Do Cocker Spaniels shed? The answer to that one is yes. All dogs shed. In fact, all mammals shed, and the dog certainly fits in that category. Some dog breeds shed more than others, so the real question should be, “do Cocker Spaniels shed a lot, or do Cocker Spaniels shed very little?”
Relative to other breeds, the Cocker Spaniel’s shedding is probably a bit on the high side of average. There are certainly breeds which shed more, a lot more, and breeds like the Poodle which shed very little. Poodles are sometimes claimed to be a breed that doesn’t shed at all, but that’s not quite true. They are hypo allergenic because they don’t leave a great deal of hair around everywhere they go. That’s because the hair they do shed tends to remain in their inner coat, rather than on the furniture. Eventually, when the dog is groomed, the shed hair will have to be brushed out.
Heavy Shedding Breeds – Some will claim that the worst shedders of all are the Labrador Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes. The German Shepherd is also near the top of the list. If you like lots of long hair lying around the house, consider the rather heavy shedding English Sheepdog. Most terriers seem to be heavy shedders as well, and among the smaller dogs the Dachshund and Beagle would be considered by some to be fairly heavy shedders.
It’s Not The Shedding So Much As The Maintenance – If you were to choose between a Beagle and a Cocker Spaniel, and chose the latter based on the fact that it sheds less you would be making the proper choice. However if the amount of maintenance a dog’s coat requires is taken into account, the Beagle would be by far the best choice. Beagles shed more, but only require occasional brushing.
The Cocker Spaniel on the other hand is a very high maintenance dog when it comes to keeping its coat looking good as well as controlling shedding, as it not only requires frequent brushing and grooming, but monthly haircuts as well to keep the hair looking sleek and shiny, and to keep it from getting matted and tangled. A poorly groomed Cocker can be a sad sight.
Learn To Groom – Unless you are a neat freak or for whatever reason can’t stand to see a dog hair on a chair or even on the floor, shedding should not be the major factor in selecting a breed, though admittedly it often will be a factor. If you’re up to grooming a dog every day, even a Lab, Shepherd, or Husky will make a fine pet. If not, look towards the Poodle, or the Boston Terrier, one of the few terrier breeds that doesn’t shed too much. Even a light-shedding dog likes to be groomed though, and instead of being a pain, giving your dog good grooming should be an enjoyable activity. There are a few dogs that don’t care to be groomed, and a few who are wiggle-warts, but most enjoy the experience.
Train It, Groom It, And Be Happy – The Cocker Spaniel, when properly groomed, is one of the more beautiful breeds, and as canine competitions will bear out, a carefully groomed Cocker Spaniel can be a real show-stopper. Cocker Spaniels sometimes have gotten a bad rap as being unfriendly and temperamental.
The exact opposite is true, as long as you get your pet from a reliable breeder. A Cocker from a puppy mill can sometimes have undesirable traits, but that can be said for any breed.
Get your Cocker puppy into obedience school early, get in the practice of keeping it well groomed and clipped, and you’ll have a friendly, playful, and extremely attractive little companion for many years to come.
Do Cocker Spaniels shed? Yes they do, but not as much as you may have feared.