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Do Cocker Spaniels Shed? [American vs English Differences]

Whether a dog sheds is an important question to ask. But what about Cocker Spaniels? Are they known for it and are there any differences between the American and English versions? I spent some time researching the breeds and will be sharing all that I found here today.

So, do Cocker Spaniels shed? Both the American and English Cocker Spaniel breeds shed, and do so moderately and comparatively. Their thick coats will require daily brushing to prevent tangles and matting, and they do have high grooming requirements. However, the American Cocker Spaniel has a more delicate coat so extra care will need to be given.

Cocker spaniels are known for their plentiful coats, and grooming this breed does not come easy.

While some owners opt to do this themselves at home, others invest in a professional groomer every 6-8 weeks; which is somewhat expensive.

The Cocker Spaniel is certainly not low maintenance, so if you do not have the time or the money to spend on their grooming, this may not be the right breed for you.

Nevertheless, let us now take a closer look at the distinctions between the English vs American breeds, how you can combat shedding, and some tips when it comes to grooming.

How Bad Does A Cocker Spaniel Shed?

Cocker Spaniels are moderate shedders, although there is a lot of variation between dogs of this breed. English and American Cocker spaniels shed differently.

In other words, all Cocker Spaniels will shed their hair, but they will do so at different rates. They, therefore, have different grooming requirements.

The English Cocker Spaniel is generally lower maintenance. They tend to shed less, even if you are less persistent with their brushing.

Either way, there are certain steps you will need to take to ensure you maintain the coat of this breed.

Grooming is particularly challenging with Cocker Spaniels. Its time-intensive and requires a lot of effort.

This is why many owners resort to professionally grooming for bathing, brushing, and trimming the coat, even if it is expensive.

Nevertheless, daily brushing at home is going to be required to prevent tangles and mats.

With this breed, you should expect to be proactive.

Brushing is important for a number of reasons aside from shedding. It keeps the coat shiny and healthy.

If you own an American Cocker Spaniel, then you also need to be mindful of their more delicate coat.

So despite both breeds having similar appearances, feathered coats, and shed similar amounts, the American Cocker Spaniels is considered harder to maintain.

This is perhaps why some owners decide to clip the coat short.

How To Combat Cocker Spaniel Shedding

Fighting the effects of Cocker Spaniel shedding are a matter of keeping on top of regular grooming.

If you groom your pet regularly, the brush should capture the fur that would otherwise end up on your floor, clothes, and furniture.

Making sure you purchase the correct brush is crucial in making sure that you efficiently brush the pet.

Thankfully there are a number of options to choose from that have different benefits and uses.

A Slicker brush is one of the most effective solutions for this breed to reduce shedding.

They are curved so that they latch onto loose hair and pull it out, without causing any pain or irritation.

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Another excellent way to reduce shedding is bathing.

Bathing your pets helps treat their fur to make them stronger (less likely to prematurely fall out leading to extra shedding).

Plus the entire process of showing encourages loose hair to fall out.

Make sure to always use products and formulas meant for dogs, like this from Amazon. Otherwise, you can end up irritating your dog’s skin.

Washing is all away is easier said than done, especially when scents are meant to stay.

Tips For Grooming Your Cocker Spaniel

  • Groom regularly and establish good habits
    • If you do it only once in a while, know that your Cocker Spaniel will be wary of your grooming attempts
    • Regularly doing it shows that it is normal and not scary at all!
  • Always be gentle and try not to scare your dog
    • Otherwise, they will associate grooming time with pain or punishment
    • Grooming should be as enjoyable as possible (when properly trained) most animals like their hair brushed
    • If they seem like they are in pain during brushes, take them to a doctor
  • Start slowly
    • If you are starting your grooming journey with your Cocker Spaniel -use baby steps
    • It is easier to get them used to more “intimidating” grooming tactics when they are already comfortable with easy ones
  • When in doubt, ask a professional
    • Don’t try if you don’t know
    • If you are not comfortable doing it, a trained professional can offer advice
    • This also applies when trying to determine how far is “too far” (ie. Is it worth trying to save my dog’s hair or is the damage too severe)

Grooming For A Healthy Cocker Spaniel

A healthy Cocker Spaniel will require brushing every other day at the very least. If you skip a day or two it won’t be the end of the world, but remember the amount of fur that they have.

More demanding breeds -such as the American Cocker Spaniel- should be taken to a professional groomer to help with this.

Other breeds can also benefit from having a professional trim their coats.

These groomers are also a reliable source where you can get some solid advice on how to take care of your pet.

They are trained in a variety of breeds and can help you learn how to take care of your pet like a professional.

Understand that even if you read a book or get confident in your knowledge about your pet, it is probably not a great idea for you to do things that require expert skill.

Trying to give your pet a haircut can result in injuring them (as well as yourself). Additionally, cutting a dog’s fur is a lot easier than it appears.

Getting a dog to sit down for an entire trim and having them actually look nice is rather difficult without some experience and special tools.

Brushing your pet is totally something you can do on your own.


Cocker Spaniels do shed, whether it is the American or English breed.

While the amount of hair that they shed will be similar, the American Cocker Spaniel does have a delicate coat so you need to be more careful when it comes to grooming them.

Hopefully, the tips above will help you to manage shedding regardless of what breed you have or decide to get!