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Border Collie Cocker (Border Collie & English Cocker Spaniel Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Border Collie Cocker (Border Collie & English Cocker Spaniel Mix)

Height: 15-22 inches
Weight: 26-50 pounds
Lifespan: 10-17 years
Colors: Often solid black, silver, or red with white, tan, black, silver, or red markings
Suitable for: Active families or individuals, suburban or rural settings, those interested in a dog with high physical and mental stimulation needs
Temperament: Energetic, Intelligent, Responsive, Lively, Friendly, Enthusiastic, Industrious

Do you want more than just a lapdog? If you are intrigued by the idea of a highly intelligent canine companion that will relish outdoor activities and adventures, take a closer look at the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel!

As a naturally hardworking dog, the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel has physical stamina and an alert mind. They are active dogs and need plenty of backyard space and time spent with their owners and families.

The Border Collie was first developed near the border between England and Scotland. They were bred to herd sheep while working closely with their shepherds. Bored Collies are commonly acknowledged as the smartest dog breed in the world. Today, they are used as herders and companions.

The English Cocker Spaniel was originally developed to hunt birds, specifically, the woodcock, from which they get their name. They evolved from other Field Spaniels and are one of the oldest breeds of Spaniels.

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Border Collie Cocker Spaniel Mix Puppies

Border Collie Cocker puppy
Image Credit: PeakPX


Border Collie Cocker Spaniel puppies are energetic, curious little creatures. They favor the Border Collie’s black and white coloring but have the softly contoured head and big doe-like eyes of a Cocker Spaniel. Their sweet faces will get your attention, but it is their bright, inquisitive personalities that will win your heart.

These are hearty and dynamic dogs that need a lot of exercise. And, if healthy and cared for, they regularly live close to two decades. So, when considering the lively Border Collie Cocker Spaniel as a pet, be sure to consider the long-term nature of the commitment you will be making.

For a so-called “designer breed” like the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel, you may end up going to a breeder. We recommend getting to know your prospective dog and the breeder before taking your new friend home. The more you know about how the breeder cares for their dogs, the better equipped you’ll be to give your pup a happy home!

3 Little-Known Facts About the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel Mix

1. The Cocker Spaniel is a Famous Literary Figure

English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning had a Cocker Spaniel named Flush during the Victorian era. He earned his place in literary fame when Virginia Woolf wrote a book about him, which was a fictional autobiography from Flush’s point of view!

2. The Border Collies Are the Ultimate Herders

Border Collies have been bred for centuries to chase and organize other animals. They have been taught to modify predatory canine behaviors and will crouch, stalk, and nip but not injure or kill. Part of their effectiveness is how they use their eyes to stare down and control livestock.

3. Border Collie Cocker Spaniels Love Learning New Things

This is a dog that not only should be trained but wants to be trained. Border Collie Cocker Spaniels are smart and highly active, and they enjoy learning tricks and commands from their owners. Give this dog plenty of opportunities to participate in activities with you and they’ll love you for it!

Parent Breeds of the Border Collie Cocker
Image Credit: Jumpstory

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel Mix 🧠

Border Collies Cocker Spaniels are enthusiastic, intelligent, and friendly dogs. Though initially wary of strangers, they warm up quickly and make friends easily. This breed is a hard worker and makes a good herder, hunter, or companion. They are devoted to their family and very social.

The Border Collie Cocker Spaniel is not the type to laze around. Their high IQ means that they love having a job to do and can easily grow bored when under-stimulated.

Boredom is a common cause of destructive behavior like excessive vocalizations, compulsive herding, and chewing inappropriate items around the house. The Border Collie Cocker Spaniel needs early training and regular exercise to avoid becoming overly tense or neurotic.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

If properly trained and socialized early, the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel is an excellent family dog. Though naturally friendly with children, dogs and kids need to be taught how to interact with each other appropriately.

