For those who own an American Cocker Spaniel, it’s no secret that these dogs are beloved family members. Not only do they have amazing personalities, but they also come in a variety of beautiful coat types. However, with different coat types comes different care requirements. It can be confusing to know what type of coat your Cocker Spaniel has and how to properly care for it. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to help you understand the different coat types and how to care for each one. So, whether your Cocker Spaniel has a curly, long, or flat coat, we’ve got you covered with all the grooming tips and tools you’ll need. Read on to learn more!

Understanding American Cocker Spaniel’s Coat Types

Understanding American Cocker Spaniel'S Coat Types
Have you ever wondered why American Cocker Spaniels have such beautiful coats and what sets them apart from other breeds? Understanding the various coat types is important for maintaining your furry friend’s coat health and overall well-being. Each type of coat requires different care techniques and tools to ensure it looks healthy and shiny. By understanding the different types of coats, you’ll be able to choose the right tools and techniques to keep your American Cocker Spaniel looking their best. In this section, we will explore the various coat types of American Cocker Spaniel, including Curly Coats, Flat Coats, Long Coats, Short Coats, and Broken Coats.

Curly Coats

Curly coats are one of the most distinctive and recognizable traits of American Cocker Spaniels. With their adorable curls and fluffy appearance, these coats require a bit more maintenance than other types.

Characteristics of Curly Coats

Curly coats are composed of tight curls or waves that cover the entire body of the American Cocker Spaniel. The curls can vary in size but are typically uniform and dense. This type of coat is considered hypoallergenic since it doesn’t shed much.

Caring for Curly Coats

To keep your Cocker’s curly coat looking great, you’ll need to take extra measures to keep it clean and free from tangles. Here are some tips to keep your American Cocker Spaniel’s curly coat healthy and shiny:

Regular BrushingCurly coats require daily brushing with a slicker brush to prevent mats and tangles from forming. During shedding season, you may need to brush your Cocker several times a day to remove loose hair and prevent it from matting.
Frequent BathingCurly coats require bathing every four to six weeks to maintain their natural oils and prevent tangling. Be sure to use a high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner that won’t dry out their skin.
Professional Grooming If you’re finding it difficult to manage your Cocker’s curly coat, consider taking them to a professional groomer. A groomer can trim and shape their coat to prevent matting and keep it healthy.
Dealing with TanglesTangles are common in curly coats, but you can avoid them by keeping your Cocker’s coat regularly brushed. However, if you notice your dog has tangles, try using a detangling spray or a slicker brush to gently remove them. You can also use scissors to cut out any severe mats.

Grooming a curly coat American Cocker Spaniel is no easy feat, but with regular care, you can keep your pup looking adorable and healthy. Remember, if you need more guidance, you can always reach out to a professional groomer or your veterinarian for help.

If you’re interested in learning more about caring for your Cocker’s coat, check out our Cocker Coat Health Tips.

Flat Coats

The American Cocker Spaniel’s flat coat type is characterized by straight and shiny hair that lies close to the skin. This coat type does not have curls or waves, so it is easier to care for than other coat types. However, it can still become dirty and tangled if not properly maintained.

Grooming: Flat coat type requires weekly grooming to keep it clean and shiny. Use a slicker brush or a pin brush to remove any loose hair or debris. Be gentle while brushing so that you don’t damage the hair.

Bathing: Bathe your American Cocker Spaniel with a mild dog shampoo once every four to six weeks. Flat coat type dogs do not need to be bathed as frequently as other coat types, but regular bathing helps to keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Trimming: Flat coat types do not require as much trimming as other coat types. However, you may need to trim the hair around their ears and paws to keep it from becoming too long.

Tangles and mats: If your American Cocker Spaniel develops tangles or mats in their flat coat, use a slicker brush or a pin brush to gently comb out any knots. Apply a detangling spray before brushing to make the process easier. If the tangles are severe, you may need to trim them out with scissors.

To keep your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat healthy and prevent skin and coat problems, regular grooming is a must. You can learn more about understanding and managing shedding in Cocker Spaniels by clicking here. Additionally, if your American Cocker Spaniel is experiencing any skin or coat problems, you can learn more about them by clicking here. For tips on dealing with Cocker Spaniel coat tangles, check out our article here.

