Cocker spaniel grooming tips

Picture taken from

Picture taken from

Good day and welcome everyone!

This is Sharda with another Cocker Spaniel newsletter.

Let’s talk about Cocker Spaniel grooming tips!


Start regular grooming when you first bring your Spaniel dog home and make it a part of his routine.

Praise your dog when he holds still and soon he will come to enjoy the extra attention. Get him used to having his paws handled while still a puppy.

Once you start using the nail trimmers, go slowly: Try trimming just a few nails in one sitting.

Spaniel dogs with luxurious coats like that of the Cocker Spaniel will need deep brushing at least once a week for indoor dogs and twice or more for outdoor dogs.

You need to brush against the grain and down to the skin, being sure to use a lighter touch when you reach the skin. Maintain a regular schedule and your Cocker will eventually develop patience and maybe even enjoy these sessions.

You should have the following basic grooming supplies on hand for your Cocker:

Combs & Brushes

A Wide Tooth Steel Comb to help get at the heavy undercoating of the Cocker Spaniel’s coat. This may also be called a “Collie comb”.

A Slicker Brush has a rectangular metal brush-head and short to long handle. The brush-head contains small metal pins set in a rubber backing. The pins may have coated ball tips for added comfort. On the Spaniel dog, this is used for the thick back and sides.

A Pin Brush can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The Pin Brush is designed specifically for medium to long coats and can be used on single or double coated hair.

The Pin Brush is recommended for finer hair so on the Cocker Spaniel it used for the feathered legs and tail. If your pin brush does not have coated ball tips then the metal ends should be polished and ground for comfort like this brush by Chris Christensen.

You will also need the following accessories:

  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Ear cleaning solution or white vinegar
  • Cotton balls
  • Grooming table (optional)

Proper Brushing

Brushing keeps a Spaniel dog’s coat healthy by pulling up dead skin, dead hair and undercoat, and distributing natural oil (sebum) throughout your dog’s coat.

This oil adds a natural sheen but also protects and moisturizes the hair.

Three easy steps for a beautiful coat

  • Step 1: Start by using the slicker brush to thoroughly brush his back and sides. Remove all tangles and mats. Remember to be light-handed when near the skin.
  • Step 2: Use the pin brush on feathered areas such as legs, abdomen, chest, ears and tail.
  • Step 3: After brushing, use the comb all over to remove remaining loose hairs.

If you notice fleas during grooming see the chapter on Health Concerns. If you notice skin rashes or other abnormalities, contact your vet


Bathing frequency depends on whom you talk to. Some believe you should wash your Spaniel dog as often as once per week, others say such frequent bathing removes essential oils and really isn’t necessary.

So if every week is too much, it still begs the question, how much is right?

The answer is whatever’s right for you; it depends on how often your dog looks, feels, or smells dirty. If your Cocker Spaniel is active, he may need more frequent bathing than a couch potato. And if your Spaniel dog is an outside dog, good grooming and bathing should not be ignored, it should be done just as it would for a house dog.

Most likely, at least one bath a month will be sufficient so just pick a day every month and make that a part of your regular chores for the day.

If you or someone in your home has allergies you may want to bump up the schedule since baths remove the dander (dead skin), which what causes the allergy.

  • Step 1: Thoroughly brush the dog first removing kinks and mats.
  • Step 2: Using a mild dog shampoo with soothing ingredients like aloe or oatmeal, start at the head and pre-soak the entire dog.
  • Step 3: Massage the shampoo into the coat, being careful around the eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Step 4: Rinse thoroughly. Residue left on the dog can be irritating to his skin.
  • Step 5: Towel dry the dog as much as possible after he does his shake. You may even try using a hair dryer on a low setting. Some dogs—like a certain Fox Terrier I know—will love this part, most will be afraid of the noise but over time will learn to tolerate it. If not, stick with the towels and keep them indoors until completely dry.

If your Cocker Spaniel is really dirty you may have to repeat step 3 until the dog is clean.

DO NOT use flea and tick shampoos if your dog already uses other flea control like collars or Advantage.

You should also avoid overly-fragrant shampoos. While you may enjoy the smell of flowers, your Spaniel dog might rebel at this unnatural doggie scent and take the first opportunity to roll in something smelly once outside.

I hope that you learned a lot from today’s Cocker Spaniel newsletter

All the best and take care

Sharda Baker