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Are Cocker Spaniels Good With Other Dogs? Helpful Tips & Facts

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker

cocker spaniel playing with jack russell terrier dog at the beach

If you wonder if the Cocker Spaniel gets along with other animals, the short answer is yes! This playful breed quickly makes friends with other dogs and people, with many owners reporting that they even get along with cats. Keep reading as we list several other reasons that the Cocker Spaniel makes a great family pet!

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Will a Cocker Spaniel Get Along With Other Dogs?

Every Cocker Spaniel, like any other breed, has a unique personality that determines if they get along with other pets. That said, in general, the Cocker Spaniel has a long reputation as a friendly and outgoing dog that enjoys the company of other pets. They are extremely playful and like attention, so having a second or even third dog in the house to help keep them entertained can be a great way to help them burn off excess energy so they don’t keep you up at night or bother the neighbors with frequent barking.

Will a Cocker Spaniel Get Along With Cats?

Yes. Since the Cocker Spaniel is a bird-hunting dog, they don’t usually have a strong desire to chase small animals, like cats, rabbits, and squirrels, and they can be quite friendly with pet cats. In fact, many owners report that they get along better with cats than other dogs. Socializing your Cocker Spaniel with cats and other animals as a puppy is the best way to ensure that they will get along as adults.

gray tabby kitten sleeping with an English cocker spaniel
Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

The 3 Things to Consider Before Getting a Second Pet

1. Your Current Pet

One of the most important things to consider before getting another pet is how your current pet will feel about it. They might see a new Cocker Spaniel as a threat if they get nervous or protective around strange animals, especially if they didn’t spend much time with other animals as a puppy. If they aren’t happy with the new pet, they might become aggressive or withdrawn or even engage in strange behaviors, like overeating and barking. Your pet’s age might also be an important factor in your decision. If your existing pet is a senior, they might not be healthy enough to keep up with a young puppy.

2. Cost

Adding a second puppy to your household can be quite costly. You will need to buy twice as much food, and you will also need to go to the vet more often and pay for any procedures that they need. Grooming and pet insurance will also cost more, though some plans offer discounts when you add additional pets.

3. Time

Another thing to consider before getting a second dog is how to make time for them. Cocker Spaniels need 45–90 minutes of daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. The right amount of activity will also help them burn off excess energy so they don’t keep you up at night. Additionally, you will need to spend time training, grooming, and bonding with your dog without neglecting the original pet.

three cocker spaniel dogs in the grass
Image Credit: Colin Seddon, Shutterstock

The 3 Ways to Help Your Cocker Spaniel Get Along With Other Dogs

1. Let the dogs have space to become friends at a comfortable pace.

Certain dogs will take longer to get friendly with another dog, and trying to rush them can create hostility. Some dogs will become friends immediately, but others can take weeks or months to become well acquainted.

2. Ensure that there are plenty of treats to go around.

Also praise your pets when they behave in order to create a fun and accepting environment that helps both dogs feel comfortable.

3. Letting the dogs meet in a neutral area can help ease tension.

A local park works well because neither dog will feel like the other is invading their territory.

cocker spaniel running after an American eskimo dog in the snow
Image Credit: Sandra Velez-Lopez, Shutterstock

Interesting Facts About the Cocker Spaniel

  • The Cocker Spaniel is the smallest sporting breed that the American Kennel Club recognizes.
  • The Cocker Spaniel gets their name from the woodcock, the type of bird that it specializes in hunting.
  • In 2004, a Cocker Spaniel named Tangle became the first cancer-detecting dog when he beat out other breeds with a 56% accuracy. His ability to sniff out cancer increased to 80% with training.
  • American and English Cocker Spaniels are different, the American version has a rounder head, while the English dog has a longer snout.

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Cocker Spaniels are great with other dogs and get along with cats and rabbits too. Breeders developed them to hunt birds, so they don’t have a strong small-prey drive like many other dog breeds. Cocker Spaniels are also naturally friendly and playful, so they begin the friendship process. Be patient, though, and give the dogs plenty of room to become friends. Introduce them at a neutral location when possible, and don’t forget to keep plenty of treats on hand to ensure that it’s an enjoyable experience for both dogs.

Featured Image Credit: Larina Marina, Shutterstock

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