Do Cocker Spaniels Shed?

Do cocker spaniels shed?

I want to get a dog.  My fiancé doesn’t want a dog that sheds too much.  She spends a lot of time working long hours so that thought of cleaning uploads of dog hair around the house doesn’t appeal to her. 

We happened to see a person walking a dog in the park and we loved the look of the dog.  The owner told us the dog was a cocker spaniel.  Before we could select this breed for our first dog, we needed to find out if they shed lots of hair.

Do Cocker Spaniels Shed?

Do cocker spaniels shed?  If so, how much?  The cocker spaniel is a dog breed that does shed its hair.   How much do cocker spaniels shed?  While each dog is an individual, the cocker spaniel breed sheds a lot compared to other dog breeds. 

This can be due to a variety of factors including their double coat of hair and their nervous and anxious nature.  For someone who doesn’t mind a lot of hair that is attached to an adorable dog face, this is the right breed for them!

No one has ever sat down and boxed up their cocker spaniel’s hair daily or weekly basis to measure how many pounds it is.  In comparison however to the many other breeds that exist today, they shed a lot.  So much so that this hair they shed will end up all over the house and people who live with them so be prepared.

This large amount of shedding should be taken into consideration when selecting a breed for it is unlikely that this physical trait will vary that much from one dog to the next.

Why does the cocker spaniel shed so much?

Shedding is a normal part of every dog’s life.  It doesn’t matter how much they shed, a little, a lot, or everything in between, it is a part of their physical body changes that naturally happen due to internal or external situations.

A variety of situations can change how much or how little the cocker spaniel sheds, but they will always shed some.  Even those dogs that are termed hypoallergenic will still shed a little, it is just that it is so little it goes unnoticed.

Some of the internal situations that cause a cocker spaniel to shed include when they are pregnant, have health issues, or when they are stressed. 

Things that happen on the outside of the dog can also stimulate them to shed.  These include weather changes to how hot or cold it is, season changes, and changes in the amount of light during the day and night.

Is there a difference in the amount of shedding an American or English cocker spaniel does?

No, not really.  When it comes to the shedding of hair, these two different cocker spaniels shed typically the same amount which is a lot.  Each cocker spaniel has the same type of coat of hair, which is smooth, long, and silky.

They also boast a double coat of hair which does play a part in how much they shed.  This double coat is an undercoat that protects against weather and other outdoor elements protecting the dog.  Typically dogs that have a double coat of hair shed more than single coated dogs.

Do the cocker spaniels shed change with the seasons, like other breeds?

Yes.  The cocker spaniels shedding is affected by seasonal or environmental changes just like other dogs.

Will brushing or grooming the cocker spaniel to decrease the amount of hair they shed?

Yes and no.  Brushing and grooming are healthy for the cocker spaniel.  Grooming will reduce the amount of hair on people or around the house since this regular ritual will help keep this shedding to a minimum.

It won’t however decrease the amount of hair the cocker spaniel sheds.

What this means is that the cocker spaniel will still shed the same amount of hair, but it will be less noticeable because it is being brushed and groomed away.

This ritual is part of a healthy lifestyle for a dog, like the way we might bath, groom, and care for ourselves.

Does the cocker spaniels diet help with how much they shed?

This depends on the health of the dog.  If a cocker spaniel isn’t healthy or isn’t eating a healthy diet, then certainly changing that diet to something healthier and more nutritious can help with shedding.

There are many healthy dog food options on the market today that can keep a cocker spaniel healthy and strong, including their coat of hair.

Fish Oils as well as other supplements can potentially increase the health of a cocker spaniels coat, which can affect how much they shed.

Before making any changes to a cocker spaniel, diet it is important to consult their veterinarian first.

Are there any tips for reducing the amount of shedding that the cocker spaniel does?

Yes.  Grooming regularly, offering a healthy diet, annual visits to the veterinarian, or as needed will all promote their overall health.  Combine this with plenty of love, exercise, playtime, and the right amount of sleep, and a cocker spaniel will thrive!

What can cause a cocker spaniel to shed more?

Seasonal changes can affect the cocker spaniels’ coat of hair.  This is a natural process, as are hormonal changes during pregnancy and shedding that occurs due to environmental issues like heat, cold and light changes.

Certain situations can negatively affect a cocker spaniels coat, causing more shedding than usual.  These include excess stress of any sort, dehydration, a poor diet, lack of sleep, and underlying health issues.

Stress can cause a cocker spaniel to shed more, this a coping tactic for the cocker spaniel.  A poor diet or dehydration can also cause a cocker spaniel to shed more.  These are easily fixable by providing a healthy diet that is recommended by their veterinarian as well as plenty of clean, freshwater daily.

If they don’t get enough sleep this can have the same effect as other stressful situations and is easily remedied by providing a comfortable and safe place for them to sleep, along with minimizing the effects of stress in the home.

Do cocker spaniels shed?

Underlying health issues can reveal themselves in the form of such exterior side effects as excess shedding, chewing, or licking.

If all other areas of their life appear to be in order but the cocker spaniel is shedding more than usual, which is a lot, by the way, they could be suffering an ailment.

If an underlying health issue is suspected, a prompt appointment with their veterinarian is in order.

Are there health issues that the cocker spaniel can have that may cause excess shedding?

Yes.  The cocker spaniel is a breed of dog that can tend to suffer from nervousness or over anxiety.  This temperament isn’t always present in every cocker spaniel, but it can affect the health of the dog when it is.

This nervous and anxious temperament can cause a cocker spaniel to always feel physical, mentally, and emotionally stressed.  This is a characteristic that can come from internal or external factors that are sometimes hard to determine.

This stress can harm their overall health including the health of their coat of hair.  This can cause excess shedding, more than they already do.

Another possibility of excess shedding in the cocker spaniel that already sheds a lot is separation anxiety.  The cocker spaniel is a breed that doesn’t like to be left alone, they always desire to have the companionship of their owner or family.

If they are left alone or left alone for longer than they would like they can show signs of anxiety, including separation anxiety.  Thankfully, this health issue is easier to remedy than certain other issues.

Aside from these emotional issues, there are also physical health issues that can cause excess shedding in a cocker spaniel.

The cocker spaniel is a breed of dog that can suffer from a multitude of physical health issues.  These can be mild, like skin issues including allergies, or health problems relating to their eyes.  They can also be more severe and include epilepsy, joint, and thyroid problems.

These factors can play a part in the health of a dog’s coat of hair and how much they shed or don’t shed.

The best way to combat excess shedding which is due to physical health issues is to contact their veterinarian to discuss options for treatment and getting them the care, they need.

Once their health issues are under control, providing them with healthy food, plenty of water, and a healthy lifestyle will help with their shedding as well as promote the health and well-being of the cocker spaniel for a long time.

Final Thoughts

While the cocker spaniel is a breed of dog that sheds a lot compared with other dog breeds, there are ways to remedy this issue.

For those who don’t mind hair around the house, this breed can be groomed and brushed regularly to promote a healthy coat and minimize the amount of hair everywhere.

If all else fails, changing clothes often and using a good quality vacuum can go a long way to providing relief from the hair this breed sheds.  Besides, it’s easy to forget the amount of hair they shed when one looks into those adorable eyes!

Matt Bostic

Dogs are great, right? I've had 3 dogs in my lifetime, and I don't plan on stopping there!

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