Keeping your English Cocker Spaniel properly groomed is a big task. Their dense, silky coats are prone to mats and tangles, and the feathering requires careful attention. They also need to have their ears checked a few times a week to make sure that infections from scratches, bites or debris are not getting a foothold. On this page, you'll learn a bit about how to perform some of the grooming duties these high-maintenance dogs need.
English Cocker Spaniel grooming is important for more than merely keeping the dog looking elegant, clean and beautiful. Proper coat care is essential for the dog's health. If mats, tangles, and debris are allowed to remain, infections, sores and odors will follow. As an example, the mats can create an environment underneath that invites bugs and fungus.
Grooming an English Cocker Spaniel at home is fine, but you should know that these dogs are notorious for being wriggly and impatient. If you are planning on have an extravagant show coat, you may want to consider a professional groomer. Even if you have someone else do it, you should have some idea of how to groom an English Cocker Spaniel.
There are many English Cocker Spaniels cut styles. Some are not for amateurs and should be done only by working professionals. A lot of the simpler grooming styles can be done by most people. These less showy yet more practical haircuts require less daily grooming as well.
The Show Cut requires several steps, from a long, gentle and thorough brushing, to a bath, to cage or towel drying to make the hair lay flat. The biggest feature is the skirt that makes the dog appear as a cone when sitting; even his feet disappear when done correctly. The head is clipped short and clean, and sometimes the hair is fashioned to make the round skull even taller. The ears look a lot like the rest of the body, hanging down like huge, silken cones with the points at the top.
The Basic Cut is a little like the Show Cut but without as much embellishment. There's a skirt, but it's often very short. The torso is cut short so as to minimize the daily brushing. Some people will want a little longer hair on the legs and ears, but the point of this cut is to have quick style and easier grooming.
The Sport Cut is sometimes called the Puppy Cut. Everything is short and uniformly so. This is good for minimal grooming and summer time. To add just a slight style, the ear hair might be left long.
Except for the Show Cut, you can learn to do most of these styles. The English Cocker Spaniel's hair grows back quickly, so it can make it a little easier to deal with if there is a mistake.