Are Cocker Spaniels High Maintenance?

When considering getting another dog, I knew I needed a dog that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance regarding their health.   I wanted a small dog and loved the way the cocker spaniel looked. 

Since I am on a tight budget, I didn’t want a dog that would require many medicines and trips to the veterinarian.  I needed to learn if the cocker spaniel would be right for me.

I did a great amount of research and was incredibly surprised by this adorable dog breed.

Are Cocker Spaniels High Maintenance?

Are cocker spaniels high maintenance?  Yes, the cocker spaniel is a high maintenance dog breed.  Their long coat of fur requires that their owner spend a good amount of time weekly grooming them.  They also can suffer from a multitude of health issues that are both physical and emotional.  If a potential dog owner doesn’t mind these two traits, they make an excellent companion and furry best friend.

What makes the cocker spaniel so high maintenance?

What makes the cocker spaniel so high maintenance is their physical and emotional needs.

Their fur is high maintenance because it requires a great deal of maintenance and regular upkeep, after all beauty is hard work!  This breed has hair that can be very thick and require regular daily grooming.

This grooming or brushing is a necessity to keep their fur from ending up everywhere.  The good news is that if their owner uses a good quality brush or grooming tool the job can be less arduous and time-consuming.

For the cocker spaniel, it is best that this brushing is done in an easy cleanup area of the house since their hair can be messy.

The cocker spaniel is also high maintenance because their lovely and beautiful fur needs to be trimmed at a professional groomer regularly.

It is possible to do this trimming and cutting of their fur at home with the right tools, training, and skills but is easier to take them to a professional.  The professional can also trim their nails, clean their ears and their eyes.

The cocker spaniel suffers from numerous ear infections due to the physical design of their ears.  These floppingly adorable ears need to be kept clean to combat their increased possibility of suffering ear infections.

Their eyes are also prone to infections so they should be checked daily for both ear and eye problems.  If these issues are found it is important to address them immediately.

Since the cocker spaniel is more susceptible to blindness every dog owner will want to do what is necessary to keep their peepers healthy for many years to come.

Emotionally the cocker spaniel is a breed of dog that can be incredibly nervous or anxious.  With a good parental background, these traits can be minimized but this breed can be high maintenance in this area.

This high maintenance nature from anxiety and nervousness can spill over into negative physical traits such as peeing out of fear.

Providing this breed with a stable home environment that is peaceful, happy, and safe can reduce these issues but most likely never completely remove them.

It should also be noted that this nervousness can sometimes make them snappish or high strung where they tend to bark a lot or growl and appear unfriendly.  With the right home environment, these traits can be minimized, allowing their loving and friendly nature to shine through.

The cocker spaniel is also high maintenance in their need for attention and anxiety from being left alone for too long.

Are Cocker Spaniels High Maintenance?

Any dog has the possibility of suffering separation anxiety due to their unique temperament and is affected by their home environment.

The best way to combat this high maintenance emotional state is by creating a structured environment for them.  This should include a limited amount of time where they are separated from the people that they love the most.

When their owner or family goes away, they should be consistent in the methods that they use to do so.  The cocker spaniel will learn to accept this separation or at least tolerate it better with consistency that can give them emotional peace when they need it most.

Using the same methods, tools, and rituals for departing from them, and while returning.  Emotionally they need to know what they can expect of their owner and family as well as what is expected of them.

Their breeder or veterinarian, or even professional trainer can offer tips and ideas on how best to proceed in this area since each dog is unique. 

What can be done to reduce the maintenance of the cocker spaniel?

Nothing can be done to reduce the maintenance of the cocker spaniel.  Maintenance for anyone, human or dog can be thought of as caring for them to help them live at their healthiest potential.

The issues that the cocker spaniel suffer which can make them high maintenance are not something that they can change, as their fur color or height.  While certain aspects of their emotional and behavioral temperament can be slightly modified, they cannot be completely removed.

Their physical traits that include health issues related to those areas are not something that can be changed.

For an owner, using the tools that we are provided, such as proper grooming materials, healthy food and plenty of clean water can go a long way to decreasing their maintenance, or at least making it easier on the owner.

One of the best things that can be done when working with a high maintenance cocker spaniel is to have a schedule in place that details the when, how, and what regarding their care. 

If all tools and necessaries are in place it can make this area of the owner’s life easier as well which means less stress.  Everyone is happier in the long run.

What can be done about the cocker spaniel being emotionally high maintenance?

Meeting their needs can help with their emotional nature.  Ensuring that they receive plenty of love and attention as well as playtime and socializing while minimizing their exposure to negative situations will ensure that they are emotionally healthy and stable.

Is the cocker spaniel still high maintenance as an adult or just when they are a puppy?

Yes, the cocker spaniel is a dog breed that is high maintenance from puppyhood into adulthood.  These physical, mental, and emotional traits that make them high maintenance are more noticeable when they are a puppy but are still present in adulthood and even more so when they a senior.

The reason this high maintenance nature is increased in an older or senior dog is due to their potential for health-related issues, which can be numerous for this breed of dog.

Taking them to the veterinarian on a regular annual basis can help keep them physically and emotionally healthy from puppyhood into their senior years.

Is the cocker spaniel high maintenance concerning exercise requirements?

No.  The cocker spaniel isn’t high maintenance regarding their exercise requirements.  They do require daily exercise which can be provided in the form of a healthy daily walk with their owner.

They can however be high energy which can make them appear to need a lot of exercise.  This energy can be attributed to their nervous and anxious nature.

Is the cocker spaniel high maintenance regarding training and socializing?

No.  The cocker spaniel isn’t high maintenance regarding training and socializing.  They are smart and trainable, once they learn what is expected of them, they are eager to please due to their loving personality.

The cocker spaniel can be a friendly and loving dog breed.  If they are provided with a loving, safe, and comfortable home environment they will thrive and make friends easily.  This doesn’t mean they will always play nice, or that they will never bark or snap though.

Are Cocker Spaniels High Maintenance?

Each dog is uniquely their own regarding personality and temperament.  These can change from one day to the next for any dog breed and shouldn’t be considered high maintenance unless it becomes a regular daily occurrence.

Is the cocker spaniel high maintenance financially?

Yes.  The cocker spaniel can be thought of as being high maintenance, financially.  The necessary grooming equipment and trips to the groomer as well as sometimes increased trips to the veterinarian can make it feel that way.

This however can be the case for any dog, regardless of breed since health issues can happen to them at any time for any one reason.

This can be combatted by having a pet insurance plan as soon as they become a part of the family.  This ensures that any health issues a dog may have, regardless of breed are addressed quickly for the best overall health of the dog.

In Conclusion

The cocker spaniel is a high maintenance dog breed, there are no two ways about it.  With their high physical and emotional needs, they are not a breed for everyone.

If their owner can provide stability, consistency, and can tolerate their high maintenance nature they are a wonderful dog breed.  With an adorably cute face, and a loving and friendly personality this breed is a great companion, and just makes life brighter!

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