According to Rover the third most popular breed in the UK in 2020, is the English Cocker Spaniel. Here are some helpful tips on How to Groom a Cocker Spaniel.
This breed got it's "cocker" name from the days when they were used to retrieve Woodcock. This medium sized dog with long ears has a happy disposition and is a great companion for people who can give them an active lifestyle.
With any coated breed like the English Cocker Spaniel, they will require coat maintenance on a regularly basis. This is a breed that is seen frequently in the dog grooming salon every six to eight weeks. Ideally, Cockers should be hand stripped, however this is rarely the case when this breed is at the groomers. Read on to discover How to Groom a English Cocker Spaniel.
Equipment necessary You will require a slicker/pin brush, wide-toothed comb, thinning scissors, scissors, clippers and a stripping knife.
Breed Tip This breed is best trimmed on a regular basis of no longer than eight weeks.
How To Groom a English Cocker Spaniel
Comb through with a medium comb, removing the tangles. It is best to keep on top of things with regular grooming so that you are not faced with this problem very often.
Depending on the required length, pop on a #5 or #7 clipper blade and clip with the flow of the coat over the top body area. As seen in the diagram below.
The head is thinned, plucked or clipped as required or desired; going away from the eye to the point of the skull and clean into the neck, incorporating the top of the ears to give flat, distinctive elegance of the head.
Work down the cheekbone and muzzle, and down from under the chin to taper into the breastbone.
Remove the long, straggly hairs from the front and sides of the forelegs. When viewed from the front, you should not be able to see any feathering falling around the back of the leg, it should lie backwards naturally, from the elbow.
Remove any excess hair. Feathering at the base of the leg should not touch the ground, so trim if necessary.
For the hind legs, the feathering should be shaped around their stifles. The feathering should reach just to the knuckle, but it should be tapered.
Helpful Tips for Grooming the Cocker Spaniel
The Skirt Line
The skirt line is not straight, it is more inverted from the breastbone to the lowest point of the pelvis. If the coat is heavy, it should be thinned down the line of the ribs.Comb the coat so that it lifts away from the skin, and remove the hair from underneath until the feathering falls naturally down from the ribs and does not stick out when the dog is moving.
The Top Body
The top body can be stripped, clipped or thinned. Clipping this area can thicken the coat, making it almost fluffy in appearance and very curly.
The head is thinned, plucked or clipped as required or desired. Incorporate the top of the ears to give a flat distinctive look of the head. To create a neat finish, you should remove the excess hair around this area. You can use a clipper instead, however the coat will be left thicker and less smooth. Under the ears, thin and trim into the neck to help the ears to breathe.
Take a pair of single edged thinners and work down the cheekbone and muzzle, under the chin to taper the breastbone.
Remove any long straggly hair from the front and sides of the forelegs. When viewed from the front, you should not be able to see the feathering falling around the back of the leg, it should lie backwards naturally, from the elbow. Remove any excess hair at the base of the leg, so it does not touch the ground.
The hind legs should be shaped, but scissoring this area is not recommended, as plucking is easy and looks more natural. The feathering should reach the knuckle and should be tapered and not to look like the dog is wearing plus fours!
The tail should be thick at the root, tapering to a fine tip. Comb thoroughly and pluck out unwanted hair. Plucking out excess hair should create a neat, smooth finish on the top of the tail. You can trim the tail and scissor neatly underneath it, shaping the feathering down to the top of the hock.
The feet should be trimmed around the toes to give a round appearance. Any excess hair between the toes and pads should be trimmed with a pair of safety scissors.
To give the English Cocker Spaniel that glowing salon look, bath him in a suitable shampoo and apply conditioner to help enhance the coat's appearance and to encourage the coat to lie flat. Blow the coat dry, while brushing with a pin brush in the direction of the coat growth.
Check the dog's nails, ears and teeth.
When finished, the coat should look clean, with the coat growth laying down.
If you are starting out dog grooming, we are here to answer all your questions. The Clipit Blog page uncovers all the mysteries of dog grooming. We are dedicated to providing you routine care for your pet at home, plus articles on starting out in business, choosing equipment, coat and skin disorders and handling common problems.
Dog Grooming Equipment that can be used in Grooming a English Cocker Spaniel.