To keep your Cocker Spaniel looking neat and tidy, you should aim to groom them every three days. However, if you live near the countryside and enjoy taking your Cocker Spaniel on long walks in the country, you’ll find you may need to brush them more often than every three days.
Cocker Spaniels can be groomed from any age – it’s a relaxing experience for them that will help you bond with your Cocker Spaniel puppy and, importantly, will get them used to being handled in preparation for thorough grooming as they get older. At 6 months old they’ll begin to develop feathering at which point you can begin grooming your Cocker Spaniel properly.
Cocker Spaniels need regular grooming, so whether you have a working or show Cocker, you will need to help them adapt to some at home grooming between their professional grooming appointments.
To stay on top of any dirt and debris that may gather on their coats from muddy walks or days of play, invest in a slicker brush that will help distribute oils evenly throughout the coat and keep it in the best condition. If your Cocker's coat is short, don't overbrush it with a slicker, as the wire bristles could aggravate the skin. Instead, alternate between your slicker brush and a bristled brush.
An undercoat rake is useful when your dog casts its soft undercoat during the warmer months.
While many gundogs don’t require regular grooming, Cocker Spaniels and Springer Spaniels do need clipping. The feathers of their coat trap dirt really easily, so regular brushing after shooting days is essential alongside gentle trimming around the feathers and ears to keep them smart. We recommend using thinning scissors as opposed to scissors when grooming a working Spaniel.
The most important thing to remember when cutting a Cocker Spaniel’s nails is to avoid The Quick; The Quick is the inner part of the nail and is extremely sensitive and, if cut, will bleed! If the claws are white or lightly coloured, you should be able to see The Quick clearly as it’s a pinkish colour inside the centre of the claw. Darker nails do make it more difficult so take things slowly and only trim off small bits at a time!
If you do happen to cut into The Quick, you should be able to stop the bleeding by pressing a tissue or clean towel onto the nail until the bleeding subsides. A bleed longer than 8 minutes may require professional treatment.
The puppy cut is a great low maintenance cut for a Cocker Spaniel. The hair is trimmed to around an inch long all over the body including the legs and ears – the benefit of this cut is that it reduces the need for daily grooming as hair no longer becomes tangled, but you’ll have to make sure you trim them more often to keep on top of the cut!
Cocker Spaniels need a lot of grooming because of their long fur that’s prone to trapping dirt and odours; you’ll need to invest in some high-quality clippers to tackle the amount of fur that they have! There’s a huge variety of dog clippers and blades to choose from, and the actual clippers you choose are really down to personal preference. The only clippers we’d suggest you avoid are dog trimmers, as they won’t be powerful enough to groom your Cocker Spaniel in full.
The clipper blade is actually the more important consideration, and we recommend skip tooth blades as they feed Cocker Spaniel’s fur through the cutting blade easier and more efficiently. We recommend the following blades:
Head, Neck & Ears - 15
Front & Forearms – 7F
Back, Sides & Body – 5F or 4F