Long Coats

The American Cocker Spaniel’s long coat requires frequent grooming to keep it healthy and looking its best. These coats are prone to tangling and matting, so it’s important to brush your furry friend’s coat daily. Long coats also require periodic trimming to keep the hair from getting too long and making your pet uncomfortable.

Here are some tips for taking care of your American Cocker’s long coat:

  • Invest in a good quality brush: A brush designed for long hair is a must-have when caring for your American Cocker’s long coat. A slicker brush or pinbrush will work well to remove tangles and loose hairs.
  • Use a detangling spray: If your dog’s coat has a lot of tangles and mats, consider using a detangling spray to help loosen the knots. These sprays can be used before brushing to make the grooming process easier and less painful for your pet.
  • Trim the hair around the ears: Long hair around the ears can mat easily and cause discomfort. Trim this hair regularly to prevent mats from forming.
  • Clip the hair around the anus: This area can become messy if the hair is allowed to grow too long. Clipping this hair will help keep your pet clean and prevent mats from forming.
  • Bathe your pet regularly: Bathing your American Cocker regularly will help keep its long coat clean and healthy. Use a shampoo designed for long-haired dogs and follow up with a conditioner to prevent tangles.
  • Check for ticks and fleas: Long coats can provide a hiding place for ticks and fleas. Be sure to check your pet regularly for these pests and treat them promptly if you find any.

By following these tips and establishing a consistent grooming routine, you can help keep your American Cocker Spaniel’s long coat healthy and shiny. Remember to be gentle when brushing your pet’s coat, especially when dealing with tangles and mats. With patience and persistence, you and your furry friend can enjoy a happy and healthy life together.

Short Coats

American Cocker Spaniels with short coats are not as common as other coat types. These dogs have a coat that lies close to their body and is relatively easy to maintain. Short-coated Cocker Spaniels are prone to shedding, but not as much as dogs with longer coats.

Since short-coated Cocker Spaniels are low maintenance when it comes to grooming, brushing them with a slicker brush once or twice a week will usually suffice. However, during shedding season, it’s best to brush their coat more frequently to help remove all the loose fur.

You can also use shedding tools like de-shedding combs to remove the undercoat and reduce shedding. Bathing these dogs doesn’t need to be done as often as their coat doesn’t trap dirt and debris as easily. However, when bath time comes, it’s important to use a mild dog shampoo and to avoid getting water in their ears.

Proper nutrition is crucial for maintaining the overall health of your short-coated Cocker Spaniel. Feed them high-quality dog food that is balanced in protein, fat, and other essential nutrients. It’s best to avoid food that contains fillers or artificial preservatives.

If you notice any unusual changes in your short-coated Cocker Spaniel’s skin, such as dryness or flakiness, make sure to take them to the vet for a check-up. A healthy diet, regular grooming, and plenty of love and exercise go a long way in keeping your American Cocker Spaniel with a short coat healthy and happy!

Short Coats Care List:

  • Use slicker brush once/twice a week for grooming
  • Use shedding tool or de-shedding comb for shedding season
  • Avoid bathing too often, use mild dog shampoo
  • Feed high-quality, balanced dog food and avoid fillers or artificial preservatives
  • Take your dog to the vet for a check-up if you notice skin issues

Broken Coats

Broken coats are a unique type of coat that is found in American Cocker Spaniels. This type of coat has both curly and flat hair, giving it a broken or uneven appearance. Broken coats are coarse in texture and have longer hair around the ears, eyebrows, and chest.

The benefit of a broken coat is that it requires less maintenance than other types of coats. Since the hair is not uniform in length, it doesn’t easily mat or tangle. However, regular brushing is still necessary to keep the coat healthy and shiny.

To care for a broken coat, you should brush your American Cocker Spaniel with a slicker brush or pin brush at least once a week. This will help remove any loose hair and prevent matting. You should also trim the hair around your dog’s ears, eyebrows, and chest to keep these areas neat and tidy.

