Are Cocker Spaniels Good with Other Dogs?

July 30, 2022

Once you've had a Cocker Spaniel for a while you might be tempted by the idea of expanding your family with another dog.

Getting a Cocker Spaniel was a great decision, surely the only thing that could be better would be two dogs! But how do Cockers get along with other dogs?

Well, this is what we will discuss in this article. By the time you finish reading this, you will be clear on the factors you need to consider before getting a second dog, and how to introduce an adult Cocker Spaniel to a new dog or puppy.

I'll also throw in a few tips on how to make that first meeting go smoothly.

Let's get started!

Do Cocker Spaniels get Along with Other Dogs?

Yes, Cocker Spaniels are a very friendly breed. They have a playful and affectionate temperament which lends itself to their humans and other dogs too.

Cocker Spaniels who were socialised more as puppies will generally get along better with other dogs and be more open to changes at home.

Most of the time Cockers just want someone to play with or cuddle up to.

What to Consider Before Getting a Second Dog

Getting a second dog is not a decision you should take lightly. A dog is a commitment for a very long time! Cocker Spaniels have a life expectancy of 10-14 years! Take your time to consider if this is the best course of action.

To that end, here are a few things you should think about before adding a new dog to your family.

This isn't meant to deter you from getting a new dog, they are great family pets. The aim is to ensure you have a full picture of what a second dog means.

Your Current Cocker Spaniel

The dog you already have is one of the main things you should think about before adding another. How they will react will be a major factor in if this will go smoothly or make your life a lot harder.

First, think if your Cocker Spaniel has had any negative experiences in the past with dogs. If your Cocker has been attacked before they might be a bit more defensive or even aggressive to any newcomer.

Also, consider how well your dog gets along with puppies. It may be the case that your dog isn't a fan and won't do well with their high energy or under-developed dog manners.

You should also think about how well-socialised your dog is. Do they frequently play well with other dogs in the park and have a very submissive and playful nature? As a Cocker Spaniel, this is highly likely but still worth considering.

Your Cocker's age and health can also factor into this decision. If you have a dog who has health problems such as hip dysplasia or is a senior dog perhaps a boisterous puppy might not be the best option. This will vary case by case though.


Next, you should consider how much it will cost to have a second dog. It would be irresponsible to take an animal into your home without being able to take proper care of it.

You will need to consider dog insurance, food, grooming, brushing, vet bills, and gear your need for the new arrival such as a lead, collar, water bowl, or bed, and costs you will incur if you are on holiday as you will need to find a home for two dogs instead of one.

As Cockers are small dogs the food bill will be a bit lower than if you got a Great Dane or some other of the large dog breeds.

Time Commitment

The amount of time a dog needs is a very big factor to consider. As you already have a Cocker Spaniel you know how much time is required to take care of a dog.

Attention and Exercise

Dogs are not like smaller pets such as hamsters or gerbils that you don't need to give constant attention to. Even cats are pretty independent. However, dogs are not. They need love and attention. All the time. You need to be able to offer physical and mental stimulation daily.

Failing to keep on top of this can lead to your new dog having a lot of pent-up energy that can be used negatively.


Along with your new dog's physical and emotional needs, you will need to spend more time cleaning up after them. Cocker Spaniels shed a fair amount you will be cleaning this off your clothes and from around your house.

If you brush your dog on a regular basis you can cut down the amount that ends up around your home. It will still happen though.

Dogs can also trail rubbish from outside from walks in the park into your home meaning you will need a more rigorous cleaning schedule with a second dog in your home.


New Cocker Spaniel puppies need a lot of training and attention to get up to speed on how to be a good dog. This takes time.

If you do bring a rescue or adult dog home then you may skip some (or all) of the basic obedience training.


Cocker Spaniels are classed as medium dogs and as such don't take up too much space. They can comfortably live in a flat without any problems. I know this because I did this for a few years with my current Cocker Spaniel.

Having a second dog in this space is not possible though. It would just be cruel. If you are considering a second dog you will need a house with a large fenced yard. A dog needs a space to run and play and can't be cooped up.

