Have you ever snuggled up to a dog and had a good chunk of the fur stuck to your sweater? If so, then you may be wary of dogs that are super shedders.
But if you’re stuck on one dog breed (you really want to get one), is shedding such a big deal? – And are there ways to work around it? In this article, we’ll see about cocker spaniels. This is an affectionate and easy-going breed, whose well-groomed coat can earn the envy of many a puppy in the dog park!
Do cocker spaniels shed?
Yes, cocker spaniels do shed. Both English and American Cocker spaniels have a double coat that helps them to weather cold seasons. However, after the cold is gone, it’s time to shed that excess fur. Other factors that affect shedding include the setting/environment, the health of the spaniel, allergic, hereditary, and stressful conditions. Whatever the case, shedding in both English and American cocker spaniels is a normal process and one to be embraced. Brushing, grooming, and occasional bathing are often recommended to remove the excess hair so that it doesn’t end up scattered throughout your home.
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Which sheds more – the American Cocker Spaniel or the English Cocker Spaniel?
The breed of the cocker spaniels matters when it comes to how much shedding the Spaniel does.
Let’s take the American versus the English breeds, for instance.
The winner here is the English Cocker Spaniel. A low maintenance spaniel, this breed typically sheds a moderate amount.
Twice a week may be sufficient brushing for the English spaniel.
The American Cocker Spaniel is said to have a delicate coat that tends to shed a bit more than the English counterpart.
That being said, take this distinction with a grain of salt. The differences noted are usually generated from owners’ experiences which may not exactly reflect the universal reality in these two breeds.
Nonetheless, the distinction is a good segway into learning the factors that contribute to how much your spaniel sheds.
Why certain Cocker Spaniels shed more than others
Cocker spaniels are not all the same when it comes to shedding. Some factors may cause one spaniel to shed considerably more than his or her fellow spaniels:
Spaniels living in cold climates may need a little bit of insulation – as do you!
To shield against the harsh weather, these spaniels may increase the volume of their fur. As this happens, old hair may fall off as the coat regenerates, hence more shedding.
As previously noted, certain seasons are known to be heavy shedding seasons for spaniels. For instance, during spring, spaniels tend to shed more than in the winter.
Also, early summer may be a time when the spaniels shed a bit more than usual.
Cocker spaniels, and all dogs generally, may shed more due to prevailing health issues, especially when these health issues cause an unhealthy skin and coat.
4. Hereditary factors
Some people believe that if a spaniel sheds heavily, then it’s a good chance that their young one will follow suit.
This is an assumption that is yet to be scientifically proven, but I think it’s worth looking into if shedding is your deal-breaker when selecting a furry companion.
5. Allergic reactions
Excessive shedding may be a sign that your spaniel does not take well to certain foods, medications, cleaning chemicals, or grooming items.
If you notice heavy shedding that is new for your spaniel, it may be wise to consult your vet, find that nasty allergen, and get it out of your spaniel’s way.
Sometimes, shedding may be a sign that the spaniel is experiencing stressful situations, such as making a change in living arrangements, visiting new places, or anything else that may seem foreign to him or her.
If you’re concerned about this reaction and want to provide the best care for your spaniel, then it is worth consulting a certified veterinary behaviorist who can advise on the best way to help your spaniel cope.
All this to say that cocker spaniels are all different. Each one is an individual and there are environmental and physiological factors that may be leading to the shedding.
If you can identify the cause and deal with it, the better. Otherwise, learning how to manage shedding may be a more practical approach.
How to deal with shedding in a Cocker Spaniels
Shedding may be a hassle when the fur gets scattered on your floor, on your furniture, and anywhere else you don’t want to have it.
Your best friend in dealing with this problem is the brush. Brushing has a lot of benefits linked to a healthy and shiny coat.
One reason brushing is a good strategy is that you’ll get to remove the excess fur before it falls off the spaniel.
This means that even though the loose hair may end up being shed, it will be a small, manageable amount.
A second reason for brushing is that you’re able to identify skin issues that increase shedding, such as wounds, fleas, and ticks.
Brushing also provides an opportunity to bond with your spaniel.
Some people may suggest regular bathing dogs as a way to deal with their shedding. Bathing does indeed help with shedding.
For instance, on top of removing excess hair, bathing can moisten the dog’s skin and prevent dryness – which may contribute to more shedding.
Just be sure to remove any tangles in your spaniel’s hair before you do the bathing. This ensures that excess fur does not get entangled and never comes off easily during bathing.
If you combine bathing and brushing – brushing when the coat has dried up – then you stand a better chance of managing a stressful shedding spaniel.
Be warned though, regular bathing can have the adverse effect of making the skin and coat dry, which is not ideal when managing shedding.
Once per month is okay. At other times, brushing would do the trick.
Also, grooming may be beneficial. Some owners tend to trim and groom their spaniels’ coat a little if their spaniels are not walking down a pageant any time soon.
When bathing, make sure to use a shampoo created for use in dogs since dogs have skin that is a bit different from human skin (in terms of thickness and pH).
Your human shampoo may tend to harm the delicate skin of your spaniel.
So, when is a good time for bathing? A good time for bathing, brushing, and grooming is during the so-called ‘spring shedding.’
Cocker spaniels will shed more during the spring, and bathing and brushing may be a good way to ensure that you don’t lose your mind dealing with the shed hair and dander around your house.
Are cocker spaniels hypoallergenic dogs?
No, cocker spaniels are not hypoallergenic dogs. Cocker spaniels are known to shed their good share of fur –more than average. That means that if you have allergies, it may be a good idea to rethink cocker spaniels as the dog to bring into your home.
Do cocker spaniels smell?
Yes, cocker spaniels do smell. While every dog has an odor, cocker spaniels smell more because they make bigger sebaceous gland secretions. If you do not have an allergy and want to manage the smelling, then bathing and grooming may help to keep the odor in check.
Are cocker spaniels good house dogs?
Yes, cocker spaniels are good house dogs. Not only are they made to be merry, but they are also affectionate and gentle companions. Provided your kids are not allergic to dog hair, smell, and dander, the cocker spaniels should provide a happy sidekick that they’ll grow to love.
Can a cocker spaniel be left alone?
Yes and no. Cocker spaniels can be left alone, but they definitely won’t like it. I’ve found that the more affectionate the dog breed generally is, the harder they take to separation. And this applies to cocker spaniels especially. Your cocker spaniel may develop anxiety or panic when he or she is home alone. To prevent that, you can always leave him or her with a responsible family member or dog watcher.
The basic truth is that all dogs shed. Even the so-called hypoallergenic dogs shed a little – too little to count, but still.
The important approach is not to avoid dogs that shed even though you really like them (like cocker spaniels), but to learn to manage this natural part of the dog’s life.
Because let’s face it, human beings shed a bit of hair too. So, we can at least understand spaniels’ shedding.
Regular brushing and grooming, plus occasional bathing provide a good chance of significantly reducing the amount of hair/fur you see on your couch, on the floor, or your clothes.