Here are some tips for brushing a American Cocker Spaniel with a broken coat:

  • Start brushing from the head and work your way down to the tail.
  • Use a slicker brush or pin brush to remove loose hair and tangles.
  • Ensure that all mats and tangles are removed before bathing your dog.
  • For particularly stubborn mats, you can use a dematting tool to break them up.
  • Be gentle when brushing around your dog’s ears, as this area is particularly sensitive.
  • Don’t forget to brush your dog’s tail and legs, as these areas can also develop tangles.

It’s also essential to give your American Cocker Spaniel regular baths to keep their coat clean and healthy. However, avoid washing your dog too often, as this can strip their coat of its natural oils and cause dryness and irritation.

To sum up, a broken coat is a unique type of coat that is low maintenance but still requires regular brushing and trimming. With proper care and grooming, your American Cocker Spaniel will look and feel their best.

Caring for Your American Cocker Spaniel’s Coat

Caring For Your American Cocker Spaniel'S Coat
As a dog owner, it’s important to keep your furry friend’s coat healthy and well-groomed. This is especially true for American Cocker Spaniels, who have a range of coat types with specific care needs. Whether your Cocker Spaniel has a curly, flat, long, short or broken coat, proper grooming is essential for their overall health and comfort. In this section, we’ll dive into the specific steps you can take to care for your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat, so they can look and feel their best.

Daily Brushing

Regular brushing of your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat should be a part of your daily routine as it helps keep their coat in good condition and prevents matting and tangling. The frequency of brushing depends on their coat type, but it’s generally recommended to brush them at least once a day. Here are some tips on how to properly brush your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat:

Step 1:Start by using a slicker brush to remove any loose or dead hair from your dog’s coat. Use short, gentle strokes, making sure not to brush too hard, which can irritate their skin.
Step 2:Next, use a bristle brush to smooth down the hair and distribute their natural oils, which help keep their coat healthy and shiny.
Step 3:If your dog has long hair, use a metal comb to work through any mats or tangles. Start at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the roots, slowly and gently teasing the tangle apart. Do not pull or cut out mats, as this can be painful for your dog.
Step 4:Remember to give extra attention to some areas which are more prone to matting, such as behind the ears, armpits, and underneath the legs.
Step 5:Use a rubber brush to massage your dog’s skin and promote blood circulation. This also helps remove any loose hair or dirt that may be stuck to their coat.

Tip: If your American Cocker Spaniel gets anxious or fidgety during brushing, try breaking the process up into shorter sessions or giving them a treat every time they sit still. This will help make brushing a positive experience for them.

Brushing your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat on a daily basis is an essential part of their grooming routine. It not only keeps them looking good but also helps prevent skin irritation and matting. With the proper tools and techniques, brushing your dog can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and your American Cocker Spaniel.


Proper bathing is essential for maintaining the health and cleanliness of your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat. However, over-bathing can strip the natural oils from their skin and cause skin problems, so it’s important to find the right balance. Here are some tips for bathing your furry friend:

Bathing FrequencyShort Coats: Once every 4-6 weeks
Curly and Long Coats: Once every 6-8 weeks 
Shampoo SelectionChoose a high-quality dog shampoo that’s specifically formulated for their coat type. Avoid using human shampoo, as it can irritate their skin. Consult with your veterinarian for any special shampoo recommendations for your dog’s specific needs.
Water TemperatureMake sure the water is lukewarm, at about the same temperature as their body. Avoid using hot water, as it can dry out their skin and cause discomfort. Also, avoid cold water, as it can cause them to shiver and become uncomfortable.
Bathing TechniqueWet your dog’s coat thoroughly and apply shampoo, starting with their head and working your way down. Be careful not to get soap in their eyes, ears or mouth. Work up a good lather, focusing on areas that tend to get dirty, like their paws, underbelly, and around their tail. Rinse their coat thoroughly until all soap is removed.
Towel DryingGently squeeze excess water from your dog’s coat with a towel. Dry them thoroughly, especially the long and curly coats, which can develop skin issues if left damp. Use a blow dryer on a low setting, if necessary, to avoid matting and tangles.
Post-Bath CareAfter bathing, make sure to keep your dog warm and dry, avoiding drafts or cold floors. Brush their coat while it’s still damp to prevent tangles and mats from forming as the coat dries. Use this time to check for any skin irritations, lumps or bumps on their coat, and consult with your veterinarian if you notice anything unusual.

