Cocker spaniels are wonderful pets and companions. All dogs require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and shiny, but cocker spaniels require a little extra grooming due to the nature of their coats, which are quite thick and can become easily matted. Some pet owners take their cocker spaniels to professional dog groomers, but there is no reason why you can’t groom your cocker spaniel at home, as long as you have the right tools and know the basics about cocker spaniel grooming.
First, you’ll need the right tools. You should always buy the highest quality tools you can afford because they will need to be sturdy and well made to last as long as possible. High quality tools can also greatly reduce the risk of accidentally injuring your dog; dull scissors, for example, may make you cut too hard and you could accidentally nick your dog’s skin.
The most basic tools you will need to groom your cocker spaniel are: grooming scissors, thinning shears, dog clippers and blades (3 3/4 blade, 10 blade, 15 blade), wide toothed matting comb, and a large brush. For cocker spaniels, you should ideally choose a pin brush, which is better for thicker coats.
In addition to grooming tools, you’ll want to choose the right kind of shampoo and conditioner. Cocker spaniels are particularly prone to seborrhea, a skin disease which makes their coats greasy and causes skin dandruff. If you believe your dog has seborrhea, consult your veterinarian, as they will be able to recommend shampoos that can help alleviate your dog’s condition and won’t exacerbate it further.
Grooming Your Dog Step by Step
Grooming Guide – Cocker Spaniel
Step One: The first step is to give your dog a thorough brushing on both its outer and inner coat. You should first use a wide toothed comb to pick out the mats until you can comb right through them. Then, use your brush to thoroughly brush your dog all over, making sure to get both coats. If there are mats that you can’t comb through, do not brush them–you’ll need to use sharp scissors to cut out the matted portions. If you need to cut out any matted pieces, be extremely careful, never cut near the skin and never cut anything unless your dog is perfectly still and calm.
Step Two: Now you’ll need to shampoo your dog using warm (but not hot) water and the shampoo and conditioner of your choice. Make sure you are gentle and rinse the dog well to get rid of any soap residue. Most dogs do not to be bathed more than every three months.
Step Three: After your dog is completely dry, you may want to shave certain parts of your dog depending on your personal preference for their appearance. Many cocker spaniel owners partially shave areas such as the tail and belly.
Step Four: Finally, you’ll need to perform any necessary touch-ups, such as gently cleaning the area around your dog’s eyes with a soft towel and a small amount of warm water.