Cocker Spaniel


 Grooming Demand Rating


 Full Grooming Interval

 6 to 8 12 Weeks

 Maintenance Interval



Slicker brush, steel combs, scissors, thinning shears, clippers, blades & hand stripping knife (if applicable).
Body, sides and back #7F, #5F or #4F
Face, ears and throat #10 or #15
Neck along sides #9 or #7F


Stomach #10



Cocker Spaniels have significant coats that must be maintained on a regular basis. The coat is silky and flat or a little wavy according to rigid standards, but groomers may find they will groom dogs with more cottony coats that matt and tangle very easily. The show trim for Cocker Spaniels is far different than common styling provided by groomers for owners not concerned about show grooming. In particular, groomers often use electric clippers on the back coat of a Cocker Spaniel but that should never be apparent on a show Cocker Spaniel. Owners of of non-show Cockers may choose to have the coat shortened to assist them in maintaining their grooming duties. Where the coat is shortened adequately the owner may choose to have the pet groomed near our outside recommendation of 8 weeks between professional grooming. Again, Cocker Spaniels with more cottony coats require more grooming attention.

Owners not skilled in brushing and combing both the under coat and outer coat should seek training from their breeder or groomer. Many unskilled owners tend to brush and comb only the outer coat, leaving the under coat subject to potential matting problems. Like many other long coated breeds hair shed can and often does remain in the under coat until it is removed by proper brushing and combing. Hair shed not removed will, with time or immediately upon getting damp or wet, begin to "tangle" and "matt" whereby the hair shed both wraps and compresses around the existing hair coat. Matts simply ruin the beauty of the dog's coat, and severe matting causes any pet discomfort and even poor skin health.

We recommend hair shed and matts be removed before bathing the Cocker Spaniel, and that it be hand fluff-dried with a professional force blow dryer. Your type of bathing and drying equipment will affect the way in which you groom the dog. Experienced groomers may choose to leave some of the hair shed and matt removal until after the bath, and apply special coat conditioning products to ease matt removal.

Protein-enriched shampoos followed by cream rinses can add to the luster of the Cocker Spaniel coat.

The Cocker Spaniel coat may show some clipper marks, but this can often be reduced by using a stripping knife to remove extra shedding. However, you should be trained by a professional in the use of this tool before attempting it.

Blow dry and straighten the coat, all matts must be removed. Final comb well. You will need a clipping guide for this breed. When scissoring around the feet the nails should not be seen when done. Be sure to clip the hair from the pads too.


"As a groomer, I have found most of my Cocker owners do not want all the hair and furnishings and when approached about the pet clip for a Cocker are more than ready for a cut that requires less work. They tire of their dogs having twigs and leaves and gunk matted into their legs and body furnishings. I cut the body even all over short and then column the legs. They look clean and well groomed and very much like their old Cocker self with a nice sporty cut. Less work for them and for me and the dogs come back in much better shape. This is only for people who want something easier for their Cocker. Many prefer the traditional cuts." Grooming Tip submitted by Lou Handy

"For pet Cocker Spaniels that have full legs and tend to get mats between their toes (top and bottom), use this little trick. Pull the hair straight up and away from the foot and hold it with one hand. With the other take a 5 or 7 blade, depending on the thickness of the coat, and shave the top of and lightly between the toes. Shave the bottom of the pads as usual. (looks like a modified poodle clean foot, but only the toes). Let go of the hair you were holding up and voila! Round the root as usual and you can't even tell anything was done done underneath. No more matted messes around the foot."  Grooming Tip submitted by Felicia Moran

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Books Dedicated to Cocker Spaniel

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Multi-Breed Books

These books contain little or no breed specific grooming information. They do provide very good to excellent general breed information. Of course, having pictures of the breed is a great help when grooming the breed compared to having nothing else.

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Breed Standard Information

American Kennel Club - Breed Information

American Spaniel Club

Continental Kennel Club

Grooming Information

Grooming Smarter

Grooming Your Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Feet by Daryl

Continental Kennel Club - Cocker Spaniel

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The All Breed Dog Grooming Guide

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All-Breed Dog Grooming