Taking care of your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat through regular bathing and grooming can help ensure a healthy and happy pup. Remember to consult with your veterinarian and use high-quality grooming products for best results.

Trimming and Clipping

Trimming and clipping your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat is a crucial part of keeping it healthy and looking its best. The type of clip or trim you choose will depend on your personal preferences, as well as your dog’s coat type and lifestyle.

Here are some tips for trimming and clipping your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat:

  • Use the right equipment: Make sure you have the right tools for the job, including high-quality clippers with sharp blades, scissors, and a comb.
  • Choose the right clip: There are different types of clips you can choose from, including the puppy clip, the sporting clip, and the show clip. The puppy clip is a short, even cut that is easy to maintain, while the sporting clip is longer and more natural-looking. The show clip is the most elaborate and requires the most maintenance, but it is also the most polished and refined.
  • Start slowly: If you’re new to trimming and clipping your dog’s coat, start slowly and work in small sections. Make sure your dog is comfortable and relaxed, and use treats to reward good behavior.
  • Be gentle: Use a light touch when clipping or trimming your dog’s coat, and avoid pressing too hard or cutting too close to the skin. This can cause discomfort or even injury.
  • Trim around the eyes and ears: Use scissors to carefully trim around your dog’s eyes and ears, taking care not to get too close to the eyes or ear canal.
  • Trim the paws: Trim the hair around your dog’s paw pads to help prevent mats and reduce the risk of injury from slipping or sliding.
  • Finish with a comb: Once you’ve finished clipping or trimming your dog’s coat, use a comb to smooth out any rough spots or tangles.

Remember, regular trimming and clipping is an important part of caring for your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat. It helps to prevent mats and tangles and keeps your dog looking and feeling their best.

Dealing with Mats and Tangles

Mats and tangles can be a common problem in American Cocker Spaniels due to their long and wavy fur. It’s important to deal with this problem as soon as you notice it, to prevent it from becoming more severe. Here are some tips for dealing with mats and tangles:

Use the right toolsUsing the appropriate grooming tools such as slicker brushes, combs with rotating teeth, and de-matting combs can make the job a lot easier. These tools are designed to help untangle mats without pulling the fur or causing pain to your American Cocker Spaniel.
Work slowly and patientlyDe-matting can be a time-consuming process, especially if your American Cocker Spaniel has severe mats or tangles. It’s important to work slowly and patiently, so you don’t accidentally hurt your furry friend. Start from the outside of the mat or tangle and work your way in. You can use your fingers to gently work out small mats or tangles.
Apply detangler sprayYou can apply detangler spray to your American Cocker Spaniel’s fur to help loosen the mats or tangles. These sprays can also make the fur more manageable and less prone to tangling. However, make sure to choose a high-quality detangler spray that is safe for dogs.
Be mindful of sensitive areasBe extra careful when grooming sensitive areas such as the ears, paws, and belly. These areas are more prone to matting, and your furry friend may have a lower pain threshold in these areas. Use a more gentle approach and try to work out mats with your fingers instead of the brush or comb.
Seek professional help if necessaryIf your American Cocker Spaniel has severe mats or tangles, it may be best to seek professional help. A professional dog groomer can safely and effectively remove the mats without causing discomfort to your furry friend. Additionally, they can provide you with tips and recommendations on how to prevent mats and tangles in the future.

Remember, mats and tangles can be a painful and uncomfortable problem for your American Cocker Spaniel. Taking care of your furry friend’s coat regularly and properly can help prevent this problem from happening in the first place.

Grooming Tools for Your American Cocker Spaniel

As a proud owner of an American Cocker Spaniel, you want to ensure that your furry friend’s coat is always looking its best. In order to achieve this, you will need to invest in the right grooming tools that address his particular coat type. With so many pet grooming products available on the market, selecting the best tools for your Cocker Spaniel can be a daunting task. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this section of the article, we’ll explore some of the essential grooming tools that you’ll need to keep your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat healthy and beautiful.


