English Cocker Spaniel Grooming Guide

Cocker Spaniel grooming isn't just about brushing and bathing your dog; it's about much more. Grooming your dog also involves checking his ears, eyes, claws and teeth and is essential for your Spaniel's health. Read on to learn how to groom a Cocker Spaniel.

Cocker Spaniel Grooming And Health

Cocker Spaniels are made for grooming, don't you think?

It's probably those tantalisingly long ears; you just can't help but want to stroke and brush them because they're so soft and silky!

Two beautifully groomed dogs - cocker spaniel grooming at its best!These Cocker Spaniels are beautifully groomed!

However, the Cocker Spaniel will need regular grooming to keep his coat clean, shining and manageable. Left to their own devices, Cocker Spaniel coats can become coarse and matted. 

Cockers are moderate shedders, but some actually shed more than others, and some don't shed at all! You can read more about shedding and what our visitors say here.

Benefits of Grooming a Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel grooming isn't just about keeping your pet looking good.

It's essential for your Spaniel's health because it gives you the ideal opportunity to look for fleas and ticks, grazes, sores, grass seeds, matting, cuts, lumps and skin problems and deal with them before they turn nasty.

It's also an excellent opportunity to examine those beautifully pendulous ears for signs of excess bacteria or infection and check their eyes for early signs of problems.

Besides health and the obvious visual benefits to your dog, grooming your Cocker Spaniel has a few additional benefits for owners.

It can help us relax and unwind and can help strengthen the bond between us and our pets.

Grooming also (subconsciously) helps us reinforce our position as the alpha male or female because dogs don't usually allow other members of the pack, lower in rank, to groom them.

Begin Grooming Your Cocker Spaniel Puppy Early!

Unfortunately, not all dogs enjoy being groomed, so it will be much easier if you begin grooming your Spaniel when he's a puppy to help him get used to the process.

Grooming a puppy early is essential, so begin now if you haven't already. Get your Cocker used to each grooming activity while he's still young, and it will make it much easier for you both later, making grooming a walk in the park, with no surprises!

Your Cocker's grooming session will include many activities, as you'll soon discover below.

How To Groom Cocker Spaniels

You'll find lots of helpful valuable grooming tips below.

Simply follow the links to the right of the relevant photos to see the page you're looking for. Once you've read the article, return here and read the next one.

Basic dog grooming tools if you're on a budget.Basic Grooming Tools

You'll need the essential cocker spaniel grooming tools to help you get the job done quickly and professionally. You don't need a lot; you can get away with only the basics if you're on a budget!

Brushing a Cocker spaniel regularly produces a beautiful coat!Just Groomed!

There's nothing more beautiful than a freshly brushed Cocker Spaniel.

Learn about brushing your dog and the best way to remove tats, tangles, and matting from your Cocker's coat.

Golden cocker spaniel in basin outdoors being bathed with sponge and soapy waterYippee - Bath Time!

Bath-time can be and should be fun.

Learn how bathing your Cocker Spaniel  doesn't have to lead to tears or tantrums (either from you or your pet!)

Golden cocker spaniel puppy being bathed in aluminium pailBathing Your Puppy!

Don't traumatise your puppy by putting him straight into the bath; you may scare him and put him off bath-time for life.

Here's a  step-by-step guide to bathing your Cocker puppy for the very first time - take it slowly and gently!

A pair of dog nail clippers with red handlesNail Clippers

Learn How To Clip Your Pet's Nails

Get this wrong, and he'll never let you near his paws again - get it right, however, and it will be a snip!

Beautiful brown and light tan colored cocker spaniel puppy lying down, white backgroundDewclaw? What's that?

Most breeders have their puppies' dew claws removed when they are young, so you may not even realize that your pet had an extra claw.

Learn more about dewclaws here.

Golden cocker spaniel with ears pulled out to the side, tongue outLook, Clean Ears!

How To Clean Your Dog's Ears

This step-by-step guide to cleaning your Cocker Spaniel's ears is a must and can save you money by keeping him away from the vets.

Healthy looking golden cocker spaniel, mouth open, tongue out, sparkling eyesLook - Clean Teeth!

Dental hygiene is an essential part of your Cocker Spaniel grooming routine; it will keep his breath sweet and help keep him healthy.

Learn why brushing your dog's teeth is essential.

Cocker spaniel puppy eating a sweet off the pavementOops! I Ate A Sweetie!

As new puppy owners, we should get into the habit of cleaning our puppy's teeth. Understand why it's essential, and the best way to brush puppy teeth.

