As a dog owner who is allergic to dogs’ fur, it is totally understandable to have a desire to own a pup that doesn’t shed. The sad news, however, is that there are no completely hypoallergenic dogs. So, no matter how much you love the idea of having a pup, if you or any other family member is allergic, the idea can be discouraging.
Cocker Spaniels are quite popular as pet dogs because of their gregarious and affectionate nature. Unfortunately, these beautiful dogs shed moderately because they have double coats, and thus they are not hypoallergenic. However, before you lose hope, read this post to know more about this dog and its allergies—it is more complicated than you think.
A Dig Into Cocker Spaniel’s History
You might be thinking about Spain when you heard ‘Spaniel’ in the dog’s name. Guess what, you’re right because it means ‘Spanish Dog.’ These dogs were used as hunting dogs and companions, always on the go. The breed gained popularity when it was brought to the United States. Now, the American Spaniel Club is one of the most ancient breed clubs in the U.S.
Cocker Spaniel is a medium-sized dog that is known for its good temperament, socialization, intelligence, and compatibility. They are friendly and, the cherry on top, they can be easily trained. The American Cocker Spaniels are smaller than the English Spaniels. The former are also more gentle companions than the English ones, who are more energetic with their hunting instincts intact. For the same reasons, the American Cocker Spaniels are more popular among the American breeders.
What Is the Coat Type of Cocker Spaniel?
Cocker Spaniels have double longhaired coats which shed dander into the surroundings. They have long fur all over the belly, ears, chest, tail, and legs . The English Cockers have less feathering on their bodies as compared to the American Cockers. Because of their thick fur coats, Spaniels need regular grooming and care to prevent matting and snarling. The thick feathery coat of Cockers comes in different colors, including brown, black, buff, tan, white and buff, silver, and tri-color.
What Is the Temperament and Appearance of a Cocker Spaniel?
To state the obvious, the first thing to notice in the Cockers is their beautiful long furs. They have long ears and an innocent facial appearance. Cocker spaniels are not too bulky; their average height is 14 to 15 inches, while their average weight is around 22 to 28 pounds.
Cocker Spaniels don’t need much space for accommodation, they can adapt well to houses with yards, apartments, or condos. They are family dogs and prefer being with everyone rather than staying alone. They love to cuddle and are playful and joyous, which is why they’re considered the best family pets.
Their pups don’t respond well to anger and harsh treatment; all they need is love and care because they’re too sensitive. However, since these dogs are hunters by nature, they can start chasing small animals. So, keep them leashed when you’re out!
Do Cocker Spaniels Shed Too Much?
Before we dig into the details about how much Cocker Spaniels shed, you should know more about what triggers allergies in you from pets. Most people think that animal fur causes allergies, but most often, it is caused by urine, dander, and saliva. Also, people with allergies are very sensitive and get triggered even when there are no harmful things—allergens—around.
The immune system of sensitive people detects the proteins and other harmless compounds in your dog’s saliva or urine and then deems it as a dangerous thing. Thus, it tries its best to get rid of it and appears on the body in the form of an allergy.
Now you must be wondering about how much do Cocker spaniels shed? Well, Cocker Spaniels aren’t hypoallergenic dogs, and they shed moderately round-the-clock. But the amount of shedding grows in the shedding season. These dogs have furs over and under their coats. Also, the long strands of fur from the coat can come off easily.
However, while they generally shed, the amount of shedding also differs between individual Cockers. Because of too much fur, these dogs require a lot of combing and grooming to maintain their silk coat in good shape.
Do Cocker Spaniels Have Hair or Fur?
Cocker Spaniels have long hair coats. These dogs have longer and smoother hair as compared to furry animals that have shorter and denser ones. However, dog hair and fur both have the same chemical composition, and they both contain keratin, a fibrous protein. Dogs with hair need more grooming and brushing as compared to those with fur.
Can People With Allergies Keep Cockers?
If you or anyone in your house is sensitive to Cocker Spaniel allergies—or for that matter, any dog that sheds—then these dogs might not be a good choice as pets. If no one has allergy issues at your place, Cockers can prove to be ideal pets. However, since they shed a lot, they will shed whether they’re lying on the couch, going on a walk with you, or playing with you. So, it is recommended to put coverings on the furniture, especially on chairs and sofas.
Cocker spaniels also produce and carry dander inside the home with them, which can trigger reactions in people prone to allergies. Dander makes it harder for people with allergies to breathe and can turn the eyes watery and red. The fur of Cockers also contains pollen and dirt, which makes it more difficult for allergic people.
If you have an allergy and you still want to keep a Cocker Spaniel, we suggest consulting this with someone who already owns it. It will be better if you spend some time with the dog and see if you develop any sensitivity or allergic reaction to it. You should cuddle with the dog and allow it to lay on you for some minutes. If your eyes become watery or you start coughing and sneezing, it means that you aren’t a good fit to become this breed’s owner. We recommend going for any other similar breed that is hypoallergenic.
Are English Springer Spaniels hypoallergenic?
English Springer Spaniels aren’t hypoallergenic either. However, there is one Spaniel breed known as Irish Water Spaniels that are considered hypoallergenic. They fall in the ‘no shedding dogs’ category of the American Kennel Club. This breed has a thick curly coat that resembles a poodle’s coat. The Irish Water Spaniels are large in size—they are active and love being in the water. However, the answer to your question, ‘are English Cocker Spaniels hypoallergenic,’ is still a ‘no’ because this is a different breed.
American Cocker Spaniels aren’t hypoallergenic either, but they are not heavy shedders. However, they need more grooming as compared to the English Cocker Spaniels because their coats are thicker. The American breeds have shorter heads, but the ears are the same as their English cousins.
However, there is a lot of confusion regarding this topic. According to various tests done on dogs, it has been concluded that allergens produced by dogs differ from breed to breed. So, it is possible that you might be allergic to one breed but not the other. Truth be told, there is no dog that is completely free of allergens. If we say that a dog is hypoallergenic, it means that it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction as compared to those who aren’t hypoallergenic.
We started with the question, ‘are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic?’ Though the answer to it is a clear no! But we learnt a lot more facts related to the subject. We can conclude by saying that people with allergies, even if they are seasonal or mild, cannot keep this dog as a pet. The bodies of Cocker Spaniels shed hair and produce dander that can trigger allergies.
If you have a Cocker Spaniel or have decided to welcome him at your place, we recommend grooming and bathing the dog on a regular basis. It is imperative that you maintain healthy skin by using supplements. Also, dust and vacuum your home frequently, and if possible, buy a HEPA air filter for your space.