When it comes to grooming your American Cocker Spaniel, having the right brushes in your grooming kit is absolutely essential. Here are some of the most popular types of brushes to help you care for your furry friend’s coat:

  • Slicker Brush: This brush has fine wires that are close together, making it perfect for removing mats, tangles, and loose fur. Make sure to use it gently, as the wires can be sharp and potentially scratch your dog’s skin.
  • Bristle Brush: If your American Cocker Spaniel has a short or medium-length coat, a bristle brush can be a great tool for removing loose hair and dirt. It’s also gentle enough to use daily without irritating their skin.
  • Pin Brush: This brush has long, flexible pins that are great for removing tangles or knots in your pet’s coat. It’s also a great tool for fluffing up their fur and making it look fuller.
  • Undercoat Rake: This brush is ideal for dogs who shed heavily. It can remove the loose, dead undercoat fur without damaging the topcoat.
  • Grooming Glove: This is a perfect tool for dogs who don’t like regular brushes. It’s essentially a glove with rubber nubs that you can use to massage your dog and remove loose fur at the same time.

Remember that using the right brush for your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat is important, as using the wrong type can actually do more harm than good. When brushing your dog, make sure to be gentle and never force out mats or tangles, as this can cause discomfort and pain for your furry friend.


Combs are essential tools for maintaining your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat. There are various types of combs available, each serving a specific purpose. It’s important to choose the right comb to achieve the best results when grooming your furry friend. Here are some of the different types of combs:

  • Flea comb: This is a fine-toothed comb used to remove fleas and their eggs from your dog’s coat. It can also be used to remove small debris and dirt from the coat.
  • Detangling comb: This comb has widely spaced teeth and is used to gently remove mats and tangles from your dog’s hair. It’s best to use this type of comb before brushing.
  • Wide-toothed comb: This comb has bigger spaces between its teeth and is used to remove loose hair and debris from your dog’s coat. It’s ideal for dogs with thick or curly coats.
  • Metal comb: This comb is perfect for coats that require extra attention to detail. It has fine teeth that can remove tangles and mats while also smoothing out the coat. However, it should be used with care, as it can be rough on your dog’s skin.

Remember to use combs gently and avoid tugging or pulling too hard on your dog’s hair. Always start the grooming process by using a detangling or wide-toothed comb to remove any mats or tangles. Once your dog’s coat is free of tangles, you can use a metal or fine-toothed comb to smooth out the coat and remove any remaining debris.

With the right tools and consistent grooming practices, you can keep your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat looking healthy and shiny. Don’t forget to give your furry friend plenty of love and attention during grooming sessions for a happy and healthy pup!


One essential grooming tool for your American Cocker Spaniel is a good set of clippers. Clippers are used to trim your dog’s hair to keep it at a manageable length. There are two types of clippers available: electric and manual. Electric clippers are easier to use and can get the job done faster, while manual clippers take more time and effort to use but can provide more precise cuts.

When choosing clippers, look for ones that are specifically designed for dogs, as they will have the appropriate blade size and strength for a dog’s hair.
Some popular options include the Andis ProClip AGC2 and the Oster A5 Turbo 2-Speed. It’s important to choose clippers that are known for their durability and precision to ensure a smooth and easy grooming experience.

Before using clippers on your American Cocker Spaniel, it’s important to make sure their coat is clean and tangle-free. Start by brushing out any mats or tangles using a slicker brush and comb. This will prevent the clippers from getting stuck or pulling on your dog’s coat.

When clipping, use a steady hand and make slow, gentle movements. Avoid rushing or pressing too hard, as this can cause injury to your dog or result in an uneven cut. It’s also important to choose the right length blade for the specific area you are clipping, as different areas of your American Cocker Spaniel’s body may require different lengths.

