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Bocker (Beagle & Cocker Spaniel Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Beagle and Cocker Spaniel (Bocker)

Height: 12-15 inches
Weight: 20-30 pounds
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Colors: White, black, brown
Suitable for: Active families, those looking for a low-shedding dog
Temperament: Loyal, loving, intelligent, easy to train, friendly, gets along with other pets

The Beagle and Cocker Spaniel mix is often called the Bocker. It typically has the appearance of one parent breed and the characteristics of the other. It may be bred as a working dog but more commonly makes an excellent family pet because it is eager to please its owners and dotes on family members.

The Bocker is considered a good breed for first-time owners because they are energetic but also obedient. They are as happy playing as they are snuggling up on the sofa at night. The Bocker will usually get along well with all family members, including children, as well as other dogs, cats, and any other pets in the home. Although the breed is not considered aggressive, it makes a good guard dog because it is protective over its family members and will bark at intruders and signs of trouble.

One of the oldest known breeds in the world, the Beagle was used as a hunting dog in the 14th century. Having been accepted into the American Kennel Club at the end of the 19th century, they are the fifth most popular dog breed today. The Cocker Spaniel originated in the US in the 19th century and got their name because they were especially good at flushing out woodcocks.

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Beagle Cocker Spaniel Mix Puppies


The Bocker comes from two very popular dog breeds, but it is a relatively unknown breed. This means that you can pick up a Bocker puppy at a fairly reasonable price.

Ensure that you find a good breeder. Ask to meet the parents, if possible, and any litter siblings that the breeder might still have. This can give a good indication of the temperament and physical appearance of your puppy as they age.

The Beagle Cocker Spaniel mix is considered to be low-shedding. If that is a requirement for you then you should be happy with this pup.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Beagle Cocker Spaniel Mix

1. The Bocker Can Be a Howler

They may not be at the same level as a Husky, but Bockers tend to bark and howl. Some believe that the name Beagle originates from a French word meaning “open throat” and refers to the fact that they tend to howl. Hunting dogs howl to alert their handlers that they have seen or caught prey. If they see anything that they deem to be prey, they still tend to howl. Even if they don’t see prey, the Beagle and the Bocker will howl because they enjoy it.

To some owners, this isn’t a problem, but it can be an annoyance for neighbors, especially if you work all day and your puppy is left alone. Have a routine, provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and leave puzzle toys when you go out. You can even leave a radio on when you go out or consider crate training.

2. They Make Ideal Companion Dogs for Almost Any Owner

Bockers do have high energy levels, which means that they need some form of physical stimulation throughout the day. However, if you have a yard or can get out and walk your new dog, the Beagle & Cocker Spaniel mix can make a great companion to almost any family unit or individual. They enjoy curling up with their owner and are intelligent and happy little dogs. They are great for active seniors and they will love playtime with older kids.

However, the relatively small stature of the Bocker means that they might not be suitable for families with very small children and toddlers. Young children tend to grab and pull at small dogs, and this can lead to injury and discomfort for the dog. If you do have a baby or toddler and want a Bocker, ensure that you will be able to closely monitor any time they spend together. Similarly, this breed gets along with other dogs and can get along with cats, but both parent breeds are hunters by nature, so you will need to mix your dog from a young age if you want them to live with cats and smaller animals.

3. Bockers Are Considered Easy to Train

Bockers are intelligent, eager to please their owners, and friendly. This cocktail makes them ideal for training, and the Bocker is widely considered to be an easy dog to train. They will usually master new commands and habits after 20 repetitions, and although some dogs might require a healthy and appealing treat to help master their training, they will respond equally well to praise and attention when they complete a command.

Their high energy levels, coupled with their trainability, makes the Beagle and Cocker Spaniel mix an ideal candidate for agility training and other active classes. This will help them burn off energy and keep them in good condition.

The parent breeds of Bocker
The parent breeds of Bocker: Left – Cocker Spaniel (Kajetan Sumila, Unsplash) | Right – Beagle (Luke MacGillivray, Unsplash)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Beagle Cocker Spaniel Mix 🧠

The Bocker is a hybrid breed. This means that they have been intentionally bred by crossing two pedigree breeds. This offers the benefit of hybrid vigor, which means that they are less prone to health conditions than purebred dogs, but it also means that we have to look at the parent breeds to determine the likely traits of the hybrid.

The Beagle is intelligent and loving, but as a hunting dog, they do require a lot of stimulation, both physical and mental. As long as they’re getting enough daily exercise from a caring handler, they usually makes a good family pet that will mix and interact with other family members. The beagle makes a good guard dog because, although they aren’t aggressive, they are protective of their family.

The Cocker Spaniel is an equally energetic breed and is used for hunting birds and game. Like the Beagle, they are considered friendly and always looking to please family members.