Dog yawning showing tongue and teethDoggie Bad Breath

If your dog's bad breath isn't caused by poor dental hygiene, it may be a symptom of an underlying health problem.  Learn more about bad doggie breath and how to cure it.

Golden cocker spaniel sniffing in the gardenMy Glands Are Fine!

Learn about your dog's anal sacs, what they are, what can go wrong with them and how to spot the signs when these anal sacs/glands become infected.

Buff cocker spaniel lying on wooden floorMy Glands Are Blocked!

How To Clear Your Spaniel's Anal Glands:

If your dog's anal glands are impacted, you can quickly learn how to express them yourself, or you could ask your groomer to do it for you. 

This lovely golden cocker spaniel has a good groomer!Choose A Good Groomer

How To Choose A Dog Groomer 

You wouldn't trust your Cocker Spaniel with any old groomer, would you? Didn't think so!

Know what to look for and which questions to ask.

Cocker Spaniel Grooming Guide: Summary

Grooming a Cocker Spaniel can be challenging and reasonably time-consuming, especially if your dog enjoys a daily romp around the fields and often returns home rather grubby!

Grooming cocker spaniels regularly will help keep burs and tats out of his coatCopyright: Tony Lanciabeta

Cocker coats are a magnet for burrs, seeds, and bits of twig (in fact, anything!), so their coats must be brushed often to keep them looking beautiful.

Okay, so it might be a little time-consuming, but besides helping to make your Cocker Spaniel look great, regular grooming will also help keep his skin, nails, ears, and eyes in excellent health.

And as an added benefit, it helps reinforce the bond with your Cocker! I think that's definitely well worth the effort involved - don't you?

Cocker Spaniel Grooming: Best Practice

Watch this lovely, well-behaved Cocker Spaniel being groomed.

It will give you a flavour of what you're in for. Unfortunately, not all Cockers are as patient as Arrow, and the groomer makes it look easy! 

I hope you enjoy it.

Don't forget to leave feedback below and let us know what you think about this page.

Cocker Spaniel Grooming: Visitor Question

My Cocker Spaniel's Ears

By: Jean

Hi! My dog has a mass of hair behind his ears, which I can't seem to get to. Is this common, will it harm him, and how can I get rid of them?

Reply from Pauline (Website Owner)

Cocker spaniel enjoying a roll on his back!Grooming cocker spaniels ears


Cocker Spaniels often develop tats in the feathers on their ears, particularly behind and underneath the ear.

They can soon develop into thick, stubborn mats if you don't catch them early and brush them out.

A mat can only hurt your dog if ignored and not removed.

Mats can trap all sorts of vegetation (twigs, seeds, etc.), which can cause skin irritation and/or scratch and break the skin. Once your dog's skin has been broken, an infection can set in.

If your Cocker Spaniel gets a mat in his coat, you will have a couple of options. You can cut it out or cut into it (in thin strips) and then try to brush each strip out gently with a slicker brush.

It's unlikely that you'll be able to brush or comb out a solid mat in its entirety.

If you're really struggling, you might want to take your Cocker Spaniel to a professional dog groomer or your vet and ask them to remove the mats for you.

Make sure you choose a groomer with plenty of experience with Cockers - learn how to choose a dog groomer here.

Ongoing, I recommend you brush your Cocker's ears every other day, or at least twice each week.

Use a slicker brush first, brush both sides of his ears, and don't forget to brush under the base of his ear and around the ear opening.

Use a comb when no more fur is left behind in the brush.

Your Cocker Spaniel's ears can be sensitive. I'm sure I don't need to advise you to take great care and be very gentle!

I hope this advice helps - good luck!

Visitor Comments:

Grooming My Cocker Spaniel's Ears

My Cocker Spaniel's Ears
By: Anonymous

I do that for my dog, but I brush his ears every day simply because we both enjoy it. I love to sit with my dog and groom him; he just revels in the closeness.

The underside of his ears is always the worst, and if I left them, he would definitely get mats - that's why I brush them every day.

Other places where my dog's fur seems to get matted are his butt and in between his toes. That's why I brush these areas more often.

Unfortunately, he doesn't really like his butt brushed (well, who does?), and he tolerates me brushing his paws; he doesn't like it, but he lets me do it anyway.

I just love my cocker spaniel to bits!

Cocker Ears
By: Morgan

Yea - it really is good advice to keep it short.

Photo Credits: Cocker Spaniel Grooming
1. Liliya Kulianionak at https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-couple-english-cocker-spaniel-image23622081
2. Tony Lanciabeta at Flickr.com