Do Cocker Spaniels Shed a Lot?


Do Cocker Spaniels Shed a Lot? Cocker Spaniel Shedding Tips

Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Denise Leo. Post first published on November 8, 2022.

In this article, we’re going to look at do Cocker Spaniels shed a lot. Whether or not this is likely to be a problem. If you’re considering the Cocker Spaniel as a potential pet, you might have some worries as it appears to be quite a long-haired dog.

Despite their silky coat, Cocker Spaniels shed less than many other breeds. Each Cocker Spaniel sheds hair at a different rate, and regular grooming and shampooing can reduce the amount that is shed. Generally, Cocker Spaniels shed all year round but mostly in Spring and Autumn.

But don’t worry, we’re going to look at the facts and consider what experienced owners of Cocker Spaniels have to say about how much a Cocker Spaniel sheds compared to other breeds of dog and whether this shedding might be a problem.

For those who already own a Cocker Spaniel, perhaps your dog is shedding more than you expected. If that’s the case, then I have some tips on what to do to reduce the problems that can be caused by shedding. We’ll also look at why your Cocker Spaniel may be shedding more than normal and what you should do about that.

Do Cocker Spaniels Shed a lot of Hair?

Cockers are known for their silky coat and need to be groomed regularly at least once a week with a high-quality brush and comb.

Most Cocker Spaniels shed all year round but some just lose hair during warmer months. The actual amount that a Cocker Spaniel sheds varies from one dog to the next according to

The Complete Guide to Cocker Spaniel Shedding
The Complete Guide to Cocker Spaniel Shedding

How does Cocker Spaniel Shedding Compare to Other Breeds of Dog?

Cocker Spaniels shed a lot less than other breeds which is one reason why they are popular with people with allergies or asthma. A Cocker Spaniel’s coat is a true double coat and they are not considered to be hypoallergenic dogs.

A Cocker Spaniel has a double coat and can be considered a medium shedder. They are known to have less hair than the average dog and still require regular grooming. However, they do not need to be brushed as often as other breeds of dogs.

This is because they have a coarse and wiry type of fur that repels dirt and keeps them relatively dry.

They shed about 25% less than Labradors and Golden Retrievers, and about 50% less than some breeds like Siberian Huskies and German Shepherds.

Shedding in Cocker Spaniels is Natural

Shedding is a process by which a dog’s outer coat is replaced by a new, thicker coat. This is especially true in Cocker Spaniels. Shedding is natural and should not be seen as a problem because it is necessary for your dog’s health.

Cocker Spaniels are particularly known for their predisposition to shedding, which can lead to excessive hair in the house and on furniture. From my experience of owning a Cocker Spaniel for 13 years, it was often necessary to brush the dog hair off cushions maybe once or twice every week.

I also remember that generally any jacket or trousers I wore, particularly if they were a dark color, got covered in a fine layer of hair which was not a problem, but could be a bit annoying.

The Complete Guide to Cocker Spaniel Shedding: What Owners Need to Know
The Complete Guide to Cocker Spaniel Shedding: What Owners Need to Know

Why Does Your Cocker Spaniel Keep Shedding?

Dogs shed. It is a natural process that helps them stay cool and comfortable. However, many pet owners find themselves wondering why their dogs are shedding a lot more than before.

What causes this excessive shedding? There are many reasons why your dog might be shedding excessively such as old age, stress, hormones, and even lack of sleep. There are also some medical conditions that may be causing the dog’s coat to shed more loose hair than normal. If you think your dog is experiencing any of these things or diseases then it is time to take them to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment.

One thing I noticed was that my Cocker Spaniel shed during the winter until I lowered the heating level a few degrees. You can try this simple change and see if it lessens any shedding.

Can the Shedding Of a Cocker Spaniel Cause Problems?

A Cocker Spaniel shedding hair is not a problem as long as the dog does not have any other issues, such as allergies or skin problems. More often than not, if your Cocker Spaniel is shedding a lot it’s because they have an allergy to something in its environment.

Cocker Spaniels have long hair and they shed loose hair all year round. This means that there is a constant build-up of hair on their coat, which can lead to tangling and matting. It can also lead to more extreme cases where the dog has trouble breathing or experiences skin irritation because of all the hair in its mouth and throat. For this reason, it’s important for owners to brush their pets regularly in order to manage this issue.

What do Experienced Owners of Cocker Spaniels Say About Their Shedding?

In this section we’ll look at what other Cocker Spaniel puppy owners have to say about their experiences with shedding, any problems it caused, and what they did to resolve this. My sources are forums such as Reddit and Quora, which include detailed discussions between dog owners.

Regular grooming has been mentioned as necessary for Cocker Spaniels. I would say from my experience, brush them as often as you can. Here are a few comments from owners I found on this discussion on Reddit:

  • You can either shave them once in a while or brush them daily.
  • You won’t have to worry about shedding if you give your dog a regular brisk brush.
  • Compared to other breeds, they don’t shed as much. They do, however, shed.
  • Cocker Spaniels can shed hair a lot.
  • Very intensive grooming is needed – lots of brushing/trimming
  • My two don’t shed very often. I brush them every day, which I assume removes most of the hair, yet they don’t leave hair on my clothes or furnishings. Even if I don’t brush them for any reason, no hair falls out, and I’ve kept them with long hair and shaved close.

