Do Cocker Spaniels Have Webbed Feet?

June 25, 2022

Cockers Spaniels have webbed feet.

This trait is one often observed in sporting dogs who were bred for hunting game or shooting. And considered that webbed feet are something you would expect to see in the animals that live on or close to water this shouldn't come as a surprise that Cocker Spaniels developed the same trait.

If fact, all the spaniel breeds have webbing between their toes.

Webbing is a thin membrane that connects the toes on your dog's foot. It is fairly durable while your Cocker is running around but can be damaged by sharp objects if you are very unlucky.

There is a massive practical upside to Cocker Spaniel's webbed feet. Benefits include increased power when swimming to stability on the softer ground such as mud or snow to name a few.

In this article, we will explain everything you could want to know about Cocker Spaniel's webbed feet.

Why do Cocker Spaniels have webbed Feet?

As touched on briefly above, Cocker Spaniel developed more predominant webbing between their toes as a response to being originally bred as a hunting dog.

Ducks were one of the main prey Cocker Spaniels hunted. As ducks spend their time in or around water and also have webbed feet that propel them through water away from Cockers. Over time this led to Cocker Spaniels developing the webbing to catch their prey.

There is a good reason that Cockers were selected as hunting dogs and these webbed feet are one reason. Along with many other features they have such as Cocker Spaniel's long ears for funnelling scents, that sensitive nose, and potentially even a docked tail.

All of this will have been developed over time to make them better hunting dogs.

Are Webbed Feet Useful for Cocker Spaniels?

Yes, having webbed feet offers many practical benefits for Cocker Spaniels.

The range of benefits includes swimming, stability on softer ground, and cutting down on things getting stuck between their toes.


Swimming is the main benefit Cocker Spaniels webbed feet offer. The webbing offers far greater power and speed when travelling through water. This is due to the increased surface area of the dog's paw when pulling its way through the water.

Think about the last time you went for a swim. You keep your fingers close together to create friction will the water to propel your body forward. If you were to open your hand you wouldn't get very far and certainly wouldn't be duck hunting very well, that's for sure!

We use aids such as flippers or even webbed gloves to harness these benefits for ourselves. And to great effect when it comes to our ability in the water.

This is also a reason why Cocker Spaniels love water-related activities.


Enhanced stability is another reason that Cocker Spaniels have webbed feet. Again referring to their initial purpose chasing game the terrain could get a little soft from time to time. It definitely wouldn't always be a nice green field in the local park.

A Cocker Spaniel could be navigating muddy marshes, snow, brush, or forests. Wherever their prey goes to escape they need to follow. No matter the time of year they will maintain stability with ease.

The webbing enhanced the gun dog's paw's connection with the ground further increasing the odds of success.

This is also an advantage that Cocker Spaniels have over other breeds when it comes to dog sports such as agility or flyball.

It can also help with digging thanks to the scoop-like shape with the webbed foot spread out.

Freedom from Irritations

Having the webbing between the toes reduces the amount of debris which can get stuck between them.

This can help reduce irritations, the chance of foreign objects and overall avoid discomfort your dog feels.

It is worth noting though that the membrane is not very strong that sharp objects such as thorns could get lodged in it and cause pain.

Does Webbing on Cocker Spaniels Feet Cause Problems?

There is no more risk to Cocker Spaniel's webbed toes than there is to dogs without it.

The only real risk is that something could get stuck into it and have to be dealt with.

If this did happen you would need to ensure it was removed and the wound cleaned. Keep an eye on any signs of infection too. It is really easy to check on this when you are coming home from a walk and cleaning your dog's paws.

There are also a few signs you may want to look out for such as your dog limping or licking their foot.

When trimming the hair on your Cockers paws be conscious that the webbing is there.


Do All Dogs Have Webbed Feet?

Not all dog breeds have webbed feet in the same way Cocker Spaniels do. All dog paws have some form of webbing but a few dog breeds like this one have more webbing that is further developed.

There are quite a few dog breeds which have webbing. Aside from the Cocker Spaniels, there are many water breeds including Poodles, Labrador Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, American Water Spaniel, and

Are Cocker Spaniel Puppies Born with Webbed Paws?

Yes, a Cocker puppy is already born with webbed feet. A puppy's paws have a lot of growing to do but everything is already there, just smaller.


So, do Cocker Spaniels have webbed feet?

Yes, as a result of becoming more effective water dogs to catch their prey a Cocker Spaniel developed proper webbed feet.

They are one of many dog breeds that have this trait which serves a Cocker Spaniel very well.

And that is everything Cocker Spaniel owners need to know about their dogs paws.

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.