet that can give accurate pet medical advice and diagnosis.
Some of the most common health issues associated with hair loss include bacterial and fungal infections, thyroid disease, Cushing’s disease, skin allergies, and inherited skin issues.
Many Cocker Spaniels end up with skin-related problems due to the lack of prevention.
It’s crucial for owners to ensure that they are genetically screened for health issues common to the breed. By doing this, you can guarantee that they won’t suffer from any congenital health issues in the future.
Cocker Spaniel Grooming Guide: How to Groom a Cocker Spaniel
Now that we’ve answered the baffling question, “Do Cocker Spaniels shed?” It’s time to discuss their grooming needs.
The requirements may differ for an American Cocker Spaniel since it has a long coat. More grooming efforts should be made to prevent the hair from tangling or matting.
If you’re still clueless about where to start, this section will provide you with grooming tips for your Cocker Spaniel.
First, let’s talk about hair brushing. Regular brushing is needed for both English and American Cocker Spaniels.
While the former requires at least two to three brushing sessions a week, the latter requires brushing every day.
However, grooming sessions are not limited to hair brushing alone. As gun dogs, Cocker Spaniels love rummaging through bushes and muddy puddles. Because of their adventurous nature, dirt and other particles often get stuck on their double coats.
If your dog is filthy, you have no choice but to give them a bath right away. However, owners should be mindful of not overly stripping their skin. If not needed, bathing your pup should only be done every two or four months.
The Cocker Spaniel’s coat has important oils that make it weatherproof. These oils also keep your dog’s hair silky and shiny.
Cutting your Cocker’s hair should also be done regularly as part of the grooming routine. Dogs tend to be irritable and sad when their coats are unkempt.
If you don’t have the skills to cut your pup’s own hair, you should take them to a professional groomer.
Professional grooming services help in dealing with fleas and ticks and removing dead hair.
Because of the products they use, the amount of shedding can also be reduced. You can also ask to give your dog a puppy cut or a sporty cut for easier maintenance.
Remember to consider your pup’s age when trimming them for the first time. Cutting their hair too young can cause irreversible damage. You should wait until they reach four to five months old.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Coat Type Do Cocker Spaniels Have?
Cocker Spaniels have double coats with silky hair that can either be flat or wavy. American Cockers have longer coats than the English variety.
The ears, chest, abdomen, and legs of these dogs are also well-feathered, while the hair on the head and body is medium in length.
Do American and English Cocker Spaniels Shed the Same?
Both the English Cocker Spaniel and the American Cocker Spaniel are considered moderate shedders.
However, the American Cocker’s coat is more challenging to maintain due to its long length. Hair brushing should be done every day for this dog as recommended by the AKC.
Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic Dogs?
Cocker Spaniels are not considered a hypoallergenic dog breed. After all, no dog breed can ever be completely hypoallergenic. However, they are still a good choice for allergy sufferers since they are not heavy shedders.
More often than not, the deciding factor for many dog lovers is the amount of shedding their chosen breed does. For Cocker Spaniels, it shouldn’t be such a burden.
Compared to other breeds, they are average shedders. However, it also depends on the individual dog.
Cocker Spaniels aren’t the “best” dog for those with allergies, but they are still a good choice. They are also not very high maintenance, and you can certainly groom them at home.
As mentioned in this article, you won’t have to worry about excessive shedding since there are many ways to reduce it significantly.
If you are still unsure, you can join an online training course or watch videos online to learn how to groom your pet properly.