You're asking the question, do Cocker Spaniels shed?
The answer is yes and no, and I understand that this isn't any help at all, so please let me explain.
Cocker Spaniels do shed, but not as much as you might think.
Cockers are classed as 'moderate' shedders, but in my experience, some hardly lose any hair at all.
Sometimes you're lucky, and you get a Cocker Spaniel shedding just a little, and it's hardly noticeable.
On the other hand, you may be unlucky and have a Cocker Spaniel that sheds for England and most of the year!
I've known some Cockers that shed hair like there's no tomorrow, and others that don't lose any hair at all (much to their owner's delight!).
I guess I must have been lucky because I've never had a problem with my Cocker Spaniel shedding, that is, up until now.
Max is getting old. He's 14 years old now and slowing down, bless him.
He's also started to shed a lot of hair, much more than he ever has in his little life.
In fact, his shedding is so bad, I can no longer wear my favourite black jeans when he's anywhere near. I never had that problem before!
Cocker spaniels shed because it's Nature's way to control their temperature during the different seasons.
The Cocker Spaniel has a double coat, made up of two layers; an undercoat and an outer one (or topcoat) that helps to keep him warm in Winter and cool in Summer.
The undercoat is short, thick and woolly, and as well as helping to keep him warm, it also helps to keep the water from his body when swimming.
The outer coat is long, fine and silky, usually with a gentle wave.
Cockers shed in the Springtime and in Autumn.
The springtime shedding gets rid of the thicker, woolly winter coat in anticipation of the looming summer heat.
In the Autumn, the winter coat returns with a vengeance to keep the dog warm and dry in the Winter, and the lighter springtime coat is shed.
Shedding is a natural process and isn't anything you need to worry about. It's the old hair making way for the new.
It's always handy to know that your Cocker Spaniel will shed his puppy coat at around 5 months old.
I never noticed this in Max but he must have lost his puppy coat at some time. Perhaps it was so slight that I never noticed?
Either way, it's perfectly normal for a puppy to shed his coat. It's giving way for his new adult coat to grow through.
Ongoing, your Cocker will shed twice yearly.
Do Cocker Spaniels shed for other reasons?
Yes, there are a few other things that could cause your dog to lose his coat, as follows:
A poor diet can lead to your Cocker Spaniel losing his coat.
If his diet isn't as nutritional as it could be, it will show in his health. The first sign of a poor diet is a dull coat, a dry nose, and hair loss.
Whereas a nutritional diet rich in omega oils will strengthen your dog's coat and keep his hair strong, healthy and shining.
The saying, 'You are what you eat' is correct and applies to the doggie world too!
Puppies need a different diet from adult Cockers, so you must buy food specially prepared for puppies, not dog food meant for adult dogs.
Your puppy will stay on this until he's around 12 months old to ensure that his bones are strong and healthy and he grows to his full potential.
Believe it or not, dogs do get stressed!
What might stress your pet? Boisterous kids, next door's cat, strangers, a disrupted routine, etc.
So if you want to know, do cocker spaniels shed when they're stressed or anxious, the answer is yes. Your dog's anxiety could be the reason for his hair loss, particularly if he's losing clumps or patches of his coat.
Ticks, fleas, and other parasites can cause irritation, making your dog scratch his skin. If he continues with this scratching, it will cause eventual hair loss.
The chemicals in some treatments for ticks and fleas can also irritate the skin and cause hair loss.
Bacterial or fungal infections can also cause your dog to lose his coat. Your vet will try to identify which bacteria is causing the hair loss so that he can recommend treatment.
Environmental circumstances such as a new pet, moving house or a new baby can cause your dog to become stressed or anxious, and if this stress continues, it may cause your dog's hair to shed.
Chemicals in the home can also cause hair loss.
Air fresheners, particularly the plug-in type, can cause irritation to your dog's skin and can lead to hair loss.
Over this past year, I have begun to use non-chemical based cleaners for the laundry and cleaning the house (where possible).
The silver lining is that it all goes towards helping the planet, as well as caring for your dog!
Yes, allergies can trigger hair loss in dogs.
As we know, an allergy can be a reaction to many different things, for example, pollen, dust, fleas or mites, and food.
When your pet has an allergy, it causes irritation. It's this irritation that makes your dog scratch, bite and lick its coat. Your Cocker Spaniel will shed his hair in the irritated area where he has been scratching.
Why do Cocker Spaniels shed? Your dog may have an underlying health issue that is causing your dog to lose his coat.
If your dog is losing his fur, and you're confident that it's not his normal shedding, I strongly advise that you speak to your vet.
He will be able to diagnose the problem and prescribe a suitable treatment for your Cocker Spaniel.
Some Cockers shed a little hair all year (you may not even notice it), but Cocker spaniel shedding usually happens twice a year, as explained above.
As the new hair grows in, it forces out the old dead hair, which will either shed naturally (as your dog rolls around on the sofa or your carpets) or it will remain trapped in your dog's coat.
If your dog isn't brushed or groomed regularly, the dead hair clumps together and creates mats in his coat.
It seems that solid coloured Cockers tend to shed more than blue roans or parti-colours, and this is often confirmed by comments about their dogs made by visitors to this website.
You may not even notice that your dog sheds all year round.
Unfortunately, there's no way of understanding why - it just is what it is!
Here's how you can reduce cocker spaniel shedding and keep it to a minimum.
Give your Cocker Spaniel a bath once every 2-3 months, preferably every 3 months, so that you don't strip the oils from his coat, and don't forget to remove the fur from the plughole!
Brush your dog at least three times a week, more if you have time.
Brushing helps to dislodge any loose hair in your dog's coat, which means there will be less on your carpets and furniture (and your black trousers!).
Brushing also helps to stimulate and circulate the oils around his coat which helps to keep the hair follicles healthy.
I usually give Max a quick brushing after a long walk when he's pooped out. This way, he lies quieter for much longer and just lets me get on with it.
So, in summary, yes, Cocker Spaniels do shed. Some lose much more hair than others, and some don't shed any hair at all.
You won't ever stop your cocker spaniel shedding, but you can minimise it with a good grooming routine. Give your dog a bath now and again and brush him a couple of times a week, daily if you have the time.
If you're worried your dog is shedding more hair than usual or your Cocker has bald patches showing his skin, make sure you speak to your vet so that he can find out what's causing this excess hair loss.
Hey, I just got a 4-month old male cocker spaniel, and he is shedding a lot of hair.
Do cocker spaniels usually change their coats, and if so, can you tell me when it will stop?
Any ideas, please?
Reply from Pauline
Thank you for your question about cocker spaniel shedding.
In my experience, Cockers don't shed an awful lot. My dog hardly moults at all, so I guess I'm lucky, but I've heard that some Cockers shed all year round!
Your puppy may be losing his 'puppy fur' and growing his new silky adult coat. I think this is a little early, but it's still possible.
Try gently brushing him every day with a slicker brush to remove as much loose hair as you can. This way, his fur won't end up on your carpets and furniture!
When you're brushing him, take care not to put too much pressure on the brush. You don't want the needle-like pins to catch his skin and cause 'slicker burn'.
My cocker spaniel sheds all year round. He's a solid black Cocker, and he is 5 years old.
I brush him at least four times each week and make sure I get right down to his undercoat. If I don't reach this undercoat, I find it mats.
He's so patient with me, and of course, I enjoy it so much. I'm sure we're bonding when I groom him because he seems as contented as I feel.
I have read somewhere that black cocker spaniels shed the most, but that other colours hardly shed at all, so if you've any colour other than black, you should be okay.
You can find more visitor questions about Cocker Spaniel shedding here.