An untrained Border Collie Cocker Spaniel may try to herd the children and can get bossy or nosey. Foster mutual respect early in the relationship, and you will not have to worry about bullying from either dogs or kids.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

In the care of a responsible owner, the dog’s naturally amiable temperament helps them get along with other animals. However, due to their herding and hunting heritage, the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel tends to corral and chase.

Giving your dog plenty of outlets for excess energy, early socialization, and good training is vital to starting the relationships off right and maintaining harmony.

brown and white border spaniel mix
Image Credit: Pixabay

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Things to Know When Owning a Border Collie Cocker Spaniel Mix

When deciding to add a dog to the family, there’s a lot to consider. Here, we have included a basic run-down of the care and keeping of a Border Collie Cocker Spaniel to help you make an informed decision.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Active dogs like the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel mix do well with a balanced, omnivorous diet that is rich in proteins and fatty acids such as omega-3s. To start them off right, we recommend a quality kibble that contains a range of whole foods. Avoid brands full of additives, preservatives, and excessive fillers like grain.

A bit of variation to their diet can be nutritious and mentally stimulating. Try giving them a bit of vet-approved fruits, vegetables, or lean proteins in addition to their kibble occasionally!

Exercise 🐕

It’s best to provide your Border Collie Cocker Spaniel with multiple opportunities throughout the day to go outside and run. These dogs are not just physically athletic either; their keen intelligence needs exercise, too. The Border Collie Cocker Spaniel excels at agility courses, swimming and retrieving, and learning tricks.

They are unsuitable for owners with a rigid work schedule that keeps them away from home for long periods. Loneliness and boredom can lead to a high-strung, anxious canine.

If you must leave them alone for more than a few hours, give your furry friend access to a large fenced-in yard. You can also try a variety of puzzle toys that will engage them mentally.

border collie cocker spaniel
Image Credit: PxHere

Training 🦮

With a smart cookie like the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel, training them is not optional; they demand it! Their intelligence and high work drive translate to a deep desire to work for and with their owners. A bored, untrained Border Collie Cocker Spaniel is a recipe for an unhappy and compulsive dog.

Though this breed is eager and easy to train, while getting to know them, you may even find their keen minds test your intelligence.

Grooming ✂️

Border Collie Cocker Spaniels usually have a double coat, like the Border Collie. Their fur is medium in length, smooth or wavy, and requires daily brushing to reduce shedding and prevent mats from forming.

Their ears are often long like the Cocker Spaniel parent and can pick up all manner of burrs and ticks. Clean the hair around their ears and the inside regularly to prevent infections, dirt and wax build-up, mats, and parasite-carried diseases.

Check their nails and teeth from time to time, too. These high energy dogs may wear their toenails down by themselves, but the occasional trimming might be necessary. Regular teeth cleanings will keep your dog’s gums healthy and their breath sweet or at least less stinky!

Health and Conditions ❤️

The Border Collie Cocker Spaniel, like most hybrid dog breeds, are generally healthier than their purebred parents. However, there are still a few health concerns to watch out for.

Minor Conditions
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD or OD)
  • Allergies
  • Deafness
  • Luxating patellas
  • Hip dysplasia
Serious Conditions
  • Heart disease
  • Seizures
  • Familial nephropathy (a fatal kidney disease)

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Male vs Female

The differences between male and female Border Collie Cocker Spaniels are mainly physical, as personality differs on a dog-by-dog basis. The male dogs grow larger and exhibit sexually aggressive behaviors like marking territory with urine or humping when they’re not neutered. Females, on the other hand, are smaller and often more reserved.

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Final Thoughts

So, is the Border Collie Cocker Spaniel the right dog for you? They’re ideal for active families and are bred from two of the world’s most remarkable canines. If you make a long-term commitment to care for and teach a high-energy dog and are interested in an adventurous canine companion who will surprise you repeatedly with their intelligence and enthusiasm, you might have found your match!

Featured Image Credit: PxHere

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