Cocker Spaniels are one of America’s most loved and popular purebred dogs. Its big, dark, and dreamy eyes, dense feathery coat, and long fluffy ears give it an adorable look.
If you plan to get yourself a Cocker Spaniel or already have one, you want to know about their shedding pattern and how to deal with it.
In this article, we’ll answer all your major questions related to the shedding of Cocker Spaniels, the factors affecting it, and the ways to deal with it.
Cocker Spaniel Shedding
Do Cocker Spaniels shed? Yes, like all other dogs, they do shed. But they are what you may call moderate shedders.
To understand the shedding pattern of Cocker Spaniels, we must learn about various factors affecting it.
Are Cocker Spaniels Double-Coated or Single-Coated?
Cocker Spaniels have a double coat. Their outer coat is the one that’s visible to us. The hair on the outer coat grows long and has a silky feel, especially near the ears, chest, and legs.
The undercoat is short and dense. It provides insulation against extreme cold, rain, and wind and protects Cockers from hot climates.
Shedding Patterns of Different Types of Cocker Spaniels
There are two types of Cocker Spaniels — the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel. While both breeds have the same coat texture, the lengths vary.
English Cocker Spaniels
There are two types of English Cocker Spaniels: Field line and Show line.
Field lines have a shorter coat, while the show lines have a longer coat.
Field lines can work with brushing a few times a week, but with show lines, one will have to increase the frequency.
American Cocker Spaniels
American Cocker Spaniels have a longer coat than both types of English Cocker Spaniels. As a result, they need more grooming to manage their shedding.
They also have a delicate coat of finer hair prone to matting. This makes them even harder to groom.
While English Cocker Spaniels need brushing 3 to 4 times a week, you must brush American Cocker Spaniels daily to keep the shedding at bay.
Do you remember Disney’s Lady & the Tramp? Well, the lady in it was an American Cocker Spaniel.
Do Cocker Spaniels Shed All Year Long?
Cocker Spaniels shed moderately all-year round, but they blow their coats twice a year to prepare themselves for the upcoming seasons. At such times, they shed a little more than usual. This happens mostly in spring and fall when they experience hormonal shifts due to the change in daylight hours.
Cockers shed their coats in spring to prepare themselves for the summer months. Their summer coats keep them cool during the hot months. They shed this coat in the fall to give way for a thicker and dense coat to grow.
Being double-coated, they shed more hair than single-coated dogs.
You need to take grooming even more seriously during shedding season. You should brush your Cocker’s coat every day at this time.
How To Deal With This Shedding?
It’s natural for dogs to shed some hair every day. But it is not pleasant to find hair all over your couch or your favorite black trousers.
Here’s how to deal with shedding:
Brush out your Cocker Spaniel’s hair regularly. If you own an English Cocker Spaniel, 3 to 4 times a week will suffice. But if you have an American Cocker Spaniel, try to brush its coat more frequently.
This will help remove loose hair and help ease the tangles, preventing matting. Use a professional quality metal brush with fine teeth and follow it up with a slicker brush if needed. If you encounter any stubborn mats, gently lift them apart with your fingers, then brush through them.
Take extra care while you comb the sensitive areas like the ears. The thin skin underneath can get damaged easily.
Professional grooming services aren’t too pocket-friendly, so I suggest you get used to grooming your pet, at least learning to brush their coat by yourself. You can make a trip to the groomer to give your Cocker the occasional haircut and trim their nails.
Bathe your dogs thoroughly from time to time. Use a good quality shampoo specifically meant for dogs. Don’t compromise here.
Chemicals in some shampoos may irritate the skin of your dogs.
3. Rinse and Dry
Rinse out the last bit of the shampoo from your dog’s coat. Even the mildest shampoo may cause irritation if its residue remains on the skin. Once done, dry your pooch using a blow dryer on a low heat setting.
4. Check for Any Injuries or Infections
While grooming, check your dog’s skin to see if there’s any hidden injury or infection. Check for any inflamed spots. If so, get it checked by a vet.
Also, keep a look out for ticks or fleas. They, too, lead to increased shedding.
5. Proper Diet
Ensure your Cocker is getting all the required nutrients from its meal. Consult a vet if needed. Sometimes, even a lack of essential nutrients can cause excessive shedding.
Products to Invest in to Deal with the Shedding
You don’t need to go on a buying spree and get every kind of product available in the market. A few good quality products, and you should be good to go.
- A metal comb with fine and medium spacing teeth to remove the loose hairs.
- A slicker brush.
- A gentle dog shampoo.
- Omega-3 fish oil.
- A hair remover roller.
What is My Cocker Spaniel Shedding – Hair Or Fur?
What if I say both are the same thing? Both hair and fur are composed of a protein called keratin. So they are essentially the same.
People distinguish them based on touch and feel. If your dog has a shorter or denser coat, it’s fur. If it has a longer and finer coat, it’s hair.