The Beagle and Cocker Spaniel share a lot of traits. They are both energetic and lively, both are considered easy to train, and are intelligent animals. Neither breed likes to be left alone but it is possible to desensitize them to the experience. As such, you can expect the Bocker to have similar characteristics, making them a good choice whether you are single or looking for a family pet, regardless of age. They can also live in an apartment, as long as you exercise them regularly; you should ensure that they don’t howl or bark when you leave them, though.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Both parent breeds are considered excellent family pets. They get along with people of all ages and are even friendly with strangers at the first meeting. They will enjoy playtime with older children, cuddling on the sofa at night, but you will need to monitor any time they spend alone with very small children: although the Bocker is highly unlikely to show any signs of aggression, small children can grab and hurt the dog by accident, and this can lead to anxiety or even nipping.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Beagles do very well as part of a pack, and Cocker Spaniels are known for mixing well with other dogs. The Bocker will usually inherit these traits, although you should still ensure that your puppy is well-socialized at an early age. Attend puppy classes or training classes, go to agility lessons, and walk them in dog parks and other areas where dogs congregate. This will help ensure that they are amiable and enjoy meeting other animals.

Some care needs to be taken with Beagle and Cocker Spaniel mixes because the parent breeds are both well-known for their hunting capabilities. If your Bocker has a high prey drive, cats might be in danger. If you can, introduce your dog to the cats at an early age but be prepared: just because your dog gets on well with the cats in your family does not mean that they will be similarly accepting of cats outside their home.

Beagle and Cocker Spaniel
Image Credit: Erik Lam, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Beagle Cocker Spaniel Mix:

As a hybrid breed, you can never be certain of the physical appearance or characteristics of a dog until it gets a little older, although you should be able to recognize whether a Bocker will have the longer and curly hair of a Spaniel or the short coat of the Beagle.

The most common colors of the Bocker are white, brown, and black. They are rarely a single color and are far more likely to have two or three colors in their markings. Hair length can vary from the very short hair of the Beagle to the longer, curly hair of the Spaniel. In either case, you should expect moderate shedding, but not enough to demand professional cutting or grooming.

Overall, the Beagle Cocker Spaniel mix is considered a good family pet that will get along with just about everybody and everything. However, there are some things you need to know before adopting or buying a puppy of this breed.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The best diet for a Beagle Cocker Spaniel mix is one that has been formulated for small dogs with high energy levels. Overfeeding can be a problem because this breed will pack on pounds if they eat too much and do not get enough exercise. As such, consider sticking to a daily feeding regimen, providing two or three meals at a set time each day. If you leave food down, they will eat it and come back for more.

Beagle and Cocker Spaniel
ID 64922028 © Mikitiger | Dreamstime.com

Exercise 🐕

The Bocker might be a small dog, but they a lot of energy, and you will want to help get rid of this energy with regular walks. Expect to spend an hour or more a day walking your Bocker. This is an intelligent dog, which means that they crave mental stimulation, and if this isn’t provided, they might create their own games, such as chewing the sofa or grabbing items off tables that they can reach. Your Bocker is likely to let you know when it’s time to play and walk because they enjoy having a set timetable and will quickly learn it.

The Beagle Cocker Spaniel mix performs very well at agility and other intense training classes because it exercises the brain as well as the body.

Training 🦮

Both parent breeds are intelligent and considered easy to train. The Bocker displays similar traits. They’re eager to please you, can pick up new commands very quickly, and will enjoy the praise and adulation that they receive when getting commands right.

Grooming ✂️

Bockers are moderate shedders and will usually shed twice a year. Regular brushing helps remove loose hair and ensures that your dog is more comfortable. Although this breed does shed, however, you do not need to take them for professional grooming unless you want to.

To maintain good dental hygiene, brush your dog’s teeth three times a week, or daily if they allow it. You should also check their ears and wipe away any gunk or buildup with a damp tissue to help prevent ear infection.

Health and Conditions ❤️

The Bocker is a healthy and hardy breed, which will usually live to 12 years old, with many going on to 15 years of age. There are no known conditions prevalent in this hybrid breed, but we need to look at the parent breeds to get a better idea of any likely health conditions that your dog will suffer. This means that the Bocker could suffer from eye and ear conditions, joint dysplasia, and possibly epilepsy, among other possible conditions. If your dog shows signs of any of these conditions, get them checked by a veterinarian to prevent worsening.

Minor Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye and ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Intervertebral disc disease

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Male vs. Female

There is a very little-known difference in the physical appearance or mental attributes of male and female Although this is the same as with most breeds, bitches tend to be a little smaller. However, as a hybrid breed, their characteristics are more likely to be governed by the dominant parent breed rather than the gender of the dog.

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Final Thoughts

The Beagle Cocker Spaniel mix is a happy, friendly, small dog. It makes a good companion dog for most families and individuals. With two hunting dogs as parent breeds, the Bocker does require regular exercise, and while they will adapt to living in an apartment, howling is in their nature, which can be irritating for close neighbors. Other than exercise, though, the Beagle Cocker Spaniel mix yearns for human contact and loves to spend time with their owner.

They do not tend to make the best guard dogs, although their barking is enough to deter any potential intruders because they are very friendly and will often prefer a friendly greeting to a warning to any potential problem. The breed is very intelligent and easy to train and makes a great first dog because of this combination of attributes.

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Featured Image Credit: Erik Lam, Shutterstock

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