Having a double-coated dog can come with some specific challenges. Shedding is definitely one of them. Cocker Spaniels have a beautiful coat of hair with a variety of gorgeous colors, but at times it can feel like you have more than one Cocker Spaniel roaming around your house with the amount of hair that they shed!
Cocker Spaniels shed an average amount when it comes to double-coated dogs. They do shed year-round, but more so twice a year for about 3 weeks in the spring and fall when their coats are changing for the seasons (blow coat). For owners who have never had a double-coated dog the shedding can be difficult to get used to.
Whether you are a new Cocker Spaniel owner, or an experienced owner looking for some fresh ideas on how to deal with the deluge of fur you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we will discuss all the questions and discover all the tips and tricks about every aspect of your Cocker Spaniel’s shedding.
How much do Cocker Spaniels really shed?
For owners who have never dealt with dog hair or shedding before Cocker Spaniel shed a lot. For others who know how to manage the shedding and have been around double-coated dogs a lot the shedding may not be as bothersome.
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One of the most frustrating things for people researching how much Cokers shed is not finding any one clear answer. This dog breed tends to have quite a large range in how much they shed.
It’s frustrating to hear the answer it depends, but with this dog breed, it’s a more accurate answer than giving a specific amount.
Cocker Spaniels are a dog breed that has a double coat of dog hair. This means that unlike dogs such as a Maltese or Dalmatians they have two layers of fur which generally means a lot of hair!
This double coat of fur is pretty incredible! It is the perfect natural system to keep your dog cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
It works like this: The shorter more fine undercoat acts as a layer of insulation. Whether it’s to trap body heat in the winter or trap cool air in the summer it has an important job.
In the summer the under-coat is going to be less thick and have a slightly different texture than in the winter. This is why your Cocker Spaniel loses so much hair twice a year (more about that below).
The guard hair is thicker and coarse and is meant to block dirt and bugs as well as repel water and the elements. These two coats work together to protect your dog. It’s quite brilliant!
Twice a year in spring and fall your dog’s coat needs to go through a change. Because of the different purposes it has in summer and winter its texture and thickness will change. This causes your dog to blow its coat.
Blowing their coat essentially means they will shed most of their hair over the course of 3 weeks and grow back a new coat to prepare for the upcoming season.
Can I prevent my Cocker Spaniel from shedding?
There isn’t any way to prevent your Cocker Spaniel from shedding. Shedding is important for your dog to maintain a healthy coat as well as prepare for the seasonal weather changes. There are ways that you can manage the shedding, however, keeping it from overtaking your life and your house.
Some people may tell you that shaving your dog is the solution to shedding. This is very false! Shaving your dog can not only damage their coat, but it can also make shedding worse. To learn more about why you should avoid shaving your Cocker Spaniel take a look at the article below.
The best way to ‘prevent’ excess shedding is to manage it. You can do this by using the tips in the following section.
Tips to control your Cocker Spaniel’s shedding
🐾 Brush your dog daily for at least 15 min (sometimes twice a day during high shedding times).
- Brushing your dog is the #1 recommended tip from owners to help control your dog’s shedding!
- Brushing regularly will help get more hair out at one time.
- Brushing will catch the loose hair before it gets on you and your furniture.
- Brushing regularly will prevent mats that will trap and harbor bacteria.
- It will help to stimulate the hair follicles which will increase circulation to your dog’s skin keeping them cool/or warm more effectively.
- It helps speed up the process of them blowing their coats!
Pro Tip: Brush outside to make clean-up easier!
- During high shedding times bathing once a week can help control the shedding. Just be sure to make sure your dog’s skin can tolerate bathing that often. Watch for dryness or irritation and scale back if you notice it bothering your dog.
- Be sure to brush your dog’s coat before and after bathing him or her.
- Use a dog shampoo specific for thick double-coated dogs like this one (affiliate link).
- Work the water and shampoo all the way through the undercoat to their skin.
- Careful not to get shampoo in your dog’s eyes, use a washcloth to wash their face.
- For more tips, check out our article! Bathing Your Cocker Spaniel (Tips & Tricks)
Pro Tip: Use a drain catcher like this one to prevent your tub from getting clogged up with dog hair.
