The cocker spaniel is classed as a silky haired breed and one of their most striking features is their beautiful long, silky coat. A silky haired breed has shorter fur on their face, head, body and on the front of their front legs and longer hair or feathering on their ears, chest, back of their front legs, under carriage, back legs and tail.

The cocker's coat requires considerable time and commitment to keep it looking good. Thorough brushing is needed from the skin to the end of the coat and over the entire body area of the dog including feathering, behind the elbows, under the armpits, around the rear end, the under belly, chest and ears to prevent tangling and matting.

The difference between a knot and a matt is that a knot can be brushed out whereas a mat is stuck to the skin and requires a lot more work to remove. Mats are lumps of shed undercoat that has not been brushed out. If your cocker spaniel wears a harness, then they may be prone to matting in areas where the harness rubs across the fur. You must remove all the matts to ensure that there are no grass seeds embedded in them.

Grass seeds can work through the fur down to the skin where they set up irritation, pain, and infection. Matted fur can hide injuries and lead to infections. It is easier to miss thorns or bits of debris that are stuck to them

Dog grooming also provides the ideal opportunity to look for fleas and ticks, sores or lumps, skin problems, grass seeds, burs and matting. The ears should also be inspected for any signs of bacteria or infection.

It is very important that your dog becomes use to being brushed and groomed from a young age so that it becomes an enjoyable and familiar experience.




                                                                                       Kate beautifully groomed by Tricia


You should groom your Cocker Spaniel every three days to keep them looking good. However, if you like to walk your dog in the park with undergrowth, you may need to brush them more often than this as they will probably pick up grass seeds, burrs, and other debris while out exercising.

If you find that your brush is picking up lots of loose hair, increase your grooming frequency to every other day or even every day.

If your brush isn’t picking up much hair, you can reduce grooming to once or twice a week.

Brush small sections of your dog’s coat at a time, working in the direction of hair growth. Try not to pull on the hair, especially when working on detangling mats.

Begin by gently teasing out mats using your fingers. Then use a matt breaker, working carefully to break the matt apart. Try to keep your fingers between the skin and the matt to help prevent pulling on the skin.

Next, use a slicker brush to go over the whole dog. The slicker brush will get rid of any loose hair.

Finish the job by brushing your dog with a soft-bristled brush to lift off any loose hairs that have been left on the top of the coat.


Soft Bristle Brush                                                                                                                                                   

A soft bristle brush is ideal for grooming a puppy. Using this type of brush regularly will help familiarise a young pup with other grooming tools once he is older. Grooming from an early age will make the whole process easier.

Metal or Rubber Pin Brush                                                                                                                               

The pin brush is ideal for cockers as it can penetrate deeper into the coat. It helps remove dead hair and thick undercoat.

Slicker Brush                                                                                                                                                             

This is an extremely useful brush as it has thin metal wire tines that help untangle knots, remove dead hair and can aid in reducing shedding. Brush in the direction the hair is growing, paying particular attention to the ears, under the arm pits and back legs where knotting and matting can occur.

Steel Comb                                                                                                                                                               

This is useful especially AFTER using a slicker or pin brush as it will help ensure that any small knots or tangles are removed.       


Matt Breaker                                                                                                                                                           

Dematting tools aid in breaking up a matt. It slices the matt into strips so that each section can be worked on with a slicker brush or comb.                                                                                                         

Grooming Thumbs                                                                                                                                                 

If hand stripping a cocker's coat, you will need either rubber gloves or rubber thumbs. The rubber thumb helps to grip the hair betweeen your finger and thumb to make hand stripping easier.

Stripping Comb or Coat King                                                                                                                           

If you do not wish to hand strip, a Stripping Comb or Coat King can be used to remove excess coat instead. Always follow the direction the hair grows.


Cutting Scissors                                                                                                                                                     

A good pair of 7" inch scissors can be used to trim the body and leg feathers as well as the feet. You can also buy shorter round end scissors for trimming areas around the face. 


Thinning Scissors                                                                                                                                                 

These are used for more detailed trimming to thin and blend hair on the neck, under the ears, chest, shoulders, head and back leg feathering.


Groom the ears and throat with a #10 Blade. Thining scissors or hand stripping can be used on the head for a more natural look.

For those owners who do not have the time or the inclination to cope with a coated breed, clippering the coat off is an easier alternative.



Pay particular attention to your Cocker Spaniel’s ears. Cocker’s ears are long and pendulous, trailing across the ground. The ears should be inspected for any sign of bacteria or infection.

When grooming your dog’s ears, gently comb away any matting under and behind each ear, and then brush the leathers. That’s where most of the mats will be found.

Using a pair of trimming scissors, carefully trim away excess hair near the inner ear. Use a slicker brush to get rid of any loose hair from the leathers.

Finish off by combing to remove stubborn undercoat, starting from the bottom of the ear and working your way up.

Cocker Spaniels have long ears which can be heavy with a lot of hair at the opening of the ears and underneath.

The hair can prevent fresh air from reaching the ear canal, creating a moist area where bacteria may proliferate.

Check for any odour or discharge (dark brown or yellow in colour) as this may be the cause of an infection and will require attention by a vet.

The ear should only be cleaned if it looks dirty as over cleaning can cause the ear some trouble and irritation. You can clean the ear out with some ear cleaner from your veterinarian every month using cotton wool balls.  Never use cotton sticks as this can be dangerous if put too deep in the ear. See your groomer or veterinarian for correct ear cleaning technique.


Your dog’s coat and feet can be easily maintained in-between grooms by brushing regularly and trimming feet when hair grows too long. Feet can be a problem with Cockers if neglected as in spring and summer they attract grass seeds which find their way into the skin and can travel up the leg and in winter long feet pick up the mud and moisture causing matting and impacted hair under the foot.

A cocker spaniel's feet should be "cat like". Trim neatly around the edges and nails.  It is also important to trim the hair from underneath the pad as well.


Begin a bath routine early so that your puppy enjoys the experience.

It’s a good idea to bath your Cocker Spaniel about every 2 weeks, especially if he enjoys frolicking in mud and muck while you’re both out walking.

Bathing also helps to remove accumulated oils from the dog’s coat that otherwise begin to smell unpleasant. Do not use human shampoo as our skin has a different PH level to dogs.

After his bath, be sure to dry your dog completely before you start grooming him. Use a high-velocity dryer to dry your Cocker spaniel’s coat.

Use the dryer to blow the coat in the direction in which you want it to lay when it’s dry. Keep the dryer close to the ends of the hair so that the fur doesn’t curl.

Avoid running the dryer back and forth across your Cocker spaniel’s body, as that will cause the coat to become matted and tangled.   

Contact Details

Meg Hardy
Camberwell, VIC, Australia
Phone : 0413 506 424
Email : [email protected]