Cocker Spaniel Colours and Markings

There are lots of English Cocker Spaniel colours, showing many different markings and patterns. Cocker coats are luxurious and silky, no matter what colour their coat is, and they may take a bit of looking after, but they're worth it! 

Learn about their beautiful coats and the wide range of Cocker Spaniel colours and markings below.

Coat Colours of Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniels have medium to long coats. Their fur may be straight or wavy and feel very silky to the touch.

As they move on from their puppy stage, they develop feathers on their legs, chest, and underbelly.

As I said earlier, the Cocker Spaniel's coat comes in various colours with many different markings.

They can be seen in beautiful solid colours such as golden, red, chocolate (liver), black, black and tan, liver and tan, and parti-colours, for example, orange and white, liver and white, lemon and white, and black and white.

Then there are the tri-colour Cocker Spaniels, black, white and tan; and liver, white and tan.

Cocker spaniel colours - black and tan puppies in a briefcase.Black and tan: Cocker Spaniel colours at their best!

Roan markings are one of my favourites, especially the blue roan. Other gorgeous colours include orange roan, liver roan, lemon roan, blue roan and tan, and liver roan and tan.

You may see some patterns and markings, and sometimes there may be a small patch of white on the chest and throat, or tan markings, for example, on the eyebrows, throat or feet.

What follows is a brief explanation of Cocker Spaniel's coat colours and some of the terms used to describe them.

Official Cocker Spaniel Colours

According to Wikipedia, the official English Cocker Spaniel colours are as follows:

  • black,
  • liver with brown pigmentation,
  • red with black or brown pigmentation,
  • golden with black or brown pigmentation,
  • sable,
  • silver,
  • ash,
  • black and tan,
  • liver and tan,
  • blue roan,
  • liver roan,
  • orange roan with black or brown pigmentation,
  • lemon roan with black or brown pigmentation,
  • black and white ticked,
  • liver and white ticked,
  • orange and white ticked with black or brown pigmentation,
  • lemon and white ticked with black or brown pigmentation,
  • black and white,
  • liver and white with brown pigmentation,
  • orange and white with black or brown pigmentation,
  • lemon and white with black or brown pigmentation.


I'm not an expert on Cocker Spaniel colours, but I'll give it my best!

According to the Kennel Club, the solid colours (also known as 'self') are:

  • chocolate (liver),
  • black,
  • golden (red),
  • black and tan,
  • liver and tan.

Black Cocker Spaniel Colours

Although I've never owned a black Cocker, I've heard from various black-coated owners that the black, glossy coats are much heavier and often need more grooming than any other colours.

Golden Cocker Spaniel Colours

Golden Cocker Spaniels can range from a light golden colour to a very dark rusty shade.

Where the golden coats are darker, they're sometimes referred to as red Cocker Spaniels, and where the fur is very light, it is sometimes referred to as buff or lemon.

Chocolate Cocker Spaniel Colours

Chocolate Cocker Spaniels are a beautiful reddish-chocolate brown, often referred to as 'liver' coloured.

If you're planning to show your pet, no matter which colour they are, breed standards recommend that the coat shouldn't contain any white; however, a little patch of white on the chest is allowed.

Roan Cocker Spaniel Colours

The roan coat is a 'blended' mixture of white and coloured fur; I think they are the best, especially the blue roan; this colour Cocker is just beautiful (sorry, Max!).

Orange roan cocker spaniel, headshot.Cocker Spaniel colours: This orange roan has a beautiful coat!

The coloured hairs are usually found in solid patches or clumps. In contrast, the white areas are often flecked or 'ticked' with the solid colour.

The roan colours are:

  • blue roan (light blue and dark blue),
  • chocolate (or liver) roan,
  • orange roan,
  • red roan,
  • lemon roan.

Cocker Spaniel Colours: Parti-Colours

Parti-colours usually consist of two colours, one of which is always white and must cover at least 10% of the dog's coat.

The other primary colour can be any of the solid colours. For example:

  • black and white,
  • orange and white,
  • lemon and white,
  • chocolate (or liver) and white.

Where parti-coloured coats contain a small amount of tan, they are known as tri-colour Cocker Spaniels.

Cocker Spaniel Markings: Ticking

Ticking is used when tiny specks, dots or spots of colour show in the white area of the dog's coat.

Open Marked

The term "open-marked" is used where there are no ticking or roan markings in the dog's coat; instead, the fur will have clear white between the coloured patches.

Tan Points

You'll also find dogs with tan points (or markings) on their face, above the eyebrows and on the muzzle. You may also see these tan markings under their tails, feet, and chest.

Where the dog's coat is predominantly black, and the fur has such tan markings, his colouring would be termed black and tan.

I love to see tan markings above each eye. I think it gives the Cocker Spaniel a curious expression!


ASCOB is short for Any Solid Colour Other Than Black.

The ASCOB range runs from pale cream/silver/buff to deeper shades of brown, red, golden and sable.

A small amount of white is sometimes found on the chest, and lighter shades may be peppered through the topcoat and feathers.

Cocker Spaniel Colours: Summary

I hope you now have a better idea of the beautiful coat colours of the Cocker Spaniel to help you decide which colour you like the best.

Personally, I don't care. I love all the coat colours of the Cocker Spaniel. However, if the opportunity arose, I would plump for a blue roan, an orange roan or another golden Cocker Spaniel, but it's a tough choice!

You can learn more about Cocker Spaniel coat colours here.

Photo Credits for Cocker Spaniel Colours:
1. ID 8171274 © Juliane Meyer |
2. Lela 1971 @