How To Groom A Cocker Spaniel

What makes the Cocker Spaniels stand out as a dog breed is their long and lush ears. The flowing coatings of the Cocker Spaniels also add to the beauty. Their coatings come in many different colors. So, there is choice to be had in that regard. Standing at about 14 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder, Cocker Spaniels are small in comparison to the other sporting spaniels.

Cocker Spaniels were bred to be hunting dogs, but they are one of the best loved breeds of pet dogs in the world today. If you are in need of help with how to groom a Cocker Spaniel, I encourage you to read on down below for guidance on how you can do that.

Learn How To Groom A Cocker Spaniel With This Process

1. Brush Your Cocker Spaniel’s Hair

(Photo courtesy of Salvatore Mami via Flickr)

Your Cocker Spaniel has a thick double coating and so matting is one of your biggest concerns with this dog. Matting can become painful for your Cocker Spaniel if left in place. So, you will want to be proactive by brushing your Cocker Spaniel’s coating in order to keep it free of mats.

Another thing to note is that your Cocker Spaniel is a heavy shedder of hair during the autumn and spring periods. That is to prepare his/her coating for the winter and summer respectively.

Outside of these two periods, the amount of hair that your Cocker Spaniel shed is moderate. So, you will want to brush the dead hair out of your Cocker Spaniel’s coating. Otherwise, you could find your floor or furniture filled with your Cocker Spaniel’s hair.

As far as brushes are concerned, as I mentioned earlier, your Cocker Spaniel has a thick double coating. So, you will want a brush that can clean out the mats and dead hair effectively from this kind of coating without scratching your Cocker Spaniel’s skin.

With that in mind, the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is the one that I recommend for brushing your Cocker Spaniel’s coating.

This brush also comes equipped with a self-cleaning button that you can press in order to easily clean out the mats and dead hair from the brush as you collect them during brushing your Cocker Spaniel’s coating.

Once you have the brush, you can go ahead and start brushing your Cocker Spaniel’s coating. As you are brushing your Cocker Spaniel, make sure that you brush the back of his/her ears as mats are known to take form there.

I would brush one small section of your Cocker Spaniel’s body at a time. Also, you will want to brush in the direction of hair growth. As for how often to brush your Cocker Spaniel’s coating, that will depend on the timing.

If you are brushing outside of the autumn and spring, you will want to do it once a week at a minimum. However, during the autumn and spring shedding season, you will want to brush your Cocker Spaniel’s coating daily in order to keep up with the dead hair.

2. Brush Your Cocker Spaniel’s Teeth

All dogs need to have their teeth brushed and so does your Cocker Spaniel. Brushing your Cocker Spaniel’s teeth will prevent tartar buildup from taking hold among the teeth.

If your Cocker Spaniel’s teeth isn’t brushed and tartar is able to grow unchecked, it can lead to tooth decay for the dog. Veterinarians often recommend that dog owners get the Virbac toothpaste for brushing their dogs’ teeth. So, you will want to go along with it as well.

You can use a toothbrush to brush your Cocker Spaniel’s teeth. Be sure and brush your dog’s teeth regularly, ideally daily.

3. Bathe Your Cocker Spaniel

Your Cocker Spaniel could use a bath about once every one to two months. But, you don’t want to bathe your Cocker Spaniel any more often than that because it will strip his/her essential oils which is what keeps his/her skin and coating healthy.

Once you are ready to bathe your Cocker Spaniel, take him/her to the bathtub and use a cup filled with warm water to get him/her all wet. Then thoroughly apply the shampoo onto your Cocker Spaniel’s coating, making sure to avoid getting it into his/her eyes.

As for which shampoo you should use, I would go with the Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo and Conditioner as that is one of the best shampoos that I can find. Once you have finished shampooing your Cocker Spaniel, rinse his/her coating until all traces of the shampoo are gone.

With the bathing over, proceed to dry your Cocker Spaniel with a bathing towel. Once your Cocker Spaniel is completely dry, re-brush his/her coating.