🐾 Use a blow dryer
- Use it after bathing but before brushing.
- A powerful drying will help blow off a lot of the lose undercoat, making it quicker and easier to brush.
- Makes the grooming process faster because you don’t have to wait for your dog to dry after a bath.
- Get your dog used to the noise and feel of it slowly while offering many rewards and treats.
- Start when they are a puppy with very short sessions on a low setting.
Owner Tip: A quality dog blow dryer is a must if you plan to groom your dog at home! Owners recommend this model.
🐾 Make sure your Cocker Spaniel is on a good diet
- A high quality food will help your dog to have a high-quality coat.
- Avoid by-products.
- Choose a food that is high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
- Watch for common allergies which can irritate skin and cause more shedding.
- Brittle fur and dry skin can be a sign of a poor diet.
- Consider adding moisture to your dog’s diet if they only eat dry food. Moist food may contain more essential fats and proteins.
- Consider adding a supplement that helps maintain good health and coat.
- Consult your vet before making any major diet changes.
Owners recommend: Purina Pro Plan is the popular choice among Cocker Spaniel owners (affiliate link).
🐾 Exercise outside
- The more you keep your dog outdoors the less hair indoors.
- Keeping your dog outside more during the springtime when they are shedding the most can help keep the hair out of your house.
- A healthy dog will have less chance of shedding due to stress or anxiety.
- Exercise will tire your dog out. A tired dog is a lot easier to brush and groom than a dog with too much energy!
- Running around and getting exercise outside will help loosen hair then you can brush your dog before you bring them inside.
Pro Tip: Cocker Spaniels should get at least 2 hours of exercise every day!
🐾 Control fleas and ticks
- Prevent fleas and ticks by using a preventative tablet or shampoo from your vet.
- Clean healthy skin keeps your dog from itching.
- Fleas and ticks can cause dermatitis that will irritate the skin and cause excessive itching as well as possible bald spots or hair loss.
🐾 Make sure your Cocker Spaniel stays well hydrated
- Dehydration can lead to dry skin and hair and even excess hair loss.
- If your dog is outside more due to high shedding it’s important to keep them hydrated by making sure that they have water always available.
Keeping your Cocker Spaniel healthy is important to maintain a healthy coat as well as a healthy dog. To learn more about your Cocker Spaniel’s health, check out these articles!
Complete Cocker Spaniel Sleeping Guide (Patterns, Problems, Questions)
Why Your Cocker Spaniel Eats Grass, Poop, and Other Weird Stuff?
Cocker Spaniel shedding FAQS
When do Cocker Spaniels shed their puppy coats?
Have you ever noticed how incredibly soft a Spaniel puppy coat is? Their fur feels like those expensive soft faux blankets you can get at a Home Goods store. Most owners would love if their puppies could keep that soft puppy undercoat, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Cocker Spaniels shed their puppy coats around 4 months, but anytime between 3-6 months is normal. Their adult coats may take some time to grow in, sometimes up to 9 months or a year old.
It’s important for a puppy to grow a strong thick outer coat to help protect its skin from the elements and changes in the seasons.
Be aware that when a Cocker Spaniel puppy starts to blow its coat it is not pretty. Their hair can come out in clumps and look pretty mangy. This is completely normal and should only last for 2-4 weeks.
What is Cocker Spaniel shedding season?
Cocker Spaniel shed year-round, but they do shed more heavily twice a year (also known as ‘blowing coat’). In the spring your dog will have a heavy shed releasing a huge portion of undercoat in order to keep cool in the summer. In the fall your dog’s fur will shed more in preparation to grow a winter coat.
Your dog’s undercoat will be thinner in the summertime. This allows more circulation to get to his skin and keeps him cool.
Why is my Cocker Spaniel’s fur coming out in clumps?
If you are a first-time Spaniel owner seeing your dog’s fur come out in clumps can be quite alarming.
During high shedding season, it is normal for your dog to lose a lot of fur and it may look as if it’s shedding in clumps. This is usually not a sign of concern, however losing large amounts of hair could indicate health problems such as an infestation of mites, fleas, or hormonal issues.