After clipping, clean the clippers and store them in a safe place. Regular maintenance and cleaning will help prolong the life of your clippers and ensure they continue to work effectively. Keep in mind that while clippers can be a useful tool for maintaining your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat, they should not be relied upon as the sole method of grooming. Regular brushing and bathing are also important aspects of keeping your dog’s coat healthy and beautiful.


When it comes to grooming your American Cocker Spaniel, having a good pair of scissors is important for creating a neat and tidy appearance. Scissors are used for trimming the hair around the face, paws, and other sensitive areas of your pup’s body. There are several different types of scissors that you can use to groom your dog’s coat. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

Scissor TypeDescription
Straight scissorsStraight scissors are the most commonly used type of grooming scissors. They have a straight blade that is perfect for trimming straight lines and cutting through thick hair.
Curved scissorsCurved scissors have a blade that is curved from the handle to the tip. This makes them perfect for trimming hair around the face and paws. They are also great for creating a natural-looking trim on your dog’s coat.
Thinning scissorsThinning scissors have a serrated blade that is designed to thin out thick hair without cutting it. They are great for reducing bulk and creating a more natural-looking finish to your dog’s coat.
Blunt-tip scissorsBlunt-tip scissors have a rounded tip that makes them ideal for trimming hair around delicate areas such as your dog’s ears and eyes. They are also a great choice for trimming your pup’s nails.

No matter what type of scissors you choose, it’s important to keep them sharp and clean. A dull pair of scissors can pull and tug at your dog’s hair, which can be uncomfortable and even painful. And if your scissors are dirty or rusty, they can cause skin irritation or infection.

When using any type of scissors on your American Cocker Spaniel, be sure to use caution and take your time. Always work slowly and carefully, and never force your dog into uncomfortable positions. With careful attention and the right tools, you can ensure that your pup’s coat remains healthy and well-groomed.


After reading this article, you should now have a better understanding of the different coat types of American Cocker Spaniels and how to properly care for each one. It’s important to remember that each coat type requires different levels of maintenance, and neglecting your dog’s coat can lead to health problems and discomfort.

When it comes to brushing, daily maintenance is key. Use the appropriate brushes and combs for your dog’s specific coat type to avoid damaging their hair. Bathing should be done as needed, but not too frequently as it can strip the coat of its natural oils. Trimming and clipping should be done regularly and if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, take your dog to a professional groomer.

It’s also important to address any mats and tangles immediately, as they can lead to further problems such as skin irritation and excessive shedding. Grooming tools such as clippers and scissors can be helpful when maintaining your dog’s coat, but make sure to use them properly and safely.

Overall, taking care of your American Cocker Spaniel’s coat is an important part of their overall health and happiness. With proper maintenance and the right tools, you can help your furry friend look and feel their best.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a curly coat and a flat coat American Cocker Spaniel?

A curly coat is tighter and more dense than a flat coat, which is smoother and less textured.

What is the best way to care for a long coat American Cocker Spaniel?

Regular brushing and trimming is important for a long coat to avoid matting and tangling.

How often should I bathe my American Cocker Spaniel?

It is recommended to bathe them every 4-6 weeks to maintain their coat’s health and cleanliness.

What is a broken coat for an American Cocker Spaniel?

A broken coat is a mix between a curly and a flat coat, with hair of different lengths and textures throughout.

Do American Cocker Spaniels shed a lot?

Yes, they do shed, but regular brushing will help minimize shedding and keep their coat healthy.

Can I use human shampoo on my American Cocker Spaniel?

No, human shampoo is not suitable for dogs and can cause irritation to their skin. Use a shampoo specifically made for dogs.

What type of brush is best for an American Cocker Spaniel?

A slicker brush is best for an American Cocker Spaniel’s thick and curly coat.

Is it necessary to take my American Cocker Spaniel to a professional groomer?

It is not necessary, but a professional groomer can help maintain their coat and offer additional grooming services.

What should I do if my American Cocker Spaniel has a stubborn mat or tangle?

Use a dematting tool or scissors to carefully cut out the mat, being careful not to cut the skin or surrounding fur.

How can I prevent ear infections in my American Cocker Spaniel?

Clean their ears regularly and ensure they are well-ventilated to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to infections.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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