A Guide to Cocker Spaniel Grooming Styles

June 15, 2022

Aside from their very cute long ears and loving nature, a Cocker Spaniels coat is something the breed is best known for.

Long and luxurious, or short and practical. Or anything in between. There are several ways you can have your Cocker groomed.

And who doesn't like to see a well-groomed Cocker Spaniel!

Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks with varying levels of upkeep required to keep the look. However, no matter which option you choose you will need to pay attention to your Cockers coat on a regular basis.

This upkeep includes daily brushing, a bath every so often, and trim if you have chosen to go for one of the long hair coats.

Also, remember that Cocker Spaniel's shed if you choose a coat with longer hair.

Not keeping up with this can lead to tangled or matted hair. This can result in your spending a lot of time detangling or even cutting parts of their coat out. Not an appealing solution if you are trying to keep one of the more glamorous coats.

Cocker Spaniels have a double coat which grows quickly and requires constant maintenance to keep in check. Even just a few weeks after having your dog groomed and it will begin to lose its freshly groomed appearance.

Popular Cocker Spaniel Haircuts

There are many haircuts you can choose for your Cocker Spaniel. Here I will go over the four most common haircuts you will see.

Options include:

  • The puppy haircut
  • The traditional haircut
  • The princess haircut
  • The show dog haircut

There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these styles. Which you choose will depend on how much maintenance you intend to do, any specific events you would be looking to take your Cocker to, and personal preference, of course.

The Puppy Haircut

This cut is the simplest on the list and my personal favourite.

Despite its name, this haircut is not only intended for puppies. It is used on dogs of all ages and is one of the most popular options amongst Cocker Spaniel owners.

Your dog's hair will be cut to the same length all over, ears and tail included, all over around 1.5 inches (4cm).

Just long enough for your dog not to feel naked! But short enough to avoid tangles all of the time and is seen as a very practical coat.

The main appeal of this grooming style is how easy it is to care for and that it will reduce the amount of dirt from the outdoors your Cocker brings home.

If you are looking for a light and comfortable coat the puppy cut is an excellent choice for your Cocker. This coat is also known as the Summer Cut for its benefits to your dog cooling down on hot days.

This is also by far the simplest one to implement at home if you are up to the task.

The Traditional Haircut

This style of grooming your Cocker Spaniel's coat is another fairly practical approach.

The fringe will be left a little longer around the torso, not like the two cuts below where it near touches the floor but enough to give their coat a wavey feel. The tail will be a little fluffier and the face is clear from hair.

If you choose a traditional cut you will need regular maintenance at home to ensure it doesn't become tangled or matted. Brush daily and giving the skirt a little trim now and then can help keep your dog's coat looking great.

This option is ideal for those who don't want to have their dog shaved with electric clippers but want to avoid very high maintenance.

The Princess Haircut

Now we are veering toward the more flamboyant coats. This certainly isn't one you would want to be attempting to groom at home as a novice.

It's by far the most challenging to maintain with the long luxurious hair which hangs down almost touching the floor. This coat certainly isn't for the faint of heart or those short on time for maintenance.

If you are out on long walks in the park bathing your Cocker will be a necessity. It will also tangle and become matted easily so regular brushing sessions will be critical to keeping it in good condition.

Brushing will also be important for reducing your Cocker's shedding. As there will be more dead hair in their coat. You may also have to give it a trim too. All the hair can get a bit much.

As there is a lot of hair have quite a few options on what to do with it. Braid, curl, pleat, or put a bow in it. Your options are only limited by your imagination.

Cocker Spaniels with this cut can look a little bit like a cuddly toy. It's not the most practical option but it is very impressive to look at.

Many who opt for this coat value a sophisticated vibe more than a practical appeal. Could be a little bit toasty during the summer too.

The Show Dog Haircut

This cut is a classic way of styling your Cocker Spaniels hair. This groom is most recognisable by the skirt around which the body of the dog is shaped around its body.

It's favoured by show dogs and has the hair cut into layers with the fringe left quite long around the chest almost going to floor-length, a bit longer on the face, and shorter on the back.

The way this groom is done does differ slightly if you have an American Cocker Spaniel or an English one. The difference is that English Cocker Spaniels has their face kept short while their American counterpart has it blended in with their ears.

It will require a daily brushing routine to keep tangle and mat-free. It's not quite as intensive as the princess cut but will need a lot of care and attention all the same.

You will need to also spend time cleaning your dog's coat more often as the lower hanging hair will pick up dirt, twigs, grass, or anything else it comes into contact with on your walks.

Cocker Spaniel Haircut for Summer

If you are looking for the best groom to keep your Cocker cool in those warm summer months you have a couple of options.

The two best to choose from would be the puppy cut or the traditional cut. These grooming styles both have less hair allowing your Cocker Spaniel to be more comfortable. It would also reduce the upkeep from all the adventures you will be on with your dog.

You can also consider a cooling vest to keep your Cocker comfy.

Cocker Spaniel Haircut for Winter

Conversely during winter, you will want to keep your dog warm and cosy. There grooming options which have a lot more hair such as the princess cut but this will come with more maintenance.

I find that the traditional cut is your best option for winter for its balance between a decent coat length and a more manageable grooming routine.

If you do feel your Cocker might be a little cold during winter you could consider getting a dog coat or jacket to keep them cosy.

Best Haircut for a Working Cocker Spaniel

As a working Cocker Spaniel is an active dog breed you will want to keep their coat short. For this reason, I'd recommend opting for the puppy or traditional cut. These keep that fine feathery hair in check and daily grooming to a reasonable amount.

How Often Should I Groom my Cocker Spaniel?

You will want to book your Cocker Spaniel in for a groom around once every two to three months. If you do choose to have one of the styles with long hair this may have to be even more regular or you will have to do a lot of work at home.

At What Age Can I Groom my Cocker Spaniel?

It is recommended that you do not groom a new puppy before they are around 10-12 weeks old.

You will want to ensure that this experience is as stress-free for your dog as possible as you want to them associate positive feelings with this experience. They will be doing it every two to three months for the rest of their lives!

Black and White Cocker Spaniel Being Groomed


There are many ways your can groom your Cocker Spaniel. In this article we have run over the main four options you will see and the benefits you will find from using each.

You do always have the option of switching how your Cocker Spaniel is groomed over time. This could be growing our your dog's hair to become long and luxurious or keeping it short and neat with the short option.

There are varying levels of maintenance required to keep each Cocker Spaniel haircut we've discussed looking good.

And yes, an adult Cocker Spaniel can have a puppy cut with no problem.

Hopefully, next time you take your dog to a professional groomer you will have a good idea of what you want and what the options are. Even get their nails done at the same time for a full salon treatment.

And if you are feeling particularly bold why not try to groom your Cocker Spaniel at home? Grab yourself a set of grooming tools and read out an article on how to groom a Cocker Spaniel. Then you are all set to go.

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.