Most Spaniel owners who have experienced this with their Spaniels have reported that after a few weeks their Spaniel’s coats grew back just fine. In the meantime, they do look a bit scroungy.
Tip: Some owners have had fun putting the clumps of dog hair out in their yard in the spring for birds to use in making nests.
Do Cocker Spaniel mixes shed?
Most, if not all Cocker Spaniel mixes will shed. If your Cocker Spaniel is mixed with a dog that sheds like a Beagle, Blue Healer, Border Collie, Corgi, Catahoula, Shiba Inu, Husky, German Shepherd, it will shed just as much or slightly less than a full-bred Spaniel.
Even Cockapoos (Cocker Spaniel mixed with Poodle) will most likely still shed some. If you are looking for a Cocker Spaniel mix that doesn’t shed keep looking because they likely don’t exist. Every dog is different and will have different amounts of shedding, but the genetic part of Cocker Spaniels will always be predisposed to shedding.
Do Spaniels shed as much as Labradors?
Cocker Spaniels tend to shed more than Labrador Retrievers. Their fur tends to be longer and thicker than a Labrador Retriever. Both dogs do shed, however, and the difference is fairly minimal.
Why does my Cocker Spaniel shed more in winter?
If it seems like your Cocker Spaniel is shedding more in the winter than you expect it should it could be attributed to the lack of sunlight and hormonal changes that affect hair growth.
Make sure that your dog is getting enough hydration as dehydration can make shedding worse. If your dog is under a lot of stress or anxiety this could also make them shed more in winter.
Bonus hacks to manage your Cocker Spaniel’s shedding
Keeping your furniture fur-free
- Use a damp rubber glove to rub the hair off your couches or cloth furniture. The friction from the rubber glove will easily rub it into a ball of fur.
This can be used not only for furniture but for and cloth-type items like blankets, cars, clothes.
- If you don’t have a rubber glove you can try a slightly damp sponge.
- Or if you want to get fancy you can buy something like this lint mitt or these funky pet hair remover gloves!
Pro Tip: Keep a rubber glove tucked under your couch cushions for quick and easy access anytime you need it! Thanks, Apartment Therapy for the great tip!
Keeping your floors fur-free
The best way to keep your floor fur-free is really going to be to clean them often. If you are already doing the things mentioned above to keep your dog from shedding a crazy amount all over your house then there will be less fur to clean up, but there will still be some!
- To make the job more automated you can get a robot vacuum to automatically clean your floors for you.
This model (affiliate link) works really well with pet hair and is well loved by all pet owners.
- This NEW model (Affiliate link) will make sure that it’s safe to vacuum when you are gone even if your dog has an accident and poops in the house! Yes, I said it, it avoids poop!
- If you’ve ever tried sweeping dog hair off wood floors you know how difficult it can be! Instead of sweeping into a nice pile, the hair tends to fly around the room even more.
This may be unconventional, but this hack can help when trying to sweep.
Take some freshly cut mowed grass and sprinkle it throughout your floors. The slight dampness of the grass will help to tame the dry static of the fur and make it easier to sweep up than if your were doing it without the grass.
- Need to get your Cocker Spaniel’s fur out of your carpet? Use a squeegee to pull the fur into a pile. Squeegees may also work on blankets and some types of couches or other furniture.
- Use dryer sheets to wipe the fur from clothes carpets and furniture. Try getting it slightly damp before using it.
Best tools recommended by owners
- For dusting off nightstands, dressers, bookshelves, end tables, and ceiling fans owners swear by these pet Swiffer clothes (affiliate link).
- This undercoat rake shedding brush (affiliate link) has helped a lot of Cocker Spaniel owners groom their dogs. It works by raking through the hair and getting all the dead or falling out undercoat at once.
If used once or twice during high shedding season it can greatly cut down on the amount of hair all over your house. Just be sure not to use it more often than that as using it every day could damage your dog’s coat.
While we strive to give the most accurate and helpful information about your pet’s health that we can, this article is meant to be informational only and not medical advice. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified veterinary health care provider regardless of what you have read on this site or elsewhere.