Cocker Spaniel has hair.
Does the Length of the Hair Matter?
Shorter hair is easier to maintain and tends to shed less. But if you love your dog’s long hair, you can refrain from cutting it. Just make sure you groom your dog regularly to reduce shedding.
Is your Cocker Spaniel shedding a lot more than usual? Even if it’s not shedding season?
This may happen due to a lot of reasons:
1. Lack of Necessary Nutrients
Check with your vet to find out if your dog’s diet lacks something that may affect the coat.
A diet rich in fatty acids, vitamins, linoleic acid, and zinc will minimize the shedding level.
Is your dog drinking enough water? Keep a close watch to see if it avoids water. Dehydration can cause the skin to dry out, leading to itching and shedding.
Ensure your dog has access to clean drinking water, and try to improve its water intake.
3. Improper Grooming
Are you regularly combing your dog’s coat? Regular combing stimulates the skin’s natural oil production and improves coat health.
Lack of grooming results in the formation of mats in the coat, which leads to excessive shedding. Matted fur may also cause skin infections and dander. Dander carries the protein that causes allergies.
4. Ticks and Fleas
If your dog is shedding excessively, it may have ticks and fleas. These parasites can even cause more severe skin infections if not removed promptly.
Changing your pet’s routine or introducing a new pet or person into your dog’s life might induce stress. Even a visit to the vet can be unpleasant for some dogs.
Excessive shedding may occur as a result of increased stress. In fact, stress is the most prevalent cause of excessive shedding in dogs.
Consider switching the shampoo if you can’t think of any other causes for your dog’s excessive shedding. Shampoos might have ingredients that cause your dog’s skin to become irritated and shed.
Remember to rinse out the shampoo thoroughly after bathing your pet. Even the best shampoos can cause harm to your dog’s skin if their residue remains.
Hypothyroidism results from an underactive thyroid and is common among Cocker Spaniels. Skin and coat issues are the common symptoms of hypothyroidism. Get your Cocker tested for the condition if it’s shedding more than usual.
What’s a Puppy Coat?
If you don’t already own a dog, you may have encountered this phrase while surfing the internet or heard other dog parents using the term.
Puppies are born with a soft coat lining their bodies. As they grow into adults, they shed this coat to give way to the adult coat. The adult coat is much longer and stiffer.
Double-coated dog breeds like the Cocker Spaniels grow two layers of coat. The undercoat is shorter than the outer coat. Single-coated breeds grow a single distinct coat.
Cocker puppies will start shedding their puppy hair when they are around 8 to 12 months of age. You may notice a few extra hairs than usual, but Cockers are light shedders generally, so the shedding is also low.
What Can I Do To Improve My Cocker’s Coat?
A healthy coat means less shedding and less mess for you to clean. Exercise, diet, and grooming plays a part. Here are some ways to ensure a healthy coat.
A dog’s coat is majorly composed of protein. Less protein intake will result in a dull and unhealthy-looking coat. Ensure that protein is the primary ingredient in your dog’s diet.
A protein-rich diet improves your dog’s coat naturally.
Consider adding chicken and lamb to your pet’s diet. These are protein-rich meats.
Oils and Fatty Acids
Adding fish oils or flaxseed oil to the diet can yield promising results as they contain omega oils and essential fatty acids.
A good omega-3 fish oil supplement will help your dog achieve a shinier and silkier coat. It will help reduce dry skin and shedding. Fish oil is also said to control allergies and treat autoimmune disorders.
Coconut oil works best for dry coats—massage coconut oil into your dog’s coat to give it an instant shine and luster. Coconut oil also helps keep skin allergies at bay.
Brush your dog’s coat regularly. Regular brushing removes loose hair and prevents mats from forming in the coat. It promotes natural oil production and stimulates hair follicles.
Regular baths will reduce skin irritation and itching.
Besides diet and grooming, exercise helps improve our pets’ overall health. Regular walks, workouts, or simple games keep them active and improve their physique.
Ticks and fleas irritate the dog’s skin. This leads to scratching and biting, which can damage the coat.
Keep your pet’s space clean and sanitized to reduce the risk of pests.
Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic Dogs?
The most common misconception about dog hair is that they cause allergies, but that’s not the case. The dog hair itself does not cause allergies; the proteins in the dander and dog hairs do.
Hypoallergenic dogs are those dogs that don’t cause allergic reactions in people. Having said that, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic. Some may be less allergenic, especially those who shed less.
People tend to confuse less shedding with being hypoallergenic.
Grooming is key. If you keep your dogs well-groomed, you have to worry less about allergies.
Cocker Spaniels shed moderately. The grooming frequency will differ depending on the type of Cocker you have — American or English show line or field line. But all your efforts will be worth it when your dog is the best-looking one in your neighborhood.
If you are looking for a friendly companion and don’t mind some dog hair around the house, a Cocker Spaniel is the one for you.