Cocker Spaniel Haircuts And Styling: A Comprehensive Guide

Why do cocker spaniels need haircuts?

Cocker spaniels tend to shed fairly and the haircut helps make way for the new coat to grow. Daily grooming is necessary to avoid mats and tangled.

Cocker spaniels that spend a lot of time hunting tend to get their haircut rather than hand-stripped because it is easier to groom a short-haired dog that gets into water and mud.

Those whose silky coats are maintained for the show are usually hand stripped so that the striking color and texture remain at their best.

Hair clipping and hand stripping should be done every three months to keep a Cocker Spaniel clean and well-groomed.

What Are The Basic Cocker Spaniel Haircuts?

There are two basic Cocker Spaniel haircuts. While neither of them has a formal name, they are known as the “cockery” and “gundog” looks.

cocker spaniel haircutHowever, if you opt for a shaved Cocker Spaniel, that can work too. Cocker spaniel is one of the breeds of dogs whose coat grows back basically the same.

The ‘cockery’ look requires a lot of hand stripping and constant grooming between sessions.

The Cocker Spaniel show cut is obvious: the ears will be long and luxuriant, the skirt will be extensive, and the entire coat will lie flat on top and will be slightly wavy where it hangs freely.

If you’ve seen photos of a sitting Cocker Spaniel and it looks like a pyramid with huge triangles hanging from its head, this is that style.

The ‘gundog’ cut is also called a sporty cut. You get this by trimming the feathery parts and ears and cutting the skirt. That distinctive Cocker Spaniel domed head will stand out, but the rest of the dog will look generic: the hair will be short all over.

Some people may want a ‘cockery’ touch with a ‘gundog’ trim leaving the feathers on the front and back of the dog’s legs and perhaps on the tail as well.

The labor-intensive show dog style is best done by professional groomers. You can learn to do this if you have the time and patience and get the best tools. It’s easy to learn how to trim a Cocker Spaniel for the ‘gundog’ look and you need to get the best clippers for Cocker Spaniel.

Best Cocker Spaniel Hair Clippers

When it comes to household use, the quality, and the price of the cutters, there is a big difference. Oftentimes, pet grooming beginners look for reviews to help them choose the best option and this is why a comparative review of dog groomers is created.

You should always be alert of some common problems about clippers:

  • There are fledging models that have a loud performance and it is not suitable for dogs.
  • Clipping a dog’s hair takes time and some clippers overheat quickly and you should also take note of that when choosing a clipper.
  • You should carefully check the performance and the cutting pressure because a weak execution greatly affects the results and will have enormous consequences; In this case, the clipper will do more than cut, and in some cases clipping your dog will never be quick again.
  • Another thing, choosing the poor quality clipper will put your dog in danger, such as minor injuries and the formation of inflamed skin.

It is best to learn all of these things before choosing a clipper for your dog to save you and your dog from the hassles and risks.

3 Different Types Of Electric Hair Clippers For Dogs

  1. Corded Clippers
  2. Cordless Cutters
  3. Pet Trimmers

cocker spaniel hair clippersProfessional dog clippers are divided into different models that are often used by professional dog groomers, veterinarians, and pet owners who prefer to clip their dogs themselves at home.

A corded dog clipper is recommended for home use because clippers under 20 watts have poor performance in finishing a thick Spaniel coat and are not pleasant to you and your pet.

Criteria For Choosing The Best Electric Hair Clipper

  • Power and cutting performance
  • Loudness
  • Easy to use
  • The sharpness of Clipper blades

Power and cutting performance

Some clippers often do not offer the best performance, that is, they have less cutting power. There are cases where the tool will pull the hair more than clipping it and make the grooming session longer.

That can result in the uneasy and anxious behavior of dogs when clipping. Cordless clippers must have a  power of at least 20 watts for the performance of trimming the thick coat of Cocker Spaniels to be sufficient.


