Do Cocker Spaniels Need Grooming?

July 3, 2022

Cocker Spaniels are known for their long floppy ears and beautiful coats. These coats do require regular grooming and upkeep to maintain their appeal.

The level of grooming your Cocker Spaniel needs will depend heavily on the style of coat you choose. No matter which you pick grooming will be a part of your Cockers day to day life.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Cocker Spaniel grooming. From how often your dog needs to be groomed, to what you need to do on a regular basis at home, to the styles you can choose from.

And as a bonus, I've given my top grooming tips to make your life easier.

Let's get started!

How Often Does a Cocker Spaniel Need to be Groomed?

You will want to give your Cocker Spaniel a full groom at a professional dog groomer every 2-3 months. And there will be other grooming tasks that you will need to take care of at home on a more regular basis.

This can be a little sooner if you have opted for one of the more high-maintenance grooming styles such as the princess cut with its long wavey hair.

Between these main grooms, you will need to look after your Cocker Spaniel at home to maintain its coat.

Every few days, you should brush your dog's coat keeping it free from knots and tangles. Cocker Spaniels love to be brushed and will be keen to just lie there for as long as you are willing to keep brushing.

Even missing just one of two brushing sessions will see your dog hair become tangled and matted hair will begin to appear. Not something you will want to see, especially if you are trying to maintain a beautiful Cocker Spaniel coat.

You will also have to trim your dog's nails and the hair on their paws from time to time. For timing the nails you will want a set of dog nail clippers. This task just needs to be done as and when required.

The way to tell that your dog's nails are too long is that you can hear tapping as they walk on the street or on hard flooring at home. Their nails should almost touch the ground but not be making a noise every time they step.

Just like with human nails it is possible to cut a dog's nail too deep into the 'quick'. If you are not comfortable doing this your groomer will be able to support you.

Those big floppy ears also need to be cleaned. A great time to do it is when you already doing these tasks above.

Lastly, you will need to wash your dog now and again. Don't do this too often though as it can remove important oils from your dog's skin and lead to dry and itchy skin.

When Can a Cocker Spaniel Puppy First be Groomed?

If you have a Cocker Spaniel puppy you shouldn't consider taking them for a groom until around three months old.

Keep in mind that this will be your puppy's first experience with a bath, having their hair cut, having their nails clipped, and with loud noises such as a blow dryer. It is really important that it is a positive experience. If it goes badly the first groom could set the tone for all other grooms.

What Styles of Haircut Can a Cocker Spaniel Have?

The only thing that limits how your Cocker Spaniels hair is styled is your imagination ultimately. That said, there are four main styles you should consider when looking to give your Cocker Spaniel a haircut.

These include the puppy cut which is just short all over, around an inch long. It is known for being the easiest to maintain. The traditional cut which is a bit longer but a good option for those who dislike a shaved dog. The princess cut which is a time-consuming style to maintain with very long hair and the show dog haircut which is more commonly seen in those who compete on the shows.

If you want to learn more about these styles we have a full guide on Cocker Spaniel grooming styles.

Can I Groom my Cocker Spaniel at Home?

Yes. Many owners choose to groom their dogs at home.

This is a great way to save some money, and avoid long waits for appointments.

You will have some upfront costs for grooming tools but after the first couple of haircuts, it will all be free. This option is easiest if you are choosing to have a short puppy cut all over as you'll only need to take the clippers all over their body.

Of course, as you progress to the more complicated styles you might want to still get your dog professionally groomed, especially if they will be competing in shows.

To start grooming your Cocker Spaniel all you need is a few basic grooming tools to get going and an afternoon your YouTube to learn what you need to do.

Top Tips for Cocker Spaniel Grooming

Here are my top tips when it comes to dog grooming. Some of these tips I still need reminding of myself from time to time!

Book your Groom Long Before you Need It

Any dog owners who have ever tried to book a grooming appointment will tell you there is often a month or six-week wait until a slot is available.

If you are anything like me then the only time you start to think about booking a groom is when you look down at your Cocker Spaniel and think 'you need a haircut' by this time you will be waiting another month before there is an available slot.

Plan ahead and get a few appointments booked in advance. If you space them out by around 8-10 weeks you should be okay.

Think Practically When Considering a Coat Style

It is very easy to see some of these more fancy coats and think why not. However, one key point to remember is no matter how nice the princess cut looks you will need to spend many hours maintaining it.

And just think about the next time you are in on a walk and your dog gets all muddy. They will never get out of the bath! For this reason, I personally prefer the puppy cut. Simple, easy to maintain, and less chance of tangles and knots.

Brush your Cocker Spaniels Coat Regularly

Brushing your dog's coat regularly does more than gives your dog a chance to relax and enjoy themselves. It removes dead hair from their coat and can prevent matted fur and tangles from happening in the first instance.

The benefits are multiplied tenfold when you are talking about a Cocker Spaniel with one of the longer coats.

Dog's hair will get everywhere if it is not taken care of.

Don't Wash your Dog too Often

A Cocker Spaniel's coat is packed with oils which are essential to maintaining a healthy coat. If you wash your dog too often you will also remove these oils which lead to dry skin.

Try to stick to washing your dog once around every two months. Of course, if they get really muddy you have no choice but you will want to keep this as infrequent as possible.

There are other ways to deal with a dog coming home from a muddy park such as paw wipes or only washing their legs since they are the part which spends the most on the ground.

You can learn more about bathing a Cocker Spaniel in our article on it.

Use Grooming or Bathing Times to Look for Problems

The time you spend at home brushing and washing your Cocker Spaniel also offers an opportune moment to give your dog a look over for anything which could pose a problem.

This could be looking for skin problems, seeing if their eyes look healthy, and checking in their ears for any sign of an issue as ear infections are common in Cocker Spaniels.

Finding a health problem early while taking care of their coat can make a big difference to your dog's health.


If you have a Cocker Spaniel you will need to have a professional groomer give them a haircut every few months, or if you are confident and want to save some money you can grab a pair of dog clippers and give it a go yourself.

No matter which way you go there are many styles to choose from each with its own unique appeal.

Just remember to take care of your Cocker Spaniel's grooming needs at home between cuts. This includes regular brushing, timing their nails, cleaning their ears, and the odd bath now and again.

Keep this up and you will have a beautiful Cocker Spaniel who looks newly groomed all year round. The envy of all other dogs!

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! 
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