You might be able to get away with not having a big back garden if you have large parks close by where they can run freely.

Should I Get a Second Cocker Spaniel?

Given what good family dogs Cocker Spaniels make they will likely be the first breed that comes to your mind when considering a second dog.

I may be very biased with a Cocker Spaniel of my own and a website that talks about them, however, I'd say yes, going for the same breed is a great idea. You know exactly what to expect.

You could get two American or English Cocker Spaniels, or one of each. Both types of Cocker Spaniel are loving family pets.

I find that getting an English Cocker Spaniel is far easier than an American one in the UK. Availability in your local area may play a role here. This may be a bit different in America.

Opting for two dogs with separate breeds can work well but there may be some personality clashes depending on the combination.

The Advantages of Having Two Dogs

There are a few advantages of getting a second dog in your life. Firstly, they will keep each other company. This can be great for those who need to be away from home for a few hours at a time. Chasing each other around can be a great source of exercise too.

A second dog is also double the fun and affection. Who wouldn't want to double the amount of doggy love in their life?!

Introducing a New Dog to your Cocker Spaniel

Introducing your Cocker Spaniel to the new dog is something that should be done with care. Getting this wrong can really set the pace of their relationship moving forward.

Instead of being best friends, life may be a little tenser. This is completely avoidable though with a bit of planning and patience.

Keep in mind it could take days, weeks, or even months before the two dogs are comfortable around each other.

The American Kennel Club has a method called SUPER for introducing new dogs to each other safely.

SUPER stands for:

  • Supervise: Always monitor any interactions between the two Cocker Spaniels. Make sure they have places to be alone and separate food areas. You don't want to see food aggression.
  • Understand: Remember that your dog needs time to adjust. You are asking them to accept this new dog into your pack. It will take time.
  • Pens: Give the dogs crates or separate parts of the house with baby gates. Remember to bond with both dogs daily.
  • Expect: If you have a new puppy expect your dog to correct their behaviour from time to time. Puppies don't have good dog manners.
  • Reinforce: Reward positive interactions between your dogs.

This is a good overview of what is involved. I think the American Kennel Club system effectively covers what you need to do when bringing two dogs together.

Top Tips for Making a First Meeting go Smoothly

Here are a few extra tips to help pet parents break the ice between two dogs easily.

Start Slowly

Don't rush putting two Cocker Spaniels together. Let things progress at their own natural pace. They will get there but trying to speed the process up will only slow your progress down.

Forcing the dogs to interact is a bad idea. Most dogs will react negatively when placed in this situation with no safe place to retreat to.

Meet in a Neutral Place First

You will want your first Cocker to meet the new Cocker Spaniel in a neutral place. A local park is a great idea for this. Just take it easy at the start.

If you are able to it can be a good idea to let the second dog run around your house when your Cocker Spaniel isn't around. This will get the new Cocker Spaniels scent around your house which will begin to get your dog accustomed to it.

Have Patience

And most important of all you need to have patience. This is a process and will take time. It could be months before they are besties. While this may be a little frustrating at times it is perfectly normal.

This dog breed does have a loving and playful nature does mean they work well with other animals. They just need a little time to adjust.


So, do Cocker Spaniels work well with other dogs? Yes definitely.

No matter if you have an American Cocker Spaniel or an English Cocker Spaniel they will make a brilliant companion for another dog.

If possible two puppies will work best together since they will grow up from an early age, however, I know that isn't always possible and many pet parents have one before considering a second.

It is definitely possible to bring two adult Cocker Spaniels together but it will require a lot of work and patience from you. If you give them time to grow accustomed to each other you will reap all of the benefits that love a Cocker will bring to your life.

Allan  Noble
Hi, my name is Allan! I am the owner of Spaniel Advisor and I've got over seven years experience of owning Spaniels.  
I hope this article was helpful for you! 
Spaniel Advisor aims to be the top online resource for sharing information about all Spaniel breeds. 
Copyright 2022 - All Rights Reserved.