4. Trim Your Cocker Spaniel’s Ears And Paws

(Photo courtesy of Mike Baird via Flickr)

Your Cocker Spaniel is known to have excessive hair on his/her paws and the front of his/her ears and so you will want to trim these. Trimming the front of your Cocker Spaniel’s ears will allow air to flow in which will help to keep his/her ears dry.

That will prevent bacteria from taking up residence inside your Cocker Spaniel’s ears. Trimming your Cocker Spaniel’s paws will allow him/her to gain better traction when walking around. You can trim these two areas with a pair of scissors.

Be careful not to point the scissor towards your Cocker Spaniel’s body as you don’t want to accidentally cut him/her. As for trimming your Cocker Spaniel’s coating? Here are my two words for that: not recommended. Why? Alright, ladies and gentlemen, I will explain it for you.

The thick double coating that your Cocker Spaniel has is designed to keep him/her warm in the winter and cool in the summer. And remember that your Cocker Spaniel shed a ton of hair during the autumn and spring.

So, if you trim your Cocker Spaniel’s coating, you run the risk of doing it to the point that he/she will lost his/her ability to stay warm and cool during the winter and summer respectively.

Trimming your Cocker Spaniel’s coating also risks making it difficult for the coating to grow back properly to where it was before it was trimmed. So, you’re better off leaving your Cocker Spaniel’s coating alone and focus on only trimming his/her paws and the front of his/her ears.

5. Clean Your Cocker Spaniel’s Ears

Given your Cocker Spaniel’s long ears, cleaning out his/her ears couldn’t get any more important as wax can gather inside of them. Sure, cleaning out your Cocker Spaniel’s long ears may seem like a lot, but it won’t be good for the dog if his/her ears get infected.

So, you will want to clean out your Cocker Spaniel’s ears so that the wax buildup won’t happen in the first place. You will want to use the Virbac ear cleaner as that is what veterinarians often recommend. You can apply the ear cleaner to cotton balls and then use them to clean your dog’s ears.

6. Clip Your Cocker Spaniel’s Nails

As is the case with any other dogs, your Cocker Spaniel needs to have his/her nails clipped in order to keep them short because if they are too long, it can cause the dog’s paws to become painful.

So, you will want to keep an eye on your Cocker Spaniel’s nails so that you can cut them as soon as they start to become long. You can use a nail clipper like Millers Forge Dog Nail Clip to clip your Cocker Spaniel’s nails.

Be careful not to clip the quick part of your Cocker Spaniel’s nails as that can easily lead to bleeding.

Concluding How To Groom A Cocker Spaniel

There you have it for how to groom a Cocker Spaniel. If you are having trouble getting your Cocker Spaniel to cooperate during grooming, this post will help you with that.

What are your thoughts? Have you groomed a Cocker Spaniel before? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

4 thoughts on “How To Groom A Cocker Spaniel”

  1. I was wondering if I could get some basic tips on how to groom a Cocker Spaniel but your site has given me a full step by step process. Thank you very much. I hope my dog cooperates because it all depends on his mood. There are days when he is very polite. and there are others when even I can not bear him.

    • You are very welcome. I am glad that you have found a full step by step process for grooming your Cocker Spaniel in this post. If you are struggling to get your Cocker Spaniel to let you groom him/her, this post will help you with that. So, I encourage you to give it a read if you ever need help.

  2. As a relatively new dog owner, I have learned a lot of things about dogs in recent months. I have spent most of my life with cats, whose grooming is usually something they meticulously take care of themselves. It’s good to know that dogs like cocker spaniels need special care and benefit from the assistance of having someone trim their nails and hair around their ears. 

    • Oh I wasn’t aware about cats grooming themselves. So, I can certainly understand if grooming a dog such as the Cocker Spaniel isn’t something that you had been used to. With that in mind, I am glad that you have come across this post so that if you do own a Cocker Spaniel, you can get the help that you need for grooming one.


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