Are Cocker Spaniels High Maintenance

Dog lovers are quite fond of different varieties of breeds. People who consider another dog often give it a second thought when it comes to their maintenance. Different kinds of dogs need various levels of grooming. Along with a healthy meal and regular exercise, some breeds require a lot of attention, both physically as well as mentally. One such kind that has immense popularity is the Cocker Spaniels.

Does the Cocker Spaniel require high-maintenance and grooming? To understand the concept of high-maintenance among dogs, it is necessary first to acknowledge the breed’s features. The reasons for grooming in Cocker Spaniels are the presence of long fur all over its body and the various health and emotional issues they face in their lifetime. Proper grooming techniques must be followed by pet owners to give them their share of maintenance and hygiene for a healthy life.

Features of a Cocker Spaniel

They are also known as the American Cocker Spaniel or the English Cocker Spaniel. Although they are breeds of hunting dogs in the United Kingdom, when brought to America, they were further allowed to breed with specifics of another one as per guidelines of breeding standards. They then became an expert in hunting the woodcocks in America.

The hair that covers its body is of different varieties like black, red, and golden. The standard size of a male Cocker Spaniel is 15 inches, and a female one is 13 to 14 inches, slightly shorter than their male counterparts. They weigh between 11 and 14 kg. Their average life span is of ten years and four months.

The necessity of high maintenance in a Cocker Spaniel

The primary reason for their extensive care and conservation is their physical as well as emotional demands. Other than old age, another most common cause of their death is cancer. They are also prone to severe health issues, due to which they require proper up keeping procedures. The various health problems that they face over the years are as follows:

Physical Issues:

Thedog may suffer from the following issues in both during old age and in the early period of his life.

Ear infections: This species is more prone to ear infections than other dog breeds. The reason behind this is for the presence of their long and hanging ears. The folded ears do not allow air to pass through the edges. These folds tend to remain damp and encourage the growth of microorganisms in it. A disease that commonly occurs in them is due to the inflammation of their ear canal is known as Otitis externa. Apart from medications, several home remedies reduce the pain as well as the swelling.

Eye infections: A Cocker Spaniel also suffers from eye conditions which, on becoming severe, can even cause total blindness in them. It mainly occurs between the age-group of three to five years. It is also genetically transferable.

Body hair: These species have long body hair all over his body. If not cleaned and washed regularly will also motivate the growth of the disease, causing pathogens. 

Emotional needs:

They also suffer from emotional needs and are in continuous demand for extra attention from their human parents.


They quickly become nervous or anxious. Sometimes due to this, it might even urinate out of fear. These breeds of canines are not fond of strangers.


Although this breed can quickly respond to the training, their short anger makes them sensitive towards harsh or rude sound or strict training methods.

Treating physical and emotional issues

Although diseases that occur in them are not curable like cancer and blindness, few home remedies and grooming methods can help them calm down and act as precautionary steps that will help in the future.

  • It is necessary to maintain their body hair regularly. The thick hair may get entangled, so daily brushing is the only way. A dog hairbrush of a good brand will require less energy and time. Their beautiful hair also needs regular trimming. Along with hair, nail cutting and filing is also a must.
  • In the case of ear infections, spraying a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water will reduce the inflammation.
  • Application of medicated ointments and drops will also be useful, but only if applied regularly.
  • Light pressure with a warm cloth will also minimize swelling.
  • During grooming, always keep a check that all the hair growing in the ear canal is not so long that they cause the growth of microbes.
  • For preventing eye-related issues, apart from medicated eye-drops, saline water will also help them soothe. It will also ensure that the area around the eye is clean and bright.
  • A nervous and anxious Cocker Spaniel requires a friendly environment. Avoid sudden introduction to strangers.
  • They must have their own space and time to get accustomed to the changing environment.

High-maintenance for a Cocker Spaniel

As a pet owner, you have to provide all necessities for the all-round development of your pet dogs. Like humans, they need proper hygienic and supportive environmental conditions so that they, too, can have their own space for self-growth.

However, some canines require some extra care and grooming than others. If you are already a parent to a high-maintenance dog or planning to adopt one, these additional maintenance factors are with proper management. Since a Cocker Spaniel is one on the list of high-maintenance dogs, balancing their needs and requirements can lead to a successful life.

Behavioral maintenance:

As Cocker Spaniels are friendly and gentle breeds, they love to spend quality time with their loved ones.

  • Sports and other outdoor activities like fetching or fly ball will keep them engaged.
  • For correcting their mistakes, considering to use a firm and no-nonsense tone will help.
  • They grow anxious and fear with disapproving commands.
  • Avoid leaving them alone for a long duration to minimize destructive chewing and boredom.

Health maintenance:

As the Cocker Spaniels tend to get sick very often, few necessary but specific steps will help them cope with their illness and fulfill the goal of high-maintenance:

  • Regular tests every three to six months is a must to keep a check on hereditary conditions.
  • A usual eye check-up is necessary as they grow older.
  • Also, monitoring their regular activities will help in detecting eyesight problems.
  • In case of weight gain and lethargy, check their thyroid level.
  • Regular activities and exercise will help them to stay active for longer years in life.
  • Cleaning their eyes and ears will keep the microorganisms away.

Physical maintenance:

  • Brushing and trimming their fur coat is another way of getting rid of excess hair and maintaining smoothness. A dog comb and brush can help to remove the entanglement of fur.
  • While bathing, use a mild and medicated shampoo that is less sensitive to skin. Dogs generally go crazy after every wash. Using a blow dryer will help in faster drying of wet fur after bathing.
  • Trimming nails once a month by a groomer or vet will help.
  • Failure of dental hygiene can cause oral infection and tooth loss. Everyday brushing of teeth is mandatory. Annual teeth cleaning by professionals will also keep a check on dental care.
  • As ears are prone to infections, weekly maintenance is a requirement in Cocker Spaniels. Ensure that the internal portion is healthy and pink in color. In case of foul smell, it needs immediate attention from professionals. As their ears are quite long, maintaining them to keep it clean and dry requires some hard work. To avoid dragging their long ears through food bowls, using a snood to hold them back while feeding can help.

As the Cocker Spaniel suffers from many health issues, the human parent can’t minimize the maintenance that it requires. Curing these may not be possible, but with preventive measures and home remedies, there can be a minimization of their pain and suffering to some extent.

Dogs who suffer illness from a tender age will need such maintenance and grooming session through-out their life. With proper and efficient training, emotional issues can undergo some positive changes. But the regularity of such practice will be necessary.

Effective grooming procedures, activities, healthy meals, and regular medical check-ups will help the Cocker Spaniels fight their related issues. However, high-maintenance is a must for this breed of canines. As pet lovers, the methods mentioned above will ensure a happier and satisfying relationship from both ends.

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