If you are looking to get a Cocker and going to have him living in the house then you’ll probably want to know do Cocker spaniels shed hair?
Most dogs do shed some hair and this is a perfectly natural action, shedding or moulting as it is known in some places occurs in most animals, including humans, and is a way to get rid of excess and dead hair, in dogs this often occurs in springtime as warmer weather means thick, winter coats are no longer needed.
So, the answer is. Yes, Cocker spaniels do shed hair, it is perfectly natural and nothing to be concerned about. It can be minimised by regular grooming and basic care.
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Why do dogs shed hair?
Shedding is perfectly normal for most dogs, including Cockers and the other spaniel breeds. However if your spaniel is losing hair excessively, then there may be something more that needs the attention of your vet.
Reasons why spaniels shed hair
Your spaniel’s coat is just that, a coat. His fur and hair help him to control his body temperature and to protect him from the weather, such as the sun and ice and rain.
When his coat stops growing, he will naturally shed. The amount that he will shed will depend on his breed, his health, the weather and sometimes his living and accommodation arrangements.
What is normal shedding?
Most dogs, particularly those with double coats, which include Cocker spaniels, will shed their coats when the weather begins to improve.
You’ll typically see greater levels of shedding during spring and early summer as your spaniel gets rid of his heavy winter coat. Just as you would not want to wear a winter coat in the summer, it’s the same for your dog, it’s just that he gets rid of his coat through shedding.
You may think that your dog is shedding a lot but at this time of year it could be perfectly normal and what seems like a lot of hair is actually okay and nothing to be concerned about.
Do Cocker spaniels shed all year?
It really depends on the dog as all spaniels are different but the biggest effect on shedding that I have seen is where the dog lives.
I’ve found that a spaniel living in the house or apartment will shed a lot more and more frequently than a spaniel living in a kennel or dog house, and that house dogs do tend to lose hair all year round.
Why this is I’m not sure I can only think that things such as artificial heating in houses has some sort of effect.
Do working Cocker spaniels shed hair?
Working Cocker spaniels do shed their hair although their levels of hair loss are lower than that of show bred dogs.
This is probably because working spaniels tend to have shorter coats than show dogs and are often more active which will help with the removal of dead hair from their bodies.
Why is my Cocker spaniel shedding so much?
If you think that your spaniel is shedding a lot and maybe too much then there could be a health or behaviour reason.
If your dog is anxious or worried, maybe you have moved house or there have been some changes in the home, then he could shed more due to anxiety. Your assurances and care will help him to adapt to the change and it may also be useful to visit your vet.
Other things can cause excessive shedding such as worms, fleas, ticks and other skin or parasitic infections. If you see anything like this then you should see your vet. It is also important to keep up to date with worming and flea treatments.
There is also the potential for allergic reactions to things such as household cleaners.
Hay fever can also affect dogs and one of my spaniels used to suffer to the extent that she incurred bald patches on her front legs that required vet treatment and anti histamines.
How to deal with Cocker spaniel shedding hair
Your spaniel will shed hair but you can reduce the amount that he sheds through regular grooming and brushing. By adopting a regular routine you will be able to pick out the excess hair that would otherwise end up on your furniture or carpets.
You’ll need to get a good dog grooming brush such as this double sided brush on Amazon.
Regular brushing and grooming will also give you a good chance to check your dog over for any signs of injury or ticks in his coat etc.
If you groom your dog frequently and keep him clean then you will find that he will shed a lot less than if you did not brush or bathe him.
Some people suggest bathing a Cocker once or twice a week but this is excessive and bathing him too often can damage his coat and lead to potential skin problems, once a month should be the maximum and if possible longer.
Brushing is more important and effective than washing and if you use a good brush then you will be able to remove a good deal of dead hair.
How do I get my Cocker spaniel to stop shedding?
The reality is that it is perfectly normal for your Cocker spaniel to shed some of his hair and the amounts vary between dogs.
If your dog is losing lots of hair then you should consider getting advice from your vet.
It is quite easy to manage the amount of shedding from your Cocker through regular brushing and grooming and, if you choose to, taking him to a professional dog groomer a couple of times a year for a trim.
One word on groomers – if you have your Cocker shaved then his hair will grow back wiry and will likely lose the glossy, wavy look that makes Cockers so attractive.
My two Cockers have haircuts twice a year and we never have them shaved.
Cocker spaniels do shed their hair. Different dogs will shed at different rates and there will be some that hardly seem to shed at all.
You can control shedding by regular grooming and brushing, which your dog will enjoy. Get a good quality brush for grooming your spaniel and do it when he is relaxed.
If your Cocker is losing lots of his coat then it is always wise to get the opinion and advice of your vet. They will be able to diagnose any problems and recommend the most suitable treatment for your dog.
Disclaimer: Easy Spaniel Training’s writers are NOT vets and the information is offered as guidance only. You should always seek medical advice from a qualified veterinarian.