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Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic? Shedding Habits & FAQs

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By Nicole Cosgrove

black white tan cocker spaniel

If you’re wondering if cocker spaniels are hypoallergenic, the quick answer is no. Their coats consist of fur that sheds and releases the pet dander that can trigger allergies. Hypoallergenic coats are different from cocker spaniel coats and dogs that have fur coats as opposed to low-shed or hair-type coats. Read on to find out more about Cocker Spaniel coats and why they’re not hypoallergenic.

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Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic?

Cocker Spaniels are a small type of companion dog from the Spaniel breed family, known for their doting and loving personalities. Smart and surprisingly athletic, Cocker Spaniels can be great family pets if nobody in the family has allergies. Unfortunately, these adorable, sensitive dogs are not hypoallergenic and can trigger pet dander allergies.

Cocker Spaniel Coat Type

Cocker Spaniels have longhaired coats made of dog fur, which shed and release dander into their environment. Their legs, bellies, and tails have long, wispy feathering, though the American Cocker Spaniels have more feathering than the English Cockers. Spaniels need a moderate amount of grooming to prevent snarling and matting, which helps prevent odors as well.

open marked cocker spaniel
Image Credit: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock

Do Cocker Spaniels Shed a Lot?

Cocker Spaniels don’t shed as much as a big Golden Retriever, but they do shed moderately for their size. The more their coats are maintained and brushed out, the less they’ll shed. Like most dogs with fur coats, Cocker Spaniels have “shedding seasons” that lead to more fur around the home. If you’re allergic to pet dander, Cocker Spaniels will most likely trigger a reaction simply due to the length of their coats.

Are Cockapoos Hypoallergenic?

Although there’s a chance that your Cockapoo puppy might inherit the Cocker Spaniel coat, many Cockapoos (Miniature Poodle x Cocker Spaniel mix) end up with the hypoallergenic, hair-like coat of the poodle. If you’re looking into a Cocker Spaniels and don’t mind branching out to hybrids, the Cockapoo is a great alternative for allergen households.

cockapoo in its bed
Image Credit: Pixabay

What Makes a Dog ‘Hypoallergenic’?

While no dogs are truly hypoallergenic, dogs that have hair-like coats and minimal pet dander are far less likely to trigger pet-related allergies. The dander released from dogs’ coats is (usually) the allergen trigger, so it’s impossible to completely eliminate it. For people with mild to moderate allergies, the minimal amounts of dander from the hypoallergenic coats can live with them and not suffer on a daily basis. If you have severe pet dander allergies, a hypoallergenic dog still could trigger allergies.

Are There Any Spaniels That are Hypoallergenic?

Yes, there is one breed in the Spaniel family that has a hypoallergenic coat. Irish Water Spaniels have a thick, curly outercoat that requires a lot of maintenance, but the coats are similar to the poodle’s curly coat. These dogs are large in size and need a lot of daily exercise but are notable for their goofy and silly personalities.

Typical Irish Water Spaniel_Nikolai Belyakov_shutterstock
Image Credit: Nikolai Belyakov, Shutterstock

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Purebred Dogs Similar to Cocker Spaniels That Are Hypoallergenic

  • Poodle: One of the most popular dog breeds and known for their outstanding obedience, all sizes of poodles have the same wavy or curly coats. Their hair grows out like human hair, which needs to be clipped or cut for maintenance. All three sizes of the poodle are hypoallergenic.
  • Maltese: Maltese dogs are famous for their white, long coats that grow long and need daily brushing. Their coats are silky smooth to the touch, and need to be trimmed to prevent snarling and matting, but they don’t shed and are hypoallergenic.
  • Bichon Frise: Plush, fluffy white coats, and cheerful attitudes, Bichons are a popular choice for those who have allergies. Their coats, like many others in the hypoallergenic category, need plenty of brushing and clipping to prevent odors and tangles.
  • Schnauzer: All sizes of the Schnauzer have double-layers coats, but their minimal shedding and dander often land them in “Hypoallergenic” lists. Schnauzers are intelligent dogs with keen personalities, especially the serious Giant Schnauzer.
  • Yorkshire Terrier: Yorkshire Terriers might be famous for their spunky personalities, but their long, flowing, hypoallergenic coats are what makes them truly stand out. If you’re not ready to brush them every day, Yorkies can sport cute puppy cuts to keep their coats smooth.

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Cocker Spaniels & Allergies: Conclusion

Cocker Spaniels are a popular breed that can do well in many households, but their shedding coats and pet dander may prove to be too much for people allergic to dogs. They may not shed a lot when compared to a much larger dog, but the dander will probably still trigger allergies. We recommend looking for a dog breed that has a hair-like coat that has minimal dander or a breed that sheds very little if you or someone in your household has pet allergies.

Featured Image Credit: Sid74, Pixabay

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