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Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic? Shedding Habits & FAQs

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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If you’re wondering if Cocker Spaniels are hypoallergenic, the quick answer is no. Their coats consist of fur that sheds and releases the dander that can trigger allergies. Hypoallergenic coats are different from Spaniel coats and usually have hair instead of fur, like the coat of a Poodle. You can read on to learn more about Cocker Spaniel coats and why they’re not hypoallergenic.


Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic?

Cocker Spaniels are small companion dogs from the Spaniel family, and they’re known for their doting and loving personalities. They’re smart and surprisingly athletic and can be great family pets if no one in the family has allergies. Unfortunately, the adorable, sensitive dogs are not hypoallergenic and can trigger allergies.

Cocker Spaniel Coat Type

Cocker Spaniels have longhaired coats of 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 matting, which also helps prevent odors.

open marked cocker spaniel
Image Credit: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock

Do Cocker Spaniels Shed a Lot?

Cocker Spaniels don’t shed as much as Golden Retrievers, but they shed moderately for their size. The more their coats are maintained and brushed, 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, some 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 Spaniel and don’t mind branching out to hybrids, the Cockapoo is an excellent alternative for allergy sufferers.

cockapoo in its bed
Image Credit: Pixabay

What Makes a Dog ‘Hypoallergenic’?

Although no dogs are truly hypoallergenic, those with hair-like coats and minimal pet dander are far less likely to trigger allergies. The dander released from dogs’ coats is (usually) the allergen trigger, so it’s impossible to eliminate it.

For people with mild to moderate allergies, the minimal amounts of dander from hypoallergenic dogs may not trigger symptoms, but they can react differently to dogs of the same breed. If you have severe pet dander allergies, a hypoallergenic dog could still 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. They’re larger than Cocker Spaniels 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: As one of the most popular breeds known for their outstanding obedience, the poodle has 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 long, white coats that need daily brushing. Their coats are silky smooth to the touch and need to be trimmed to prevent matting, but they don’t shed and are hypoallergenic.
  • Bichon Frise: With plush, fluffy white coats and cheerful attitudes, Bichons are a popular choice for those with allergies. Like many others in the hypoallergenic category, their coats 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 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 make them truly stand out. If you’re not ready to brush them daily, Yorkies can sport cute puppy cuts to keep their coats smooth.



Cocker Spaniels are a popular breed that does well in many households, but their shedding coats and pet dander may be too much for people allergic to dogs. They may not shed much compared to other breeds of a similar size, but their dander will still trigger allergies. We recommend looking for a breed with a hair-like coat or one that sheds very little if you or someone in your household has dog allergies.

Featured Image Credit: Glikiri, Shutterstock

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