From the above owner comments, most Cocker Spaniel puppy owners are happy with the lack of shedding, but do brush and groom their dogs regularly to help with this. One comment does seem to contradict this, but we don’t know why this is. Could it be that this owner had a rare experience or failed to groom their pet often enough?

There is also a short discussion here about how much Cocker Spaniels shed compared to other breeds. The comments suggest that the amount that the dog sheds depends on the following:

  • the individual animal
  • the health of the dog
  • the food that it eats
  • the type of dog, whether it is a working breed, sporting breed, or show breed. The working English Cocker Spaniel, for example, is claimed to shed more than the others.
  • One comparison that seems to be validated in this discussion, is that Cocker Spaniels shed much less than Golden Retrievers.

According to several owners on Quora, discussing their experiences of owning Cocker Spaniels, it appears that American Cocker Spaniels shed more and require more grooming than English Spaniels. This is logical because the American has more hair, which gets more tangled, so the English Cocker Spaniel’s hair is easier to take care of and requires less grooming.

According to articles, Cocker Spaniels tend to shed more heavily in the Spring and Autumn and will need extra grooming care during this period.

The Complete Guide to Cocker Spaniel Shedding: What Owners Need to Know
The Complete Guide to Cocker Spaniel Shedding: What Owners Need to Know

How to Reduce Your Cocker Spaniel’s Shedding at Home

It’s not easy to live with a dog who sheds all the time. But there are ways to reduce the amount of hair that your Cocker Spaniel leaves behind.

-Regularly brush your dog, and bathe at least once a month.

-Keep an eye on their skin and coat for signs of irritation or any other issues.

-Give them a diet rich in omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and hair.

-Remove hair from furniture, carpets, and clothes regularly by using a vacuum or a lint roller.

Now let’s look in more detail at each of the above tips so that you can better understand how to ensure that your dog’s shedding is kept under control and never becomes a problem.

Grooming your Cocker Spaniel to Reduce Shedding

When bathing your Cocker Spaniel, you could try an anti-shed shampoo. Make sure that the shampoo you use for your dog does not irritate its skin as this can cause shedding problems. It’s also very important that you rinse and dry your dog well afterward, so there is no residue from the shampoo under the fur that could cause irritations or allergies in your dog.

Most owners seem to suggest bathing no more than a couple of times a year, you don’t want to overdo this.

The most important time to groom your dog is in the shedding season which is Autumn and Spring. During this period, they need regular brushing,  every day if possible. If you don’t do this your furniture and clothes can easily become covered in a layer of dog hair!

Many owners and vets also recommend clipping a Cocker Spaniel at times. I never used to like how my dog looked after being shaved, but she got fully trimmed in the summer and this helped cool her down and her hair did actually grow back quite quickly.

I would class the yearly trimming that our dog got as part of her overall grooming care and was very necessary. It is possible to do such trimming yourself, and this will keep shedding at bay if the dog is indoors.

Check for Skin Irritation

One of the best times to do this is when shampooing or brushing your pet. Check carefully for any signs of redness or irritation, especially in sensitive areas of the body.

As mentioned above, trimming your dog or shaving it once a year also allows the air to get to the dog’s skin and allows you to assess how healthy and irritation-free your dog’s skin is.

Make sure to groom with care and use a quality brush or comb that will not damage the skin of your dog and be gentle when you brush your pet.

Whilst checking your Cocker Spaniel for skin irritation, also check for signs of ticks or fleas as these can increase shedding. If you have any doubts, take your dog for a checkup at your vet to be sure.

Do Cocker Spaniels Shed? What Owners Need to Know
Do Cocker Spaniels Shed? What Owners Need to Know

A Healthy Diet Can Reduce Shedding

Feed your Cocker Spaniel a healthy diet, and be sure not to under or overfeed it. Check that the animal is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs to be healthy as a lack of health does show up in the condition of a dog’s coat and can cause excess shedding.

So what does a dog need as part of a healthy diet? Here is a quick summary:

  • Omega oils and fats
  • Linoleic Acid
  • Vitamins
  • Zinc
  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates

Most dry dog foods contain most of what your dog needs, so buy the best you can afford and follow nutritional guides for the size and age of your dog. If you do feed wet food to your dog be careful to give it healthy food that will supply what it needs above. You can mix dry and wet food quite effectively.

Ensuring that your Cocker Spaniels gets the correct balance of nutritional food will ensure its coat does not shed more than it should.

Clean Hair from Your Furniture at Home

Despite all your efforts to reduce shedding on your Cocker Spaniel, you will have some hair sticking to your furniture and clothes. This cannot be avoided. If you run a lint brush over your sofa or cushions once or twice a week you should be able to cope with this.

In my opinion, and I’m sure most Cocker Spaniel owners would agree, the joyous and loving nature of this dog breed far outweighs the downsides of any shedding and you shouldn’t let this put you off acquiring one of the sweetest dogs out there.

Final Thoughts on Does a Cocker Spaniel Shed a Lot?

You should have a better understanding of how to manage your Cocker Spaniel’s shedding based on the strategies we’ve shared in this post. If you’re still looking for more information, we offer advice about dog grooming too. We hope our guide has been helpful.

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References and Further Reading:

[1] American Kennel Club, Cocker Spaniel Information.


  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page