The loudness of a clipper plays an important role in choosing the best clipper. Noise makes dogs uncomfortable, especially when it is the first time cocker spaniels on the clipping table and they are unaware of the grooming process.

You must learn that once a dog is afraid of noise, it will be more difficult to groom him. Modified noise-proof clippers with powerful performance will make your life easier during the grooming session.

Easy to use

Of course, it is also important to buy a clipper that fits your hand perfectly. Fewer features can also help you decide which clipper is right for you, especially if you’re just starting to learn pet grooming.

The sharpness of clipper blades

It is important to thoroughly explore your dog’s coat.

How thick and long is your Cocker spaniel’s coat?

Does it need a regular clipping or just a partial trimming?

The choice of different blades depends on how you examine the coat. The blades must be sharp to cut the coat carefully, and if you are a beginner, I recommend using a rounded blade to avoid sudden injury.

There are specially designed shaving blades for different coat types and body areas. Therefore, clippers with removable blades are preferred to facilitate the choice of suitable blades. Also, the lengths of the blades make different patterns on the coat, long blades are good for matted hair.

Which Size Blade to Use on a Cocker Spaniel? 

Referring to the guide above, Cocker Spaniels are clipped using blades #10, #7F,#4F, or a combination of those blades

How To Use a Clipper

  • Choose a quiet place in your home. Finding a quiet place will make it easier for you to groom your pet because there are fewer distractions. Remember to prepare all the tools you need in advance to prepare your cocker spaniel quickly.
  • Choose a non-slip surface as much as possible and I recommend bringing someone else to help calm the dog with treats or rewards.
  • Do not forcibly hold your pet. This would definitely cause anxiety and it will be difficult for you to fix it again. First, brushing and combing the coat is the first step. It will be easier to detangle the hairs and the first hairs will come off naturally.
  • Clipping the coat is easier, but in the case of heavy mats, it is much better to cut it with scissors.
  • Begin shaving the neck down the torso carefully, as these areas are easier to cut than others. Continue with the rest especially the chest and legs.
  • Make sure to cut in the direction of the coat.
  • Make sure to “shave through without slopes” so everything is even aware of sensitive areas such as the ears, head, paws, muzzle, and tail.
  • After clipping, re-comb the coat to remove any loose hair, by then you may also notice your dog slowly relaxing as you comb the fur.

How To Treat Cocker Spaniel Matted hair?

cocker spaniel hair cutsIt is important to give cocker spaniel regular care (daily and every 3 months) to avoid entanglement. Otherwise, it will cause terrible pain and discomfort. This can lead to inflammation.

A proper and healthy diet also plays an important role in your dog’s coat. Giving your cocker spaniel quality pet food and a happy environment can keep him from getting tangled.

However, if the mating is already there, you can use a detangling spray and carefully comb and brush the fur every day until the tangles are loosened.

Cocker Spaniel’s Itching Skin After Clipping

Cocker spaniel’s sensitive skin can sometimes suffer from skin irritation after clipping and hand stripping. If this happens, you can use medicated shampoos and sprays to moisturize the skin and prevent bacterial growth or inflammation.

How To Clean The Clipper?

Use a brush to clean your clippers every time you use them. Cleanliness is important to ensure the durability of the tool and the main blade must be kept sharp to avoid injury when cutting the coat.

Can You Use a Human Hair Clipper As a Pet Clipper For Your Cocker Spaniel?

Although human clippers and pet clippers have the same function, a dog’s coat is thicker than that of a human hair.

Human razors can only be applied to shave a person’s head and are too weak to use on a dog’s coat.

Always keep in mind that an ordinary clipper is risky, as it could become entangled in the fur and the hairs will be pulled instead of being cut. It can cause pain or worse, damage your pet’s skin.

Should You bathe Your Cocker spaniel before Clipping?

Yes, I recommend bathing your dog before clipping it to avoid minor injuries that may tend to occur and prevent dirt from creating inflammations. Also, a clean dog coat keeps clipper blades sharp for as long as possible. Dirt in the hair blunts the blades very quickly.