Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic?

April 30, 2022

A Cocker Spaniel is a smaller, fun-loving, gentle four-legged companion. They are a part of the Spaniel family originating from England. This breed of dog is generally known to be intelligent and therefore easily trained, plus they’re cute to look at with their beautiful fur coats and radiating cheerfulness.

All the qualities that a Cocker Spaniel tends to bring to the table can make it a top choice when choosing your next sidekick, especially if you have children. 

According to AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America), 3 in 10 people with allergies suffer from pet allergies. If you typically have allergy issues in your household, your next question may be, are Cocker Spaniels hypoallergenic? 

The short and honest answer is…. No

But before you throw in the towel and move on to the next dog, read on to find out why Cocker Spaniels are not a hypoallergenic breed.

What Hypoallergenic Means  

It’s no secret that the term hypoallergenic means that something is less likely to cause an allergic reaction but when it comes to animals, that term may have a different meaning behind it than meets the eye. You may be looking at the length of the dog’s coat to make your decision but in turn, it is not necessarily the coat at all. 

The most common cause of allergies from animals comes from the dander that they give off, meaning the dry skin particles that come off when they scratch, are brushed, and so on. Allergic reactions can also be caused by the dog’s saliva or urine. 

You may not be anywhere near the urine unless you are the one puppy training but when it comes to saliva, well--- it can be hard to say no to the cute puppy eyes wanting to give you ‘kisses.’ 

Cocker Spaniel Coat 

A Cocker Spaniels coat is typically long and luxurious. That being said, their coat requires a lot of grooming and brushing to keep them clean and detangled. And more brushing means more dander. There are also many different style of grooming a Cocker Spaniel.

Not only do they have the hair on top that you see but they have a double coat (a coat underneath the topcoat), this helps them with temperature control in the changing seasons. 

Though this is ideal for a sporting dog such as the Cocker Spaniel, it means more shedding in the prime seasons when they may need less fur helping to insulate their body. Cocker Spaniels shed moderately in high temps to regulate their body heat. 

Keep in mind there are two types of Cockers Spaniels----English and American which means two types of shedding. 

A Guide to Cocker Spaniel Shedding

English vs. American Spaniel

Though an American Cocker Spaniel and an English Cocker Spaniel are both parties of the same family and have relatively the same type of coat, they shed at different rates. Their coats are a bit shorter and silkier, whereas the American has a coat that is long and fuller with a lot of feathering on the legs and sides. 

If you are looking for a more hypoallergenic dog but are set on getting a Cocker Spaniel, the English Spaniel would be the way to go. They still shed, have long hair, and dander, but they shed less and require less maintenance. Their fur coat doesn’t need to be brushed as often, therefore leaving behind less dander. 

Are all Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic? 

On the bright side, there is one breed of Spaniel that is hypoallergenic --- the Irish Water Spaniels. 

They are bigger, but their hair is more like a poodle, curly. Irish Water Spaniels still have the goofy, loving personality as they are still in the same family. 

Of course, like any dog breed, they will have their seasonal shedding period. 

The dense curl of their fur means that they will still need lots of brushing and grooming but if you don’t mind them being tall and having a love for being in the water, this breed may be the best choice! 

Cockapoo Hypoallergenic Dogs

A Cockapoo is typically a mix between the American Cocker Spaniel and a toy Poodle. Like their parents, they are smaller in size and are intelligent, loving, and gentle. 

Most, if bred correctly, are born with a hypoallergenic coat. They take the curly hair gene from the poodle, which helps keep the hair in place. 

Cockapoos shed less than the average dog thanks to this passed along genetic trait. 

Like other hypoallergenic dogs, they are not guaranteed to not cause an allergic reaction, they are just less likely to do so. 

Is it Worth it?

If it is worth getting a dog of this breed anyway, is up to you. 

A few questions to ask yourself; How allergic are you or the people in your household, are you willing to put in the grooming care that Spaniels need, will someone be able to tend to the grooming needs that doesn’t have dog allergies? 

Dogs have the nickname of man’s best friend for a reason, they are just that. They will be your loyal companion. A Cocker Spaniel is one of the best breeds for a family given their gentle temperament and friendly demeanor. 

Other dogs are likely to cause allergic reactions just as well, it is just a matter of, is this the breed that you truly want and how greatly will your allergies be affected.


To sum it up and answer the ongoing question of “are Cocker Spaniels hypoallergenic,” no. But neither are their fellow primates. All dogs will shed in one way or another and all dogs have dander. Research shows that even hairless dogs will shed, leaving behind pet dander. 

This doesn’t mean that precautions can’t be taken or that there is no hope. If you or a household member is highly allergic, then it is suggested not to go with this breed. Maybe research other breeds that have a temperament resembling the Spaniels but higher up on the hypoallergenic scale.

Even so, because of the dander that all dogs release, hypoallergenic dog breeds may still result in everyday allergy issues. 

If you enjoyed this article about "Are cocker spaniels hypoallergenic" and want to learn more about having a Cocker spaniel as a pet, be sure to check out the other articles published here!

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.